Data Handling and Parameter Estimation

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Modelling is one of the key tools at the disposal of modern wastewater treatment professionals, researchers and engineers. It enables them to study and understand complex phenomena underlying the physical, chemical and biological performance of wastewater treatment plants at different temporal and spatial scales. At full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs),mechanistic modelling using the ASM framework and concept (e.g. Henze et al., 2000) has become an important part of the engineering toolbox for process engineers. It supports plant design, operation, optimization and control applications. Models have also been increasingly used to help take decisions on complex problems including the process/technology selection for retrofitting, as well as validation of control and optimization strategies (Gernaey et al., 2014; Mauricio-Iglesias et al., 2014; Vangsgaard et al., 2014; Bozkurt etal., 2015). Models have also been used as an integral part of the comprehensive analysis and interpretation of data obtained from a range of experimental methods from the laboratory, as well as pilot-scale studies to characterise and study wastewater treatment plants. In this regard, models help to properly explain various kinetic parameters for different microbial groups and their activities in WWTPs by using parameter estimation techniques. Indeed, estimating parameters is an integral part of model development and application (Seber andWild, 1989; Ljung, 1999; Dochain and Vanrolleghem,2001; Omlin and Reichert, 1999; Brun et al., 2002; Sinet al., 2010) and can be broadly defined as follows: Given a model and a set of data/measurements from the experimental setup in question, estimate all or some of the parameters of the model using an appropriate statistical method.
The focus of this chapter is to provide a set of tools and the techniques necessary to estimate the kinetic and stoichiometric parameters for wastewater treatment processes using data obtained from experimental batch activity tests. These methods and tools are mainly intended for practical applications, i.e. by consultants,engineers, and professionals. However, it is also expected that they will be useful both for graduate teaching as well as a stepping stone for academic researchers who wish to expand their theoretical interest in the subject. For the models selected to interpret the experimental data, this chapter uses available models from literature that are mostly based on the ActivatedSludge Model (ASM) framework and their appropriate extensions (Henze et al., 2000).The chapter presents an overview of the most commonly used methods in the estimation of parameters from experimental batch data, namely: (i) data handling and validation, (ii) parameter estimation: maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) and bootstrap methods, (iii) uncertainty analysis: linear error propagation and the Monte Carlo method,
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment
EditorsMark C.M. van Loosdrecht, P.H. Nielsen, C.M. Lopez-Vazquez, Damir Brdjanovic
PublisherIWA Publishing
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)9781780404745
ISBN (Electronic)9781780404752
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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