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A Synergistic Combination of Advanced Separation and Chemical Scale Inhibitor Technologies for Efficient Use of Imparied Water As Cooling Water in Coal-based Power Plants

By Jasbir Gill


Nalco Company is partnering with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in this project to jointly develop advanced scale control technologies that will provide cost-effective solutions for coal-based power plants to operate recirculating cooling water systems at high cycles using impaired waters. The overall approach is to use combinations of novel membrane separations and scale inhibitor technologies that will work synergistically, with membrane separations reducing the scaling potential of the cooling water and scale inhibitors extending the safe operating range of the cooling water system. The project started on March 31, 2006 and ended in August 30, 2010. The project was a multiyear, multi-phase project with laboratory research and development as well as a small pilot-scale field demonstration. In Phase 1 (Technical Targets and Proof of Concept), the objectives were to establish quantitative technical targets and develop calcite and silica scale inhibitor chemistries for high stress conditions. Additional Phase I work included bench-scale testing to determine the feasibility of two membrane separation technologies (electrodialysis ED and electrode-ionization EDI) for scale minimization. In Phase 2 (Technology Development and Integration), the objectives were to develop additional novel scale inhibitor chemistries, develop selected separation processes, and optimize the integration of the technology components at the laboratory scale. Phase 3 (Technology Validation) validated the integrated system's performance with a pilot-scale demonstration. During Phase 1, Initial evaluations of impaired water characteristics focused on produced waters and reclaimed municipal wastewater effluents. Literature and new data were collected and evaluated. Characteristics of produced waters vary significantly from one site to another, whereas reclaimed municipal wastewater effluents have relatively more uniform characteristics. Assessment to date confirmed that calcite and silica/silicate are two common potential cycle-limiting minerals for using impaired waters. For produced waters, barium sulfate and calcium sulfate are two additional potential cycle-limiting minerals. For reclaimed municipal wastewater effluents, calcium phosphate scaling can be an issue, especially in the co-presence of high silica. Computational assessment, using a vast amount of Nalco's field data from coal fired power plants, showed that the limited use and reuse of impaired waters is due to the formation of deposit caused by the presence of iron, high hardness, high silica and high alkalinity in the water. Appropriate and cost-effective inhibitors were identified and developed - LL99B0 for calcite and gypsum inhibition and TX-15060 for silica inhibition. Nalco's existing dispersants HSP-1 and HSP-2 has excellent efficacy for dispersing Fe and Mn. ED and EDI were bench-scale tested by the CRADA partner Argonne National Laboratory for hardness, alkalinity and silica removal from synthetic make-up water and then cycled cooling water. Both systems showed low power consumption and 98-99% salt removal, however, the EDI system required 25-30% less power for silica removal. For Phase 2, the EDI system's performance was optimized and the length of time between clean-in-place (CIP) increased by varying the wafer composition and membrane configuration. The enhanced EDI system could remove 88% of the hardness and 99% of the alkalinity with a processing flux of 19.2 gal/hr/m{sup 2} and a power consumption of 0.54 kWh/100 gal water. Bench tests to screen alternative silica/silicate scale inhibitor chemistries have begun. The silica/silicate control approaches using chemical inhibitors include inhibition of silicic acid polymerization and dispersion of silica/silicate crystals. Tests were conducted with an initial silica concentration of 290-300 mg/L as SiO{sub 2} at pH 7 and room temperature. A proprietary new chemistry was found to be promising, compared with a current commercial product commonly used for silica/silicate control. Additional pilot cooling tower testing confirmed the bench study. We also developed a molecule to inhibit calcium carbonate precipitation and calcium sulfate precipitation at high supersaturations. During Phase 3, a long-term test of the EDI system and scale inhibitors was done at Nalco's cooling tower water testing facility, producing 850 gallons of high purity water (90+% salt removal) at a rate of 220 L/day. The EDI system's performance was stable when the salt concentration in the concentrate compartment (i.e. the EDI waste stream) was controlled and a CIP was done after every 48 hours of operation time. A combination of EDI and scale inhibitors completely eliminated blowdown discharge from the Pilot cooling Tower. The only water-consumption came from evaporation, CIP and EDI concentrate. Silica Inhibitor was evaluated in the field at a western coal fired power plant

Topics: Removal, Power Plants, Acid Neutralizing Capacity, Cooling Towers, 01 Coal, Lignite, And Peat, Separation Processes, Barium Sulfates, Coal, Polymerization, Calcium Sulfates, Water, Calcite, Silicic Acid, Scale Control, Calcium Phosphates, Testing, Silica, Hardness, Performance, Calcium Carbonates
Publisher: Nalco Company
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.2172/1011486
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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