An integrated metabolic model for the aerobic and denitrifying biological phosphorus removal

E. Murnleitner, T. Kuba, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht, J. J. Heijnen

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203 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, an integrated metabolic model for biological phosphorus removal is presented. Using a previously proposed mathematical model it was shown to be possible to describe the two known biological phosphorus removal processes, under aerobic and denitrifying conditions, with the same biochemical reactions, where only the difference in electron acceptor (oxygen and nitrate) is taken into account. Though, apart from the ATP/NADH ratio, the stoichiometry in those models is identical, different kinetic parameters were found. Therefore, a new kinetic structure is proposed that adequately describes phosphorus removal under denitrifying and aerobic conditions with the same kinetic equations and parameters. The ATP/NADH ratio (δ) is the only model parameter that is different for aerobic and denitrifying growth. With the new model, simulations of anaerobic/aerobic and anaerobic/denitrifying sequencing batch reactors (A2 SBR and A/O SBR) were made for verification of the model. Not only short-term behavior, but also steady state, was simulated. The results showed very good agreement between model predictions and experimental results for a wide range of dynamic conditions and sludge retention times. Sensitivity analysis shows the influence of the model parameters and the feed substrate concentrations on both systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-450
Number of pages17
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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