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Gent, Belgium

Burger R.,University of Concepcion | Diehl S.,Lund University | Faras S.,Lund University | Nopens I.,BIOMATH | Torfs E.,BIOMATH
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2013

The consistent modelling methodology for secondary settling tanks (SSTs) leads to a partial differential equation (PDE) of nonlinear convection-diffusion type as a one-dimensional model for the solids concentration as a function of depth and time. This PDE includes a flux that depends discontinuously on spatial position modelling hindered settling and bulk flows, a singular source term describing the feed mechanism, a degenerating term accounting for sediment compressibility, and a dispersion term for turbulence. In addition, the solution itself is discontinuous. A consistent, reliable and robust numerical method that properly handles these difficulties is presented. Many constitutive relations for hindered settling, compression and dispersion can be used within the model, allowing the user to switch on and off effects of interest depending on the modelling goal as well as investigate the suitability of certain constitutive expressions. Simulations show the effect of the dispersion term on effluent suspended solids and total sludge mass in the SST. The focus is on correct implementation whereas calibration and validation are not pursued. © IWA Publishing 2013.

Arnaldos M.,BIOMATH | Arnaldos M.,Acciona | Amerlinck Y.,BIOMATH | Rehman U.,BIOMATH | And 4 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2015

The "affinity constant" (KS) concept is applied in wastewater treatment models to incorporate the effect of substrate limitation on process performance. As an increasing number of wastewater treatment processes rely on low substrate concentrations, a proper understanding of these so-called constants is critical in order to soundly model and evaluate emerging treatment systems. In this paper, an in-depth analysis of the KS concept has been carried out, focusing on the different physical and biological phenomena that affect its observed value. By structuring the factors influencing half-saturation indices (newly proposed nomenclature) into advectional, diffusional and biological, light has been shed onto some of the apparent inconsistencies present in the literature. Particularly, the importance of non-ideal mixing as a source of variability between observed KS values in different systems has been illustrated. Additionally, discussion on the differences existent between substrates that affect half-saturation indices has been carried out; it has been shown that the observed KS for some substrates will reflect transport or biological limitations more than others. Finally, potential modeling strategies that could alleviate the shortcomings of the KS concept have been provided. These could be of special importance when considering the evaluation and design of emerging wastewater treatment processes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Torfs E.,BIOMATH | Bellandi G.,BIOMATH | Nopens I.,BIOMATH
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Experimental data of Ca-induced activated sludge flocculation under different conditions of temperature and dissolved oxygen are investigated in order to model the influence of changing physical and chemical factors. However, current kernel structures for collision frequency and efficiency are unable to describe activated sludge flocculation data. Therefore, an earlier developed methodology based on an inverse problem is applied, yielding empirical models, to find out how flocculation is affected by these different environmental conditions. This contribution shows the useful application of inverse problems to improve the understanding of complex aggregation mechanisms. © IWA Publishing 2012.

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