skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Utilization of municipal wastewater for cooling in thermoelectric power plants: Evaluation of the combined cost of makeup water treatment and increased condenser fouling

A methodology is presented to calculate the total combined cost (TCC) of water sourcing, water treatment and condenser fouling in the recirculating cooling systems of thermoelectric power plants. The methodology is employed to evaluate the economic viability of using treated municipal wastewater (MWW) to replace the use of freshwater as makeup water to power plant cooling systems. Cost analyses are presented for a reference power plant and five different tertiary treatment scenarios to reduce the scaling tendencies of MWW. Results indicate that a 550 MW sub-critical coal fired power plant with a makeup water requirement of 29.3 ML/day has a TCC of $3.0 - 3.2 million/yr associated with the use of treated MWW for cooling. (All costs USD 2009). This translates to a freshwater conservation cost of $0.29/kL, which is considerably lower than that of dry air cooling technology, $1.5/kL, as well as the 2020 conservation cost target set by the U.S. Department of Energy, $0.74/kL. Results also show that if the available price of freshwater exceeds that of secondary-treated MWW by more than $0.13-0.14/kL, it can be economically advantageous to purchase secondary MWW and treat it for utilization in the recirculating cooling system of a thermoelectric power plant.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Illinois Inst. of Technology, Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
  2. Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
  3. Tamkang Univ., Taipei (Taiwan). Waer Resources Management and Policy Research Center
  4. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 60; Journal Issue: C
Research Org:
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States). In-house Research
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Country of Publication:
United States
20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION Power; Electricity; Fouling; Water treatment; Wastewater; Freshwater conservation