The paper presents a study where upgrading of an existing wastewater treatment plant was supported by simulation. The aim of the work was to decide between two technologies to improve nitrogen removal: a conventional activated sludge process (ASP) and a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR). To perform simulations, the mathematical models of both processes were designed. The models were calibrated based on data from ASP and MBBR pilot plants operating in parallel on the existing plant. Only two kinetic parameters needed to be adjusted to represent the real plant behaviour. Steady-state analyses have shown a similar efficiency of both processes in relation to carbon removal, but improved performance of MBBR in relation to nitrogen removal. Better performance of MBBR can be expected especially at low temperatures. Simulations have not confirmed the expected less volume required for the MBBR process. Finally, the MBBR was chosen for plant upgrading. The developed process model will be further used to evaluate the final plant configuration and to optimise the plant operating parameters.

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