This paper presents the characterisation procedure of different types of sludge generated in a wastewater treatment plant to be reproduced in a mathematical model of the sludge digestion process. The automatic calibration method used is based on an optimisation problem and uses a set of mathematical equations related to the a priori knowledge of the sludge composition, the experimental measurements applied to the real sludge, and the definition of the model components. In this work, the potential of the characterisation methodology is shown by means of a real example, taking into account that sludge is a very complex matter to characterise and that the models for digestion also have a considerable number of model components. The results obtained suit both the previously reported characteristics of the primary, secondary and mixed sludge, and the experimental measurements specially done for this work. These three types of sludge have been successfully characterised to be used in complex mathematical models.

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