10.4. Reactor configurations

The anaerobic continuous-stirred tank reactor (CSTR) is the most basic bioreactor configuration. The major advantage of the CSTR is its simplicity in construction and operation. However, large bioreactor volumes are required to provide the high retention time necessary to sustain the slow-growing anaerobic microbial mass inside the bioreactor, which raises the cost of the process. Therefore, for an efficient anaerobic system with relatively small bioreactor volume, the design of anaerobic digesters should aim at providing an optimum environment for the growth of the anaerobic microorganisms given the complexity of their physiology and the syntrophic and/or antagonistic interactions among them. Lettinga (1995) specified ...

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