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The ASM3 model in the GPS-X wastewater treatment plant simulator was used to model a wastewater treatment plant that treats waste from a chemical production plant. The wastewater plant uses a step-feed activated sludge process for biological treatment and circular sloping bottom clarifiers for secondary clarification. The composition of the influent waste stream was highly variable during the study period and this posed special challenges for influent characterization. Despite the elevated wastewater temperatures encountered at the plant (> 26°C), the default Arrhenius expression and its coefficients were found to be applicable for modeling the temperature dependence of the ASM3 kinetic parameters. The autotrophic growth rate was found to be generally low in the plant possibly due to inhibitory substances in the influent. In the plant, denitrification was observed in the aeration basins and ASM3 was modified to handle aerobic denitrification. The sludge settling characteristics varied and this required dynamic calibration of the settling model parameters. The calibrated model was used to conduct a number of simulation studies designed to improve the understanding of the plant and to assess the impact of loading changes (e.g. increased organic loading) and operational changes (e.g. changes in step-feed strategy).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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