Last week, the researcher Claudia Galinha from the University FCT Nova of Lisbon, presented the work she and her team have done during the Life Ecosens Aquamonitrix project at IWA’s Nutrient Recovery and Removal (NRR) Conference.

Conference presentations and questions came from both academic researchers and industry professionals. This suggests that the topics discussed at the conference are highly relevant to the industrial field, and with high applicability. Also, it was remarkable the great acceptance of new technologies, which means that the wastewater treatment plants are updating and leading the research in this field, so it is not only an academic goal.

These are some of the highlights of the conference taken by our colleague:

  • Monitoring of wastewater treatment plants is a field of continuous study, where new technologies are welcome and highly appreciated. Quick, easy, automated and online solutions are required to increase monitoring capacity (troubleshooting and control) and decrease situations where monitoring is impeded by technical and operational problems.
  • The development of soft sensors is very relevant in wastewater treatment plants. Questions and interest from the audience (to our presentation and others) revealed that this approach has the potential to have a great impact on the operation of wastewater treatment plants, improving monitoring and control.

  • In addition to the possibility of expanding the number of parameters to be monitored online (our main objective in this project), soft sensors are also being studied as a reference tool to help mitigate common problems encountered with online analytical probes, e.g. fouling, frequent calibration, lack of data due to technical problems.