Section: Application Domains

Wastewater treatment systems

The water resources of our planet are limited, and today the quality of drinking water is considered to be responsible of more human deaths than malnutrition. Pollution and over-exploitation of water resources affect almost all the water reservoirs on Earth. Preserving the quality of water has thus become a worldwide problem. The industry of decontamination is thus a necessity, but waste-water treatment is costly and requires large plants. It relies on the use of micro-organisms that concentrate toxic soluble substances into sludge (that can be used as a fertilizer in agriculture). Today, a water decontamination plant costs about 1000 to 5000 euros per inhabitant. 30 to 40% of its running costs are devoted to the energy necessary for pool ventilation.

The waste-water treatment industry use software to optimize the plant design (number, size, interconnections of tanks), but design and improvements of bio-processes remain costly. This is why modeling allows numerical simulations of virtual bio-processes that can save substantial amount of money, avoiding tests at a real scale.

There is presently a growing need to conceive treatment systems in a more global framework, including the valorization of the “outputs” such as:

  • the bio-gas production,

  • the reuse of treated water for agriculture or dam refill in case of drought.

This requires to re-think the use of the models or to couple them with other models with new outputs and novel criteria to be optimized.

This is our most important domain of transfer and dissemination.