IIT Mandi researchers use AI-enhanced operation research tools for wastewater management method

While the study was conducted to select the most environment friendly wastewater treatment technology, it can also be applied to any multi-criteria selection problem.

IIT Mandi researchers use AI-enhanced operation research tools for wastewater management method
The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi used Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced Operation Research (OR) tools to select wastewater management methods that meet the socio-economic needs specific to places and environments, an official release stated.

According to the official statement, the findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The paper is authored by Atul Dhar, associate professor, School of Engineering and Satvasheel Powar, assistant professor, School of Engineering, IIT Mandi, along with their research scholars Shubham Dutt Attri and Shweta Singh.

“While the choice of water treatment methods for a particular society was based on human intuition in the past, such an approach is no longer valid given the magnitude of the activity, the range of techniques available, the complexity of socio-economic fabric of today’s society, and several conflicting criteria that must be considered,” Satvasheel Powar, IIT Mandi, said while explaining the research.

Further, the statement mentioned that the inspiration for research came from concept of “Appropriate Technology (AT)”, a term introduced by British economist E. F. Schumacher, that posits that any choice must be consistent with the cultural, social, economic, and political institutions of the society.

As per the statement, researchers first shortlisted available technologies based on availability and primary studies. The technologies spanned both traditional and novel industrial technologies such as Activated Sludge Process (ASP), Membrane Bioreactor (MBR), Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors (MBBR), Fluidized Aerobic Bed (FAB) Reactors, Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR), and Biopipe.

Meanwhile, even as the study was conducted to select the most environment friendly wastewater treatment technology, it can also be applied to any multi-criteria selection problem that could be as minor as deciding on a consumer product to large scale decisions such as investments and socio-cultural policies. This combination of techniques is also useful from a policy standpoint, as it incorporates input from both technology and people, and consider sentiments when making decisions, the statement noted.

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