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Author Topic: Why not use salt water in power plants?  (Read 4064 times)

Timothy Hyde

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« on: 26/06/2009 10:30:02 »
Timothy Hyde asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Naked Scientists,
 
Lately, I've been hearing a lot about the fresh water crisis in Africa and other parts of the world.  All of these areas have some sort of energy plants which most likely use steam to turn the turbines.  

Why not replace the fresh water with salt water?  Salt water is most certainly in abundance.  It may require slightly more energy (since it boils at about 102 degrees C) but the excess vapor could be collected and sold as fresh water.  The salt that is left behind could also be collected and sold.  

Are there any other cons to using salt water? Or are companies just looking for the cheapest way to create energy?

Thanks!
 
Timothy Hyde

What do you think?


 

Offline Don_1

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #1 on: 27/06/2009 11:37:56 »
It's very corrosive, any advantage would be out-weighed by the disadvantage of having to replace corroded parts frequently.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #2 on: 27/06/2009 17:44:46 »
The water used in power plants is usually incredibly high purity to ensure that the boilers don't silt up etc.
Since it's reused there's no "leftover" water to sell.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #3 on: 28/06/2009 03:08:58 »
Not such a bad idea though, effectively a desalination plant as well as a power plant, if a plant could be designed to handle the process efficiently
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #4 on: 28/06/2009 09:26:14 »
I'm still wondering what this thread has to do with 'Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution'?
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #5 on: 29/06/2009 09:32:58 »
Power-plant sciences :p
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #6 on: 29/06/2009 10:55:10 »
Haha, good one, I suppose they just saw the last word of the post 'plant' and thought 'oh, I'll just chuck in in the plant's section' :)
 

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #7 on: 29/06/2009 17:53:05 »
Well if money doesn't grow on trees, something must!
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #8 on: 05/07/2009 20:31:47 »
Also, if you're always pumping new saltwater in instead of re-using the same water, it will take more energy to boil the cold saltwater, whereas in a normal plant the re-used water is probably still quite hot.
 

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Why not use salt water in power plants?
« Reply #8 on: 05/07/2009 20:31:47 »

 

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