EPA power plant wastewater discharge guidelines sparks new technology from GE

GE has introduced new evaporation/solidification technology after the U.S. EPA released guidelines governing wastewater discharge from steam electric and coal-fired power plants...

Power Plant Generic

Power Plant Generic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released guidelines governing wastewater discharge from steam electric and coal-fired power plants.

The new EPA effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) aim to reduce or eliminate toxic metals and other pollutants from entering surface waters from steam electric power plants.

The new rules specifically address flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater from coal-fired power plants.

Chemical precipitation followed by biological treatment was identified as the best available technology for treating and discharging the waste from existing plants and evaporation/pozzolanic solidification for new facilities.

The new EPA ELGs apply directly to FGD purge stream treatment and do not allow internal dilution.

Power plants can either treat and discharge their waste streams or eliminate it with an evaporation system.

Each power plant must comply between 2018 and 2023, depending on when a new Clean Water Act permit is needed.

In addition, the ELGs identify the evaporation/solidification approach as a best available technology for eliminating FGD waste streams from existing power plants under a voluntary incentive program.

As a result of the ELGs, GE has introduced a new evaporation/solidification technology for flue gas desulfurization.

Designed for FGD wastewater, GE’s new evaporation/solidification technology can treat wastewater from any type of coal and “removes the risk of meeting stringent discharge requirements by eliminating liquid discharge to waterways”, according to the company.

GE’s technology portfolio for FGD treatment includes chemical solutions such as MetClear for advanced metals, arsenic and mercury removal; ABMet biological treatment for selenium and nitrate removal and the new FGD evaporation/solidification process for eliminating liquid pollutants and discharge to waterways.

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