Development of a model to predict biofouling control with chlorine in steam electric power plant condenser tubes

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Civil and Architectural Engineering

First Committee Member

Thomas D. Waite, Committee Chair


One of the problems that steam electric power plants are faced with is fouled condenser tubes. This fouling will reduce heat transfer and increase the pressure drop across the condenser tubes. A phenomenonlogical model has been developed to predict biofouling control in power plant condensers utilizing chlorine. The model uses background fouling information to calibrate the control growth component, and the fouling response of a treated condenser to calibrate the film destruction component. Disinfection kinetics of the total flora are then developed for the cooling water using various chlorine concentrations. These disinfection kinetics are then correlated to the destruction component of the treated condenser tube, and time variable transformation coefficients are generated. Once the coefficients are developed, any chlorination scenario, i.e. chlorine concentration, contact time, and number of applications per day, can be input to the model, and fouling predictions made, thereby generating a complete chlorine minimization study.A method has been developed that measures disinfection kinetics in high chlorine demand waters with low bacterial populations. The ambient bacterial population in the water was stimulated, and then harvested from the raw water. A sample of raw water was chlorinated and the harvested bacteria were then added back to this chlorinated sample which was considered the starting point of the disinfection kinetics test. The viable bacteria were then enumerated using marine nutrient agar after dilution in buffered sterile seawater.A computer program has been written that will fit the actual field data using 15 different equations. The graphic capability of the program allows user interaction to determine the best equation modeling the data set. Calculated values, using one day intervals, from the equation chosen as a best fit, are used to calibrate the model for final predictions.


Engineering, Civil

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