Modeling the Effect of External Carbon Source Addition under Different Electron Acceptor Conditions in Biological Nutrient Removal Activated Sludge Systems

The aim of this study was to expand the International Water Association Activated Sludge Model No. 2d (ASM2d) to predict the aerobic/anoxic behavior of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and “ordinary” heterotrophs in the presence of different external carbon sources and electron acceptors. The following new aspects were considered: (1) a new type of the readily biodegradable substrate, not available for the anaerobic activity of PAOs, (2) nitrite as an electron acceptor, and (3) acclimation of “ordinary” heterotrophs to the new external substrate via enzyme synthesis. The expanded model incorporated 30 new or modified process rate equations. The model was evaluated against data from several, especially designed laboratory experiments which focused on the combined effects of different types of external carbon sources (acetate, ethanol and fusel oil) and electron acceptors (dissolved oxygen, nitrate and nitrite) on the behavior of PAOs and “ordinary” heterotrophs. With the proposed expansions, it was possible to improve some deficiencies of the ASM2d in predicting the behavior of biological nutrient removal (BNR) systems with the addition of external carbon sources, including the effect of acclimation to the new carbon source.