Systematic Approach to the Design of Operation and Control Policies in Activated Sludge Systems

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This article describes the systematic design of a control structure for a biological wastewater treatment process as given by the test-bed Benchmark Simulation Model No. 1 (BSM1) and Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1). The objective of this work was to formalize and implement a systematic and yet simple procedure for the selection of control structures in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to show that the application of the proposed methodology agrees with the "empirical" findings regarding the operation of this process. The motivation underlying this endeavor was to search for a control configuration that leads to optimal economic operation while promptly rejecting disturbances at lower layers in the control hierarchy, thus avoiding violation of the more important regulatory constraints on effluent discharge. We started by optimizing a steady-state nonlinear model of the process for various important disturbances. The results confirmed that it is economically optimal to control the oxygen concentration in the aerobic basins and the nitrate in the second anoxic tank at their respective lower bounds, whereas the effluent ammonia from the bioreactors should be controlled at its upper limit. In addition, because it is good practice to operate with minimal manipulation, the wastage flow rate should be fixed at its nominal optimal set point. The proposed decentralized control configuration, consisting of simple PI controllers, is capable of maintaining the process well within the regulatory limits at a small cost when dynamic disturbances represented by three weather files affect the process, therefore suggesting that, according to the applied systematic methodology, more complex (multivariable) regulators are not necessary for the ASM1 process.


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TidskriftIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Utgåva nummer14
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa