EVALUATION OF RECLAIMED WATER FOR COOLING IN COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS OF NORTH CAROLINA
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Cooling systems for thermoelectric power generation are responsible for 39% of the freshwater withdrawal in the US. As the demand for electricity increases, finding alternative water source is crucial. Studies have shown that reclaimed water can be used in certain applications, including makeup water in power plant cooling systems. Concerns about reclaimed water for cooling purpose include potential environmental health impacts during the cooling process, and reclaimed water availability for the cooling systems. This study reviewed the federal and NC state regulations governing the use of reclaimed water for cooling purposes, and the toxicological and epidemiological studies on potential human health impacts of hazards emitted from the cooling systems. In addition, a scenario analysis was conducted to assess reclaimed water availability for coal-fired power plants in NC regarding water transportation costs. The result showed that using a spatial-economic optimization model considering pipeline construction conditions and the potential of pipeline merging can effectively minimize the pipeline construction cost and obtain the least-cost pipeline network infrastructure. The unit transport cost analysis for each power plant also provided the power plant companies the practical information they need for evaluating the feasibility of reclaimed water application for each power plant. Considering the potential issues from water quality and availability, establishing stable supply-demand relationships between reclaimed water source and power plants can be beneficial for both water quality control and makeup water security for power plants.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Subjectreclaimed water reuse; power plant cooling tower; water transportation infrastructure optimization; cost surface; Legionella
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