A Review of AI-Driven Control Strategies in the Activated Sludge Process with Emphasis on Aeration Control

Celestine Monday, Mohamed S. Zaghloul, Diwakar Krishnamurthy, Gopal Achari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent concern over energy use in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has spurred research on enhancing efficiency and identifying energy-saving technologies. Treating one cubic meter of wastewater consumes at least 0.18 kWh of electricity. About 50% of the energy consumed during this process is attributed to aeration, which varies based on treatment quality and facility size. To harness energy savings in WWTPs, the transition from traditional controls to artificial intelligence (AI)-based strategies has been observed. Research in this area has demonstrated significant improvements to the efficiency of wastewater treatment. This contribution offers an extensive review of the literature from the past decade. It aims to contribute to the ongoing discourse on improving the efficiency and the sustainability of WWTPs. It covers conventional and advanced control strategies, with a particular emphasis on AI-based control utilizing algorithms such as neural networks and fuzzy logic. The review includes four key areas of wastewater treatment AI research as follows: parameter forecasting, performance analysis, modeling development, and process optimization. It also points out potential disadvantages of using AI controls in WWTPs as well as research gaps such as the limited translation of AI strategies from research to real-world implementation and the challenges associated with implementing AI models outside of simulation environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number305
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • aeration
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • control
  • dissolved oxygen (DO)
  • fuzzy logic
  • wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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