In anaerobic systems it may also be possible to measure the disappearance of organic material or of electron acceptors such as nitrate or sulfate. Alternatively, monitoring the appearance of particular products such as ethanol or acetate may be feasible (if they accumulate). In methanogenic systems, the rate of formation of gaseous products can be measured volumetrically if they can be trapped in a gas collection column (Figure 11.17). This will typically be about 65% methane and 35% carbon dioxide (with traces of other gases). The total can be measured, or the carbon dioxide can be removed by scrubbing with KOH.
clamp gas collection column overflow collection vessel gas s_
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