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Dynamic real-time substrate feed optimization of anaerobic co-digestion plants

Promotores: Prof.dr. T.H.W. Bäck, Prof.dr. M. Bongards (Cologne University)

D. Gaida
22 October 2014
Thesis in Leiden Repository

In anaerobic co-digestion plants a mix of organic materials is converted to biogas using the anaerobic digestion process. These organic materials, called substrates, can be crops, sludge, manure, organic wastes and many more. They are fed on a daily basis and significantly affect the biogas production process. In this thesis dynamic real-time optimization of the substrate feed for anaerobic co-digestion plants is developed. In dynamic real-time optimization a dynamic simulation model is used to predict the future performance of the controlled plant. Therefore, a complex simulation model for biogas plants is developed, which uses the famous Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1). With this model the future economics as well as stability can be calculated resulting in a multi-objective performance criterion. Using multi-objective nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) the model predictions are used to find the optimal substrate feed for the biogas plant. Therefore, NMPC solves an optimization problem over a moving horizon and applies the optimal substrate feed to the plant for a short while before recalculating the new optimal solution. The multi-objective optimization problem is solved using state-of-the-art methods such as SMS-EMOA and SMS-EGO. The performance of the proposed approach is validated in a detailed simulation study.

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