Biofuel industry

FT-NIR spectrometers as a quality control tool for the bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas industry.

FT-NIR spectroscopy is a widely used technique that can do rapid and non-destructive measurements in seconds. This technique can achieve multiple analysis results per measurement and determine real–time chemical information at-line and in-line.


Bruker's FT-NIR spectrometers can be used in the bioethanol industry for the following applications:

  • Monitoring incoming grain: moisture, starch, fat and protein contents
  • Fermentation monitoring: ethanol, glucose, starch, glycerol, lactic acid and other carbohydrates in fermented mash.
  • Dry house operations: moisture, protein, fat, fiber and ash content in DDGS
  • QC analysis of by-products: percent solids in syrup.


FT-NIR spectroscopy is widely used for quality control in the food and feed industry along the whole production chain analyzing important parameters such as protein, starch, fat and dry matter. The same parameters are heavily influencing fermentation and anaerobic digestion processes in Biogas production, and can be analyzed in the substrate and in the slurry of the digester.

The traditional analyses tend to be tedious, time consuming, expensive and often require hazardous solvents and reagents. FT-NIR, on the other hand, is fast (analysis time of less than 1 minute) and can analyze all the relevant components like

  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Dry Matter (DM)
  • Organic Dry Substance (ODS)
  • Starch
  • Volatile Fatty Acids ( FA)
  • Ammonia and others

with only one measurement. The substrate can by analyzed at-line (TANGO, MPA II) or on-line (MATRIX-F) before it is fed.

Preferable the slurry is monitored in a bypass of the digester. Utilizing the combined results a process optimization can easily be achieved by determined feeding rates based on the composition of substrate and the current status of the digester.


Bruker offers an array of spectroscopic solutions like FT-IR and FT-NIR to test the different stages of the biodiesel production, from the raw materials to trans-esterification and final blending.

  • Analysis of incoming oils, fats or seeds for free fatty acids (FFA), moisture and oil content
  • Monitoring the transesterification step and other processes online and 24/7
  • Quality control & blend verification of the finished product
  • Testing the valuable by-products like glycerine, fertilizer or animal feed

The rapid, non-destructive testing throughout the process leads to less down-time and improved quality, saving you time and money.