A previously developed spherical diffusion model of interspecies molecular hydrogen transfer was applied to a mathematical model of ethanol and propionate methanogenesis in a dispersed-growth, continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR). Steady-state methanogenesis at a 0.10 day−1 space velocity required a hydrogen concentration difference of 1.12 × 10−5 aim (8.4 × 10−12 moles/cm3) between the surface of the propionate organisms and the bulk solution. The total difference in hydrogen concentration between source organism and sink organism Ihydrogenotrophic methanogenstwas 2.1 × 10−5 atm (1.6 × 10−11 moles/cm3). Steep gradients in hydrogen concentration existed only at close proximity to the bacterial spheres, with hydrogen concentration approaching bulk solution concentration at distances greater than 10 microns. Small hydrogen gradients and the bulk solution concentration prevailed through the majority of the reactor aqueous volume. Overall, the incorporation of hydrogen mass transfer resistance into the mathematical model had only a slight effect on hydrogen partial pressure, organic substrate levels, and bacterial mass concentrations predicted by the steady-state solution.

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