Biogas – 4. Odor and Emissions

Quynh Thu Nguyen

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Biogas – 4. Odor and Emissions

Denmark In Danish

We solve odor challenges from biogas by documenting real odor levels both on-site and at Danish Technological Institute's laboratories.

Documentation of odor nuisance leads to better decisions

Unwanted odor emissions from biogas plants are problematic as they pollute the surrounding environment. This can result in complaints from neighbours and opposition to the establishment of new and expansion of existing biogas plants.

But when does a biogas plant smell too much? This is often based on subjective perceptions that can be difficult to argue for or against. In this situation, it is relevant to quantify the problem.

We help biogas producers, municipalities and decision-makers document the actual odor levels in and around a biogas plant.


Odor issues at biogas plants can lead to heated local debate and media coverage.

Multiple sources of odor emissions

Odor emissions can consist of Sulphur compounds, terpenes, malodorous gases, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

There are several sources of odor nuisance from biogas plants that are involved in different removal steps during the biogas process. Here, a chemical mapping of odor signals can be beneficial - both to locate the problem and to evaluate the effect of measures that can reduce and remove bad odors, such as filtration and scrubber technologies.

Another unwanted form of emission is methane, which often comes from leaks at biogas plants.

On-site measurements and advanced laboratory analyses

At Danish Technological Institute, we solve odor challenges from biogas by documenting real odor levels.

This can be done by taking samples in and around the biogas plant and subsequently analysing the chemical composition of the samples in the laboratory. But we also have the option of taking the measuring equipment with us and making real-time measurements of odor levels. This way, we can effectively assess different odor treatment measures and optimise the process.

As an independent knowledge partner, we also advise on different technologies and measures for odor removal.

Lugtmåling biogas 1 200px   Lugtmåling biogas 2 200px   Lugtmåling biogas 3 200px

Here we are visiting a biogas plant to perform on-site measurements.

How can Danish Technological Institute help?

  • Documentation of the chemical odor environment in and around the biogas plant
  • On-site collection of odor samples before and after implementation of measures
  • Impartial advice and sparring on technologies and measures that can reduce odor problems
  • Self-monitoring advice to reduce methane loss

Please contact us if you have any questions or need help with odor issues in biogas production.