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Chapter No. 14. Modelling Activated Sludge Processes


Mathematical modeling has become an integral part of biological wastewater treatment, often for optimization and prediction of process performance, and as a supporting tool for design. A model can be defined as a purposeful representation or description (often simplified) of a system of interest in a such a way that it describes that part of reality that is relevant to understand and deal with it. The most prominent advantages of using mathematical modelling in wastewater treatment are that modelling allows (i) to get a better insight into the plant performance, (ii) to evaluate possible scenarios for new plant design and upgrading, (iii) to support management decisions, (iv) to develop new control schemes, (v) to provide operator training and (vi) to share knowledge among the different actors involved in the design, operation and management of wastewater treatment plants.

This chapter consists of 4 video lectures recorded by Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht from Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands, in collaboration with Prof. George Ekama and Dr. Mark Wentzel from Cape Town University, in South Africa, and Prof. Damir Brdjanovic and Dr. Christine Hooijmans from UNESCO-IHE in The Netherlands. It presents an overview of the basics of mathematical modelling, and about the (historical) development and features of the most widely applied activated sludge models.

Time Framework for the Course: 1 week

Aims of the Course

  • To present an overview about the main features, basics and advantages of modelling activated sludge wastewater treatment systems.
  • To discuss the development of biokinetic models and about the relevance and advantages of metabolic models when modelling activated sludge wastewater treatment systems.

Learning Objectives

After the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • To describe the advantages and benefits of modeling activated sludge systems and be able to develop the structure of a mathematical model (stochiometric matrix and kinetic expressions) based on the reactions of interest involved in a biological wastewater treatment process.
Last modified: Saturday, 2 January 2016, 6:00 AM