Development of Next Generation Phosphorus-Free Cooling Water Treatment Technology
By Raymond M. Post, Richard H. Tribble, John R. Richardson, Ph.D.
The use of phosphorus (P) compounds in cooling systems began in the 1950s to enhance the performance of chromate-based treatment programs. Today, organic and inorganic phosphorus compounds have achieved widespread use in cooling systems, not only to inhibit steel corrosion, but also to disperse solids, sequester metals, and control the deposition of mineral scales such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Emerging regulations focused on reducing nutrient pollution will ultimately require states to develop and adopt numeric water quality standards for phosphorus. For many cooling systems, these new standards will limit the use of phosphorus compounds, especially for larger systems that discharge directly to public waterways. The development of phosphorus-free cooling water treatment programs is a multifaceted task requiring a non-P approach to controlling both corrosion and deposition.
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