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A Mathematical Model for the Interactive Behavior of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Methanogens During Anaerobic Digestion

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Anaerobic degradation of waste involves different classes of microorganisms, and there are different types of interactions among them for substrates, terminal electron acceptors, and so on. A mathematical model is developed based on the mass balance of different substrates, products, and microbes present in the system to study the interaction between methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). The performance of major microbial consortia present in the system, such as propionate-utilizing acetogens, butyrate-utilizing acetogens, acetoclastic methanogens, hydrogen-utilizing methanogens, and SRB were considered and analyzed in the model. Different substrates consumed and products formed during the process also were considered in the model.

The experimental observations and model predictions showed very good prediction capabilities of the model. Model prediction was validated statistically. It was observed that the model-predicted values matched the experimental data very closely, with an average error of 3.9%.

Keywords: dynamic model; methanogens; simulation; statistical validation; sulfate-reducing bacteria

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143011X12989211840819

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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