Simulation of Biosynthesis Gas Process from Palm Oil Mill Effluent Sewage by Aspen HYSYS and SuperPro Designer

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof., Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

2 BSc., Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran


In this work, the process of biogas production from palm oil factory effluent was simulated and then the produced biosynthetic gas was sweetened. For this purpose, the biogas production process from wastewater treatment was simulated using SuperPro Designer v9.0 software. Then, the resulting biogas entered the chemical absorption and reforming sections for sweetening and conversion to syngas, respectively, and these steps were simulated with Aspen HYSYS v11.0 software. The simulation results of the first stage showed that the effluent feed of this factory with a flow rate of 42000 kg/h and COD of 62000 mg/L leads to the production of 1786 kg/h biogas containing various compounds such as methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and water with the molar fraction of 0.446, 0.245, 0.178 and 0.040, respectively. In the chemical absorption section, MEA solvent 10 %wt. and solvent-to-gas molar ratio of 13.51 were used, which led to the efficient removal of CO2 and H2S up to 1 ppm and 99.99%, respectively. The examination of temperature changes in the absorption tower also showed that the temperature increases along the absorption tower. In the methane steam-reforming unit, two different strategies were used: 1) plug flow reactor (with fluid package of Peng-Robinson-Stryjek–Vera) and 2) conversion and equilibrium reactors (with fluid package of Peng-Robinson). The results showed that the purity of hydrogen in the biogas produced in the second strategy (conversion and equilibrium reactors) was higher than the first one (plug flow reactor), and on the other hand, the purity of CO2 was zero in the second strategy.


Ahmed, Y., Yaakob, Z., Akhtar, P. & Sopian, K. 2015. Production of biogas and performance evaluation of existing treatment processes in palm oil mill effluent (POME). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 42, 1260-1278.
Bajpai, P. 2017. Anaerobic Technology in Pulp and Paper Industry, Springer Singapore.
Bijani, A., Esmaeili-Faraj, S. H. & Daei Moghaddam, M. 2019. Simulation and optimization of demercaptanization of propane and butane in South Pars Gas Refineries. Journal of Applied Research of Chemical-Polymer Engineering, 3(2), 3-14.
Chan, Y., Chong, M. & Law, C. 2015. Optimization of thermophilic anaerobic-aerobic treatment system for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME). Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering, 9(2), 334-351.
Esmaeili-Faraj, S. H., Esfahany, M. N. & Darvanjooghi, M. H. K. 2019. Application of water based nanofluids in bioscrubber for improvement of biogas sweetening in a pilot scale. Chemical Engineering and Processing-Process Intensification, 143, 107603.
Esmaeili-Faraj, S. H. and Nasr Esfahany, M. 2016. Absorption of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide in water based nanofluids. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 55(16), 4682-4690.
Esmaeili-Faraj, S. H. & Nasr Esfahany, M. 2017. Influence of SiO2 and graphene oxide nanoparticles on efficiency of biological removal process. Environmental Technology, 38(21), 2763-2774.
Esmaeili Faraj, S., Esfahany, M. N., Kadivar, M. & Zilouei, H. 2012. Vinyl chloride removal from an air stream by biotrickling filter. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 47(14), 2263-2269.
Esmaeili Faraj, S. H., Nasr Esfahany, M., Jafari-Asl, M. & Etesami, N. 2014. Hydrogen sulfide bubble absorption enhancement in water-based nanofluids. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 53(43), 16851-16858.
Gozan, M., Aulawy, N., Rahman, S. F. & Budiarto, R. 2018. Techno-economic analysis of biogas power plant from POME (palm oil mill effluent). International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 13(8), 6151-6157.
Gujer, W. & Zehnder, A. J. 1983. Conversion processes in anaerobic digestion. Water Science and Technology, 15(8-9), 127-167.
Loh, S. K., Lai, M. E., Ngatiman, M., Lim, W. S., Choo, Y. M., Zhang, Z., et al. 2013. Zero discharge treatment technology of palm oil mill effluent. Journal of Oil Palm Research, 25(3), 273-281.
Lok, X., Chan, Y. J. & Foo, D. C. 2020. Simulation and optimisation of full-scale palm oil mill effluent (POME) treatment plant with biogas production. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 38, 101558.
Madaki, Y. S. & Seng, L. 2013. Palm oil mill effluent (POME) from Malaysia palm oil mills: waste or resource. International Journal of Science, Environment and Technology, 2(6), 1138-1155.
Petrides, D. 2001. Process modelling evaluates feasibility of water recycling. Filtration and Separation, 38(8), 26-31.
Petrides, D., Abeliotis, K., Aelion, V., Venkat, E. & Mallick, S. 1995. EnviroCAD: a computer tool for analysis and evaluation of waste recovery, treatment and disposal processes. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 42(3), 225-246.
Rahayu, A. S., Karsiwulan, D., Yuwono, H., Trisnawati, I., Mulyasari, S., Rahardjo, S., et al. 2015. Handbook POME-to-Biogas Project Development in Indonesia. Winrock International, Pub. USA.
Shahidul, M., Malcolm, M., Eugene, J. & Mamunur, R. 2018. Optimization of factors affecting biogas production from POME. Science International (Lahore), 30(6), 851-59.
Tchobanoglus, G., Burton, F. & Stensel, H. D. 2003. Wastewater engineering: treatment and reuse. American Water Works Association Journal, 95(5), 201.
Vitanza, R., Colussi, I., Cortesi, A. & Gallo, V. 2016. Implementing a respirometry-based model into BioWin software to simulate wastewater treatment plant operations. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 9, 267-275.