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Corrosion Control When Using Secondary Treated Municipal Wastewater as Alternative Makeup Water for Cooling Tower Systems

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Secondary treated municipal wastewater is a promising alternative to fresh water as power plant cooling water system makeup water, especially in arid regions. Laboratory and field testing was conducted in this study to evaluate the corrosiveness of secondary treated municipal wastewater for various metals and metal alloys in cooling systems. Different corrosion control strategies were evaluated based on varied chemical treatment. Orthophosphate, which is abundant in secondary treated municipal wastewater, contributed to more than 80% precipitative removal of phosphorous-based corrosion inhibitors. Tolyltriazole worked effectively to reduce corrosion of copper (greater than 95% inhibition effectiveness). The corrosion rate of mild steel in the presence of free chlorine 1 mg/L (as Cl2) was approximately 50% higher than in the presence of monochloramine 1 mg/L (as Cl2), indicating that monochloramine is a less corrosive biocide than free chlorine. The scaling layers observed on the metal alloys contributed to corrosion inhibition, which could be seen by comparing the mild steel 21-day average corrosion rate with the last 5-day average corrosion rate, the latter being approximately 50% lower than the former.

Keywords: Corrosion; cooling; copper; corrosion inhibitors; mild steel; municipal wastewater; power plant; tolyltriazole; water reuse

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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