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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 237693, 17 pages
Research Article

Sludge Bulking Prediction Using Principle Component Regression and Artificial Neural Network

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Avenue Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa 999078, Macau
2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Received 5 August 2012; Revised 22 October 2012; Accepted 25 October 2012

Academic Editor: Siamak Talatahari

Copyright © 2012 Inchio Lou and Yuchao Zhao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sludge bulking is the most common solids settling problem in wastewater treatment plants, which is caused by the excessive growth of filamentous bacteria extending outside the flocs, resulting in decreasing the wastewater treatment efficiency and deteriorating the water quality in the effluent. Previous studies using molecular techniques have been widely used from the microbiological aspects, while the mechanisms have not yet been completely understood to form the deterministic cause-effect relationship. In this study, system identification techniques based on the analysis of the inputs and outputs of the activated sludge system are applied to the data-driven modeling. Principle component regression (PCR) and artificial neural network (ANN) were identified using the data from Chongqing wastewater treatment plant (CQWWTP), including temperature, pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids (SSs), ammonia (), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSSs). The models were subsequently used to predict the sludge volume index (SVI), the indicator of the bulking occurrence. Comparison of the results obtained by both models is also presented. The results showed that ANN has better prediction power () than PCR () and thus provides a useful guide for practical sludge bulking control.