The purpose of the calibrated model determines how to approach a model calibration, e.g. which information is needed and to which level of detail the model should be calibrated. A systematic model calibration procedure was therefore defined and evaluated for a municipal–industrial wastewater treatment plant. In the case that was studied it was important to have a detailed description of the process dynamics, since the model was to be used as the basis for optimisation scenarios in a later phase. Therefore, a complete model calibration procedure was applied including: (1) a description of the hydraulics in the system via a tracer test, (2) an intensive measuring campaign and (3) supporting lab-scale experiments to obtain and confirm kinetic parameters for the model. In this paper the model calibration procedure for this case study is described step by step, and the importance of the different steps is discussed. The calibrated model was evaluated via a sensitivity analysis on the influence of model parameters and influent component concentrations on the model output. The sensitivity analysis confirmed that the model output was sensitive to the parameters that were modified from the default parameter values. The calibrated model was finally reduced from a 24 tanks-in-series configuration to a 12 tanks-in-series configuration, resulting in a 50% reduction of the simulation time.

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