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Water Research
Volume 40, Issue 8, May 2006, Pages 1668-1676
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Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

Control of the aeration volume in an activated sludge process using supervisory control strategies

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Mats Ekmana, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Berndt Björleniusb and Mikael Anderssonc

aDivision of Systems and Control, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 337, SE-751 05, Uppsala, Sweden

bStockholm Water Co. SE-106 36 Stockholm, Sweden

cBenima Mellan AB, Prästgårdsgränd 4, SE-125 44 Älvsjö, Sweden

Received 3 October 2005; 
revised 9 February 2006; 
accepted 10 February 2006. 
Available online 4 April 2006.


In this paper, a simulation benchmark of a pre-denitrifying activated sludge process is utilized in order to evaluate a supervisory aeration volume control strategy. The aeration volume control strategy has also been evaluated in a pilot plant at Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm, Sweden. The main idea has been to let the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in some of the aerated compartments be determined by a higher level controller driven by the DO concentration in other compartments. In this way, only sensors for measuring the DO concentrations are needed for the decision of time varying DO set-points. The high reliability of such sensors implies robust input values for the proposed control strategy. Moreover, it is known that the respiration rate is affected by the content of substrate and nitrogen in the compartments; therefore, the suggested manipulations of the DO set-points are indirectly determined by the current load into the plant. Compared to constant DO control and a supervisory DO set-point control strategy based on ammonium measurements in the last aerobic compartment, the suggested aeration volume control strategy could reduce the effluent nitrate and ammonium concentrations significantly without increasing the aeration energy.

Keywords: Activated sludge process; Automatic control benchmark; Supervisory control; Aeration energy; Nutrient removal

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. The benchmark plant
3. The pilot plant in Hammarby Sjöstad
4. Supervisory aeration volume control strategy
5. Simulation design and pilot-plant set-up
5.1. Simulation set-up
5.2. Pilot-plant set-up
6. Results and discussion
6.1. Simulation results
6.2. Evaluation in the pilot plant
7. Conclusions

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Tel.: +46 18 4717846; fax: +46 18 503611.

Water Research
Volume 40, Issue 8, May 2006, Pages 1668-1676
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