Prediction of biogas production in anaerobic co-digestion of organic wastes using deep learning models

Kwanho Jeong, Ather Abbas, Jingyeong Shin, Moon Son, Young Mo Kim*, Kyung Hwa Cho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Interest in anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) has increased significantly in recent decades owing to enhanced biogas productivity due to the utilization of different organic wastes, such as food waste and sewage sludge. In this study, a robust AcoD model for biogas prediction is developed using deep learning (DL). We propose a hybrid DL architecture, i.e., DA–LSTM–VSN, wherein a dual-stage-attention (DA)-based long short-term memory (LSTM) network is integrated with variable selection networks (VSNs). To enhance the model predictability, we perform hyperparameter optimization. The model accuracy is validated using long-term AcoD monitoring data measured over two years of municipal wastewater treatment plant operation and then compared with those of two other DL-based models (i.e., DA–LSTM and the standard LSTM). In addition, the feature importance (FI) is analyzed to investigate the relative contribution of input variables to biogas production prediction. Finally, we demonstrate the successful application of the validated DL model to the AcoD process optimization. Results show that the model accuracy improved significantly by incorporating DA into LSTM, i.e., the coefficient of determination (R2) increased from 0.38 to 0.68; however, the R2 can be further increased to 0.76 by combining DA–LSTM with a VSN. For the biogas prediction of the AcoD model, the VSN contributes significantly by employing the discontinuous time series of measurement data on biodegradable organic-associated variables during AcoD. In addition, the VSN allows the AcoD model to be interpretable via FI analysis using its weighted input features. The FI results show that the relative importance is vital to variables associated with food waste leachate, whereas it is marginal for those associated with the primary and chemically assisted sedimentation sludges. In conclusion, the AcoD model proposed herein can be utilized in practical applications as a robust tool because it can provide the optimal sludge conditions to improve biogas production. This is because it facilitates the time-series biogas prediction at the full scale using unprocessed datasets with either missing value imputation or outlier removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117697
JournalWater research
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • Anaerobic co-digestion
  • Biogas
  • Deep learning
  • Model-based process optimization
  • Modeling and prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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