Specific methane production (SMP) tests have been used to determine the potential loading rate capacity of anaerobic reactors, to characterize biomass prior to its use as an inoculum for new anaerobic reactors, to detect changes in biomass activity during operation, or to assess the occurrence of toxic conditions. SMP tests also provide a basis for estimating specific methanogenic activity in mixed anaerobic cultures. SMP protocols used to date have varied widely in both procedure and objective. Tests conducted by the present authors indicated that biomass concentration, substrate type and concentration, and mixing intensity are factors that can affect the results of SMP tests.

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