Bioresource Technology, Vol.280, 173-182, 2019
Competitive dynamics of anaerobes during long-term biological sulfate reduction process in a UASB reactor
To reveal the long-term competitive dynamics of anaerobes in anaerobic bioreactors with sulfate reduction, a comprehensive structured mathematical model was designed for an extension of the Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1). Sulfate reduction bacteria (SRB) were categorized into acetogenic-likewise SRB (ASRB) and methanogenic-likewise SRB (MSRB). Experimental data from 329 days of continuous operation of a laboratory-scale upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor was used for model calibration and validation. Results show that the model has a good agreement with experimental data and that three stages including the MPA dominant, stalemate and SRB dominant stages were clearly appeared throughout the whole competition period. The model was capable of predicting the long-term dynamic competition of sulfidogens and methanogens for electrons. This could explain a long-term of over 200 days needed for the SRB out-competing the MPA, and support speculation that the SRB could finally out-compete both the AcB and the MPA.