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Temperature Modeling in Activated Sludge Systems: A Case Study

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A model of temperature dynamics was developed as part of a general model of activated-sludge reactors. Transport of heat was described by the one-dimensional, advection-dispersion equation, with a source term based on a theoretical heat balance over the reactor. The model was compared to several reference models, including a tanks-in-series model and the dispersion model with heat components neglecting biochemical-energy inputs and other activated-sludge, heat-balance terms. All the models were tested under steady-state and dynamic conditions at a full-scale facility, the Rock Creek wastewater treatment plant in Hillsboro, Oregon, using meteorological data from a station located 16 km from the plant. The dispersion model and tanks-in-series model matched in situ temperature data with absolute-mean errors less than 0.1°C. Neglecting biochemical-heat-energy inputs in the activated-sludge reactor underestimated temperatures by up to 0.5°C. The biochemical-heat-energy inputs accounted for 30 to 40% of the total heat flux throughout the year.
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Keywords: activated sludge; heat balance; hydraulics; modeling; temperature dynamics; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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