This paper presents a new modelling methodology for dynamically predicting the heat produced or consumed in the transformations of any biological reactor using Hess's law. Starting from a complete description of model components stoichiometry and formation enthalpies, the proposed modelling methodology has integrated successfully the simultaneous calculation of both the conventional mass balances and the enthalpy change of reaction in an expandable multi-phase matrix structure, which facilitates a detailed prediction of the main heat fluxes in the biochemical reactors. The methodology has been implemented in a plant-wide modelling methodology in order to facilitate the dynamic description of mass and heat throughout the plant. After validation with literature data, as illustrative examples of the capability of the methodology, two case studies have been described. In the first one, a predenitrification-nitrification dynamic process has been analysed, with the aim of demonstrating the easy integration of the methodology in any system. In the second case study, the simulation of a thermal model for an ATAD has shown the potential of the proposed methodology for analysing the effect of ventilation and influent characterization. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.