This paper presents a systematic methodology to characterise the influent sludge in terms of the ADM1 components from the experimental measurements traditionally used in wastewater engineering. For this purpose, a complete characterisation of the model components in their elemental mass fractions and charge has been used, making a rigorous mass balance for all the process transformations and enabling the future connection with other unit-process models. It also makes possible the application of mathematical algorithms for the optimal characterisation of several components poorly defined in the ADM1 report. Additionally, decay and disintegration have been necessarily uncoupled so that the decay proceeds directly to hydrolysis instead of producing intermediate composites. The proposed methodology has been applied to the particular experimental work of a pilot-scale CSTR treating real sewage sludge, a mixture of primary and secondary sludge. The results obtained have shown a good characterisation of the influent reflected in good model predictions. However, its limitations for an appropriate prediction of alkalinity and carbon percentages in biogas suggest the convenience of including the elemental characterisation of the process in terms of carbon in the analytical program.

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