Mathematical modeling of a composting process in a small-scale tubular bioreactor
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A mathematical model is presented to describe a composting process occurring in a tubular bioreactor. The mathematical model is based on heat and mass transfer phenomena under the continuum approximation. The bioreactor is divided into two phases: a gas phase and a solid–liquid phase. Between these phases, oxygen and heat are interchanged. In the solid–liquid phase, biomass growth occurs causing a change in substrate concentration as well as a change in temperature due to heat release from microbial activity. Thus the mathematical model is able to describe temperature and oxygen concentration profiles in the gas phase and temperature and biomass and substrate concentration profiles in the solid–liquid phase as a function of time and axial and radial positions. Useful information obtained from the model solution are the highest temperature that can be attained within the bioreactor and the length of high temperature conditions, which are important if sludge sanitization is the purpose of the composting process. Also a theoretical calculation of the logarithmic decimal reduction of Salmonella is presented. Using the model, a design analysis was performed to determine the effect of the main design variables in the temperature of the solid–liquid phase and the oxygen concentration in the gas phase. © 2017 Institution of Chemical Engineers
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Bioreactor design; Composting process; Mathematical model; Sanitization bioreactor Bioreactors; Functions; Gases; High temperature operations; Liquids; Mass transfer; Mathematical models; Oxygen; Bioreactor design; Composting process; Continuum approximation; Heat and mass transfer phenomenon; High temperature condition; Sanitization; Substrate concentrations; Theoretical calculations; Bioconversion
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