The internal recirculation plays an important role on the different biological processes of wastewater treatment plants because it has a great influence on the concentration of pollutants, especially nutrients. Usually, the internal recirculation flow rate is kept fixed or manipulated by control techniques to maintain a fixed nitrate set-point in the last anoxic tank. This work proposes a new control strategy to manipulate the internal recirculation flow rate by applying a fuzzy controller. The proposed controller takes into account the effects of the internal recirculation flow rate on the inlet of the biological treatment and on the denitrification and nitrification processes with the aim of reducing violations of legally established limits of nitrogen and ammonia and also reducing operational costs. The proposed fuzzy controller is tested by simulation with the internationally known benchmark simulation model no. 2. The objective is to apply the proposed fuzzy controller in any control strategy, only replacing the manipulation of the internal recirculation flow rate, to improve the plant operation.Therefore, it has been implemented in five operation strategies from the literature, replacing their original internal recirculation flow rate control, and simulation results are compared with those of the original strategies. Results show improvements with the application of the proposed fuzzy controller of between 2.25 and 57.94% in reduction of total nitrogen limit violations, between 55.22 and 79.69% in reduction of ammonia limit violations and between 0.84 and 38.06% in cost reduction of pumping energy.
- Benchmark simulation model no 2
- Control strategies
- Fuzzy control
- Internal recirculation flow rate
- Wastewater biological treatment