Document Type



Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering

Publication Details

Renewable Energy


The kinetic evaluation of the methane potential from poultry slaughterhouse waste streams was performed using modified sigmoidal bacterial growth curve equations (Richards, logistic, Gompertz) in order to investigate their suitability to describe the degradation patterns associated with complex substrates, primarily composed of fats. The methane potential and degradation patterns under mesophilic conditions were assessed using Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) assays. A nonlinear least-square regression analysis was performed to fit the sigmoidal functions to the cumulative methane production curves with respect to time generated from the BMP assays. In the cases modelled the Gompertz and logistic, three parameter models, sufficiently described the methane generation of the simple substrates (dissolved air flotation sludge) with no sign of acute inhibition due to high fat contents. When dealing with more complex degradation patterns of the substrates with a higher fat content (soft offals) and increased bioavailability of the organics, the three parameter models became insufficient in describing the experimental data due to features of the original growth functions, in particularly their fixed points of inflection. In such cases the fourth parameter afforded in the Richards model became critical allowing variability in the point of inflection allowing a much better fit to the experimental curves.