The Activated Sludge Process

Will Francis

MATH235 Mathematics Advanced Project

Spring 2003

Introduction. This project aims to use several mathematical methods to examine the activated sludge process. As a main basis, the paper by Curds was used. The project has the ultimate aim of examining this process as discussed in the paper and then extending the work done to a more complicated process so as to produce new results. This is done with the hope of achieving a more effective model for the activated sludge process.

The report is divided into two sections. Part A focuses on the paper by Curds, aiming to produce a computation method using Maple that will reproduce Curds' work, specifically figure 3 & 7 from Curds paper. Part B aims to extend the study into new work by developing a computational method for the two reactor model. With a working model for simulating the two reactor activated sludge process, an extensive number of results are examined, with the aim of optimising the outcome, by adjusting a number of the parameters.


  1. Curds. Computer Simulations of Microbial Population Dynamics in the Activated Sludge Process. Water Research, 5, 1049-1066, 1971.

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Last Updated: 2nd December 2009.