A mathematical model that is based upon the ADM1 structure has been developed to describe the formation and emission of odourous compounds in anaerobic sludge digestion. Special emphasis is given to the general mechanisms for the formation of common odorous sulfur compounds that are found in anaerobic digesters: methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide, as well as volatile fatty acids and ammonia. The model includes multiple-reaction stoichiometry, microbial growth kinetics and conventional material balances for an ideally mixed reactor. Simulations that were performed with the model revealed that changes in common operational parameters such as temperature, HRT and sludge metal content can dramatically impact upon the gas phase concentrations of odourants. Additional research is required to reduce uncertainty in the model formulation.

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