A novel control strategy for efficient biological phosphorus removal with carbon-limited wastewaters

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This work shows the development and the in silico evaluation of a novel control strategy aiming at successful biological phosphorus removal in a wastewater treatment plant operating in an A2/O configuration with carbon-limited influent. The principle of this novel approach is that the phosphorus in the effluent can be controlled with the nitrate setpoint in the anoxic reactor as manipulated variable. The theoretical background behind this control strategy is that reducing nitrate entrance to the anoxic reactor would result in more organic matter available for biological phosphorus removal. Thus, phosphorus removal would be enhanced at the expense of increasing nitrate in the effluent (but always below legal limits). The work shows the control development, tuning and performance in comparison to open-loop conditions and to two other conventional control strategies for phosphorus removal based on organic matter and metal addition. It is shown that the novel proposed strategy achieves positive nutrient removal results with similar operational costs to the other control strategies and open-loop operation.

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