Titration methodologies for monitoring of anaerobic digestion in developing countries - A review

O. Lahav*, B. E. Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


An increase in volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration (or the proportional decrease in carbonate alkalinity concentration) is the first practical measurable indication that an anaerobic treatment system is in a state of stress. If the system is not rectified at this early stage, failure is likely. Current methods for VFA measurement include distillation, colorimetry, gas chromatography and various titration techniques. In terms of simplicity, speed and cost-effectiveness it is generally accepted that titration methods are superior for the purpose of on-site routine monitoring and control, particularly in developing countries. This paper reviews the methods published in the last four decades concerning on-site titration measurement of VFA and carbonate alkalinity concentrations. The review encompasses the following: aquatic chemistry related to the theory on which most of the methods are based, and a detailed description of each of the principal methods published followed by critical and comparative evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1341
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic digester monitoring
  • Developing countries
  • Titration methods
  • Volatile fatty acids


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