• Biomass Analysis
    By a Lab Dedicated to Advancing the Bioeconomy

We offer a suite of analysis packages suitable for biomass and the products of biomass conversion. We dedicate ourselves to providing our clients with the most precise data to allow them to make the best use of their biomass feedstocks and optimise their biomass conversion processes.

Our team has signficant experience (PhD, MSc, BSc, and placements in industry) in biomass-related disciplines and have a wide array of peer-reviewed publications and chapters concerning the analysis of biomass and biorefining.

During his time as a researcher, Celignis's founder Dan Hayes found that feedstock composition was crucial, but that literature data could be highly misleading. There was a critical need for accurate analysis. This led to the formation of Celignis. We are driven to provide the best possible data and want to play our part in the development of the bioeconomy.

Our biomass analysis methods cover a number of key areas, as detailed below:

Lignocellulosic Constituents

We can help to determine the value of your feedstock for the production of advanced biofuels. We determine sugars in cellulose and hemicellulose, as well as lignin, extractives, and ash.

Click here to read more on the chemistry of lignocellulose and here to see our analysis packages for lignocellulosic biomass.

We also have significant experience in the analysis of biomass samples from a range of pre-treatment technologies and other biomass conversion processes. We have a set of recommended analysis packages that will help you to get the most detailed data about the whole conversion process.

Rapid NIR Biomass Analysis

As an alternative to our chemical analysis packages you can get your solid biomass samples analysed for some lignocellulosic properties using our unique rapid-analysis Near Infrared (NIR) method. This involves us scanning your sample and then applying our proprietary algorithms to predict the content of 13 different lignocellulosic parameters. This means that we can provide you with data within one day at low cost. No other company is able to provide this service for advanced biofuel feedstocks.

Get more info...NIR Analysis

Analysis of Process Liquids

Many of the various technologies that exist for the production of advanced biofuels produce liquid outputs, either from the primary conversion process or from the pre-treatment stage.

At Celignis we offer a number of analysis packages to characterise these liquids. For instance, we can analyse the free sugars, including uronic acids, in solution as well as the amounts of each sugar that are tied up in oligomers. There is also an analysis package available for the carbohydrates present in the water extracts of biomass.

We can also determine the amounts of sugar degradation products (such as levulinic acid, formic acid, furfural, and hydroxymethylfurfural) that are present in solution. These products are of particular importance when considering the fermentation of liquid process streams.

Click here for more information on the analysis of pre-treatment liquids and here for more information on the analysis of sugar degradation products.

Get more info...Process Liquids

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion can be a sustainable means of generating energy while also valorising organic wastes. At Celignis we can provide you with crucial data on feedstock suitability and process residues. For example, we can determine the biomethane potential (BMP) which can be considered to be the experimental theoretical maximum amount of methane produced from a feedstock. We moniotor the volume of biogas produced allowing for a cumulative plot over time, accessed via the Celignis Database.

Our BMP packages also involve routine analysis of biogas composition (methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, oxygen). We also provide detailed analysis of the digestate, the residue that remains after a sample has been digested. Our expertise in lignocellulosic analysis can allow for detailed insight regarding the fate of the different biogenic polymers during digestion.

Our staff also have experience in developing and optimising digestion processes for a number of clients across the globe and can work with you on getting the most from your feedstock and technology. Click here for more details on our services for the anaerobic digestion sector.

BMP plot for biomass

Get more info...Anaerobic Digestion

Bioenergy Parameters

If you are considering producing heat or electricity from biomass or waste via combustion then we offer analysis packages that will suit your requirements. Our laboratory is equipped with a number of state-of-the art items of equipment that allow us to determine the most important combustion-related properties of your biomass including calorific value, volatile matter, elemental composition, moisture content, and the melting behaviour and composition of ash.

We recognise that it is important that you have confidence in the analytical data that you receive. That is why we follow internationally-recognised standard analysis methods and undertake all analyses in duplicate, reporting values for each of the replicates analysed, along with the average and the standard deviation. This allows us to repeat the analysis (at no extra charge) if the deviation values are high.

Moisture and ash contents are of crucial importance for combustion. This is reflected in our online, Excel, and pdf reports where all data for bioenergy-related parameters are expressed on dry-mass, as-received, and dry-ash free bases, according to standard method EN 15296:2011.

Click here to see our analysis packages for combustion properties of biomass.

Get more info...Bioenergy

Seaweed Analysis

Seaweed has been recognised as a potential third-generation biomass feedstock. Its commercial utilisation, however, is not without challenges. In particular, the composition of seaweed can be much more complex and diverse than many of the traditional lignocellulosic feedstocks. Fortunately, with our in-house developed ion chromatography methods we can allow you to see the potential value that seaweed samples may have for a chosen biomass conversion process.

We are able to quantify all of the important aldoses (e.g. glucose, mannose etc.) and deoxy-sugars (fucose and rhamnose) present in seaweed as well as five uronic acids (mannuronic acid, guluronic acid, glucuronic acid, 4-O-Methyl-D-Glucuronic Acid, and galacturonic acid) and mannitol. We can also determine a range of amino acids in seaweed.

Get more info...Seaweed

Physical Properties

The physical composition of biomass is important when determining how it can be stored and transported. We provide a number of analytical services to help you understand your feedstock better. Some of these services are listed below:

Particle Size - Our lab is equipped with a Retsch AS 400 sieve shaker. It can accommodate sieves of up to 40 cm diameter, corresponding to a surface area of 1256 square centimetres. This allows us to determine the particle size distribution of a range of samples, including wood chips, by following standard methods EN 15149- 1:2010 and EN 15149-2:2010.

Pellet Properties - Pellets that have lengths and diameters that are outside of the specified limits can cause transportation problems in screw conveyors, silo outlets, and burner feeding systems. We can help you quickly identify and avoid such issues by determining the length and diameter of your pellets according to standard method EN 17829:2015.

wood chips physical properties

Density - Bulk density is an important parameter when considering the transport of biomass and, together with the net calorific value, it determines the energy density. We determine bulk density using ISO standard 17828:2015 with a 5 litre container (certified to EN 10204-3.1).

Get more info...Physical Properties

Analysis for RINS Credits

Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are credits used for compliance of the USA's Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) and the currency of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Biofuels generated from feedstock with 75% or greater cellulosic content are allowed to claim 100% cellulosic RINs and the fuel derived from feedstock with less than 75% cellulosic content will receive cellulosic RINs only in proportion to cellulosic content.

biofuel yields

Our methods of lignocellulose analysis are approved techniques according to the EPA guidelines on determining adjusted cellulosic content. We differentiate between structural sugars (such as those in cellulose and hemicellulose) and those present in sucrose, starch, and the extractives and report each of these structural sugars individually, as well as the lignin content (as both Klason and acid soluble lignin). Our online Database and Excel and pdf reports also sum these structural sugars (i.e. cellulose and hemicellulose) along with the lignin content and express the result (the adjusted cellulosic content) on a dry-ash-free basis so that you can see if the sample meets the 75% threshold or if partial allocation of D3 RINs, based on the the proportion of total mass that is cellulosic, is required.

Bipoas production can also be eligible for cellulosic (D3) RINS. We can determine the percentage cellulosic RINs and maximum achievable RINs for biogas production from D3 and D7 unapproved feedstocks (i.e. RFS EMTS (EPA Moderated Transaction System) reporting codes 335 and 336) by doing biomass composition analysis and biomethane potential (BMP) tests.

Click here to read more about RINS and our relevant analysis methods.

Get more info...RINs Credits

Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Enzymes are biocatalysts and play a key role in biorefinery processes for the biochemical/biological conversion of biomass to biofuels and biobased products. First generation and second generation biofuels use enzymes for conversion of structural polymers to monomers so that these can then be fermented to the desired fuel by yeast or bacteria.

At Celignis we offer a range of analysis packages to determine the enzymatic digestibility of biomass. These tests are particularly important when evaluating the effectiveness of biomass pre-treatments. We can also look for the fermentation inhibitors in enzymatic hydrolysates and we can analyse the solid resdiues after hydorlysis in order to show what amounts of the structural polysaccharides have not been hydrolysed and to help to inform decisions regarding how this residue is valorised. We also provide tests to determine the efficiency and activity of cellulolytic and amylolytic enzymes.

cellulase enzymes

Click here to read more about our tests involving enzymes.

Get more info...Enzymes

Fermentation Tests

Functional Molecules