# 2010 International Conference on Intelligent Computation Technology and Automation

Research on Modeling and Simulation of Activated Sludge Process
Wei Yao, Wu Li, Qiao Junfei
Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China weiyao9713@yahoo.com.cn
Abstract—Due to the complexity of wastewater treatment process, it is difficult to apply the existing mathematical models in practice. A new model is presented for the wastewater treatment process in this paper. This model is based on Benchmark Simulation Model no.1 (BSM1) modeling method, and then simplifies Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1) which was set up to connect the secondary settler model dynamically. Meanwhile, the parameters of the model are adjusted by the experiment data. Finally, the practical data was used to predict the COD values of the water quality. The results demonstrate that this proposed model is useful. Keywords-Dynamic model; Benchmark Simulation Model no.1 (BSM1); Simulation; Activated Sludge Process

I.

INTRODUCTION

Generally speaking, wastewater treatment process is a biological process. However, due to the instability of the influent quantity and quality, the complexity of biochemical reactions, as well as various factors such as regional differences, it is difficult to choose an appropriate modeling method for the whole wastewater treatment. Therefore, how to simulate the wastewater treatment process accurately is still an open problem. Activated sludge wastewater treatment process, which is the major approach of treating industrial organic wastewater and urban sewage in the current, has been widely used as the object of mathematical modeling for a long time. With a view to guide the practical wastewater treatment plant operation and design process, a well-known wastewater treatment process model, named Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1) [1] was issued by the International Water Association. In ASM1, Matrix form was used to describe the various biochemical reaction processes. In order to facilitate the computer simulation, the factors in the matrix can precisely and intuitively reflects the changes of each component in wastewater treatment process. However, this model is difficult for practical application due to various parameters and reaction processes. Based on ASM1, many domestic and foreign scholars have proposed some methods to establish simple and effective models. Eveline et al [2] proposed a parallel ASM1 model, which performance better when the parameters and microbial biomass is not fully given in ASM1. However, a large quantity of calculation is still necessary in this model. And the forward the assumption did not distinguish soluble COD and particulate COD. In order to save the

computational time, Jeppsson [3] carried out ROM model based on ASM1; Llse Y. Smets et al [4] selected typical input and output data for reasonable linear approximation, which greatly simplifies the ASM1 parameters identification and model calibration process. Ji et al [5] implemented ASM-CN, a simplified ASM1 model of carbon oxidation which is suitable for common plug-flow reactor, and Yu et al [6] introduced a corrected and simplified model ASP-CR for carbon removal. However, the above models only consider the effect of aeration reactor without conducting a comprehensive simulation of the overall wastewater treatment process. In order to obtain a universally applicable model of the wastewater treatment process for countries around the world, the Europe Scientific and Technological Co-operation launched the Benchmark Simulation Model no.1 (BSM1) [7]. It provides a set of rigorous criteria to improve the application of control strategy, including simulation models, engineering indicators, controllers, and performance indicators and testing processes. Yuan et al [8] combined Matlab and C++ to simulate the overall processes of BSM1, and verified the stability and consistency of software calculating process. In recent years, the intelligent modeling methods [9-10] are also used a certain degree of development and become a research hotspot. Compared with the classical method of mathematical modeling, the most serious problem of intelligent modeling is that a universal model of the wastewater treatment process can not be given. Therefore, how to obtain an exact mathematical model is still an open problem for the wastewater treatment process simulation. In this paper, a new model of the whole wastewater treatment process is proposed based on the modeling idea of BSM1. This new simplified model not only reduces the parameters and computation, but it also shows the validity through simulation results. The rest paper is organized as follows: In the next section, the whole architecture of the new model is described. This modeling shows the whole wastewater treatment process. In Section Ⅲ, the proposed model is used to predict the key parameters in the wastewater treatment. The simulation results show that the new model has a high accuracy with compact structure. Finally, the paper is concluded in Section Ⅳ. II. WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESS MODELING The main process of BSM1 is shown in Fig. 1. Using A/O process, the benchmark plant is composed of a five
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978-0-7695-4077-1/10 \$26.00 © 2010 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ICICTA.2010.482

microbial growth. the concentration of soluble components do not change through sedimentation. Zf Qu. Zw Figure 1. The model in this article only considers the carbon oxidation process. and then the water flow into the secondary settler after reaction. XS is slowly biodegradable substrate. Zu Qr. Zr Qw. Z0 Qa. both of them flow into the secondary settler along with effluent water after being degraded in the aerobic reactor. the observed conversion rate of each component in the activated sludge process can be established as follows: where V is the volume of the aerobic reactor. without regard to nitrification process and denitrification process. Zr represents the reflux concentration of the secondary settler. secondary settler can be divided into two regions according to different functions: clarification zone and thickening zone. H + SO ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ dX S r2 = = (1 − f p )bH X BH − dt ⎛ ⎞ X S X BH SO kh ⎜ ⎟ X BH K X + ( X S X BH ) ⎜ K O . nitrogen and phosphorus removal is not considered. the treatments are promoted the presentation of eight biochemical reaction processes via a matrix format of wastewater in aerobic and anoxic conditions. Aeration Reactor Modeling ASM1 Consists of three major processes: carbon oxidation process. five stoichiometric parameters and 14 kinetic parameters. soluble components can be considered uniformly distributed. XI is the particulate nonbiodegradable material which is settled in the secondary settler without precipitating biochemical reactions in aerobic reactor. nitrification process and denitrification process. including hydrolysis. H + SO ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ ⎞ ⎛ SS ⎞ ⎛ SO dX BH r3 = = μH ⎜ ⎟ X BH ⎟⎜ ⎜ ⎟ dt ⎝ K S + S S ⎠ ⎝ K O . Zf is the effluent component concentration from the aerobic reactor. Ze Biological Reactor r1 = dS S = μH dt kh ⎛ SS ⎜ ⎝ K S + SS ⎞⎛ SO ⎟⎜ ⎜K ⎠ ⎝ O . based on experience set SO = 2mg/l. the modeling conditions and basis are: • This model primarily for inspection of. decay. the corresponding parameters of other processes take zero value. • The dissolved oxygen concentration in the aerobic reactor is assumed to be constant. The model includes thirteen components. Za Clarifier Qf. namely. etc. Accordingly. Q0 is the influent flow rate. a certain degree of simplification can be simulated according to different treatment target. Qe. rk is the reaction rate of the kth component Zk . Assuming heterotrophic microbial species is unitary and stability. • According to the Benchmark data provided by IWA. The total influent COD of aerobic reactor consists of the following five components. The flowchart of BSM1 A. so the biochemical reactions part of BSM1 model can be reduced to aerobic reactor. B. only consider the removal of carbon. • This model only considered carbon oxidation process of heterotrophic bacteria under aerobic conditions and particulate organic material in the hydrolysis process. Based on the above analysis. ASM1 model is used to express the reaction mechanism in aeration reactor. Qr is the quantity of reflux in secondary settler. SI is the soluble non-biodegradable material and can not be degraded or settled in the whole process. Secondary Settler Modeling As an important part of a wastewater treatment system. XBH is the heterotrophic biomass which is in the secondary settler for settlement as well after reacted in the aerobic reactor. H + SO ⎠ − bH X BH dZ k 1 = (Qr Z r + Q0 Z 0 + rkV − Q f Z f ) dt V CODTO = S S + X S + X I + S I + X BH where SS is the readily biodegradable substrate. And for 23 . Then. the secondary settler was expressed by solid flux theory and Takács double-exponential settling equation [11]. while XBA .compartment activated sludge reactor consisting of two anoxic tanks followed by three aerobic tanks. The mass balance in aerobic reactor can be described as follows: ⎛ ⎞ X S X BH SO ⎜ ⎟ X BH K X + ( X S X BH ) ⎜ K O . Due to the complexity of ASM1 itself. In secondary settler. Qf is the effluent flow rate from the aerobic reactor. XP are negligible due to the low concentration in the influent wastewater. and ASM1 biochemical reaction processes has been simplified for three reactions. H + SO ⎞ ⎟ X BH + ⎟ ⎠ Q0. the components which account for small proportion of effluent COD indicators are negligible.

the parameters of simplified model must be calibrated. h is the height of each layer.4 − min(φs .i is sedimentation flux in each layer. X is the total sludge concentration. Dynamic Coupling The coupling of aeration reactor and secondary settler lies in the unit conversion of the particulate components.u ， XI.particulate components. the secondary settler is considered as the ideal condition. j −1 X j −1 ) X j −1 > X t ⎪ =⎨ Vs . The calibration of YH can be expressed by following formula: and Vdn = Qu / A are cross-sectional velocity respectively generated by effluent water and effluent sludge. 13] about parameter sensitivity analysis. the sedimentation process can be described by the following differential equation: where X is the total sludge concentration at any height. Equation (4) can be transformed and simplified as the following format: • The secondary settler only consider the physical sedimentation while ignore biochemical reactions. The recycle parameters are given as: X S. Then equation (4) was transformed into: ∂X ∂φ ∂ ∂X = − (D ) + rx ∂t ∂z ∂z ∂z dX 3 Q f X f − (Qe − Qu ) X 3 = + dt V φclar . The first step of parameter calibration is to analyze each parameter’s impact on effluent indicators. φs . Φs. followed by the heterotrophic maximum specific growth rate μH . rx = 0. φs . That is.2 ) h For the clarification layers above the feed layer: dX 4 Vup ( X 3 − X 4 ) φclar . The threshold concentration Xt is equal to 3000g/m3. • According to solid flux theory.3 .u ，XBH. D is the diffusion coefficient.3 . ASM1 includes more than a dozen parameters. f + X BH .1 ) For the feed layer: h 24 . f + X I . f X S .1 ) = dt h dX 2 Vdn ( X m +1 − X m ) = + dt h min(φs . the changing rate with time of the mass concentration of solid particles is tantamount to the change along the height of solid flux concentration which caused by the transfer and diffusion effect and the conversion rate of activated sludge components. The sludge concentration Xf which flow into the secondary settler can be expressed as: Equation (5) and (6) are respectively the expressions of Thickening zone and Clarification zone. gravity sedimentation rate Vs is represented by Takács doubleexponential settling equation. let the diffusion coefficient D = 0. j X j X j −1 ≤ X t ⎪ ⎩ where V is the volume of the secondary settler. and feed layer is the 3rd layer. C. j dX 5 Vup ( X 4 − X 5 ) − φclar .4 = + dt h h For the top layer: while φclar . the heterotrophic yield coefficient YH has the greatest sensitivity. This process main refers to the sedimentation. In order to simplify the wastewater treatment model. and the standard values in the original model are used as the value of other parameters. Some Common Mistakes In order to obtain satisfying simulation results. rx is the biochemical reaction rate. most of which are not constant.u ， XBA. the secondary settler is divided into five layers from the bottom to top. half-saturation coefficient for heterotrophy Ks and maximum specific hydrolysis rate constant Kh. f ) where k=0. φs . the bottom is the 1st layer while the top is the 5th layer. Where Vup = Qe / A ∂X ∂ (Vs X ) ∂ (Vup X ) = + ∂t ∂z ∂z ∂X ∂ (Vs X ) ∂ (Vdn X ) = + ∂t ∂z ∂z X f = k ( X S . However. f + X BA. j X j .2 ) − min(φs .2 . the solid flux in secondary settler consists of gravitational sedimentation of solid particles and the flux generated by the flow of sludge water.u = Xf Xu where Xu is the underflow concentration. These parameters may change its value according to the change of environmental conditions. it would result in model application difficulties. In the same way.75.2 . In this model. Sludge concentrations in each layer are written as: For the bottom layer: For the layers below the feed layer: dX 1 Vdn ( X 2 − X 1 ) + min(φs . Synthesizing literature [12. if each one was calibrated under specific practical wastewater quality conditions and process characteristics. φs . • Without regard to the impact of diffusion. Xi is the sludge concentration of each layer.5 = dt h ⎧ min(Vs .5 − φclar . Φ is the solids flux at corresponding height.u can be calculated by (12). D. the parameters XP. Vs .

corresponding to the components respectively which required in the model: XS. Due to the small impact of other parameters.36mgCOD/l. The results of the steady-state simulation are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3 below. 10000 The 1st Layer 8000 Concentration• g·SS/m3• 6000 4000 2000 0 0 0. 25. the system's steady-state is only relative.4 0.3 0.3 0. 4. Since the model is mainly considered for COD removal of the plant. III. 000m3/d. Steady-state Simulation In the actual operation of wastewater treatment plants. then implement the entire wastewater treatment process through dynamic simulation. Steady-state simulation in aeration reactor In Fig.5 (a) Sludge concentration of the 1st layer 2500 The 2nd layer The 3rd layer 2000 Concentration• gSS/m3• 1500 1000 500 0 0 0. 16. Thus.4 0. 182.2 t(day) 0.Concentration(mgCOD/l) CODXO = CODTO + CODSO ΔCODXO YH = ΔCODSO where CODSO and CODXO respectively represents the COD concentration of soluble and particulate components.1 0. Thus.3 0. it just stay relatively stable in the absence of exceptional circumstances (for example. through calculation.91 mgCOD/l. SI . which used to observe the fitting results by comparing actual data and experimental data. their values can be directly using the recommended ones at 20℃ for calculating.8%.23mgCOD/l. flow rate is 50. 56. In Fig. XBH.4 0. the analysis was carried out to measure the flow components.5mg/l.91mgCOD/l and 8. SS concentrations are 38.2 t(day) 0.9mgCOD/l.91mgCOD/l. Finally. 12.9%. heavy rainfall and temperature impact). SS . the concentrations of the above components are listed in order: 182.08mgCOD/l respectively. the water quantity and quality constantly keep changing every day even every moment.6mgCOD/l. aeration reactor effluent XS . the influent COD can be decomposed by he ratio of 54%.5 Xs Ss Figure 2. Based on the experience. Therefore. in which the effluent COD concentration should be less than 100 mg/l. 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 0. which shows a good settlement performance as well. Simulation steps are given as: First of all. In this case.8%. the treating capacity of which is 60. 3: When the secondary settler reaches steady state.1 0. which shows that aeration reactor model can effectively degrade the organic material of wastewater. 182.1 0. 43. 11.000 tons/day.2 t(day) 0. 2. SIMULATION AND RESULTS ANALYSIS The processing model was built according to the treatment process of some small-scale wastewater treatment plant.5 (b) Sludge concentration of the 2nd and the 3rd layer 25 .5%.53mgCOD/l.93mgCOD/l. A. the concentration of effluent component will be superimposed to be the effluent COD concentration by modeling principles.625mgCOD/l. 2: Under steady-state condition. and influent COD concentration is 338. the concentration of the 1st layer to the 5th layer is respectively: 6765.25mgCOD/l and 16. XI . obtain steadystate effluent data of both aeration reactor and secondary settler through steady-state simulation. The plant is designed for meeting the target in accordance with national second level effluent standards. 39. the average running data of the wastewater treatment plant was selected as steady-state operation data.

This paper proposed a mathematical model for wastewater treatment plants which was established through reasonable simplification on the aeration reactor and the secondary settler.5 56. Dynamic Simulation To verify the performance of model capability of simulating practical operation.6 47.6 61. therefore.5 62 55. the simulated values can be fitted well with the measured values.3 56 57 52 62.16 10.5 52. we can see a similar trend in the two curves， and the average value from April 1st to April 18th of simulated effluent COD can be calculated from the result. As the results shown in Table 1. on April 9th and April 11th.41 7.4 65.10 4.4% and 12.7 65.6 4. the difference between effluent COD of the simulated and measured values is comparatively large.11 SIMULATION RESULTS OF THE EFFLUENT COD CODIN (mg/l) 323 312 339 335 306 323 277 242 326 224 310 320 275 350 331 372 354 347 CODM (mg/l) 51.13 1. in which CODIN represents the concentration of COD in influent wastewater.96 0. while the average value of measured effluent COD is 56.14 4. Through the effluent COD simulation of actual 26 . by simulating the practical wastewater treatment plants of COD removal. At the same time. the ability of prediction on urban wastewater treatment process is improved. DATE 4.27 1.1 0.3 57.87 3. the influent of a specific wastewater treatment plant is constant and not subject to flow rate fluctuations for relative content of each component for urban wastewater. At other time.7 53.6 56.97 0.17 4.4 4. components determination still follows the experience value in steady-state.1 53.4 53.54 4. process and the number of model parameters are greatly reduced.7 4.48 5.78%.2 4.65 5.18 0 2 4 6 8 10 t(day) 12 14 16 18 Figure 4.93mg/l. of which is 54. which is close to the first emission standards at the national level.2 53.5 (c) Sludge concentration of the 4th and the 5th layer Figure 3.44 5 12. 4: 100 90 80 COD(mg/l) 70 60 50 40 30 Measured Effluent COD Simulating Effluent COD 4. the model is relatively weak in anti-interference ability. CONCLUSION From Figure 4.82 Under the steady-state conditions.1 56 60 57 CODP (mg/l) 46.79 15. and then obtains effluent data through model calculation.67 9.5 61 55.15 4. Not only the model's components.16 4.9 4. For example.5 4.53 11.8 4.8 49.6mg/l after calculation.4 56 49.6 57. in dynamic simulation. According to the literature. but also achieved the dynamic connection of aeration reactor and the secondary settler.48% respectively. the effluent COD concentration was degraded to 52. so the model is valid.4 54. Therefore.3 0.1 4. B.3 53 53 58.6 51.4 62 56.13 4.96 10.4 ERROR (%) 9.78mg/l.2 t(day) 0. Comparison of effluent COD IV.3 4. and CODM and CODP respectively represents the measured and the simulated COD concentration in effluent water. Steady-state simulation in secondary settler The daily simulated and measured values are shown in Table 1. when the influent concentration changed greatly compared to the last day. the model has capability of predictability on the actual operation of wastewater treatment plants. using the 18-day data of wastewater treatment plant from April 1st to April 18th for dynamic simulation. TABLE I. the model should be further improved robustness . The simulation results are shown in Fig.57 1. the errors were 15. the error is 3.60 The 4th layer The 5th layer 50 Concentration• mgSS/l• 40 30 20 10 0 0 0.12 4.4 0.

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