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Simulation of a Process Design Model for Anaerobic Digestion of Municipal Solid Wastes

Authors: Asok Adak, Debabrata Mazumder, Pratip Bandyopadhyay


Anaerobic Digestion has become a promising technology for biological transformation of organic fraction of the municipal solid wastes (MSW). In order to represent the kinetic behavior of such biological process and thereby to design a reactor system, development of a mathematical model is essential. Addressing this issue, a simplistic mathematical model has been developed for anaerobic digestion of MSW in a continuous flow reactor unit under homogeneous steady state condition. Upon simulated hydrolysis, the kinetics of biomass growth and substrate utilization rate are assumed to follow first order reaction kinetics. Simulation of this model has been conducted by studying sensitivity of various process variables. The model was simulated using typical kinetic data of anaerobic digestion MSW and typical MSW characteristics of Kolkata. The hydraulic retention time (HRT) and solid retention time (SRT) time were mainly estimated by varying different model parameters like efficiency of reactor, influent substrate concentration and biomass concentration. Consequently, design table and charts have also been prepared for ready use in the actual plant operation.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, municipal solid waste (MSW), process design model, simulation study, hydraulic retention time(HRT), solid retention time (SRT).

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