Membrane distillation for treatment and reuse of cooling tower blowdown

Author: Joana Carvalho Summary: Power generation is a sector consuming great amounts of water. It accounts for more than 80% of industrial water use worldwide, making water a fundamental asset for electricity production. With the increase of water scarcity, the power industry cannot afford the risk of competing with other industries and households for water resources. Hence, there is a need of implementing new technologies to reduce the water usage, mainly applied to the wet cooling towers. A 500 MWe coal fire power plants withdraws 45,000 m³/h of water, where cooling tower makeup is the largest consumer. In order to reduce the overall water footprint, membrane distillation can be powered with waste heat from the power plant. The ENDESA-ENEL coal-fired thermal power plant was used in this project (MATChING EU Horizon 2020). It is located in the region of Galicia, in Spain. and uses water withdrawn from the Eume river.
waste energy
cleans water