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Aspen Plus® Process Simulation Model of the Biomass Ash-Based Treatment of Anaerobic Digestate for Production of Fertilizer and Upgradation of Biogas

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number3039
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/03/2023
Issue number7
Number of pages22
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The use of the commercial simulator Aspen Plus® could bring an amelioration in the accuracy of the predictions of the chemical species composition in the output streams of the anaerobic digestion process. Compared to the traditionally employed lumped models, which are elaborated from scratch, the models implemented in Aspen Plus® have access to a broad library of thermodynamic and phenomena transport properties. In the present investigation, a process simulation model for anaerobic digestion has been prepared by including a stoichiometric-equilibria reactor to calculate the extent of the ionization of the molecules present in the anaerobic digestate. The model characterizes the technical feasibility of anaerobic digestate stabilization, by means of biomass ash-based treatment, for the production of an organic fertilizer and potential biogas upgradation with the synthesis of ammonium carbonate. First of all, the titration of the manure digestate with the hydrochloric acid showed that a dose of 3.18 mEq/g would be required to attain the targeted pH of zero-point charge, upon addition of the sewage sludge ash in a ratio to the manure digestate of 0.6 ± 0.2%. Secondly, the profiles of ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane found in the biogas agree with the pH of the treated digestate and enable the upgrading of the biogas with the production of NH4HCO3. The model needs to be further developed to ensure the standards are attained in all output streams of stabilized anaerobic digestate, biomethane, and isolated added-value chemical fertilizers.