Modelling anaerobic digestion processes is a key aspect of studying and optimizing digesters and related waste streams. However, for the satisfactory prediction of biogas production and effluent characteristics, some parameters have to be calibrated according to the characteristics of the substrates. This article describes a calibration procedure for the IWA ‘Anaerobic Digestion Model no. 1’ applied to the modelling of a digester for treatment of pig slurry. The most sensitive parameters were selected and calibrated combining results from a continuous digester and from batch trials run with the sludge sampled from the digester and the addition of specific substrates. According to the sensitivity analysis, acetoclastic methanogenesis, acetogenesis of propionate and acidogenesis of sugars were identified as the main sensitive steps in our case. The calibration procedure led us to modify slightly acetogenesis of propionate kinetic. However, acetoclastic methanogenesis and acidogenesis of sugars kinetics were significantly reduced by decreasing km and increasing Ks. Indeed, for instance, a decrease of km_ac from 8 to 7 day−1 combined with an increase of Ks_ac from 0.15 to 1.5 kgCOD/m3 was necessary. After calibration, ADM1 provides an accurate simulation of the continuous reactor results.
Keywords: ADM1, anaerobic digestion, calibration, modelling, pig slurry, piggery wastewater