Energies | Free Full-Text | A Novel Check-List Strategy to Evaluate the Potential of Operational Improvements in Wastewater Treatment Plants


With increasing demands for cleaning and purification of water, wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) require their most efficient operation. The operators are thus obliged to constantly review the efficiency of the processing units and technological equipment of WWTPs and seek opportunities for improvements. To increase the efficiency of particular equipment, the important parameters to be used for the intensification must be correctly selected. A common WWTP consists of different types of processing units, where the basic parameters can be changed to achieve the highest efficiency (i.e., maximum output with minimum energy consumption) in the WWTP. However, due to many possible technologies in the wastewater treatment process, the combinations of processing units can be complex. In such cases, the efficiency assessment can be misleading if only basic parameters were accessed. Moreover, single-unit intensification can potentially improve the efficiency of the unit itself but cannot guarantee full process improvement. This can be due to negative causal effects in the downstream due to that unit intensification. This work reviews of key parameters at five selected pieces of WWTP equipment (inlet pump station, airlift pump, primary sedimentation tank, aeration chamber, and mixing of anaerobic digester) to demonstrate the correct selection of all affected parameters for the efficiency assessment. In the context of the whole WWTP process, it is necessary to take into account several other parameters to evaluate the efficiency of the equipment. Finally, a methodology for assessing the significance of the identified parameters is proposed. This methodology is effectively applied and demonstrated in the WWTP case study.

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