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Computer simulations are critical tools for design, operation, and troubleshooting of wastewater treatment systems, but predicting behaviors of nutrient removal systems can often be problematic. Conventional simulation programs utilize a “lumped” approach where process rates are calculated from biokinetic models using bulk concentrations of biomass and microbial storage products. In this paper, a new “distributed” approach to simulating activated sludge systems previously developed in our laboratory was expanded to predict the performance of a more complex enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) configurations, the 5-Stage Bardenpho process. Distributed-type simulations predicted worse EBPR performance than did lumped-type simulations. The effects of increasing the internal recycle in the 5-Stage Bardenpho process were to increase the nitrate concentration in the anoxic reactors, tending to decrease EBPR performance, and to simultaneously decrease differences in the state distributions between the linked aerobic and anoxic reactors. In the absence of nitrification, the latter effect was demonstrated to improve EBPR, which was in opposition to the former effect. There therefore appears to be a level of complexity linked to internal recycles in a 5-Stage Bardenpho process that is not accounted for by the lumped approach, and that whether increasing the internal recycle rate positively or negatively effects EBPR may depend on the specific system characteristics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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