The practical applicability of computer simulation of aerobic biological treatment systems for winery effluents was investigated to enhance traditional on-site evaluation of new processes. As there is no existing modelling tool for pure winery effluent, a model widely used for municipal activated sludge (ASM1) was used. The calibration and validation steps were performed on extended on-site data. The global soluble COD, DO and OUR were properly reproduced. Possible causes for the remaining discrepancies between measured and simulated data were identified and suggestions for improvement directions were made to adapt ASM1 to winery effluents. The calibrated model was then used to simulate scenarios to evaluate the plant behaviour for different operation or design. In combination with on-site observations, it allowed us to establish useful and justified improvement suggestions for aeration tank and aeration device design as well as feed, draw and aeration operation.

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