The removal of substrates from wastewaters by activated sludge is commonly expressed in terms of a collective substrate parameter such as COD, BOD5 or TOC. Several different linear and non-linear rate expressions are employed to describe complex substrate removal in the literature. The indiscriminate application of batch substrate uptake rates to the analysis or design of continuous-flow reactors can introduce errors. These potential errors have particular significance in the design of aerobic selectors used to control low F/M bulking.

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