A partnership in the Philippines between Ecolab subsidiary Nalco Water and Geothermal Energy Company (GEC) is increasing electricity production whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Geothermal power is a sustainable, reliable and renewable energy source that uses heat from the earth’s molten core to make electricity by pumping hot water from deep underground wells to generate steam. Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the Philippines is the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company with proven expertise in exploring, harnessing and sustainably generating power from steam. EDC is committed to advancing sustainability by employing new technologies to reduce its environmental footprint while optimizing operations.
One of its sites was experiencing fouling due to scale and corrosion caused by mineral deposits of silica and iron sulfide. Without action, EDC faced a 65% annual decrease in geothermal output. To avoid potential operational disruptions, the company had to manually remove the scale two times a year at a cost of US $20,000.
Nalco Water, Ecolab’s water and process management business, implemented a scale-inhibition program based on laboratory simulations using Nalco Water’s Geomizer™, a digital modeling tool that is designed to predict a plant’s risk of scale and corrosion. Nalco Water’s Geomizer™, Geothermal Scale Modeling Tool enabled a reduction in silica buildup by leveraging a patented Silica Inhibitor Program that also helped disperse and control iron sulfide.
Within four months, Nalco Water’s treatment program led to a 70 per cent annual reduction in scaling and helped avoid a corresponding decline in production. It also helped reduce downtime, minimized chemistry use, and extended the period between mechanical pipeline cleanings from twice a year to once every two years.