A new model for including the effect of fly ash on biochemical methane potential

Pablo Gertner, César Huiliñir*, Paula Pinto-Villegas, Alejandra Castillo, Silvio Montalvo, Lorna Guerrero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The modelling of the effect of trace elements on anaerobic digestion, and specifically the effect of fly ash, has been scarcely studied. Thus, the present work was aimed at the development of a new function that allows accumulated methane models to predict the effect of FA on the volume of methane accumulation. For this, purpose five fly ash concentrations (10, 25, 50, 250 and 500 mg/L) using raw and pre-treated sewage sludge were used to calibrate the new function, while three fly ash concentrations were used (40, 150 and 350 mg/L) for validation. Three models for accumulated methane volume (the modified Gompertz equation, the logistic function, and the transfer function) were evaluated. The results showed that methane production increased in the presence of FA when the sewage sludge was not pre-treated, while with pretreated sludge there is inhibition of methane production at FA concentrations higher than 50 mg/L. In the calibration of the proposed function, it fits well with the experimental data under all the conditions, including the inhibition and stimulating zones, with the values of the parameters of the methane production models falling in the range of those reported in the literature. For validation experiments, the model succeeded in representing the behavior of new experiments in both the stimulating and inhibiting zones, with NRMSE and R2 ranging from 0.3577 to 0.03714 and 0.2209 to 0.9911, respectively. Thus, the proposed model is robust and valid for the studied conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Fly ash
  • Methane generation
  • Modelling
  • Sewage sludge


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