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Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 213–225 | Cite as

Sensitivity Analysis of Phenol Degradation with Sulfate Reduction Under Anaerobic Conditions

  • Yen-Hui Lin
  • Chih-Lung Wu
Article

Abstract

This study derives a mathematical description of the kinetics of phenol degradation with sulfate reduction by an anaerobic mixed-culture biofilm on an inert medium. The model incorporates the mechanisms of diffusive mass transport and Monod kinetics. It is solved using both the orthogonal collocation method and Gear’s method. Sensitivity studies were performed to investigate the dependence of process dynamics on the model parameters pertaining to biokinetic parameters, liquid film mass transport, and the biofilm and reactor operational parameters. Sensitivity analysis quantifies the magnitude of the effect of each variable on the simulated results using the least-square method. The transient-state process dynamics are sensitive to the biokinetic parameters including yield coefficient of phenol-utilizing bacteria, Monod maximum specific utilization rate of phenol, and the decay coefficient of phenol-utilizing bacteria. The process efficiency is also sensitive to biofilm parameters such as biofilm density of phenol-utilizing bacteria and initial biofilm thickness , and to such operational parameters as the influent phenol concentration and the hydraulic retention time of the system. The process dynamics are relatively insensitive to mass transport parameters, including the film transfer coefficient of phenol and the diffusion coefficient of phenol. Sensitivity analysis of the process dynamics to model parameters helps determine how to alter process conditions to enhance removal efficiency.

Keywords

Sensitivity analysis Phenol degradation Sulfate reduction Model Least-square method 

Notations

The following symbols are used in this paper

A

total surface area of the media (L 2)

ba

decay coefficient of SRB (1/T)

bp

decay coefficient of PUB (1/T)

bsa

shear-loss coefficient of SRB (1/T)

bsp

shear-loss coefficient of PUB (1/T)

Dfa

diffusion coefficient of acetate in the biofilm (L 2/T)

Dfp

diffusion coefficient of phenol in the biofilm (L 2/T)

Dfu

diffusion coefficient of sulfate in the biofilm (L 2/T)

f

conversion efficiency of phenol to acetate (M s /M s )

HRT

hydraulic retention time

ka

Monod maximum specific utilization rate of acetate by SRB (1/T)

kfa

liquid film transfer coefficient of acetate (L/T)

kfp

liquid film transfer coefficient of phenol (L/T)

kfu

liquid film transfer coefficient of sulfate (L/T)

Kip

inhibition constant of phenol (M s/L 3)

kp

Monod maximum specific utilization rate of phenol by PUB (1/T)

Ksa

Monod half-velocity coefficient of acetate (M s /L 3)

Ksp

Monod half-velocity coefficient of phenol (M s/L 3)

Ksu

Monod half-velocity coefficient of sulfate (M s /L 3)

PUB

phenol-utilizing bacteria

Q

flow rate of the influent (L 3/T)

rsa

utilization rate of acetate by SRB in biofilm (M s /L 3 − T)

rsn

net generation rate of acetate (M s /L 3 − T)

rsp

utilization rate of phenol by PUB in biofilm (M s /L 3 − T)

Sba

concentration of acetate in the bulk liquid (M s /L 3)

Sba0

concentration of acetate in the influent (M s /L 3)

Sbp

concentration of phenol in the bulk liquid (M s /L 3)

Sbp0

concentration of phenol in the influent (M s /L 3)

Sbu

concentration of sulfate in the bulk liquid (M s /L 3)

Sbu0

concentration of sulfate in the influent (M s /L 3)

Sfa

concentration of acetate in the biofilm (M s /L 3)

Sfp

concentration of phenol in the biofilm (M s /L 3)

Sfu

concentration of sulfate in the biofilm (M s /L 3)

Sl

concentration of sulfide in the effluent (M s /L 3)

SRB

sulfate-reducing bacteria

Ssp

phenol concentration at liquid/biofilm interface (M s /L 3)

Ssu

sulfate concentration at liquid/biofilm interface (M s /L 3)

t

time (T)

V

volume of the reactor (L 3)

Xba

concentration of SRB in the bulk liquid (M x /L 3)

Xbp

concentration of PUB in the bulk liquid (M x /L 3)

Xfa

biofilm density of SRB (M x /L 3)

Xfp

biofilm density of PUB (M x /L 3)

Ya

yield coefficient of SRB (M x /M s )

Yp

yield coefficient of PUB (M x /M s )

zf

radial distance in biofilm (L)

α

conversion factor for reduction of sulfate to sulfide (M s /M s )

γ

stoichiometric coefficient for sulfate utilization (M s /M s )

ε

porosity of the reactor (dimensionless)

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by a grant from National Science Council of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under Contract No. NSC 98-2221-E-166-001-MY2. Ted Knoy is appreciated for his editorial assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Safety, Health and Environmental EngineeringCentral Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaichungTaiwan

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