An operational space map is an efficient tool to compare a large number of operational strategies to find an optimal choice of setpoints based on a multicriterion. Typically, such a multicriterion includes a weighted sum of cost of operation and effluent quality. Due to the relative high cost of aeration such a definition of optimality result in a relatively high fraction of the effluent total nitrogen in the form of ammonium. Such a strategy may however introduce a risk into operation because a low degree of ammonium removal leads to a low amount of nitrifiers. This in turn leads to a reduced ability to reject event disturbances, such as large variations in the ammonium load, drop in temperature, the presence of toxic/inhibitory compounds in the influent etc. Hedging is a risk minimisation tool, with the aim to “reduce one's risk of loss on a bet or speculation by compensating transactions on the other side” (The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995)). In wastewater treatment plant operation hedging can be applied by choosing a higher level of ammonium removal to increase the amount of nitrifiers. This is a sensible way to introduce disturbance rejection ability into the multi criterion. In practice, this is done by deciding upon an internal effluent ammonium criterion. In some countries such as Germany, a separate criterion already applies to the level of ammonium in the effluent. However, in most countries the effluent criterion applies to total nitrogen only. In these cases, an internal effluent ammonium criterion should be selected in order to secure proper disturbance rejection ability.

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