Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science


Nicholas S. Flann


The enigma of anaerobic sludge granulations is still exciting the minds of both experimental scientists and modeling experts. A unique combination of mechanical, physiochemical and biological forces influence granulation during processes of anaerobic digestion. However, knowledge of potential driving forces of granulation has not been transformed into a comprehensive model of anaerobic granulation. In this computational experiment, we address the role physiochemical and biological processes play in granulation and provide a literature-validated working model of anaerobic granule de novo formation. The model developed in a cDynoMiCs simulation environment successfully demonstrated a de novo granulation in a glucose fed system. The simulated granules exhibit experimental observations of radial stratification: A central dead core surrounded by methanogens then encased in acidogens. Practical applications of the granulation model was assessed on the anaerobic digestion of low-strength wastewater by measuring the changes in methane yield as model parameters were systematically swept. This model will be expanded in the future to investigate the influence of mechanical forces on the de novo granulation and the application of a model to anaerobic digestion of a complex protein-carbohydrate rich feedstock.