Development and validation of control strategies for flexible and demand-driven anaerobic digestion


Supervisors: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Davide Poggio.

Bioenergy and anaerobic digestion can have a major role as a source of dispatchable energy in future energy systems with high penetration of intermittent renewables. The Energy 2050 group is involved in different research projects where a flexible operation of anaerobic digestion leads to an improved economy of the whole system.

Examples of these projects are the provision of heat to autonomous desalination systems, the stabilisation of micro-grids in rural electrification projects, and the biomethanation of hydrogen from grid excess electricity (power to methane).

In all these scenarios an improved control of AD is necessary, which is able to match the biogas demand of the system while maintaining process stability. This project will involve the review of existing control strategies for AD, the use of process modelling to evaluate and benchmark the most appropriate control strategies for different demand-driven scenarios, and the experimental validation of the control strategies at laboratory scale.

For further information contact Professor Derek B Ingham (

Find a PhD

Search for PhD opportunities at Sheffield and be part of our world-leading research.