Multi-scale modelling of bioreactor-separator system for wastewater treatment with two-dimensional activated sludge floc dynamics

Irina D. Ofiţeru, Micol Bellucci, Cristian Picioreanu, Vasile Lavric, Thomas P. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

A simple "first generation" multi-scale computational model of the formation of activated sludge flocs at micro-scale and reactor performance at macro-scale is proposed. The model couples mass balances for substrates and biomass at reactor scale with an individual-based approach for the floc morphology, shape and micro-colony development. Among the novel model processes included are the group attachment/detachment of micro-flocs to the core structure and the clustering of nitrifiers. Simulation results qualitatively describe the formation of micro-colonies of ammonia and nitrite oxidizers and the extracellular polymeric substance produced by heterotrophic microorganisms, as typically observed in fluorescence in situ hybridization images. These results are the first step towards realistic multi-scale multispecies models of the activated sludge wastewater treatment systems and a generic modelling strategy that could be extended to other engineered biological systems. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-395
Number of pages14
JournalWater Research
Volume50
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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