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Journal of Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 4358282, 7 pages
Research Article

Partial Control of a Continuous Bioreactor: Application to an Anaerobic System for Heavy Metal Removal

1Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Division, Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Ecatepec, Avenida Tecnologico S/N, Valle de Anahuac, 55210 Ecatepec de Morelos, MEX, Mexico
2Escuela Superior de Apan, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Carretera Apan-Calpulalpan, Km 8, Chimalpa Tlalayote S/N, Colonia Chamilpa, 43900 Apan, HGO, Mexico
3Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, CINVESTAV-IPN, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, San Pedro Zacatenco, 07360 Mexico City, MEX, Mexico

Received 23 November 2015; Revised 21 April 2016; Accepted 5 May 2016

Academic Editor: Jong M. Park

Copyright © 2016 M. I. Neria-González et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work presents a control strategy for a continuous bioreactor for heavy metal removal. For this aim, regulation of the sulfate concentration, which is considered the measured and controlled state variable, allowed diminishing the cadmium concentration in the bioreactor, where the corresponding controller was designed via nonlinear bounded function. Furthermore, a nonlinear controllability analysis was done, which proved the closed-loop instability of the inner or uncontrolled dynamics of the bioreactor. A mathematical model, experimentally corroborated for cadmium removal, was employed as a benchmark for the proposed controller. Numerical experiments clearly illustrated the successful implementation of this methodology; therefore, cadmium removal amounted to more than 99%, when the initial cadmium concentration was up to 170 mg/L in continuous operating mode.