Water Research Group at division of Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation (IEA), Department of Biomedical Engineering
IEA has a broad experience and excellent track record related to modelling, monitoring and control of urban water systems. The focus of the current research is around modelling and benchmarking of urban water systems also including the sewer system and the recipient waters. Issues regarding greenhouse gas production, fate of micropollutants and energy consumption/production are essential. Expertise and experience of most areas related to modeling, simulation and control of urban water systems, such as monitoring, systems analysis, life–cycle analysis, simulation, control strategy development and benchmarking exist within the group. Specifically within the field of benchmarking of control strategies for wastewater treatment plants, IEA is currently leading an IWA (International Water Association) Task Group (www.benchmarkwwtp.org). They are a partner in several regional, national and international research projects, financed by the government as well as from foundations, industries and the European Union (e.g. www.sanitas-itn.eu). IEA has recently formed a national research cluster (VA-kluster Mälardalen, www.va-malardalen.se) together with four other Swedish universities (Uppsala, Mälardalen, SLU, KTH), two research institutes (IVL, JTI) and about ten water and wastewater organizations, and are currently leading a large national project related to wastewater modelling, control and optimization with special focus on energy related issues. The group leader, associate professor Ulf Jeppsson, is also the national coordinator for the EU COST Action Water 2020 (www.water2020.eu), an IWA Fellow and associate editor for the international research journal Water Research. The group also includes one postdoc and three PhD students.
To improve the performance of a wastewater treatment plant, various control strategies can be implemented (e.g. controlling the dissolved oxygen and/or nitrate level in the bioreactors). But before adapting a specific control strategy, computer simulations can first be performed to determine which strategy would best optimize the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) performance in terms of effluent quality, operational costs, or any other applicable evaluation criteria. An objective comparison of different control strategies can be performed through the use of a ‘benchmark’.
The International Water Association Task Group on Benchmarking of Control Strategies for Wastewater Treatment Plants has developed the Benchmark Simulation Models (BSM1 and BSM2). The BSM1 plant consists of a five-compartment biological reactor and a secondary settler. It enables an unbiased evaluation of activated sludge control strategies related to organic (C) and nitrogen (N) removal. As a result of the interest from the scientific community and because of a number of limitations identified in that model, it was extended and developed into BSM2. The latter model includes full treatment of both water and sludge (by anaerobic digestion) with primary settling, sludge thickening and dewatering.
The success of both models is demonstrated by more than 500 papers in international journals and conferences on work related to the BSMs, the use of the model in various research groups around the world and its inclusion in various commercial WWTP simulator packages (e.g. GPS-X™, SIMBA®, WEST®).
Two PhD students at IEA are further extending the BSM2 ‘within-the-fence’ to include other significant processes within the wastewater treatment plant and ‘outside-the-fence’ to take into account the whole urban wastewater system including catchment, sewers and recipient.