Renewable Energy, Vol.159, 756-766, 2020
A multi-level biogas model to optimise the energy balance of full-scale sewage sludge conventional and THP anaerobic digestion
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a long-established method for treating wastewater sludge and has been extensively researched, but there remains a lack of generic or practical modelling tools to guide operators and maximise the energy output. Detailed kinetic models have been developed, but are too complex as practical tools for industrial level application. A multi-level model of biogas yield (BY) was therefore developed based on operational data from 72 full-scale sites in the UK showing a wide range of AD performance. The model focused on the controllable operational parameters that are currently monitored at full-scale, including: temperature, hydraulic retention time and dry solids content in the feed sludge. The model effectively described performance variations in BY of full-scale processes, and provides a practical management tool to aid decision support to improve AD efficiency and net energy balance. (c) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.