Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Sudhi Mukherjee

Second Advisor

Hsin Neng Hsieh

Third Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Abstract

The Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor is widely used for the anaerobic treatment of concentrated municipal / industrial wastewaters and sludges. Ability to handle high organic loading rates and cost effectiveness are often the most cited merits of the UASB process. Numerous mathematical models have been developed to describe the process and mechanistic phenomena in these systems. However, evidence in the literature of these models having been applied, either as control or diagnostic tools is limited. The use of intelligent process control mechanisms can greatly ease problems associated with operating these reactor systems.

The objective of this study is to develop a Human Machine Interface (HMI) module to assist UASB operators to optimize process conditions based on input from transducers, analytical data and a knowledgebase. The module makes extensive use of algorithms developed for modeling UASB systems in evaluation of reactor performance. The module is part of an intelligent process control software which uses information from sensors monitoring process parameters in real time, analytical laboratory data and historical databases to make process adjustments automatically and advise operators on current process conditions and corrective action if necessary. It is expected that the HMI developed will result in improved operational stability by providing a better understanding of process parameters and their implication in optimally operating UASB reactor under steady state conditions.

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