Approach of describing dynamic production of volatile fatty acids from sludge alkaline fermentation

Dongbo Wang, Yiwen Liu, Huu Hao Ngo, Chang Zhang, Qi Yang, Lai Peng, Dandan He, Guangming Zeng, Xiaoming Li, Bing-Jie Ni

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59 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, a mathematical model was developed to describe the dynamics of fermentation products in sludge alkaline fermentation systems for the first time. In this model, the impacts of alkaline fermentation on sludge disintegration, hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis processes are specifically considered for describing the high-level formation of fermentation products. The model proposed successfully reproduced the experimental data obtained from five independent sludge alkaline fermentation studies. The modeling results showed that alkaline fermentation largely facilitated the disintegration, acidogenesis, and acetogenesis processes and severely inhibited methanogenesis process. With the pH increase from 7.0 to 10.0, the disintegration, acidogenesis, and acetogenesis processes respectively increased by 53%, 1030%, and 30% while methane production decreased by 3800%. However, no substantial effect on hydrolysis process was found. The model also indicated that the pathway of acetoclastic methanogenesis was more severely inhibited by alkaline condition than that of hydrogentrophic methanogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Mathematical modeling
  • Production of volatile fatty acids
  • Sludge fermentation

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