The European project OPTI-VFA improves the measurement of volatile fatty acids and automatic control for conventional anaerobic digesters


Launched in September 2013, the European project OPTI-VFA (www.opti-vfa.eu) has developed a device that measures Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA) in real time, in addition to implementing a product for the automatic control of conventional anaerobic digesters. Within the project, the Environmental Engineering Unit at Ceit-IK4 was responsible for developing the control tool.

Following two years of collaboration, the project’s members (Rikola, Optomesures, MTT Multantiv, Maris Projects, Attero, MSI, VTT, TuDelft and Ceit-IK4) presented their results at the Online VFA Monitoring Systems workshop organized by the University of Delft on August 27th. Participants included members of ATBEST Marie Curie ITN, a European project currently in progress that has objectives that are similar to the goals of the OPTI-VFA project.

The purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum where the two projects could share and pool experience and knowledge related to the online measurement of VFAs and automatic control. The event also provided the occasion for participants to discuss research opportunities and options for collaboration in these two areas. One particular highlight is the great potential for OPTI-VFA’s ATBEST’s developments in emerging markets, such as the production of VFAs from organic waste in order to use them as a raw material in the chemical industry or in the fabrication of biopolymers.

Contact: Katariina Rahkamaa-Tolonen (Project Coordinator), email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The research carried out to yield these results was financed by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme through REA (Research Executive Agency) http://ec-europa.eu/research/rea (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 606069.