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Open Access Ammonia-Based Feedforward and Feedback Aeration Control in Activated Sludge Processes

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT:

Aeration control at wastewater treatment plants based on ammonia as the controlled variable is applied for one of two reasons: (1) to reduce aeration costs, or (2) to reduce peaks in effluent ammonia. Aeration limitation has proven to result in significant energy savings, may reduce external carbon addition, and can improve denitrification and biological phosphorus (bio-P) performance. Ammonia control for limiting aeration has been based mainly on feedback control to constrain complete nitrification by maintaining approximately one to two milligrams of nitrogen per liter of ammonia in the effluent. Increased attention has been given to feedforward ammonia control, where aeration control is based on monitoring influent ammonia load. Typically, the intent is to anticipate the impact of sudden load changes, and thereby reduce effluent ammonia peaks. This paper evaluates the fundamentals of ammonia control with a primary focus on feedforward control concepts. A case study discussion is presented that reviews different ammonia-based control approaches. In most instances, feedback control meets the objectives for both aeration limitation and containment of effluent ammonia peaks. Feedforward control, applied specifically for switching aeration on or off in swing zones, can be beneficial when the plant encounters particularly unusual influent disturbances.

Keywords: aeration control; ammonia-based control; energy savings; feedback control; feedforward control; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143013X13596524516987

Affiliations: EnviroSim Associates Ltd., McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Rd S, Suite 114A, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1, Canada

Publication date: 2014-01-01

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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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