Calibration and Comparison of Aerobic Digestion Models of Waste Activated Sludge

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduated Student, Dept. of Civil Eng., Isfahan University of Tech.

2 Prof., Department of Civil Eng., Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan


Mathematical modeling allows a large number of potential aerobic digestion process designs to be evaluated and the performance of aerobic digesters to be predicted. In applying such models, however, it is essential to use appropriate models that can neatly explain the kinetics of the process. In this research, the simple first-order model (known asAdamsmodel) and Activated Sludge models developed by International Water Association (ASM1 and ASM3) were evaluated. For this purpose, three batch reactors with initial TSS concentrations of 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 mg/L and operating volumes of 10 L were operated to collect the experimental data required for model calibrations. Batch reactors were run and monitored for 70 days. Samples taken from the reactors were analyzed for their solids concentrations and their Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). The measured data were then used to estimate the parameters of the models investigated and the best sets of parameters yielding the best fit of the predicted and measured data were identified for each model and for each reactor. The parameter estimation results for batch runs showed that higher sludge concentrations were associated with lower cell decay coefficient values. The error values for batch runs calculated by ASM3 were found to be lower than those calculated byAdamsmodel and by ASM1. Comparisons with experimental data proved ASM3 to be superior in terms of its capability to predict concentrations in aerobic digestion batch reactors.


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