Peer review artikel

Global sensitivity analysis of metabolic models for phosphorus accumulating organisms in enhanced biological phosphorus removal


“The aim of this study was to identify, quantify and prioritize for the first time the sources of uncertainty in a mechanistic model describing the anaerobic-aerobic metabolism of phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAO) in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems. These wastewater treatment systems play an important role in preventing eutrophication and metabolic models provide an advanced tool for improving their stability via system design, monitoring and prediction. To this end, a global sensitivity analysis was conducted using standard regression coefficients and Sobol sensitivity indices, taking into account the effect of 39 input parameters on 10 output variables. Input uncertainty was characterized with data in the literature and propagated to the output using the Monte Carlo method. The low degree of linearity between input parameters and model outputs showed that model simplification by linearization can be pursued only in very well defined circumstances. Differences between first and total-order sensitivity indices showed that variance in model predictions was due to interactions between combinations of inputs, as opposed to the direct effect of individual inputs. The major sources of uncertainty affecting the prediction of liquid phase concentrations, as well as intra-cellular glycogen and poly-phosphate was due to 64% of the input parameters. In contrast, the contribution to variance in intra-cellular PHA constituents was uniformly distributed among all inputs. In addition to the intra-cellular biomass constituents, notably PHB, PH2MV and glycogen, uncertainty with respect to input parameters directly related to anaerobic propionate uptake, aerobic poly-phosphate formation, glycogen formation and temperature contributed most to the variance of all model outputs. Based on the distribution of total-order sensitivities, characterization of the influent stream and intra-cellular fractions of PHA can be expected to significantly improve model reliability. The variance of EBPR metabolic model predictions was quantified. The means to account for this variance, with respect to each quantity of interest, given knowledge of the corresponding input uncertainties, was prescribed. On this basis, possible avenues and pre-requisite requirements to simplify EBPR metabolic models for PAO, both structurally via linearization, as well as by reduction of the number of non-influential variables were outlined.”

(Citation: Nguyen Quang, M., Rogers, T., Hofman, J.A.M.H., Lanham, A.B. – Global sensitivity analysis of metabolic models for phosphorus accumulating organisms in enhanced biological phosphorus removal – Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7(2019)art. no. 234 – DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00234 – (Open Access))

Copyright © 2019 Nguyen Quang, Rogers, Hofman and Lanham. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

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