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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2014|