A systematic approach to estimate and evaluate parameters for deammonification in biofilms from available experimental data was evaluated. Parameter estimation was based on a regional steady state sensitivity analysis to select relevant parameters and design of experiments based on a local identifiability analysis. The calibrated model was evaluated under different experimental conditions. Nine of the 16 kinetic and stoichiometric parameters had a significant influence on model predictions. Of these nine parameters only six kinetic parameters were identifiable from batch experiments regardless of the experimental design. More parameters were not identifiable due to high correlations between growth rates and the corresponding affinity constant for oxygen. Data from a batch experiment at 2 mg/L dissolved oxygen (DO) were used to estimate inactivation rates and affinity constants for oxygen for ammonium oxidisers (AO), nitrite oxidisers (NO) and anaerobic ammonium oxidisers (AN). In addition, it was found that not only kinetic and stoichiometric parameters but also the external mass transfer resistance significantly affected model predictions. The resulting model was able to reproduce batch test and continuous reactor operation where DO concentrations were similar to those in the batch experiment used for parameter estimation. However, the model overestimated deammonification for a batch experiment at a much higher DO concentration (5 mg/L). Thus, parameter values that are identifiable and are estimated for given environmental conditions may not necessarily be valid for significantly different experimental conditions.

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