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CentrEau hebd'EAU | New approaches for the optimization of the start-up of full-scale anaerobic digesters

76th webinar in the CentrEau Hebd'Eau series entitled "New approaches for optimizing the start-up of large-scale anaerobic digesters" by Amal Hmaissia


 Amal Hmaissia is a PhD student in chemical engineering at Laval University, currently focused on optimizing the operation of anaerobic digesters in collaboration with the Ville de Québec. Originally from Tunisia, Amal graduated from INAT (Institut National Agronomique de Tunis) with an engineering degree in water engineering in 2017. Subsequently, she was awarded the Excellence Scholarship by the Tunisian government to pursue master's studies in Canada. Within this framework, she joined INRS-ETE (Institut National de Recherche Scientifique - Eau Terre Environnement) and successfully obtained a master's degree in water sciences in 2020.


 Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a widely utilized process for energy production, sludge stabilization, and resource recovery. Despite significant progress in optimizing this technology, standardized procedures for its operation are currently lacking. The start-up phase of a biogas facility is particularly crucial, being a critical stage susceptible to failure before achieving a steady state, leading to high operational costs and delays. Therefore, effective control of the start-up phase can significantly enhance the techno-economic efficiency of AD projects. Unfortunately, decisions related to this step are often arbitrary, and the available information in the literature remains inconclusive.

The objective of the present work is to develop decision-support systems for achieving optimal control during the start-up phase of anaerobic digesters. Information from previous start-up studies in the literature and experimental data are synthesized to determine the impact of various parameters on AD system start-ups and identify the key control variables influencing the process. This information is then utilized to construct a decision-support system intended to assist AD system designers and operators in designing and implementing start-up procedures, including the selection of inoculum types and their characteristics, to enhance the techno-economic efficiency of the start-up phase.

The presentation will be in English

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