By Hach Company
New plant designs and technological developments in the power industry are leading to greater efficiency in converting fossil fuels to energy. Leveraging these technologies (once-through boilers, for example) allows plants to operate at higher temperatures and higher pressure, which increases the energy output while decreasing the amount of fuel required. This has allowed many new plants to attain efficiency measurements nearing 50 percent. This is important, not only to optimize the running of the plant, but due to the reduced amount of fuel required, increasing the efficiency 1 percent can lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 3 percent.
When engineers at the Kori nuclear power plant in South Korea found that dissolved nitrogen in reactor feed water led to an increased production of carbon 14, a long-term environmental contaminant, they sought a way to minimize its production.