Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of control strategies using the benchmark simulation model No1 (BSM1)

Xavier Flores-Alsina, Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda, Gürkan Sin, Krist Gernaey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The objective of this paper is to perform an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of the predictions of the Benchmark Simulation Model (BSM) No. 1, when comparing four activated sludge control strategies. The Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to evaluate the uncertainty in the BSM1 predictions, considering the ASM1 bio-kinetic parameters and influent fractions as input uncertainties while the Effluent Quality Index (EQI) and the Operating Cost Index (OCI) are focused on as model outputs. The resulting Monte Carlo simulations are presented using descriptive statistics indicating the degree of uncertainty in the predicted EQI and OCI. Next, the Standard Regression Coefficients (SRC) method is used for sensitivity analysis to identify which input parameters influence the uncertainty in the EQI predictions the most. The results show that control strategies including an ammonium (S-NH) controller reduce uncertainty in both overall pollution removal and effluent total Kjeldahl nitrogen. Also, control strategies with an external carbon source reduce the effluent nitrate (S-NO) uncertainty increasing both their economical cost and variability as a trade-off. Finally, the maximum specific autotrophic growth rate (mu(A)) causes most of the variance in the effluent for all the evaluated control strategies. The influence of denitrification related parameters, e. g. eta(g) (anoxic growth rate correction factor) and eta(h) (anoxic hydrolysis rate correction factor), becomes less important when a S-NO controller manipulating an external carbon source addition is implemented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)491-499
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • uncertainty analysis
  • wastewater treatment
  • sensitivity analysis
  • BSM1
  • benchmarking
  • control strategies


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