New framework for standardized notation in wastewater treatment modelling

L. Corominas, L. Rieger, I. Takacs, G. Ekama, H. Hauduc, P.A. Vanrolleghem, A. Oehmen, Krist Gernaey, M.C.M. van Loosdrecht, Y. Comeau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Many unit process models are available in the field of wastewater treatment. All of these models use their own notation, causing problems for documentation, implementation and connection of different models (using different sets of state variables). The main goal of this paper is to propose a new notational framework which allows unique and systematic naming of state variables and parameters of biokinetic models in the wastewater treatment field. The symbols are based on one main letter that gives a general description of the state variable or parameter and several subscript levels that provide greater specification. Only those levels that make the name unique within the model context are needed in creating the symbol. The paper describes specific problems encountered with the currently used notation, presents the proposed framework and provides additional practical examples. The overall result is a framework that can be used in whole plant modelling, which consists of different fields such as activated sludge, anaerobic digestion, sidestream treatment, membrane bioreactors, metabolic approaches, fate of micropollutants and biofilm processes. The main objective of this consensus building paper is to establish a consistent set of rules that can be applied to existing and most importantly, future models. Applying the proposed notation should make it easier for everyone active in the wastewater treatment field to read, write and review documents describing modelling projects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)841-857
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • nomenclature
  • ADM
  • wastewater treatment
  • modeling
  • ASM


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