Anaerobic bioprocessing pilot plant

The NRC's anaerobic bioprocessing pilot plant helps industrial partners and clients develop and validate processes to convert organic substrates into valuable bioproducts such as renewable natural gas (RNG), acids or alcohols.

Our stationary pilot plant and mobile digestion unit enable us to test methods of converting organic feedstocks into chemicals or energy carriers, and to optimize processes at a larger scale under a range of conditions.

With collaborators, we are working to produce clean energy and foster environmental sustainability.


Our multidisciplinary team of engineers, microbiologists and molecular biologists specialize in bioenergy production from organic residues through anaerobic digestion, syngas bioconversion and microbial fuel cell processing.

  • Processing of sludge or suspensions with as much as 15% solids in a fully automated operation
  • Pre-treatment testing (mechanical, chemical, enzymatic) for enhanced substrate conditioning
  • Post-treatment testing (upgrading and polishing) for enhanced bioproduct formation
  • Performance validation and energy balance: biogas production, solid reduction, and analysis of potential inhibitions
  • Process modelling and kinetics assessment for model calibration
  • Chemical, biochemical and microbiological process monitoring and on-line control implementation and adaptation
  • Process optimization including feeding recipes, operational protocol, environmental and physiological conditions
  • Technology demonstration and scale up
  • Testing of various organic feedstocks for bioprocessing:
    • Industrial wastewaters from breweries, dairies and paper mills
    • Municipal wastewater sludge and sorted organic fraction of solid municipal wastes
    • Agricultural wastes and crops
  • Development of innovative and alternative concepts at the pilot scale, such as enhanced anaerobic digestion (eAD) processes


Discover our modular platform for anaerobic bioprocessing of organic feedstocks! It includes a stationary pilot plant for testing and optimization of innovative processes, and a mobile unit for on-site testing and technological showcasing. Collaborate with us to design, test, optimize and validate the scale up of wet-anaerobic bioprocesses.

Stationary pilot plant

  • 2,000 L continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) digester and a 500 L upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) digester
  • 4,000 L refrigerated feed tank for continuous operation and a 1,000 L pre-treatment reactor (chemical or enzymatic)
  • Mechanical pre-treatment equipment (macerator, shredder, screw press)

Mobile unit

  • 1500 L reception tank
  • Grinder to homogenize heterogeneous substrate
  • 2 CSTR-type digesters (1,000 L and 2,000 L) for processes of varying complexity, such as single-phase mesophilic, 2-phase mesophilic/thermophilic, and more
  • Fully automated, remote-controlled operation

Image gallery

Stationary pilot plant in Montreal, Canada

Researcher working with pilot plant


Contact us

Laurent Spreutels, Team Leader, Bioprocess Engineering
Telephone: 514-496-6181


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