Comparative Evaluation of Batch and Continuous Anaerobic Digesters in Biogas Production from Municipal Solid Waste using Mathematical Models

Igoni Hilkia A., M. F.N. Abowei, M. J. Ayotamuno, C. L. Eze

Abstract


An investigation was conducted into the suitability of either of the batch or continuous (CSTR) digesters for anaerobic degradation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the production of biogas. Mathematical models were developed for the design and evaluation of the two systems. The development of the models was based upon a material balance analysis of the digesters'operation. A Microsoft Visual Basic Version 6.0 Programme was developed for the solution ofthe model equations, and the digesters' operations simulated over a range of percentage total solids (PTS) concentration of 4-10% for the CSTR and 4-30% for the batch digester, and fractional conversion of 0.2-0.8. The results of the simulation show that although the amount of methane (0.0764m3) produced per unit volume of the batch digester is about 4 times less than the amount (0.284m3) per unit volume of the CSTR, the cost per unit volume of the batch digester ($5.98) is 6 times less than that of the CSTR ($33.8), suggesting that the overall cost of producing gas with the batch digester would be more economical. So, it was deduced that the batch digester is better suited for the digestion of MSW for biogas production, compared to the CSTR

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