Development of a mathematical model for biodrying of organic solid waste in piles

Carlos Orozco Álvarez, Estefanía Molina Carbajal, Javier Megchun Díaz, Anselmo Osorio Miron, Fabián Robles Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


© 2019, Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera, UNAM. All rights reserved. A deterministic mathematical model was developed for biodrying a pile of organic solid waste inside a structure of glasshouse. The model included mass transfer, heat transfer, microbial growth and degradation of organic matter. The mathematical formulation is integrated by a system of four differential equations, obtained from a balance of mass and heat in the center of the pile, which are used to calculate: (1) water evaporation, (2) microbial growth, 3) consumption of organic matter, and 4) temperature. The first equation determined the moisture loss through the mass transfer coefficient and the air humidity gradient; the second one used the logistic model of microbial growth; the third one used the organic matter consumption model, and the fourth equation considered the heats of microbial metabolism, natural convection cooling-heating and the enthalpy for evaporation. The model is a useful tool for predicting microbial activity times and drying, as well as the degree of degradation of organic matter. In the particular case of this study, the model shows that the microbial activity only degraded 13 % of the organic matter, had a period of duration of 30 days during which 73% of the humidity of the pile was lost; raised the temperature of the pile to 65º C, and increased five times the rate of evaporation, but only contributed 13% of the heat for evaporation and the rest was contributed by solar radiation.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalRevista Internacional de Contaminacion Ambiental
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

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