This work aimed at developing a mathematical model that could estimate more precisely the fraction of chemical oxygen demand (COD) recovered as methane in the biogas and which, effectively, represented the potential for energy recovery in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors treating domestic wastewater. The model sought to include all routes of conversion and losses in the reactor, including the portion of COD used for the reduction of sulfates and the loss of methane in the residual gas and dissolved in the effluent. Results from the production of biogas in small- and large-scale UASB reactors were used to validate the model. The results showed that the model allowed a more realistic estimate of biogas production and of its energy potential.

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