Application of the International Water Association activated sludge models to describe aerobic sludge digestion.
ABSTRACT Batch and semi-continuous flow aerobic digesters were used to stabilize thickened waste-activated sludge at different initial conditions and mean solids retention times. Under dynamic conditions, total suspended solids, volatile suspended solids (VSS) and total and particulate chemical oxygen demand (COD and PCOD) were monitored in the batch reactors and effluent from the semi-continuous flow reactors. Activated Sludge Model (ASM) no. 1 and ASM no. 3 were applied to measured data (calibration data set) to evaluate the consistency and performances of models at different flow regimes for digester COD and VSS modelling. The results indicated that both ASM1 and ASM3 predicted digester COD, VSS and PCOD concentrations well (R2, Ra2 > or = 0.93). Parameter estimation concluded that compared to ASM1, ASM3 parameters were more consistent across different batch and semi-continuous flow runs with different operating conditions. Model validation on a data set independent from the calibration data successfully predicted digester COD (R2 = 0.88) and VSS (R2 = 0.94) concentrations by ASM3, while ASM1 overestimated both reactor COD (R2 = 0.74) and VSS concentrations (R2 = 0.79) after 15 days of aerobic batch digestion.