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Chapter No. 15: Process control


Instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) are not new in the area of wastewater treatment. ICA has been recognized within the international water association (IWA) for almost 30 years. Still, however, dynamical systems and process control is seldom part of the general civil engineering or environmental engineering curriculum. Therefore, many wastewater treatment systems designers are unaware of the potential of ICA. For example, it has been demonstrated that ICA may increase the capacity of biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment plants by 10-30%. Furthermore, there is a sophisticated relationship between the operational parameters in a treatment system and its microbial populations and biochemical reactions, and hence its performance. With further understanding and exploitation of these relationships the improvements due to ICA may reach another 20-50% of the total system investments within the next 10-20 years.

This course consists of 4 video lectures recorded by Prof. Gustaf Olsson from Lund University, Sweden, which describe the role of control for the operation of activated slduge wastewater treatment systems. Special attention is given to the discussion of the disturbances affecting the operation of the treatment plants and to the strong interaction among energy, water and wastewater treatment, which is reflected on the operating costs of the treatment plants.

Time Framework for the Chapter: 1 week

Aims of the Chapter

To describe the purpose and advantages of the instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) of (activated sludge) wastewater treatment systems.

  • To describe the advantages, benefits and disadvantages of different ICA systems and applications when applied to activated sludge wastewater treatment plants.

  • To determine and discuss the implementation of an ICA system to monitor and control the operation of an activated sludge wastewater treatment system.

Learning Objectives

  • To critically assess the applicability and advantages of instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) systems when applied to monitor and control the operation of (activated sludge) wastewater treatment processes.
Last modified: Saturday, 2 January 2016, 6:02 AM