Water, Wastewater & Stormwater

Energy-efficient wastewater reuse in power plants using an integrated bio-electrochemical-membrane approaches

Monday, June 4
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway EF
Co-Authors: V. Gadhamshetty1, B. Vemuri1, N.Shrestha, G.Chilkoor, L.Xia, C.Alvarado, and James Kilduff

Thermal power plants can consume significant amount of freshwater and potentially create a stress on regional water resources during drought and summer seasons. A 500 MW power plant configured with a wet cooling tower consumes ~4 million gallons of freshwater on a daily basis. Secondary and tertiary effluents from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) can serve as cooling water sources for power plants. However, reclaimed water present a series of corrosion and scaling challenges to metal components in power plants. Here we present proof-of-concept for a three-staged sequential process based on fermentation, microbial fuel cell (MFC)/ultrafiltration (UF) approach for enabling municipal wastewater reuse as cooling water in power plants. The results indicate that the approach yields high quality cooling water that meets recommended standards for oxygen demand, metals (Fe, Al, Cu, Zn, Si, Mn, S, Ca and Mg), and corrosion rates. This study presents a series of results using alternate current and direct current tests to demonstrate viability of proposed approach. This study also features surface modification of the UF Membranes to control fouling using hydrophilic monomers identified in a high-throughput search (zwitterion (2-(Methacryloyloxy)-ethyl-dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl ammonium
hydroxide) (BET SO3-), and amine (2-(Methacryloyloxy) ethyl trimethylammonium chloride (N(CH3)3+)). The monomers were grafted using UV-induced polymerization on commercial poly (ether sulfone) membranes.

Venkataramana Gadhamshetty, PhD, PE, BCEE

Professor
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Dr. Gadhamshetty is an Environmental Engineering Professor at the SD School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T). He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) and a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) from the state of NY. Dr. Gadhamshetty is a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award of CBET in 2015. Among many other awards, Dr. Gadhamshetty was the first recipient of SD Mines Research Award established in 2016 at SDSM&T. Dr. Gadhamshetty has at least 15 years of research or teaching experience from range of institutions including Du Pont, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Florida Gulf Coast University, and SDSM&T. In the past ten years, he has emerged as an excellent teacher. Since joining SDSM&T in Fall 2014, he became an integral to several collaborative research projects. He is currently an investigator in ongoing research projects worth $3.5 M, and a lead Principal Investigator for the funded projects worth $2 M. His ongoing research projects aim to innovate environmental engineering discipline using cutting-edge concepts related to microbial-electrochemistry, flat coatings, and microbiology. The bulk of his research is being supported by Electric Power Research Institute, National Science Foundation, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. His researches on generating electricity from defective tomatoes was featured in over 350 media outlets including BBC World Service, History Now, Newsday Radio talk, CNN, and Popular Science.

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