Different digestion technologies for various substrates are addressed by the generic process description of Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1. In the case of manure or agricultural wastes a priori knowledge about the substrate in terms of ADM1 compounds is lacking and influent characterisation becomes a major issue. The actual project has been initiated for promotion of biogas technology in agriculture and for expansion of profitability also to rather small capacity systems. In order to avoid costly individual planning and installation of each facility a standardised design approach needs to be elaborated. This intention pleads for bio kinetic modelling as a systematic tool for process design and optimisation. Cofermentation under field conditions was observed, quality data and flow data were recorded and mass flow balances were calculated. In the laboratory different substrates have been digested separately in parallel under specified conditions. A configuration of four ADM1 model reactors was set up. Model calibration identified disintegration rate, decay rates for sugar degraders and half saturation constant for sugar as the three most sensitive parameters showing values (except the latter) about one order of magnitude higher than default parameters. Finally, the model is applied to the comparison of different reactor configurations and volume partitions. Another optimisation objective is robustness and load flexibility, i.e. the same configuration should be adaptive to different load situations only by a simple recycle control in order to establish a standardised design.

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