Mathematical modeling of process liquid flow and acetoclastic methanogenesis under mesophilic conditions in a two-phase biogas reactor

Ivo Muha, Alfio Grillo, Michael Heisig, Mandy Schönberg, Bernd Linke, Gabriel Wittum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Acetoclastic methanogenesis in the second stage of a two-phase biogas reactor is investigated. A mathematical model coupling chemical reactions with transport of process liquid and with the variation of population of the microorganisms living on the plastic tower packing of the reactor is proposed. The evolution of the liquid is described by an advection-diffusion-reaction equation, while a monod-type kinetic is used for the reactions. Moreover, a new inhibition factor MO max is introduced, which hinders the growth of microorganisms when the plastic tower packing is overpopulated. After estimating the reaction parameters, the acetate outflow measured experimentally is in good agreement with that predicted by simulations. For coupling liquid transport with reaction processes, a spatial discretization of the reactor is performed. This yields essential information about the distribution of acetate and the production of methane in the reactor. This information allows for defining a measure of the effectiveness of the reactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • ADM1
  • Anaerobic
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Methanogenesis
  • Two-phase biogas reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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