Science Progress, Volume 104, Issue 4, October 2021.
Introduction : This preliminary assessment of a grey box model, was predicated on system dynamics principles and developed using Vensim® DSS software. The purpose is to predict biogas production under anaerobic conditions for energy utilization at the design stage.
Objective : To describe the process of a developed system dynamics model to predict biogas production under anaerobic conditions.
Method : This method involves two stage kinetics of the biogas production process in anaerobic conditions using the first order and Gompertz functions. The model is depicted in two parts: causal loop diagram and stock–flow diagram. The causal loop diagram describes the anaerobic digestion process a substrate undergoes for the production of biogas, while stock–flow diagram depicts basic building blocks of the dynamic behavior of an anaerobic digestion process. Primary data is from a laboratory scale experiment of biogas production using vegetal wastes, while the secondary one is from the literature on studies using similar substrates.
Result : Primary and secondary data are used to validate and stimulate the developed model. The kinetic model shows the substrate being reduced exponentially with increasing time; consumption of substrate and production of methane and carbon dioxide follows exponential growth and decay pattern, with carbon dioxide production starting early compared to methane, and was produced at a rate faster due to the strong and resilient characteristics of fermentative microorganisms. Discussion: Comparing data from empirical and model simulation shows some close relationship, though not too perfectly. Both results reflect signs of inhibitions occurring within the substrates in the digester under anaerobic conditions explaining the low methane yield or instability.