Variance-based sensitivity analysis for wastewater treatment plant modelling

Alida Cosenza, Giorgio Mannina, Marc B. Neumann, Peter A. Vanrolleghem

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

31 Citazioni (Scopus)


Global sensitivity analysis (GSA) is a valuable tool to support the use of mathematical models that characterise technical or natural systems. In the field of wastewater modelling, most of the recent applications of GSA use either regression-based methods, which require close to linear relationships between the model outputs and model factors, or screening methods, which only yield qualitative results. However, due to the characteristics of membrane bioreactors (MBR) (non-linear kinetics, complexity, etc.) there is an interest to adequately quantify the effects of non-linearity and interactions. This can be achieved with variance-based sensitivity analysis methods. In this paper, the Extended Fourier Amplitude Sensitivity Testing (Extended-FAST) method is applied to an integrated activated sludge model (ASM2d) for an MBR system including microbial product formation and physical separation processes. Twenty-one model outputs located throughout the different sections of the bioreactor and 79 model factors are considered. Significant interactions among the model factors are found. Contrary to previous GSA studies for ASM models, we find the relationship between variables and factors to be non-linear and non-additive. By analysing the pattern of the variance decomposition along the plant, the model factors having the highest variance contributions were identified. This study demonstrates the usefulness of variance-based methods in membrane bioreactor modelling where, due to the presence of membranes and different operating conditions than those typically found in conventional activated sludge systems, several highly non-linear effects are present. Further, the obtained results highlight the relevant role played by the modelling approach for MBR taking into account simultaneously biological and physical processes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1068-1077
Numero di pagine10
RivistaScience of the Total Environment
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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