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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


EKAMA, GA  and  BROUCKAERT, CJ. Integration of complete elemental mass-balanced stoichiometry and aqueous-phase chemistry for bioprocess modelling of liquid and solid waste treatment systems -Part 3: Measuring the organics composition. Water SA [online]. 2022, vol.48, n.1, pp.1-20. ISSN 1816-7950.

Bioprocesses transform the components of the material entering single or multiple reactor systems from one kind to another without a change in total material exiting the system(s) in the solid, aqueous or gas phases. Provided that the correct measurements are made that can quantify the material content of the bioprocess products (outputs), the material content of the bioprocess reactants (inputs) can be determined from the bioprocess products via stoichiometry. Based on this principle of mass conservation, the augmented biomethane (AugBMP) and biosulphide (AugBSP) potential test procedures are proposed, which change the BMP from a stand-alone test to a bio-reactor on which a range of additional tests are made to determine the composition of biodegradable organics. The AugBSP, which is based on biological sulphate reduction, can replace the inaccurate gas measurements in the BMP with the more accurate aqueous sulphate and sulphide measurements. The suitability of these two procedures is evaluated from a theoretical and modelling perspective. The analytical tests required to determine the composition of influent organics, expressed as QHyOzNaPbSc, are identified. Examples of the calculation procedure from the test results are given. It is concluded that the augmented BMP (AugBMP) and BSP (AugBSP) test procedures, supplemented by anaerobic digestion dynamic modelling, are as accurate as the analytical measurements for determining the composition of biodegradable organics, and also allow the hydrolysis rate of the biodegradable organics and the unbiodegradable fraction of the organics to be determined. Knowing these characteristics of organics fed to anaerobic digesters is important to predict the anaerobic digester performance and stability.

Keywords : bioprocess modelling; stoichiometry; anaerobic digestion; biomethane potential; biosulphide potential; integrated modelling.

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