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Comparison of two mathematical models for correlating the organic matter removal efficiency with hydraulic retention time in a hybrid anaerobic baffled reactor treating molasses


A modelling of the anaerobic digestion process of molasses was conducted in a 70-L multistage anaerobic biofilm reactor or hybrid anaerobic baffled reactor with six compartments at an operating temperature of 26 °C. Five hydraulic retention times (6, 16, 24, 72 and 120 h) were studied at a constant influent COD concentration of 10,000 mg/L. Two different kinetic models (one was based on a dispersion model with first-order kinetics for substrate consumption and the other based on a modification of the Young equation) were evaluated and compared to predict the organic matter removal efficiency or fractional conversion. The first-order kinetic constant obtained with the dispersion model was 0.28 h−1, the Peclet dispersion number being 45, with a mean relative error of 2%. The model based on the Young equation predicted the behaviour of the reactor more accurately showing deviations lower than 10% between the theoretical and experimental values of the fractional conversion, the mean relative error being 0.9% in this case.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Water Research Center of Greentech (Co., Ltd.), Shiraz and the R&D Center of Anshan Corporation. The authors also thank Dr. Daryoush Mehrparast and Dr. Anahita Parsnejad for their help.

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Correspondence to R. Borja.

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Ghaniyari-Benis, S., Martín, A., Borja, R. et al. Comparison of two mathematical models for correlating the organic matter removal efficiency with hydraulic retention time in a hybrid anaerobic baffled reactor treating molasses. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 35, 389–397 (2012).

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  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Modelling
  • Hydraulic retention time
  • Organic matter removal efficiency
  • Hybrid anaerobic baffled reactor