An ASM/ADM model interface for dynamic plant-wide simulation Academic Article uri icon

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  • Mathematical modelling has proven to be very useful in process design, operation and optimisation. A recent trend in WWTP modelling is to include the different subunits in so-called plant-wide models rather than focusing on parts of the entire process. One example of a typical plant-wide model is the coupling of an upstream activated sludge plant (including primary settler, and secondary clarifier) to an anaerobic digester for sludge digestion. One of the key challenges when coupling these processes has been the definition of an interface between the well accepted activated sludge model (ASM1) and anaerobic digestion model (ADM1). Current characterisation and interface models have key limitations, the most critical of which is the over-use of X(c) (or lumped complex) variable as a main input to the ADM1. Over-use of X(c) does not allow for variation of degradability, carbon oxidation state or nitrogen content. In addition, achieving a target influent pH through the proper definition of the ionic system can be difficult. In this paper, we define an interface and characterisation model that maps degradable components directly to carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (and their soluble analogues), as well as organic acids, rather than using X(c). While this interface has been designed for use with the Benchmark Simulation Model No. 2 (BSM2), it is widely applicable to ADM1 input characterisation in general. We have demonstrated the model both hypothetically (BSM2), and practically on a full-scale anaerobic digester treating sewage sludge.


  • Nopens, Ingmar
  • Batstone, Damien J
  • Copp, John
  • Jeppsson, Ulf
  • Volcke, Eveline
  • Alex, Jens
  • Vanrolleghem, Peter A

publication date

  • April 2009