Cogeneration: A win-win

By Hayne Crum, Induron Chemist

I recently read an interesting article at Environmental Expert about a wastewater treatment facility in Adelaide, Australia, that uses cogeneration to reduce emissions AND produce needed energy.

Typically, water and wastewater treatment facilities have very long lifetimes (50+ years). In the Adelaide facility case, gases – mostly methane – from the waste treatment are being used to generate energy to run the plant. This kind ofcogeneration has been around for a while, but is picking up steam. (Pun intended!)

In this instance, the cogeneration saves the plant money by changing its capital cost and reducing the plant’s energy costs. In fact, with this system, the plant can pay for its generators in just eight years. Additionally, the cogeneration prevents methane from escaping into the air. Methane is more than 100 times the greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is, which means it is much worse for the environment.

The capital costs of implementing cogeneration are high. However, the procedure pays for itself, or even makes a profit, IF the facility lasts ONLY least eight years. Induron makes paint that protects the piping and holding tanks for this type of facility, helping them run more efficiently and last longer. We recommend using Permaclean 100, or Ceramsafe 90. Both are green products because they are free of HAPS (Hazardous Air Polutants) and VERY low in VOC content, with PermaClean 100 being 100% solids and the Cermansafe having a VOC of 81 gm/l. These products have life expectancies of 15+ years when used per our recommendations.  This means you get 7+ years of profit from the generators even before you repaint the pipes or tanks!

For piping the waste streams we recommend PL90 or Protecto 401, both very low VOC products, with expected lifetimes of more than 15 years.  Typically, waste treatment plants create some fairly aggressive environments, producing hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid in addition to the less aggressive methane. Protecting the holding tanks requires good coatings, with good preparation and application. Induron has been at the forefront of not only paint quality, but also at paint application, therefore protecting your investment faster and easier.

Induron makes protective coatings for water towers, water pipes, waste pipes and treatment facilities, power structures, gas lines and other infrastructure investments.  These investments are capital intensive, but do pay over time.  Induron is in the business to protect your infrastructure investment. Protecting the long-term utility allows up-front capital investment for less pollution and lower energy usage. Though capital intensive, cogeneration is one method of reducing energy costs AND energy pollution. Protecting these types of infrastructure investments is a win for everyone.

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