Optimal control of wastewater treatment plants using economic-oriented model predictive dynamic strategies

Silvana Revollar, Pastora Vega, Ramón Vilanova, Mario Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 by the authors. This paper addresses the implementation of economic-oriented model predictive controllers for the dynamic real-time optimization of the operation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Both the economic-optimizing controller (pure-EMPC) and the economic-oriented tracking controller (Hybrid-EMPC, or HEMPC) formulations are validated in the benchmark simulation model (BSM1) platform that represents the behavior of a characteristic activated sludge process. The objective of the controllers is to ensure the appropriate operation of the plant, while minimizing the energy consumption and the fines for violations of the limits of the ammonia concentration in the effluent along the full operating period. A non-linear reduced model of the activated sludge process is used for predictions to obtain a reasonable computing effort, and techniques to deal with model-plant mismatch are incorporated in the controller algorithm. Different designs and structures are compared in terms of process performance and energy costs, which show that the implementation of the proposed control technique can produce significant economic and environmental benefits, depending on the desired performance criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number813
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2017


  • Activated sludge process
  • Dynamic optimization
  • Economic model predictive control
  • Wastewater treatment plant


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