Two different methods for global sensitivity analysis were compared exemplarily for a biofilm model for two-step nitrification. Especially for biofilm models, local sensitivity analysis is not very useful as parameters can vary over a large range. Parameters that were evaluated included kinetic and stoichiometric parameters, and also biofilm parameters, such as internal and external mass transfer, the biofilm thickness, and the biomass density. Global sensitivity analyses were performed for a range of operating conditions of a biofilm reactor. The results of the qualitative screening method of Morris were compared with the results of the quantitative variance-based method FAST regarding the input parameters indicated as unimportant. Both methods resulted in similar sets of parameters with a small influence on the model output, but the screening method of Morris required a much smaller number of model evaluations to compute the sensitivity measures than the FAST method.

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