The existing mathematical models of anaerobic treatment processes were mainly developed for ideally mixed reactors with no concentration gradients on substrates, intermediates, products and bacteria inside the reactor. But for conventional UASB reactors with low upward velocity, the distribution of these components along the reactor height is very far from uniform. This paper presents an integrated mathematical model of the functioning of UASB reactor taking into account this non-uniformity as well as multiple-reaction stoichiometry and kinetics. In general, our integrated model includes the following blocks: a) kinetic block, including the growth and metabolism of acidogenic, acetogenic, methanogenic and sulphate-reducing bacteria; b) physico-chemical block, for the calculation of pH in each compartment of the liquid phase; c) hydrodynamic block, describing liquid flow as well as the transport and distribution of the components along the reactor height; d) transfer block, describing a mass transfer of gaseous components from the liquid to gas phase. This model was calibrated to some experimental studies of the functioning of UASB reactors made by in 1994. Hypothetical computer simulations are presented to illustrate the influence of different factors (recycle number, hydraulic retention time, quality of seed sludge, SO42−:COD ratio etc.) on the operation performance of UASB reactor.

You do not currently have access to this content.