The merit of activated sludge models depends on the accuracy and reliability of the information they contain on the wastewater to be treated and the biochemical mechanisms involved. In most advanced calibration studies, respirometry i.e. the measurement of the oxygen utilization rate, (OUR), provides the majority of the required experimental database. However, currently used procedures still involve a number of basic and practical problems. Model evaluation of the OUR data may generate a distorted image of the processes involved. Hydrolysis is the most important, yet the most vulnerable process as far as the experimental assessment of accurate kinetic parameters is concerned. This study intends to provide an overview of major experimental limitations in the modeling of activated sludge, with emphasis on the appropriate experimental design for the assessment of the hydrolysis rate.

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