Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA)

Volatile fatty acids (VFA’s) such as acetic, formic, and butyric acid are byproducts of anaerobic bacterial digestion of organic matter. Therefor these fatty acids are a common constituent of wastewater process streams and sludge. The sodium (Na) and potassium (K) salts of VFA’s (specifically, K and Na acetate) can find their way into wastewater plant influent as storm drain runoff from airports where they are used to deice airplanes and runways.

In wastewater treatment facilities that perform enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR), VFA’s are used to enable and optimize the biological removal process. They act as a trigger for the process as well as providing a growth advantage for phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAOs).

  • Parameter Detection Range/Sensitivity Accuracy
    Volatile Fatty Acids 1 to 1000 mg/L ±10%
  • To learn more about the optical approach used by the LiquID to measure VFAs please read the How It Works – VFA located in the Resources section of our website.
  • Please Contact Us if you have additional questions about measuring VFAs or general inquires into the LiquID Station.