Power Generation and Energy Utilities
Effective water cycle management in power generation is to a large degree dependent on the ability of a system to cope with increasing volumes of saline effluent and associated concentrations of residual solids and contaminants through time.
In the case of coal fired power plants, the build up of fly ash in ponds through time becomes an important operational issue and a major environmental concern.
The conventional approach to developing an integrated water management strategy may include the following activities:
- Management of brine in flyash ponds through construction of additional evaporation ponds, and seldomly by thermal reduction means
- Improving the efficiency of cooling system blowdown
- Water reclamation using desalination processes
- Increasing the physical capacity of ponds (i.e., by increasing the height of pond walls) where additional capacity is needed
Over time, however, all these activities inevitably lead to increased salt build up in different components of the water system, which can progressively reduce the efficiency of system performance and lead to increased operational costs.
Further, the elevated concentrations of certain dissolved elements (e.g., sulphate and contaminants) may pose a serious risk to the structural stability of holding ponds and may also lead to adverse environmental consequences in the case of leakage or during wet weather overflow.
An effective and sustainable effluent management strategy will include solutions to address the issues of salinity and contaminant build-up, as well as variations in system flows. Ideally, such solutions should also offer means for improving water recovery, minimising the environmental footprint and reducing the cost of treatment.
SAL-PROC™ is the driver of the technology-based solution offered by Geo-Processors to address the problems faced by the power generation industry in an integrated manner. Our solution enables the selective or sequential extraction of dissolved salt species in the form of useful byproducts for (a) stabilising the salt load of a plant’s water cycle, (b) gaining operational efficiencies and (c) improving the residual management by reducing/eliminating the need for landfill disposal.
In essence, Geo-Processors’ technologies can be applied for effective management of residuals in fly ash ponds and as a long-term management tool for gradual “re-freshening” of a plant’s water cycle, while reducing the contaminants buildup in the ponds.