Abstract This paper presents the dynamic behaviour of the anaerobic digestion process, based on a simplified model. The hydraulic, biological and physicochemical processes such as those which underpin anaerobic digestion have more than one stable stationary solution and they compete with each other. Further, the attractive domains of the stable solutions vary with the key parameters. Thus, some initial transient process moving toward one stable solution could suddenly move towards another solution, at which a so-call catastrophe takes places (e.g. washout). The paper systematically analyses the stationary solutions with their associated stability, which provides insight and guidance for anaerobic digestion reactor design, operation and control.
- anaerobic digestion
- nonlinear dynamics