Improving Boiler Blowdown Waste Management

Both water treatment and boiler design have an impact on our third area of focus; boiler blowdown waste.

All boilers produce blowdown waste – a salt and organics rich brine that is intentionally removed from a boiler to avoid the build-up of impurities that could impact efficiency and/or cause damage. Increased concentration of salts resulting from increased levels of water recycling can make the management of blowdown more challenging. More effective water treatment can help reduce the amount of salts within the water added to the boiler. This in turn can lead to greater steam generation efficiency, reducing the need to remove water not successfully converted to steam.

However there will still be a need to manage blowdown waste including a focus on the below areas:

  1. Improving the recycling of water within the blowdown waste
  2. Finding ways of solidifying the blowdown waste that is produced while reducing the impact on GHG emissions and land use
  3. Making the final disposal of the remaining blowdown waste more efficient and environmentally responsible.

Specific projects include:

  1. Evaporator Waste Solidification (Suncor with Canadian Natural, Nexen, Statoil, ConocoPhillips, Devon)
    Mixing blowdown waste with various solidification agents to find the most stable end-product to minimize the environmental impacts of long-term sequestration.
  2. ‘Regional Water Management Initiative’ Regional Disposal Study (Suncor with all COSIA members plus some non-COSIA members)
    Evaluating if a regional network, utilising existing pipeline right-of-ways and a large common disposal field, can decrease the regional impact of disposal.
  3. Long-term strategies for blowdown waste management (Statoil with all Water EPA members)
    Looking at the implications associated with different blowdown waste disposal methods.