Modelling and dynamic simulation of hybrid moving bed biofilm reactors: Model concepts and application to a pilot plant
In the recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the development of hybrid reactors, especially in the up-grading of existing activated sludge plants that are no longer able to comply with concentration limits established by regulatory agencies. In such systems the biomass grows both as suspended flocs and as biofilm. In this way, it is possible to obtain a higher biomass concentration in the reactor, but without any significant increase of the load to the final clarifier. The paper presents the setting-up of a dynamic mathematical model aimed at quantitatively describing the biokinetic processes occurring in a hybrid moving bed biofilm reactor (HMBBR), and, more in general, in integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) processes, as well as to compare the simulation results with measured data from a HMBBR pilot plant built at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (Norway). Particularly, the pilot plant consisted of three aerobic tanks in series; the first and third aerobic reactors were pure suspended biomass systems, while the second aerobic reactor was filled with the AnoxKaldnes™ K1 carriers for biofilm development. The mathematical model consists of two connected models for the simulation of both suspended biomass and biofilm. Biochemical conversions are evaluated according to the well known matrix notation used in the Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1) for both attached and suspended biomass and, in addition to biochemical conversion, the model contains the simulation of particulate detachment from the biofilm into the bulk liquid. The results showed an overall good agreement between measured and simulated data, for both biofilm and suspended biomass, with a good reproduction of dynamic processes in the hybrid moving bed pilot plant, and they are encouraging for further developments.
► Reliability of a mathematical model of hybrid bed biofilm reactors was presented. ► Effectiveness of hybrid bed biofilm reactors for biological removal was shown. ► Good development of nitrifying bacteria to the detriment of heterotrophic one was recorded.
Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 56, Issues 1–2, 15 September 2011, Pages 23–36