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*Corresponding author: Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Via di Basio 43, 03043 Cassino, Italy
This is an Open Access book chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited ( The chapter is from the book Trace Elements in Anaerobic Biotechnologies, Fernando G. Fermoso, Eric van Hullebusch, Gavin Collins, Jimmy Roussel, Ana Paula Mucha and Giovanni Esposito (Eds.).

Trace elements (TEs) are essential for microbial activity in anaerobic environments. They are often added to improve the biogas production rate and yield. Dosing of TEs in anaerobic digestion (AD) systems is largely based on trial-and-error approach as no general guidelines exist to date. This is primarily because the fate of TEs in AD environments still remains poorly understood. This knowledge gap is due to the multiple and complex biogeochemical processes influencing TEs chemistry, TE physicochemical interactions with biotic and abiotic surfaces, as well as uptake by microbial community. A mathematical model based on TE-dosing optimization can be recruited to tackle such a complex problem. In this regard, the major physicochemical processes involved in determining the fate of TEs in an anaerobic-digestion environment need to be reviewed and consolidated with a suitable modelling approach. This chapter enlists and describes the most important physicochemical processes such as precipitation, adsorption, and aqueous complexation, as well as the bio-uptake mechanisms involving TEs in AD systems with the aim of summarizing the main modelling contributions to determine the fate of TEs in engineered anaerobic-digestion environments.

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