A model for the simulation of a moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) used for the treatment of municipal wastewater is proposed. The model includes attachment of particulates to the biofilm and detachment of biofilm into the bulk liquid. The growth kinetics are modelled with the activated sludge model no. 1 (ASM1). Respirometry was used for the estimation of kinetic parameters. The resulting respirograms featured the typical endogenous and exogenous respiration phases and the respirogram shapes were as expected from analogous respirometry with activated sludge. The estimated parameter set was used for modelling and simulation of the pilot-scale MBBR. The main proportion of biomass in the MBBR was found to be attached as biofilm on the carrier elements (4.1–4.6 g dm−3) and only a small amount was suspended in the bulk liquid (0.15 g dm−3). Attachment and detachment rates were estimated to be 4.8–7.5 g m−2 d−1 for attachment and 6.5–7.5 g m−2 d−1 for detachment. The biofilm age was estimated to be 1.8–2.7 d. The model was used to predict effluent quality parameters and a good fit of the simulated data to the measured data originating from a four-days-long measurement campaign was obtained.

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