Power generation: Analysis of the m value (Alkalinity) in cooling water

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One way to maximize heat transfer efficiency and reduce costs in a power plant is by controlling the water chemistry in the cooling circuit. This cooling water is kept alkaline to maintain the protective oxide layer on the metal piping throughout the water circuit. However alkalinity above the recommended range increases the probability of scale formation (deposition), so it is buffered with carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate ions (HCO3-). Titration of the cooling water to pH 4.5 gives the so-called "M-Alkalinity" (methyl orange alkalinity), a measure of total alkalinity. Below this pH, there is no more alkalinity present, only free acid (H+), carbonic acid (H2CO3), and CO2.