The biological reactions during the settling and decant periods of Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs) are generally ignored as they are not easily measured or described by modelling approaches. However, important processes are taking place, and in particular when the influent is fed into the bottom of the reactor at the same time (one of the main features of the UniFed process), the inclusion of these stages is crucial for accurate process predictions. Due to the vertical stratification of both liquid and solid components, a one-dimensional hydraulic model is combined with a modified ASM 2d biological model to allow the prediction of settling velocity, sludge concentration, soluble components and biological processes during the non-mixed periods of the SBR. The model is calibrated on a full-scale UniFed SBR system with tracer breakthrough tests, depth profiles of particulate and soluble compounds and measurements of the key components during the mixed aerobic period. This model is then validated against results from an independent experimental period with considerably different operating parameters. In both cases, the model is able to accurately predict the stratification and most of the biological reactions occurring in the sludge blanket and the supernatant during the non-mixed periods. Together with a correct description of the mixed aerobic period, a good prediction of the overall SBR performance can be achieved.

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