Digital Control of a Waste Water Treatment Plant

Ramón Vilanova, José David Rojas, Víctor M. Alfaro


The Activated Sludge Process (ASP) is arguably the most popular bioprocess utilized in the treatment of polluted water. The ASP is described by means of a nonlinear model and results on a Two-Input Two-Output multivariable system. In this paper a discrete time digital control is proposed where the design of a decentralized controller is faced. Local controllers are given the form of a Two-Degree-of-Freedom PI controller tuned using the data-driven Virtual-Reference Feedback tuning approach.


ASP, Process Control, PID, Data-Driven Control, VRFT

Full Text:



F. Nejjari, A. Benhammou, B. Dahhou, and G. Roux, "Non-linear multivariable adaptive control of an activated sludge wastewater treatment process," Int. J. Adapt. Control Signal Process., pp. 347–365, 1999.<347::AID-ACS543>3.0.CO;2-8

G. Guardabassi and S. Savaresi, "Virtual reference direct design method: an off-line approach to data-based control system design," Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 45, pp. 954–959, May 2000.

M. C. Campi, A. Lecchini, and S. M. Savaresi, "Virtual reference feedback tuning: a direct method for the design of feedback controllers," Automatica, vol. 38, no. 8, pp. 1337 – 1346, 2002.

A. Lecchini, M. Campi, and S. Savaresi, "Sensitivity shaping via virtual reference feedback tuning," in Decision and Control, 2001. Proceedings of the 40th IEEE Conference on, vol. 1, pp. 750–755 vol.1, 2001.

A. Lecchini, M. Campi, and S. Savaressi, "Virtual reference feedback tuning for two degree of freedom controllers," International Journal of Adaptative control and Signal Processing, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 355–371, 2002.

R. Vilanova, R. Katebi, and V. Alfaro, "Multi-loop PI-based control strategies for the Activated Sludge Process," in Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, 2009. ETFA 2009. IEEE International Conference on, September 2009.

S. Caraman, M. Sbarciog, and B. Marian, "Predictive Control of aWastewater Treatment Process," International Journal of Computers, Communications & Control, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 132–142, 2007.

M. Morari and E. Zafirou, Robust Process Control. Prentice-Hall International, 1989.


Copyright (c) 2017 Ramón Vilanova, José David Rojas, Víctor M. Alfaro

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

CC-BY-NC  License for Website User

Articles published in IJCCC user license are protected by copyright.

Users can access, download, copy, translate the IJCCC articles for non-commercial purposes provided that users, but cannot redistribute, display or adapt:

  • Cite the article using an appropriate bibliographic citation: author(s), article title, journal, volume, issue, page numbers, year of publication, DOI, and the link to the definitive published version on IJCCC website;
  • Maintain the integrity of the IJCCC article;
  • Retain the copyright notices and links to these terms and conditions so it is clear to other users what can and what cannot be done with the  article;
  • Ensure that, for any content in the IJCCC article that is identified as belonging to a third party, any re-use complies with the copyright policies of that third party;
  • Any translations must prominently display the statement: "This is an unofficial translation of an article that appeared in IJCCC. Agora University  has not endorsed this translation."

This is a non commercial license where the use of published articles for commercial purposes is forbiden. 

Commercial purposes include: 

  • Copying or downloading IJCCC articles, or linking to such postings, for further redistribution, sale or licensing, for a fee;
  • Copying, downloading or posting by a site or service that incorporates advertising with such content;
  • The inclusion or incorporation of article content in other works or services (other than normal quotations with an appropriate citation) that is then available for sale or licensing, for a fee;
  • Use of IJCCC articles or article content (other than normal quotations with appropriate citation) by for-profit organizations for promotional purposes, whether for a fee or otherwise;
  • Use for the purposes of monetary reward by means of sale, resale, license, loan, transfer or other form of commercial exploitation;

    The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

[End of CC-BY-NC  License for Website User]

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTERS COMMUNICATIONS & CONTROL (IJCCC), With Emphasis on the Integration of Three Technologies (C & C & C),  ISSN 1841-9836.

IJCCC was founded in 2006,  at Agora University, by  Ioan DZITAC (Editor-in-Chief),  Florin Gheorghe FILIP (Editor-in-Chief), and  Misu-Jan MANOLESCU (Managing Editor).

Ethics: This journal is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Ioan  DZITAC (Editor-in-Chief) at COPE European Seminar, Bruxelles, 2015:

IJCCC is covered/indexed/abstracted in Science Citation Index Expanded (since vol.1(S),  2006); JCR2018: IF=1.585..

IJCCC is indexed in Scopus from 2008 (CiteScore2018 = 1.56):

Nomination by Elsevier for Journal Excellence Award Romania 2015 (SNIP2014 = 1.029): Elsevier/ Scopus

IJCCC was nominated by Elsevier for Journal Excellence Award - "Scopus Awards Romania 2015" (SNIP2014 = 1.029).

IJCCC is in Top 3 of 157 Romanian journals indexed by Scopus (in all fields) and No.1 in Computer Science field by Elsevier/ Scopus.


 Impact Factor in JCR2018 (Clarivate Analytics/SCI Expanded/ISI Web of Science): IF=1.585 (Q3). Scopus: CiteScore2018=1.56 (Q2);

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Editors-in-Chief: Ioan DZITAC & Florin Gheorghe FILIP.