By Chernicharo, Carlos Augusto de Lemos

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7). According to the Buswell equation, the amount of CO2 in the biogas can also be much smaller than expected, due to the high solubility of this gas in water. 14) It can be concluded that one mole of methane requires two moles of oxygen for its complete oxidation to carbon dioxide and water. Therefore, every 16 grams of CH4 produced and lost to the atmosphere corresponds to the removal of 64 grams of COD from the waste. Under normal temperature and pressure conditions, this corresponds to 350 mL of CH4 for each gram of degraded COD.

Biomass in anaerobic systems 45 In this regard, the work developed by Monteggia (1991), incorporating manometers with electric sensors for the continuous monitoring of the biogas production, constituted an important improvement on the SMA test. Recently, some innovations have been presented in relation to the gas measurement system, which replaced the conventional manometers with pressure transducers. The incorporation of these devices facilitated significantly the detection of the pressure differential inside the reaction and control flasks, besides allowing the transmission of electric pulses to a computer terminal.

16). 2), in view of a competition for substrate established between the sulfate-reducing bacteria and the fermentative, acetogenic and methanogenic microorganisms. Hence, two final products are formed: methane (by methanogenesis) and sulfide (by sulfate reduction). The magnitude of this competition is related to several aspects, particularly the pH and the COD/SO4 2− ratio in the wastewater. The production of sulfides may cause serious problems during the treatment of these wastewaters (adapted from Lettinga, 1995; Visser, 1995): • • • • The reduced SO4 2− results in the formation of H2 S, an inhibiting compound for the methanogenic microorganisms that can reduce their activity and the capacity of the anaerobic reactor.

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