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Dynamic Modeling of Sludge Compaction and Consolidation Processes in Wastewater Secondary Settling Tanks

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The double exponential settling model is the widely accepted model for wastewater secondary settling tanks. However, this model does not estimate accurately solids concentrations in the settler underflow stream, mainly because sludge compression and consolidation processes are not considered. In activated sludge systems, accurate estimation of the solids in the underflow stream will facilitate the calibration process and can lead to correct estimates of particularly kinetic parameters related to biomass growth. Using principles of compaction and consolidation, as in soil mechanics, a dynamic model of the sludge consolidation processes taking place in the secondary settling tanks is developed and incorporated to the commonly used double exponential settling model. The modified double exponential model is calibrated and validated using data obtained from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant. Good agreement between predicted and measured data confirmed the validity of the modified model.

Keywords: activated sludge; compaction; dynamic modeling; settler; settling; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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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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