Modelling start-up performance of anaerobic digestion of saline-rich macro-algae

Joseph C. Akunna, Anthony Hierholtzer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)
    234 Downloads (Pure)


    Some of the key factors affecting the adaptation of anaerobic digestion processes to increasing levels of salinity were determined in batch tests using brown seaweed as a feedstock. It was found that cultures seeded with non-saline anaerobic inoculum required an adaptation period of up to two months to reach the same level of methane production rate as in those cultures seeded with saline adapted inoculum. The anaerobic digestion model N.1 (ADM1) was modified to include an extra inhibition function to account for the effect of salinity and calibrated using a set of experimental data obtained from batch biochemical methane potential tests. After calibration, the model was able to accurately predict methane production rates. The results thus show that, in the absence of saline-adapted inoculum, non-saline inoculum can be used for the start-up of anaerobic digestion systems treating saline-rich feedstocks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2059-2065
    Number of pages7
    JournalWater Science & Technology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


    • Saline adapted inoculum
    • Sodium
    • Laminaria digitata
    • Inhibition
    • ADM1
    • Cations


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