A revolutionary hydrothermal steam generator is being developed by a federal, state university and industry partnership in the US to enhance economic growth and trade. The new generator is designed to accept solutions and slurries without corrosion and deposition on heat transfer surfaces up to the supercritical conditions of water, above 221 bar (3205 psia) and 374 C (705 F). The generator will produce steam from low quality water, such as from geothermal sources, for increased electric power generation. Water treatment costs and effluents will be eliminated for “zero discharge.” To improve efficiency and limit carbon dioxide and other emissions, the new steam generator will be tested for converting wastewater slurries of low-cost fuels and “negative value” wastes such as hazardous wastes, composted municipal wastes and sludges, to clean gas turbine fuel, hydrocarbon liquids, and activated carbon. Bench-scale results at sub- and supercritical conditions for lignite, refuse derived fuel, tire rubber and activated carbon are presented. An advanced continuous-flow pilot plant is being designed to test the generator over a wide range of operating conditions, including slurry feed up to 30 percent solids. Demonstration of the hydrothermal steam generator will be followed by design and construction of combined-cycle energy systems.

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