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Foaming control in the activated sludge process using metabolic control

Martin Fryer

Martin Fryer

Fryerm@tcd.ie

Supervisor: Prof. Nick Gray

Activated sludge is becoming a more favourable option in the process of secondary wastewater treatment. Whilst the activated sludge process is very robust, it is not without operational issues. One of the biggest problems experienced is due to a phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘foaming’ which has been strongly linked to a group of bacteria known as filamentous bacteria.  In the worst cases, foaming can result in the loss of treatment capacity, resulting ultimately in an unstable process.

The fundamental basis of this project is toattempt to identify what triggers foaming in activated sludge plants and how the running of plants can be improved to reduce the risk of treatment failure. By investigating the use of a fuzzy logic control, the complex non-linear biological processes that occur within the activated sludge aeration basin will attempt to be modelled. From this it is hoped that a predictive tool can be produced which can be utilised to limit foaming through better control of environmental and metabolic factors.

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Last updated 14 December 2009 botany@tcd.ie.