Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are producers of clean water, energy, heat and nutrients. Sweden has come far in this field but Swedish WWTP face great challenges such as aging infrastructure, stricter effluent demands and climate change, leading to greatly increased investment needs.

Development and implementation of digital twins at WWTP is an innovative and radical transformation which facilitates: optimization of resource use; increased production of biogas and nutrients; decreased emissions of pollutants to air and water; more robust, efficient and sustainable wastewater treatment; decreased operational costs; new possibilities for development and integration of upstream and downstream products in a circular economy particularly for technical consultants.

At the WWTP in Helsingborg the project will develop, implement, demonstrate and verify a generic method for development of digital twins for WWTP, including on-line data quality assessment and model predictive control, which will be integrated with the supervisory control system for real time optimization of the process.

The methods developed will be transferable to other process industries that treat water, such as the water intensive pulp- and paper industry, which could decrease their water use and climate impact and allow them to be producers of clean water. There is also great potential for export to other countries.

Project leader: Magnus Arnell, Lund University, Faculty of Engineering