Sustainability, Vol. 11, Pages 4407: The Use of Artificial Neural Networks and Decision Trees to Predict the Degree of Odor Nuisance of Post-Digestion Sludge in the Sewage Treatment Plant Process (Sustainability)
This paper presents the application of artificial neural networks and decision trees for the prediction of odor properties of post-fermentation sludge from a biological-mechanical wastewater treatment plant. The input parameters were concentrations of popular compounds present in the sludge, such as toluene, p-xylene, and p-cresol, and process parameters including the concentration of volatile fatty acids, pH, and alkalinity in the fermentation sludge. The analyses revealed that the implementation of artificial neural networks allowed the prediction of the values of odor intensity and the hedonic tone of the post-fermentation sludge at the level of 30% mean absolute percentage error. Application of the decision tree made it possible to determine what input parameters the fermentation feed should have in order to arrive at the post-fermentation sludge with an odor intensity <2 and hedonic tone >−1. It was shown that the aforementioned phenomenon was influenced by the following factors: concentration of p-xylene, pH, concentration of volatile fatty acids, and concentration of p-cresol.