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Development of a biogas distribution model for a wastewater treatment plant: a mixed integer linear programming approach

Lookup NU author(s): Harry LaingORCiD, Dr Chris O'MalleyORCiD, Dr Mark Willis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In this paper, we propose a realistic model for gas distribution of an advanced municipal wastewater treatment works and through minimisation of the total cost of gas distribution we perform Retrospective Optimisation (RO) using historical plant data. This site is the first in the UK with a mixed operational strategy for biomethane produced on site: to burn in CHP (Combined Heat and Power) engines to create electricity, burn in Steam Boilers for onsite steam use or inject the biomethane into the national grid. In addition, Natural Gas can be imported to make up shortfalls in biomethane if required. Implemented using a novel mixed integer linear programming (MILP) approach, to ensure a fast and robust solution, our results indicate the plant operated optimally within accepted tolerance 98% of the time. However, improving plant robustness (such as reducing unexpected breakdown incidents) could yield a significant increase in gas revenue of 7.8%.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Laing H, O'Malley CJ, Browne A, Rutherford T, Baines T, Willis MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Science & Technology

Year: 2020

Volume: 82

Issue: 12

Pages: 2761-2775

Print publication date: 15/12/2020

Online publication date: 04/08/2020

Acceptance date: 22/07/2020

Date deposited: 26/08/2020

ISSN (print): 0273-1223

ISSN (electronic): 1996-9732

Publisher: IWA Publishing


DOI: 10.2166/wst.2020.363


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