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Comparison of performance in an anaerobic digestion process: one-reactor vs two-reactor configurations

1 Centro Tecnológico del Agua (CETAQUA), Los Pozos 7340, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
2 Departamento de Matemática, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Avenida España 1680, Valparaíso, Chile

The present work compares two types of configurations for a two-reaction (acidogenesis and methanogenesis) anaerobic digestion model. These configurations are as follows: (i) a single bioreactor, where the acidogenesis and methanogenesis reactions occur inside and, (ii) two bioreactors connected sequentially, where each reaction occurs separately in each reactor. The mathematical models that describe the mentioned configurations are analyzed at steady state, comparing the following criteria: the stability of the processes (stability properties of desired equilibria) and soluble organic matter removal performance (substrate levels at steady states), concluding that separation of the reactions in two bioreactors does not improve the stability of the process nor the soluble organic matter removal capacity, unless the improvement of the growth functions of both microorganism populations is considerably important at the moment of separating them into two reactors.
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