A novel fuzzy framework for technology selection of sustainable wastewater treatment plants based on TODIM methodology in developing urban areas

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Eseoglu G., Yapsakli K., TOZAN H., Vayvay O.

Scientific Reports, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-022-12643-1
  • Journal Name: Scientific Reports
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Optimal technology selection of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) necessitates the adoption of data-driven scientific approaches that satisfy the sustainability requirements of the urban ecosystem. Such approaches should be able to provide actionable insights to decision makers constrained by factors such as population growth, land scarcity, and loss of functionality of wastewater treatment plants. The framework in this study proposes a hybrid fuzzy multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) model consisting of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and the TODIM (an acronym in Portuguese of interactive and multi-criteria decision-making) by using alpha cut series which takes into account the risk aversion of decision makers (DMs) to overcome uncertainties of environmental conditions. The literature to date indicates that the study is the first to presents how a systematic decision-making process is approached by interpreting the interaction of criteria for the selection of wastewater treatment technology through the membership function of Prospect Theory. The proposed methodology reveals that the prominent reference criterion manipulates other sub-criteria according to the function of risk-aversion behavior. The fuzzy sets based on alpha cut series are employed to evaluate both the criteria weight and the rank of the alternatives in the decision-making process to obtain compromise solutions under uncertainty. The dominance degrees of the alternatives are achieved by fuzzy TODIM integrated with the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) which deals with the uncertainty of human judgements. According to the ranking results determined by the dominance degree of alternatives, anaerobic–anoxic–oxic (A2O) without pre-clarification was the most effective process in relation to the sludge disposal cost (C25) calculated as reference criteria. The ranking of four full-scale WWTPs in a metropolitan city of an EMEA country based on 24 sub-criteria listed under the four main criteria, namely the dimensions of sustainability, is used as a case study to verify the usefulness of the fuzzy approach. Motivated by the literature gap related to the failure to consider the psychological behavior of DMs in technology selection problem for wastewater treatment, it is discussed how the proposed hybrid MCDM model can be utilized by reflecting human risk perception in wastewater treatment technology selection for developing urban areas.