Non-Traditional Sources of Process and Cooling Water

Research and analysis are being conducted to evaluate and develop cost-effective approaches to using non-traditional (also called "impaired" or "alternative") sources of water to supplement or replace fresh water for cooling and other power plant needs. Opportunities exist for the utilization of lower-quality, non-traditional water sources. Examples of non-traditional waters include surface and underground mine pool water, coal-bed methane produced waters, and industrial and/or municipal wastewater. 

Innovations for Existing Plants Program (IEP) research in this area has focused on a variety of issues, including feasibility studies for a variety of non-traditional water types and research into developing advanced water treatment technologies to enable coal-based power plants to use impaired water in recirculating cooling systems without notably increased scaling and without significant decreases in cycles of concentration. Feasibility studies involve multiple issues, such as the flow of different non-traditional waters available in different regions, abandoned mine water, costs associated with collecting and treating each of the variety of non-traditional waters (like oil and natural gas produced water), and consideration of the variety of state-specific regulations pertaining to non-traditional water use. 

Click on a project title in the table or click on the map for more information on individual projects.

Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation West Virginia University National Mine Land Reclamation Center
Field Scale
A Synergistic Combination of Advanced Separation and Chemical Scale Inhibitor Technologies for Efficient Use of Impaired Water as Cooling Water in Coal-Based Power Plants Nalco Company
Pilot Scale
Use of Treated Municipal Wastewater as Power Plant Cooling System Makeup Water: Tertiary Treatment versus Expanded Chemical Regimen for Recirculating Water Quality Management Carnegie Mellon University
Pilot Scale
Study of the Use of Saline Formations for Combined Thermoelectric Power Plant Water Needs and Carbon Sequestration at a Regional Scale Sandia National Laboratory
Field Scale
Thermoelectric Power Plant Water Demands Using Alternative Water Supplies: Power Demand Options in Regions of Water Stress and Future Carbon Management Sandia National Laboratory
Field Study
Internet-Based, GIS Catalog of Non-traditional Sources of Cooling Water for Use at Coal-Fired Power Plants Arthur Langhus Layne
Field Scale
Reuse of Produced Water from CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery, Coal-Bed Methane, and Mine Pool Water by Coal-Based Power Plants University of Illinois/ Illinois Geological Survey
Pilot Scale
Technology to Facilitate the Use of Impaired Waters in Cooling Towers GE Global Research
Pilot Scale
Nanofiltration Treatment Options for Thermoelectric Power Plant Water Treatment Demands

Sandia National Laboratories
Pilot Scale
Strategies for Cooling Electric-Generating Facilities Utilizing Mine Water: Technical and Economic Feasibility West Virginia University Water Research Institute
Field Scale

Reuse of Treated Internal or External Wastewaters in the Cooling Systems of Coal-Based Thermoelectric Power Plants

University of Pittsburgh
Pilot Scale
Use of Produced Water in Recirculated Cooling Systems at Power Generation Facilities Electric Power Research Institute
Field Scale