Bioassay for monitoring biochemical methane potential and anaerobic toxicity

W. F. Owen, D. C. Stuckey, J. B. Healy, L. Y. Young, P. L. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1200 Scopus citations


Techniques are presented for measuring the biodegradability (Biochemical Methane Potential-BMP) and toxicity (Anaerobic Toxicity Assay-ATA) of material subjected to anaerobic treatment. These relatively simple bioassays can be conducted in most research laboratories without the need for sophisticated equipment. BMP is a measure of substrate biodegradability determined by monitoring cumulative methane production from a sample which is anaerobically incubated in a chemically defined medium. The ATA measures the adverse effect of a compound on the rate of the total gas production from an easily-utilized, methanogenic substrate. These techniques are demonstrated by an analysis of the BMP and ATA of processed samples of peat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-492
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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