The integrated control of nitrate recirculation and external carbon addition in a predenitrification biological wastewater treatment system is studied. The proposed control structure consists of four feedback control loops, which manipulate the nitrate recirculation and the carbon dosage flows in a highly coordinated manner such that the consumption of external carbon is minimised while the nitrate discharge limits (based on both grab and composite samples) are met. The control system requires the measurement of the nitrate concentrations at the end of both the anoxic and the aerobic zones. Distinct from ordinary control systems, which typically minimise the variation in the controlled variables, the proposed control system essentially maximises the diurnal variation of the effluent nitrate concentration and through this maximises the use of influent COD for denitrification, thus minimising the requirement for external carbon source. Simulation studies using a commonly accepted simulation benchmark show that the controlled system consistently achieves the designated effluent quality with minimum costs.

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