The potential of anaerobic digestion in ecological and decentralised sanitation has been investigated in this research. Different anaerobic digestion systems were proposed for the treatment of sewage, grey water, black water and faeces. Moreover, mathematical models based on anaerobic digestion model no.1 (ADM1) were developed for determination of a suitable design for each system. For stable performance of an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating sewage, the model results indicated that optimisation of wastewater conversion to biogas (not COD removal) should be selected for determination of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the reactor. For the treatment of sewage or black water in a UASB septic-tank, the model results showed that the sludge removal period was the main parameter for determination of the HRT. At such HRT, both COD removal and wastewater conversion are also optimised. The model results demonstrated that for treatment of faeces in an accumulation (AC) system at temperature ≥25 °C, the filling period of the system should be higher than 60 days. For maximisation of the net biogas production (i.e. reduction of biogas losses as dissolved in the effluent), the separation between grey water, urine and faeces and reduction of water consumption for faeces flushing are required. Furthermore, the faeces and kitchen organic wastes and grey water are digested in, respectively, an AC system and UASB reactor, while the urine is stored.

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