Improving nutrient removal while reducing energy use at three Swiss WWTPs using advanced control. Water Environment Research
Abstract: Aeration consumes about 60% of the total energy use of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and therefore is a major contributor to its carbon footprint. Introducing advanced process control can help plants to reduce their carbon footprint and at the same time improve effluent quality through making available unused capacity for denitrification, if the ammonia concentration is below a certain set-point. Monitoring and control concepts are cost-saving alternatives to the extension of reactor volume. However, they also involve the risk of violation of the effluent limits due to measuring errors, unsuitable control concepts or inadequate implementation of the monitoring and control system. Dynamic simulation is a suitable tool to analyze the plant and to design tailored measuring and control systems. During this work, extensive data collection, modeling and fullscale implementation of aeration control algorithms were carried out at three conventional activated sludge plants with fixed pre-denitrification and nitrification reactor zones. Full-scale energy savings in the range of 16–20% could be achieved together with an increase of total nitrogen removal of 40%.