Modeling, simulation and optimization of Autothermal Thermophylic Aerobic Digestion

Mark Burke, Michael Chapwanya, Kevin Doherty, Ian Hewitt, Andrei Korobeinikov, Martin Meere, Stephen McCarthy, Mick O'Brien, Vo Thi Ngoc Tuoi, Jaime Rojas, Henry Winstanley, Toshko Zhelev


Wastewater treatment requires the elimination of pathogens and reduction of organic matter in the treated sludge to acceptable levels. One process used to achieve this is the Autothermal Thermophylic Aerobic Digestion (ATAD), which relies on promoting non-pathogenic thermophilic bacteria to digest organic matter and kill pathogens through metabolic heat generation. This process requires continuous aeration that may be energy consuming, and the final aim of the study is to identify how the process design can minimize the energy input per mass of treated sludge. Appropriate modeling of the reactor process is an essential ingredient, so we explore properties of an existing model and propose a simplified alternative model.

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