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Category: Plant Basics
Question: What are some good uses of low grade steam at 12 atm and 1920C?
Keywords: waste,steam,low,grade,uses,use,usage,electricity
Answer: There are various traditional methods to employ waste steam in an operating plant:1. You can generate electricity through a steam turbine-generator set. The electricity is usually put back in the line; this is the idea behind the "Co-Gen" concept used today in many USA plants. Steam turbines can effectively use saturated steam supply down to 75 - 100 psig. Some people have reported to me that, in special conditions, they have used down to 50 psig as a turbine steam supply. I have used steam as low as 100 psig. 2. You can pre-heat process streams that require pre-heating; this is done by applying heat exchangers.3. You can employ the waste steam as a refrigeration source by employing it in vacuum jet ejectors and producing 50 oF cooling water; I have used all 3 methods as economy and optimization improvements in the past. You have to consider these as viable options if you can identify the heating, cooling and energy conservation requirements. An economic analysis is required to identify the most attractive option. You usually utilize a Discounted Cash Flow analysis to base your decision and that means you must study each case as to savings generated.A fourth method might be that you can use the steam for environmental heating (if you live in a cold climate). This is a rare application, although I've seen this used in small towns.