Predictive control of activated sludge plants to supply nitrogen for optimal crop growth

Otacilio Bezerra Leite Neto, Antoine Haddon, Farouk Aichouche, Jerome Harmand, Michela Mulas, Francesco Corona

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
198 Downloads (Pure)


We report the preliminary results of a feasibility study in which we investigate the possibility to operate a common class of activated sludge plants to produce effluent wastewater of varying quality for crop irrigation. Firstly, a nitrogen reference trajectory is computed as solution to a higher-level optimal control problem that aims at maximizing plant biomass in a crop growth system. We then study how to control the treatment plant with a zero-offset predictive control strategy designed to operate the treatment process to supply nitrogen according to this optimal planning for crop growth. We show how an ad hoc tuning of the predictive controller allows to define alternative policies that favour the manipulation of different forms of nitrogen in the treatment plant. We show that the designed controllers are only partially capable to operate the treatment plant to meet the nitrogen demand, when subjected to typical municipal wastewater influent conditions. However, zero-offset can be achieved under constant influent conditions. We analyse the performance of the controller in terms of tracking accuracy and operational energy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIFAC International Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes - Venice, Italy
Duration: 13 Jun 202116 Jun 2021
Conference number: 16


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