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A Software Program for Planning and Designing Biogas Plants

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 53(4): 1277-1285. (doi: 10.13031/2013.32592) @2010
Authors:   M. Samer
Keywords:   Anaerobic digester, Biogas plant, Building material, Concrete construction, Mathematical modeling, Software program, Spark mapping

To plan and design biogas plants, several calculations should be carried out; this requires time and effort, with the possibility of making mistakes. The objective of this study was to develop a tool to assist designers in planning and designing biogas plants by providing a new mathematical model and software program to save time and effort. A mathematical model was developed to plan and design biogas plants and their concrete structures. Subsequently, an electronic spark map (decision tree) was developed, and the mathematical model was integrated into the electronic spark map. Afterwards, C# (C Sharp) programming language was used to develop a software program by integrating the electronic spark map and the mathematical model, and making the user interface. The developed software is able to plan and design biogas plants, specify the dimensions of the different tanks (raw slurry tank, liquid organic matter tank, digester tank, secondary digester tank, and residue storage tank), and compute the required amounts of construction materials (iron rods, cement, sand, and gravel) required to build the designed structures. Furthermore, it calculates the capital investment and the fixed, variable, and total costs of the construction. Data from seven biogas plants were used to carry out the model validation and to evaluate the software program. The differences between actual and calculated values were determined, and the standard deviations were calculated. The coefficients of variation range between 3% and 7%. Furthermore, the calculated accuracy of the software program is 98%.

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