An expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) anaerobic reactor treating sugar cane vinasse was modelled using a simple model with two steps (acidogenesis and methanogenesis), two populations, two substrates and completely mixed conditions. A first-order kinetic equation for both steps with time-variant kinetic coefficients was used. An observer system was used to estimate the evolution of kinetic constants over time. The model was validated by comparing methane flow predictions with experimental values. An estimation of evolution of populations of microorganisms was also performed. This approach allows calculation of specific kinetic constants that reflect biological activity of microorganisms. Variation of specific kinetic constants reflects the influence of the fraction of raw vinasse in the feed. High salt concentrations in the reactor may have inhibited the process.
Keywords: EGSB, kinetic, modelling, observers