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An Updated Process Model for Carbon Oxidation, Nitrification, and Denitrification

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The currently available comprehensive activated sludge models, ASM#1 ( Grady et al., 1986) and its successor ASM#3 ( Gujer et al., 1999), do not adequately describe nitrification and denitrification, with respect to ammonia oxidation inhibition, nitrite accumulation, or emissions of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide. A new comprehensive activated sludge process model, the Activated Sludge Model for Nitrogen (ASMN), is presented. The ASMN incorporates two nitrifying populations—ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria—using free ammonia and free nitrous acid, respectively, as their true substrates. The ASMN incorporates four-step denitrification (sequential reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas via nitrite, nitric oxide, and nitrous oxide) using individual, reaction-specific parameters. Simulation results for ammonia, nitrate, soluble substrate, and biomass concentrations determined by using ASMN for three activated sludge process configurations under steady-state and dynamic municipal-type influent conditions are shown to be comparable with ASM#1 results.

Keywords: ASM#1; Activated Sludge Model for Nitrogen; denitrification; free ammonia; free nitrous acid; inhibition; modeling; nitrification; pH; temperature

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2008

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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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