A blog from University of Borås

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chemical reactions in biogas fermentation

Biogas (or biomethane) production looks simple. Just put the materials and the digesting bacteria into a vessel, and let them take care of the rest and produce the biogas. They have done it for probably billions of years, and in industries today it is still the same.

However, if operators of a biogas plant do not follow the recommendations or do not know how to run a biogas plant, the chance of failure would be quite high. It is in fact one of the reasons that the numbers of biogas plants are not boosted globally. The point here is that we have many microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) that live perfectly together in a society. In a recent work, we have defined about chemical 50 reactions that occur in parallel and series and affect each other. These reactions were modeled using ASPEN Plus and checked against with several data available from experimental works and also industries. If you are investigating about biogas, this article and the original model (in ASPEN) could be interesting for you:

Rajendran, K., Kankanala, H.R., Lundin, M., Taherzadeh, M.J. (2014): A Novel Process Simulation Model (PSM) for Anaerobic Digestion Using Aspen Plus, Bioresource Technolology:
Available at:
and the model and prepublished article at:

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