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ADM1-based mechanistic model for the role of trace elements in anaerobic digestion processes

Frunzo, L., Fermoso, F.G., Luongo, V., Mattei, M.R., Esposito, G.
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.241 pp. 587-602
anaerobic digestion, bioavailability, biogas, differential equation, food waste, mechanistic models, methane production, sorption, trace elements
An original mechanistic model able to describe the fate of trace elements (TE) in anaerobic digestion systems has been synthetized from mass balance equations. The model takes into account the main biochemical and physico-chemical processes affecting TE bioavailability and it is aimed at evaluating the effect that the combination of such processes exerts on the system performance. Five main modules have been introduced: biochemistry, physico-chemistry, sorption, complexation and precipitation. The model is based on mass conservation principles and is formulated as a set of ordinary differential equations for the soluble and particulate components constituting the system. Model applications of two illustrative cases are provided. The first case is based on experimental results and examines the effect of TE depletion in an AD process of food waste (FW). The second case shows the effects of different metal supplements on methane production and biogas composition. The simulation results confirm that the model can fairly be used to predict the effect of TE dynamics and bioavailability, by considering biological, chemical and physicochemical processes in AD environments.