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Application of Activated Sludge Model No. 3 for the Modeling of Organic Matter Biodegradation at Thermophilic Temperatures

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The primary aim of our research was to investigate the applicability of activated sludge models (ASM) for aerobic thermophilic processes, especially autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD). The ASM3 model (Gujer et al., 1999) theoretically seems to be the most suitable, because storage plays an important role in a batch-feed cycle system like ATAD. The ASM3 model was extended with an activation step of the thermophilic organisms. This model was calibrated and verified by independent test results, demonstrating its ability to describe the process. The growth (μH = 26.04 day−1), storage (k STO = 20.39 day−1), hydrolysis (k H = 11.15 day−1) and decay rates (b H,O2 = 1.28 day−1, b STO,O2 = 1.10 day−1) obtained from calibration are significantly higher at 55°C than at mesophilic temperatures, justifying the faster metabolism at higher temperatures. An inert fraction of the biomass (characterized by the model parameter f I = 0.4) was found to be significantly greater than in the mesophilic case. This can be attributed to the lower diversity of the thermophilic species and thus to their narrower substrate spectra.

Keywords: activated sludge model; aerobic sludge digestion; autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion; modeling; thermophilic

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-05-01

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  • 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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