DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/attic.13.3886

A Friendly-Biological Reactor SIMulator (BioReSIM) for studying biological processes in wastewater treatment processes


Abstract


Biological processes for wastewater treatments are inherently dynamic systems because of the large variations in the influent wastewater flow rate, concentration composition and the adaptive behavior of the involved microorganisms. Moreover, the sludge retention time (SRT) is a critical factor to understand the bioreactor performances when changes in the influent or in the operation conditions take place. Since SRT are usually in the range of 10-30 days, the performance of biological reactors needs a long time to be monitored in a regular laboratory demonstration, limiting the knowledge that can be obtained in the experimental lab practice. In order to overcome this lack, mathematical models and computer simulations are useful tools to describe biochemical processes and predict the overall performance of bioreactors under different working operation conditions and variations of the inlet wastewater composition. The mathematical solution of the model could be difficult as numerous biochemical processes can be considered. Additionally, biological reactors description (mass balance, etc.) needs models represented by partial or/and ordinary differential equations associated to algebraic expressions, that require complex computational codes to obtain the numerical solutions. Different kind of software for mathematical modeling can be used, from large degree of freedom simulators capable of free models definition (as AQUASIM), to closed predefined model structure programs (as BIOWIN). The first ones usually require long learning curves, whereas the second ones could be excessively rigid for specific wastewater treatment systems. As alternative, we present Biological Reactor SIMulator (BioReSIM), a MATLAB code for the simulation of sequencing batch reactors (SBR) and rotating biological contactors (RBC) as biological systems of suspended and attached biomass for wastewater treatment, respectively. This BioReSIM allows the evaluation of simple and complex kinetic biological models, as well as operational conditions of the bioreactors through a friendly and graphic user interface, avoiding the development of complex codes.

 


Keywords


Mathematical modeling, Wastewater treatment, Sequencing Batch Reactor, Rotating Biological Contactors

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