Selecting the Most Relevant Variables for Anaerobic Digestion Imbalances: Two Case Studies

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In this study, a wrapper approach was applied to objectively select the most important variables related to two different anaerobic digestion imbalances, acidogenic states and foaming. This feature selection method, implemented in artificial neural networks (ANN), was performed using input and output data from a fully instrumented pilot plant (1 m3 upflow fixed bed digester). Results for acidogenic states showed that pH, volatile fatty acids, and inflow rate were the most relevant variables. Results for foaming showed that inflow rate and total organic carbon were among the relevant variables, both of which were related to the feed loading of the digester. Because there is not a complete agreement on the causes of foaming, these results highlight the role of digester feeding patterns in the development of foaming.

Keywords: acidogenic states; anaerobic digestion; feature selection; foaming; neural networks

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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