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Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture (BIOMA)

4-13, Renmin Road South, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Phone number(s)
Mandate, main activities of the institution and competencies

The BIOMA performs scientific research and technology promotion focusing on fundamental scientific theories and crucial generic technologies about rural energy and environmental engineering. The BIOMA principally shoulders such non-profitable scientific researches and relevant technical demonstration services, trainings and applied fundamental research, advanced theory research and major generic technology research on renewable energy (mainly biogas) in rural areas, energy and environmental management in rural areas, and the cross field of agricultural ecological restoration.

Since its establishment decades ago, the BIOMA has taken part in a series of sci-tech related programmes such as the National Plan for Science & Technology Support, Major Projects of National Science & Technology Programmes, National Key Technology Research and Development Programmes, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and various ministerial and provincial programmes. The BIOMA is host to the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) supported Biogas Research and Training Center for the Asia-Pacific region (BRTC) since 1981. In addition, the Ministry of Commerce of China has appointed the BIOMA as the international training base.

At present, BIOMA plays a leading role across the country in terms of preservation and development of anaerobic microbial strains resources, waste disposal and resource recirculation from livestock and poultry rearing. The BIOMA is the lead research institution in the development of the theory and process of biogas fermentation as part of the energy engineering in rural areas. The BIOMA is a major contributor to the development of rural environmental engineering, safe organic wastes disposal in rural areas and containment of water pollution.

Summary of the activities during the last two years

The BIOMA, since its foundation, has actively participated in major scientific research and planning processes and programmes such as the National Plan for Science & Technology Support, Major Projects of National Science & Technology Programmes, National Key Technology Research and Development Programmes, National Natural Science Foundation of China and various ministerial and provincial programmes. The BIOMA, for its performance and achievements, has received over 40 national, ministerial and provincial awards for scientific advancement. The engagement in industrial organic wastewater, domestic wastewater from townships, and the disposal of anaerobic digestive wastes and standard-met emissions from large livestock and poultry farms has made remarkable contribution to the renewable energy development and the ecological environment improvement in rural areas. The BIOMA has also developed, either alone or in partnership, over 80 percent of the Chinese biogas industrial standards.

The BIOMA has developed innovative technology and processes for household digesters and large biogas plants in rural areas, as well as the treatment of high-concentration organic wastewater to meet the discharge standard.

To achieve this vision, the BIOMA has made three fundamental commitments: 

1)      Develop a biogas power generation system fed with the waste of the livestock and poultry industry and crop straw. The BIOMA designed the biogas plant on Mengniu Aoya Demonstrational Livestock Farm in Inner Mongolia in 2007, the largest biogas plant in China at that time, producing biogas from cow dung for power generation. The project gained complete success in biogas production by anaerobic digestion and combined heat and power (CHP), despite the high latitude and low temperature in the locality. 

2)      Establish a Key-open Laboratory of Anaerobic Microbiology of the Ministry of Agriculture rooted at the Microbiology Research Center of the BIOMA, which was re-evaluated and re-named as Key Laboratory of Energy Microbiology and Application, MOA (2006) and Key Laboratory on Development and Application of Rural Renewable Energy, MOA (2011). As the only interdisciplinary laboratory for  renewable energy microbiology in China, the Key laboratory focuses its research priority on the fundamental study and application of energy microbiology, takes the leading position in China in the research on microbial populations for biogas fermentation, high-active anaerobic granular sludge formation mechanism, genetic cloning of anaerobic cellulase under ultra-high temperature and the fundamental theory of methanogen in special environments. A series of cutting-edge researches have been done on microbial products, e.g. efficient cellulosic ethanol, hydrogen production, oily fat production and petroleum geologic micro-organism. Currently, the Key laboratory has collected and preserved about 300 strains of specific and facultative anaerobic bacteria, classified as a research unit that reserves the most resources of methanogenic Achaea within the most biological diversity. 

3)      In line with the agreement signed between the Chinese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asia-Pacific Biogas Research and Training Center (BRTC) was established at the BIOMA in 1981. Ever since then, the BIOMA has been entrusted to be the organizer of training programmes as an aid to foreign countries by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. So far, 55 international training programmes in the theme of biogas and renewable energy technology have been held, and the number of international participants has surpassed 1,300 engaged in technology and management promotion from more than 140 countries. Increasingly strong cooperative relationships have been established through exchange visits, collaboration and joint studies with the governmental agencies and academic groups from Africa,  America, Asia, ,Europe, Latin America and Oceania including Brazil, Bangladesh, Guinea-Bissau, Germany, , Korea , India, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and other countries, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Winrock International, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), etc. 

Outstanding research Programmes:

1)      collection of the national standard design, operation rules and quality inspection of rural domestic biogas digesters;

2)      study on diversified types of demonstrative rural energy projects at county level;

3)      acclimation of high activity anaerobic sludge in organic wastewater and its microbiological research;

4)      research on township biogas septic tanks;

5)      research on conventional fermentation processes for regular biogas production of rural domestic hydraulic digesters;

6)      research on start-up technology for straw-fed biogas fermentation;

7)      research on dry fermentation in rural areas;

8)      stimulated experiments, mechanism and geochemical characteristics of biogas;

9)      environment control and waste treatment technology on scaled piggery farm;

10)   research on demonstrative projects of comprehensive rural energy development in Nanxian County of Dongtinghu Lake region; and

11)   research and application of biogas treatment and technical systems for poultry and livestock waste.


1)      treatment and recovery of domestic waste and wastewater;

2)      shortcut nitrification-denitrification process in Anaerobic digestion;

3)      anarwia process for the treatment of concentrated organic wastewater with high nitrogen content;

4)      ellipsoid biogas digester made of resin compound material;

5)      two-phase solid-liquid separation tank;

6)      pre treatment added with iron for biogas fermentation of molasses wastewater;

7)      aerobic post treatment for anaerobic digested effluent;

8)      biogas fermentation device composed of digester and gasholder; and

9)      new type biogas lamp. 

The experience of BIOMA in applied research is very comprehensive and outstanding. Their expertise bridges several areas related to technical aspects surrounding the biomass utilization for biogas production. 

Legal status and Government arrangements of the institutions

Public institution with legal person status. 

Name and details of the head of the institution

Professor Li Qian


Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture

Section 4-13, Renmin Road South, Chengdu, P.R.China

Tel: +86-28-85239706

Fax: +86-28-85230677

E-mail: [email protected]

List of experts

TITLE & FULL NAME: Prof. HU Guoquan, Deputy Director-General
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Anaerobic microbiology; Resource and environmental microbiology

Research areas

  1. Microbial molecular biology, microbial ecology research.
  2. Extreme environmental microbiology, including isolation, identification and enzymology research on thermal organisms and low-temperature microorganisms; microorganisms related to oil reservoir.
  3. Microbial oil and gas exploration and utilization.
  4. Energy microorganisms.


  1. Chaired more than 20 international cooperation projects at national, ministry and provincial level, delivered over 20 papers.
  2. Team leader for the management of local and international projects.
  3. Team leader for financial reports in local and international projects.
  4. Team leader for development and implementation of environmental technologies.
  5. Team leader for promotion of energy efficient and renewable energy sources.
  6. Team leader for impact studies, technical memos, environmental balance and plans of urbanism, environmental impact assessment.


  1. The 3rd prize of excellence of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 2004.
  2. The 2nd scientific and technological progress prize of Chengdu in 2005.


TITLE & FULL NAME: Prof. DENG Liangwei, Deputy Director-General
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Processes of anaerobic digestion of concentrated organic wastewater; Aerobic post-treatment of anaerobic bio-slurry; P&N removal from wastewater; Decentralized anaerobic treatment of domestic sewage; Disposal and energy recirculation of organic solid waste; Design, start-up and operation management of anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment project

Born in 1966, PhD, Research Professor, PhD supervisor, Chief Engineer of Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture (BIOMA), post scientist of the Research Office for Pig Raising and Environment Control Functioning of the National Swine Breeding Technology System
Professional Affiliations
Chinese Biogas Society, council member, 2009.

  1. Organized 12 research projects.
  2. Designed more than 30 biogas / wastewater treatment plant.
  3. Published 85 academic papers in international or domestic journal, and 5 technical books (co-author).
  4. Owner of 5 patents.

Honors and Awards

  1. 2009 National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology, China (Fifth Author).
  2. 2009 Sichuan Province Prize for Progress in Science and Technology, China (First Author).


TITLE & FULL NAME: Associate Professor WANG Wenguo
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Bioenergy and Environmental Science

Professional experience
Associate professor, Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture (BIOMA), China.
Ph.D. in botany, Sichuan University.
Research focus
Biogas technology in combination with other bioenergy technology, environmental remediation technology.
Research interests

  1. Wastewater purification using aquatic energy crops, ammonium toxicity in plants and rural energy and ecology.
  2. Technology development of nitrogen and phosphorus removing and energy production from domestic sewage, livestock wastewater using microalgae or duckweed, and fundamental research in toxicity mechanism of high concentration ammonium in wastewater to plants.
  3. Evaluation of rural energy and ecology mode centering on biogas technology, and ecological compensation of rural energy.

Over 20 research papers published in PLoS ONE, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Journal 0f Plant Physiology, etc.


TITLE & FULL NAME: Prof. SHI Guozhong
: Rural energy; Design and research on biogas projects

Graduated from Nanjing University, civil engineering in 1984.

  1. Feasibility study of over 20 large and medium biogas projects.
  2. Design and construction work for over 30 biogas plants and sewage treatment projects.
  3. Author of “Construction and acceptance rules for biogas projects” as one of the industrial standards in China, which was published in 2006 by MOA.
  4. Participated in key program “comprehensive utilization of rural biomass” under The Eleventh Five Year Plan.


  1. Deputy Director of Biogas Engineering Center of Bioags Institute of Ministry of Agriculture (BIOMA), China.
  2. Supervisor of under graduate students.


: Research of anaerobic digestion techniques and the designing, construction and management for biogas plants

Profession and education

  1. Director of Engineering Centre of BIOMA.
  2. Got his bachelor of Sciences at Chongqing Architecture Project University in 1983.


  1. Hosted 9 key application projects of research findings of MoA, Ministry of Science and Technology of China.
  2. Designed 11 biogas plants.
  3. Won the first, second and third prizes of the National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology.
  4. Hosted the compiling work of “gas supply design” under the MoA industry standard of the technical standards on biogas plants.
  5. Hosted the equipment design “technological research and design of medium and large biogas plants”, a key project of the state on scientific and technological breakthroughs.

Representative work

  1. Demonstration biogas plants of centralized gas supply for 5,000 households in Lezhi County.
  2. Biogas plant on the wastewater treatment at Sichuan Xinyuan Pharmaceutical Company.
  3. 3000 cubic meter daily gas yield digester for Shandong Lukang Medicine Company.
  4. The wastewater treatment plant for Chengdu Paili food Company.


TITLE & FULL NAME: Professor, HU Qichun
: Biomass energy research; Completed over 30 related programs, published over 20 papers

Educational Background
ME. Sc Environmental Engineering, Asia Institute of Technology.
Recent major programs

  1. Soft science research on the factors which impact the development of biogas projects on pig farms, under the topic of modern industrial technical system sponsored by MOA.
  2. Standard collective drawing of domestic sewage treatment project, sponsored by MOA.

Director of Biomass Research Center of Biogas Institute of Agriculture (BIOMA), China
Supervisor of undergraduate students.


TITLE & FULL NAME: Associate Prof. HE Mingxiong
: Energy plant resource; Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic biomass, Biorefinery; Energy organism improvement; Fermentation technology

Education and profession

  1. June 2008: Ph. D. in Biochemistry and molecular biology, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
  2. 2008-Now: Biomass Energy Technology Research Centre, Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture, Deputy Director.


  1. Constructed wetlands plant biomass resource to produce bioenergy (201010187068.7).
  2. Bio-ethanol production from bamboo residues (201010187061.5).
  3. Use of bamboo in anaerobic sewage purification device (200910167997.9).
  4. Household type sewage purification tank (ZL 2009 2 0242745.3).
  5. Component composition for purifying domestic sewage tank (ZL 2010 2 0650064.3).
  6. Wet and dry fermentation partition biogas digester (ZL 2010 2 0502680.4).

Award and honors

  1. 2007 Scholarship winner of Sichuan University.
  2. 2009 Excellent Staff of Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture.
  3. 2012 Excellent Staff of Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture.


TITLE & FULL NAME: Associate Prof. CHENG Lei, Director
: Anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation; Taxonomy, physiology and ecology of anaerobic microorganisms


  1. 09/2008–12/2011 Ph.D. Chinese Agriculture University.
  2. 09/2004–07/2007 M.Sc. The Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agriculture Science.
  3. 09/2000–07/2004 B.Sc. Anhui Normal University.

Current research funding
National Natural Science Foundation of China: Isolation and characterization of Syntrophic alkane degraders coupled to methane production (No. 31370060) (Jan, 2014 – Dec, 2014) (Project leader).
Major publications

  1. Cheng L, Shi S, Li Q, Chen J, Zhang H, Lu Y. 2014. Progressive Degradation of Crude Oil n-Alkanes Coupled to Methane Production under Mesophilic and Thermophilic Conditions. PLoS One 9:e113253.
  2. Cheng L, Rui J, Li Q, Zhang H, Lu Y. 2013. Enrichment and dynamics of novel syntrophs in a methanogenic hexadecane-degrading culture from a Chinese oilfield. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 83:756-766.
  3. Cheng L, He Q, ding C, Dai L-r, Li Q, Zhang H. 2013. Novel bacterial groups dominate in a thermophilic methanogenic hexadecane-degrading consortium FEMS Microbiol Ecol 85:568-577.


: Lignocellulosic biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals; Development and utilization of rural biomass energy

Education Background

  1. Sichuan University Chemical Engineering Machinery Ph.D., 2011.
  2. Michigan State University Department of Chemical Engineering Joint Ph.D. 2009-2011.
  3. Sichuan University Bioengineering B. Sc., 2005.

Professional position held

  1. Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture Associate Researcher Since 2014.
  2. Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture Assistant Researcher 2011-2013.

Research Interest

  1. Lignocellulosic biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals.
  2. Development and utilization of rural biomass energy.


  1. Tang Xiaoyu, Sousa L.Da C, Jin Mingjie, et al., Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production, Biotechnology for Biofuels, 2015, 8(1).
  2. Wang Wenguo, Tang Xiaoyu, Zhu Qili, et al., Predicting the Impacts of Climate Change on the Potential Distribution of Major Native Non-Food Bioenergy Plants in China. PLOS ONE. 2014, 9.
  3. Fan Senqing, Xiao Zeyi, Tang Xiaoyu, et al., Inhibition effect of secondary metabolites accumulated in a pervaporation membrane bioreactor on ethanol fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bioresource Technology. 2014, 162: 8-13.


TITLE & FULL NAME: MA Shichun, Assistant Researcher
: Environmental microbiology Energy microbiology


  1. M.Sc. Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
  2. Ph.D. Microbial genetics, Sichuan University.

Professional experience

  1. 2009 –2011: Research assistant, Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture.
  2. 2011– Now: Research associate, Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture.

Research interest
Focus on collection, preservation and application of anaerobic environmental microorganisms (cellulolytic bacterium, propionate / butyrate-oxidizing bacterium), molecular mechanisms of anaerobic microorganism responding to environmental stress.
Publications: 9 papers.
Patents: 2 licensed invention patents, 2 utility-model patents, 1 invention patent.
Rewards: Second prize of Science and Technology Progress of Sichuan Province.