The existence of many volumes and the presence of numerous reagent addition points provides some potentials for optimization. The goal can be the minimization of reagent usage and of salt production (from cross-neutralization of reagents) while keeping the pH within acceptable limits for the process materials of construction. Fuzzy logic can be useful in such optimization schemes as follows: the magnitude and direction of changes in the pH of various tank volumes without pH control loops and the magnitude and direction of reagent consumption in volumes with pH control loops can be used to turn on or off influent
the addition of upstream reagent. For example, if a downstream volume has either a high or increasing rate of base addition, the existence of an intervening volume of low or decreasing pH would result in shutting off the upstream reagent flow.
The automated start-up and shutdown of pH loops is feasible if redundant sensors configured into voting or median selector systems protect against measurement failure. These operations can be smooth and reliable enough to eliminate the need for operator attention. Most pH loops are too sensitive and nonlinear for manual manipulation, and the elimination of operator actions in most cases greatly improves the performance of the system.
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