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Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.

ABSTRACT. The process control system is designed for wastewater plant at KERRY INGREDIENTS (M) SDN. BHD. The step of control design form also been review before control loops were selected. In each control loops, several items were included which are boundary of control loop, control objective, process variables, justification and limitation. The six control loops were selected started with control loop 1 which is equalization tank and followed with pipe reactor, DAF reactor, air and water tank, activated sludge reactor and lastly sludge conditioning tank. After that, all control loops information were summarized in control design form (CDL) for a readable information of design control system of Wastewater Treatment Plant. Keywords: process control, wastewater plant, control objective.



The change of operating conditions, compositions and also physical properties of the streams the most important things we should avoid in our processes. Thus, the chemical plant must be satisfied with several requirements such as safety, production specifications, environmental regulations, operational constraints and economics in the presence of ever changing disturbance. A further complication is that the latest processes have become more

difficult to operate because of the trend towards larger, highly integrated plants with smaller surge capacities between various processing units.

In order to reduce or decrease the negative impact that could result from such disturbances, we have implemented our plant with control mechanism substantial amounts of instrumentation and automatic control equipment. Therefore, several requirements and conditions have to be satisfied such as safety, production specification, operating constraint and economic.

All the requirements are achieved by a combination of automatic control, manual monitoring and laboratory analysis. Instrument monitoring critical process variables will be fitted automatic alarms to alert the operators to critical and hazardous situations. The objective of control system that is to ensure stability of a chemical process, suppress the influence of external disturbances and optimize the performance of a chemical process.

Basically control objectives must be first defined before developing a particular control schemes. After that, when a critical controlled variables are identified, whereby measured variables, manipulated variables must be decided to conceptualize the control strategies. The following procedures are used to identify and locate the control instrument in the process:

Normally, there are two types of control system, which are a feedback control and a feed forward control. In feedback control system, it is applied when measuring device detected the output of a process and then a controlling device will be compared between the measured reading and the process set point, and lastly the signal will be sent to the final control element that will manipulate the controlled variables.



Understanding and describing the chemical process is the first step to getting start in analyzing the process. Problem restatement is done to state the objective of this case study. Before analyzing control loop, function of each tank and reactor need to be known well. To design an automatic control system, first and foremost step is to state the objective of each control loop which need to be automated. Variables such as measured, manipulated, controlled and disturbance are listed through the way analyzing the process. State the control configuration for each control loop like feedback, feed-forward and cascade. Control strategy been chosen with strong Justifications are needed for every statement and selection of variables. Limitation of automate the process also can be listed for improving understanding the pro and cons in changing from manual to automatic system. Lastly, specify the controller settings by referring to the control loop process.



Control Loop 1: Equalization Tank

Effluent from Rotary Drum Screen LT


LT Oil + Grease Wastewater Oil & Grease Separator - 49m3 To Pipe Reactor Electric Supply To Sludge Conditioning Tank Equalization Tank 600m3

On-Off Switch

Figure 1 Equalization tank control system

Table 1 Equalization tank control system Control Configuration Feedback To control the level of the wastewater in equalization tank Measured variable Manipulated variable wastewater level in equalization tank,L1 flow rate of wastewater exiting equalization tank,F1 Controlled variable Disturbances level of wastewater in equalization tank,L1 flow of feed into equalization tank,F2 Control Objective Variables involved

The purpose of setting up two transmitters is to ensure the level of wastewater in the equalisation tank is within the two level transmitters. This is to avoid the overflow of liquid and to prevent the tank from running dry. The purpose of this equalisation tank is to equalise or homogenise the feed pH. Therefore, there must be a minimum amount of wastewater present in the tank so that the pH can be either decreased or increased so that toxic load or shock will be reduced.

The two pumps controlled by one same on-off switch. This is to ensure that the flow the second pump (connected to oil and grease separator tank) from pumping the oil and grease from the tank. Besides, this is also to reduce the wear and tear of the second pump. Pump that works with no medium will reduce it lifetime and requires frequent maintenance. Instead of using a controller, a or gate is used. Whenever the liquid level is managed to be detected, the transmitter will give out the binary signal of 1. This will not affect the pump. Once both the transmitters are unable to detect the liquid level, it will give out zero by both the

transmitters and eventually will shut down the pump via on-off switch and this will give time for the liquid level to rise.

Control Loop 2: Pipe Reactor

Magnafloc Pipe Reactor Koagen AC Caustic AT Wastewater Max f/rate: 14m3/hr

Figure 2 Pipe Reactor control system

Table 2 Pipe Reactor control system Control Configuration Feedback To control the pH of the wastewater to the value between 6 and 7 before entering DAF Measured variable Manipulated variable Controlled variable Disturbances pH of feed of pipe reactor, pH1 flow rate of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), F3 pH of the DAF entering stream, pH2 flow of feed into pipe reactor, F4 Control Objective Variables involved

The components that must be added are magnafloc and koagen. Therefore, the flow of this two will be continuous and without any control. The control element is just the flow of NaOH. The control system will bring up the pH to a set point where it will be neutralised by the continuous flow of koagen. This in return will maintain and bring the pH of the wastewater to the desired pH (6 to 7). Other than that, the main production of

Magnafloc is also added continuously because it has less effect on the pH of the wastewater. The main purpose of this component is to remove the solid particle from the wastewater by providing a medium for the particles to coagulate and flocculation. Therefore, no control needed.

Feedback control configuration is proposed because the controlled variable is measurable. This control configuration can perform direct correction to the controlled variable compared to if the system in feedforward control configuration.

Control Loop 3 : DAF reactor

Figure 3 DAF reactor control system

Air & water tank Floatation sludge holding tank

Pipe reactor

DAF Reactor

To Air & water tank



Hydrolysis tank

Table 3 DAF reactor control system Control Configuration Feedback To control level of DAF reactor Measured variable Manipulated variable Controlled variable Disturbances pressure of compressed air,P1 exit flow rate to hydrolysis tank, F5 level in DAF reactor, L2 level in DAF reactor, L2 Control Objective Variables involved

System cannot control the flow rate of downstream to hydrolysis tank due to no turbulence effect in DAF reacto. The existence of pump on the flow to air & water tank cause failed control. Level of wastewater in reactor need to be controlled because of all the floc and minimal water is desired to discharge through floatation in the tank. Manipulate the exit flow rate of DAF reactor through the opening valve can maintain the level of wastewater in the reactor. Level of wastewater in reactor to be measured in order to maintain its level so that minimal wastewater to be discharged to floatation sludge holding tank. The limitation in this control system is inconstant pressure of compressed air will cause wastewater overflow and inaccurate measurement of wastewater level.

Control Loop 4 : Air and Water Tank

Figure 4 Air and Water Tank control system

Compressed air



feed to DAF reactor

wastewater recycle from DAF reactor

Table 4 Air and Water Tank control system Control Configuration Feedback To control pressure in the air and water tank Measured variable Manipulated variable Controlled variable Disturbances pressure in the air and water tank, P1 flow rate of compressed air feed to the tank, F6 pressure in the air and water tank,P1 flow rate of waste water to the tank,F7 Control Objective Variables involved

Pressure in the air and water tank need to be controlled because of:too low pressure in the tank will lower the flow rate of recycle waste water feed to the DAF reactor. It will give

insufficient process of floatation of flocs in the DAF reactor and also will affect the level of waste water in DAF reactor

Flow rate of compresses air is manipulated in purpose to control pressure in the tank because that compressed supplies pressure to the tank. Flow rate of recycle waste water to DAF reactor cannot be manipulated because the maximum opening valve depends on gravity force.

Control Loop 5 : Activated Sludge Reactor and Clarifier

Figure 5 Activated Sludge Reactor and Clarifier control system

Nutrient (manually)
Gravity flow

Hydrolysis tank
Gravity flow

Nutrient (manually)

Gravity flow AT

Gravity flow
Activated Sludge Reactor 1 1040m3 Activated Sludge Reactor 2 1040m3


Clarifier tank 1
AC Recycle stream Clarifier tank 1

Clarifier tank 2
AC Recycle stream Clarifier tank 2

Table 5 Activated Sludge Reactor and Clarifier control system Control Configuration Feedback To control COD in activated sludge reactor. Measured variable COD in activated sludge reactor which near to exit Control Objective Variables involved

flow, COD1 Manipulated variable Controlled variable Disturbances flow rate of recycle stream, F8 COD in activated sludge reactor, COD1 feed flow rate from hydrolysis tank, F Amount of activate bacteria, X1

Some justifications are made which a new recycle stream is built to recycle back wastewater instead of sludge in clarifier tank to decrease COD in activated sludge tank. COD is important to control due to government standard limitation which less than 100ppm. There are still active bacteria in clarifier tank thus it is necessary to recycle back to activated sludge reactor. Recycle stream which involved wastewater is used to corrective action of COD instead of estimation. Nutrient is added manually to control the amount of bacteria in activated sludge reactor due to no method of nutrient online measurement can be applied. The limitations are amount of active bacteria cannot be known by measurement of COD and nutrient added cannot be controlled automatically.

Control Loop 6 : Sludge Conditioning Tank.

Figure 6 Sludge Conditioning Tank control system



Table 6 Sludge Conditioning Tank control system Control Configuration Feedback To control the amount of sludge feed into filter press Measured variable Manipulated variable Level of sludge in sludge conditioning tank,L3 Flow rate of output sludge from sludge conditioning tank,F10 Controlled variable Disturbances Amount of sludge feed to filter press,M1 Flow rate of oil and grease feed to the tank,F11 Amount of chemical reagent added into tank, X2 Control Objective Variables involved

In the original system of sludge conditioning tank, the amount of sludge feed into filter press is controlled by control pump manually. So, this strategy of this control system is to set up on-off switch for pump at outlet stream of sludge conditioning tank. So that, we can use less man power and avoid overflow system because of careless person in charge to switch of the pump.

The level transmitter will detect the maximum level of the tank at give out the binary signal of 1. The signal will switch on the pump and sludge flows to filter press. At minimum level, the level transmitter will give zero signal and shut down the pump. The flow rate of floatation and biological sludge holding tank cannot be manipulated because it doesnt fulfill control objective.



The wastewater treatment plant in Kerry Ingredient (M) Sdn Bhd is a well designed plan to treat the effluent from the wet mixed process plant. Most of the systems are stable without control. Three controllers are suggested to implement on the wastewater treatment process in order for better performance and less man power effort on control the system.


The author would like to acknowledge Professor Dr. Khairiyah Mohd. Yusof supervisor of design project as lecture in Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and team members for make this research possible.