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Corrosion Control when Using Passively Treated Abandoned Mine Drainage as Alternative Makeup Water for Cooling Systems

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Passively treated abandoned mine drainage (AMD) is a promising alternative to fresh water as power plant cooling water system makeup water in mining regions where such water is abundant. Passive treatment and reuse of AMD can avoid the contamination of surface water caused by discharge of abandoned mine water, which typically is acidic and contains high concentrations of metals, especially iron. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of reusing passively treated AMD in cooling systems with respect to corrosion control through laboratory experiments and pilot-scale field testing. The results showed that, with the addition of the inhibitor mixture orthophosphate and tolyltriazole, mild steel and copper corrosion rates were reduced to acceptable levels (<0.127 mm/y and <0.0076 mm/y, respectively). Aluminum had pitting corrosion problems in every condition tested, while cupronickel showed that, even in the absence of any inhibitor and in the presence of the biocide monochloramine, its corrosion rate was still very low (0.018 mm/y).
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Keywords: cooling; copper; corrosion; corrosion inhibitors; mild steel; mine drainage; power plant; tolyltriazole; water reuse

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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