As environmental concerns continue to grow, every industry must make an effort to keep its production process as clean as possible. In many areas, regulations even require companies to meet certain standards of environmental cleanliness. Because the local water tables are very susceptible to contamination, and people must drink this water, many areas are especially sensitive to any contamination of the water supply. Nowhere is this more apparent than in power plants.
Where’s the Waste?
One of the most significant sources of wastewater in a power plant is from the ion exchange process used in the demineralization of the boiler feed water. In this process, acid must be added to the stream before it’s released from the plant; in fact, most authorities require that the water be almost completely neutral in terms of its acidity before its release.
The Old Way
In order to neutralize the water, sulfuric acid is typically added to the water. In older operations, propeller mixers might be used in expensive neutralization tanks. They would be used to mix and dilute the acid into the water. These tanks were huge, and they were a massive drain on energy, consuming more than 65,000 kw-hr every year. Maintenance costs were also extremely high, requiring almost constant upkeep and cleaning as a result of sludge buildup.
A New and Better Way
Fortunately, Komax has the answer. 3-inch Teflon-lined in-line static mixers allow for the direct injection of sulfuric acid into the stream. With a pH probe just downstream from the mixer, industry analysts could see the positive (or rather, “neutral”) results almost immediately. Not only did it do the same job, but it performed the job more efficiently as well. The new static mixer was able to save on energy, reduce the cost of labor needed to operate it, and greatly reduce the space requirements, since it didn’t require such a large mixing tank. The resulting output was both consistent and environmentally friendly.