Modelling biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal with soluble microbial products (SMP) production-degradation processes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Over the last two decades, Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) are increasingly used for wastewatertreatment. Mathematical modelling of MBR systems has played a key role in order to better explainthe effect of their peculiarities. Indeed, several MBR models have been presented in literature inorder to improve the knowledge on MBR systems: biological models, hybrid models which includesoluble microbial product (SMP) modelling, physical models able to describe the membrane foulingand integrated models which couple the hybrid models with the physical ones.However, among the existing MBR models only few integrated models have been developed whichtake into account the existing relationship between fouling and the biological processes. Also, withrespect to modelling of biological phosphorus removal in MBR systems, due to the complexity ofthe process, practical use of the models is still limited. There is a vast knowledge (and consequentlya vast amount of data) on nutrient removal for conventional activated sludge (CAS) systems butonly limited information on phosphorus removal for MBRs. Moreover, calibration of these complexintegrated models still remains the main bottleneck to their employment.The paper presents an integrated mathematical model able to simultaneously describe biologicalnutrient removal, the SMP formation/degradation and the physical removal of organics. The modelhas been calibrated by using data collected in a UCT-MBR pilot plant, built at the Palermo WWTPand fed with real wastewater, applying an innovative calibration protocol. The calibrated modelprovides acceptable correspondence with experimental data.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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