An on-line hybrid fuzzy-neural soft-sensing model-based control system was developed to optimize dissolved oxygen concentration in a bench-scale anaerobic/anoxic/oxic (A(2)/O) process. In order to improve the performance of the control system, a self-adapted fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm and adaptive network-based fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) models were employed. The proposed control system permits the on-line implementation of every operating strategy of the experimental system. A set of experiments involving variable hydraulic retention time (HRT), influent pH (pH), dissolved oxygen in the aerobic reactor (DO), and mixed-liquid return ratio (r) was carried out. Using the proposed system, the amount of COD in the effluent stabilized at the set-point and below. The improvement was achieved with optimum dissolved oxygen concentration because the performance of the treatment process was optimized using operating rules implemented in real time. The system allows various expert operational approaches to be deployed with the goal of minimizing organic substances in the outlet while using the minimum amount of energy.
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