Catabolic reactions provide the chemical energy necessary for the maintenance of living microorganisms. The catabolic reactions in anaerobic digestion process may progress close to the equilibrium state (ΔG = 0) depending strongly on the microorganisms in the digester. The thermodynamic equilibrium of catabolic reactions in the anaerobic digestion process was modelled under isothermal and isobaric conditions. Three thermodynamic models were considered; the ideal, the Debye-Hückel–Praunitz, and the Pitzer–Praunitz. The models in this paper concentrate on the methanogenic equilibrium of the anaerobic digestion process. The thermodynamic equilibrium model shows that the methanogenesis step requires thermal energy and electrons, so that anaerobic digestion may achieve high substrate degradation and high conversion to methane. Some thermodynamic recommendations are suggested for the future development of the methanogenic phase of anaerobic digestion.
- Anaerobic digestion