In this work, a decision support system (DSS) coupled with wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) simulator tool that uses a hierarchical set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide an assessment of the performance of WWTP systems is presented. An assessment of different Scenarios in a real WWTP case study, each consisting of a different set of sludge line technologies and derived combinations, was successfully conducted with the developed DSS–WWTP simulator, based on Scenario simulation and hierarchical KPI analysis. The test carried out on the selected WWTP showed that although thermal valorisation and thermal hydrolysis showed similar (the best) economic viability, the latter showed additional benefits, including synergies related to improving the thermal balance of the overall WWTP even when considering other technologies. On the other hand, biogas-upgrading technologies allowed reduction of emissions, but with higher costs and thermal demands. The usage of this tool may allow the development of proposals for technological priorities as a pathway to the transition to circular economy based on the management criteria of the correspondent sanitation system.
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