A modelling of the anaerobic digestion process of molasses was conducted in a 70-L multistage anaerobic biofilm reactor or hybrid anaerobic baffled reactor with six compartments at an operating temperature of 26 A degrees C. Five hydraulic retention times (6, 16, 24, 72 and 120 h) were studied at a constant influent COD concentration of 10,000 mg/L. Two different kinetic models (one was based on a dispersion model with first-order kinetics for substrate consumption and the other based on a modification of the Young equation) were evaluated and compared to predict the organic matter removal efficiency or fractional conversion. The first-order kinetic constant obtained with the dispersion model was 0.28 h(-1), the Peclet dispersion number being 45, with a mean relative error of 2%. The model based on the Young equation predicted the behaviour of the reactor more accurately showing deviations lower than 10% between the theoretical and experimental values of the fractional conversion, the mean relative error being 0.9% in this case.
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