At wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), the aerobic conversion processes in the bioreactor are driven by the presence of dissolved oxygen (DO). Within these conversion processes, the oxygen transfer is a rate limiting step as well as being the largest energy consumer. Despite this high importance, WWTP models often lack detail on the aeration part. An extensive measurement campaign with off-gas tests was performed at the WWTP of Eindhoven to provide more information on the performance and behaviour of the aeration system. A high spatial and temporal variability in the oxygen transfer efficiency was observed. Applying this gathered system knowledge in the aeration model resulted in an improved prediction of the DO concentrations. Moreover, an important consequence of this was that ammonium predictions could be improved by resetting the ammonium half-saturation index for autotrophs to its default value. This again proves the importance of balancing sub-models with respect to the need for model calibration as well as model predictive power.

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