The selector activated sludge (SAS) systems are known to prevent excessive growth of filamentous microorganisms responsible for bulking sludge, but these systems were hardly ever modelled. This study aimed to develop a model capable of predicting rapid substrate removal in the SAS systems. For this purpose, the Activated Sludge Model No. 3 (ASM3) was extended with three processes (adsorption, direct growth on the adsorbed substrate under aerobic or anoxic conditions). The modified ASM3 was tested against the results of batch experiments with the biomass originating from two full-scale SAS systems in Germany. The endogenous biomass was mixed with various readily biodegradable substrates (acetate, peptone, glucose and wastewater) and the utilisation of substrate (expresses as COD) and oxygen uptake rates (OURs) were measured during the experiments. In general, model predictions fitted to the experimental data, but a considerable number of kinetic (5) and stoichiometric (2) parameters needed to be adjusted during model calibration. The simulation results revealed that storage was generally a dominating process compared to direct growth in terms of the adsorbed substrate utilisation. The contribution of storage ranged from 65–71% (Plant A) and 69–92% (Plant B).

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