Industry Press Releases

GE introduces new Evaporation/Solidification Technology to meet US EPA Wastewater Discharge Guidelines for Steam Electric and Coal-Fired Power Plants

Friday, Nov 20, 2015

GE today introduced a new evaporation/solidification technology for flue gas desulfurization (FGD) to meet the recently released U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines governing wastewater discharge from steam electric and coal-fired power plants. GE is showcasing its evaporation technologies, chemical solutions and biological treatments to meet the new EPA effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) at the International Water Conference, taking place November 16-19, 2015, in Orlando.

The new EPA ELGs will reduce or eliminate toxic metals and other pollutants from entering surface waters from steam electric power plants. The new rules specifically address FGD wastewater from coal-fired power plants and identify chemical precipitation followed by biological treatment as the best available technology for treating and discharging the waste from existing plants and evaporation/pozzolanic solidification for new facilities. In addition, the ELGs identify the evaporation/solidification approach as a best available technology for eliminating FGD waste streams from existing power plants under a voluntary incentive program.

GE’s new evaporation/solidification technology reduces chemical addition, sludge handling and energy costs. It reduces the long-term environmental risks associated with the discharge of FGD purge water and other liquid streams from power plants. The system produces high-quality water for recycle and reuse. Specifically designed for FGD wastewater, it is cost-effective and offers significant reductions in both capital and operating expenses compared to traditional Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) systems. GE’s new evaporation/solidification technology provides power plants with maximum flexibility because it can treat FGD wastewater from any type of coal and removes the risk of meeting stringent discharge requirements by eliminating liquid discharge to waterways. This new approach also significantly reduces the risks to operators associated with the management of solid landfill waste.

“For many years, GE has been providing industrial users with solutions for tough-to-treat wastewater. With the EPAs latest ruling on effluent limitations guidelines, coal-fired and steam electric power plants can confidently meet the wide range of new federal regulations with GE’s innovative evaporative ZLD technologies, chemical solutions and biological treatments,” said Kevin Cassidy, general manager, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power.

GE’s technology portfolio for FGD treatment includes chemical solutions such as MetClear* for advanced metals, arsenic and mercury removal; ABMet* biological treatment for selenium and nitrate removal; and the new FGD evaporation/solidification process for eliminating liquid pollutants and discharge to waterways.

The new EPA ELGs apply directly to FGD purge stream treatment and do not allow internal dilution. Power plants can either treat and discharge their waste streams or eliminate it with an evaporation system. Each power plant must comply between 2018 and 2023, depending on when a new Clean Water Act permit is needed.

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About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE Power

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.

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