Population balance models: a useful complementary modelling framework for future WWTP modelling.

  title={Population balance models: a useful complementary modelling framework for future WWTP modelling.},
  author={Ingmar Nopens and Elena Torfs and Joel J. Ducoste and Peter A. Vanrolleghem and Krist V. Gernaey},
  journal={Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research},
  volume={71 2},
  • I. Nopens, E. Torfs, K. Gernaey
  • Published 2015
  • Environmental Science
  • Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research
Population balance models (PBMs) represent a powerful modelling framework for the description of the dynamics of properties that are characterised by distributions. This distribution of properties under transient conditions has been demonstrated in many chemical engineering applications. Modelling efforts of several current and future unit processes in wastewater treatment plants could potentially benefit from this framework, especially when distributed dynamics have a significant impact on the… 


ODEs have long been the preferred method to model phenomena in wastewater treatment (WWT) processes as computational speed was an important concern when modelling the entire process flow sheet. In

Different settling regimes in secondary settling tanks: experimental process analysis, model development and calibration

An improved 1-D model for the secondary clarifier, i.e. the Bürger-Diehl model, was recently presented. In this chapter, the impact of specific features of the BürgerDiehl model on settler underflow

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    Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research
  • 2017
A unified model framework that considers several particle classes is proposed in order to describe distributions in settling behaviour as well as the effect of variations in particle properties on the settling process, resulting in a set of partial differential equations (PDEs) that are valid from dilute concentrations, where they correspond to discrete settling, to concentrated suspensions, wherethey correspond to compression settling.

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ABSTRACT Detailed insight into the hydrodynamics of aeration tanks is of crucial importance for improvements in treatment efficiency, optimization of the process design and energy-efficient

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An extensive measurement campaign with off-gas tests was performed at the WWTP of Eindhoven to provide more information on the performance and behaviour of the aeration system, and a high spatial and temporal variability in the oxygen transfer efficiency was observed.



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In this contribution, an alternative method based on solving the inverse problem is used to recover the model structure from the data and the presence of similarity in the data simplifies the problem significantly.

Modelling and characterization of primary settlers in view of whole plant and resource recovery modelling.

A new modelling concept based on particle settling velocity distribution is proposed which is then applied for the development of an improved primary settler model as well as for its characterization under addition of chemicals (chemically enhanced primary treatment, CEPT).

PBM and activated sludge flocculation: From experimental data to calibrated model

A new comprehensive calibration methodology for a population balance model (PBM) is presented using experimental size distribution data obtained on-line during flocculation tests. It was found that

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The results show a clear impact on the conversion efficiency of the way in which particle size distribution is modeled, resulting from the effect of the granule size on the competition between nitrite oxidizing and anammox bacteria and from the interaction between granules of different sizes in terms of the exchange of solutes.

Microscopic versus macroscopic biomass models in activated sludge systems.

  • W. Gujer
  • Engineering, Biology
    Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research
  • 2002
Based on first simple computations with microscopic models, it becomes clear that kinetic parameters for lumped, macroscopic models are system specific: whereas biomass from SBR systems yields kinetic parameters suited for application in microscopic models--biomass from continuous flow systems can only be used for the calibration of macroroscopic models.

Model-based evaluation of mechanisms and benefits of mainstream shortcut nitrogen removal processes.

  • A. Al‐OmariB. Wett S. Murthy
  • Engineering
    Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research
  • 2015
Results indicated that the AVN controller possesses unique features to nitrify only that amount of nitrogen that can be denitrified, which promotes better management of incoming organics and bicarbonate for a more efficient NOB out-selection.

Simulation of bubble column reactors using CFD coupled with a population balance model

Bubble columns are widely used in chemical and biochemical processes due to their excellent mass and heat transfer characteristics and simple construction. However, their fundamental hydrodynamic

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Simulations demonstrated that endogenous decay processes may play a more important role in EBPR than predicted by the lumped approach, and suggests a need for further research to determine endogenous process rates, and for incorporation of this information to distributed‐type simulators, as this should lead to improved accuracy of EBPR simulations.

Process hydraulics, distributed bacterial states, and biological phosphorus removal from wastewater

  • A. Schuler
  • Engineering
    Biotechnology and bioengineering
  • 2006
Hydraulic characteristics of biological wastewater treatment systems were shown to affect bacterial state distributions and system performance through mathematical simulations, providing guidance for new strategies to improve EBPR by minimizing state distributions.