Author

Xinyan Zhang

Date of Award

2018

First Advisor

Michael Bergman

Second Advisor

Tom Coote

Abstract

To mitigate freshwater scarcity and improve the thermal efficiency of natural gas power generation plants, a dual purpose power generation and desalination plant design is considered to be more productive and sustainable. The cogeneration plant is designed to be built in the Middle East or North Africa, where natural gas is abundant but freshwater is insufficient. The goal of this design is to maximize the utilization of energy from the exhaust of power generation plant and desalinate as much seawater as possible at the lowest cost at the same time. With several assumptions, a feasible and profitable plant is proposed. By feeding 770 mol/s (18.83 m3=s) natural gas and 28887 mol/s (683.86 m3=s) air into the system, 100 MW net electricity is generated. By utilizing the excess heat from the power plant, 1625.3 kg/s seawater is desalinated to produce 212 kg/s freshwater, giving a desalination rate of 13%. Assuming the cogeneration plant is running 24 hours a day year round, and based on the current price of natural gas and freshwater, the net profit of the dual purpose plant is around $165 million.

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