On the modelling of the dynamic propagation of biological components in the secondary clarifier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When coupling a model of the biological reactor to a model of the settler, difficulties appear because of the different representations used for the particulate material. A combined model of the entire activated sludge process needs to include an algorithm for the dynamic propagation of the biological components of the particulate material through the secondary clarifier. In particular, this is of importance for an accurate description of the sludge that is recycled to the biological reactor. Two one-dimensional algorithms have been evaluated by means of numerical simulations. The first algorithm investigated is the one by Otterpohl and Freund in 1992 and some inherent problems of this method are discussed. For example, it will produce oscillating solutions as the number of layers in the settler model increases. Therefore, an alternative algorithm is proposed. It is based on a percentage vector that describes the different particulate biological components as fractions of the total suspended solids concentration. The vector is updated for every layer in the settler model by a robust numerical method. The algorithm is derived analytically, is computationally efficient and does not exhibit any oscillatory behaviour.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Mathematics
  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Water Engineering
  • Water Treatment
  • Chemical Engineering


  • thickening, suspended solids, solids flux, simulation, secondary clarifier, one-dimensional model, mathematical modelling, clarification, Activated sludge
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch