Boiler Water Treatment
Boilers heat water or generate steam to be used for a wide range of applications including power generation, heating, and manufacturing. As steam leaves the boiler, impurities in the water are left behind and begin to concentrate. As more steam leaves, the concentration of the impurities increases. As the concentration increases; various minerals, including calcium carbonate, have a tendency to form crystals on the heat transfer surface, reducing the efficiency of the equipment. This process is known as scaling and is one of the major reasons for boiler water treatment.
Unique Boiler Water Treatment Solutions
Depending on the application, boiler type, and make-up water requirements, various pre-treatment systems will be necessary to prevent scaling and other potential issues in the system. Pre-treatment could include but is not limited to filtration, water softening, Reverse Osmosis, and mixed-bed resin. Each system is different and has unique requirement for effective pre-treatment and careful attention must be paid to the system in order to prevent scaling, reduce water and chemical usage, and conserve energy.
Pre-treatment + Chemicals
Beyond an effective pre-treatment system, chemical treatment is often used as a final step in the water conditioning. To prevent scaling, various products are used that may modify the crystals, disperse the crystals, increase the threshold at which they form, or even react to form insoluble precipitates that will come out in the blowdown. Dissolved oxygen in a boiler is one mechanism that can cause corrosion in the system. An oxygen scavenger is used to react with any trace oxygen in the boiler to prevent potential pitting corrosion. Many applications will have some percentage of condensate return in order to save energy and reduce boiler water usage by reusing the pure, heated water. As the steam condenses, carbon dioxide has a tendency to form carbonic acid which lowers the pH of the boiler water and can cause corrosion on the return line. One way to address this is through the use of neutralizing amines to neutralize the acid and maintain a proper pH, thus protecting the metallurgy of the system.
Beyond the chemistry briefly mentioned, there are a whole range of other products that are gaining momentum in the market. From Film Forming Amines (Polyamines) to purified tannins there are many products that may provide superior boiler water treatment results in specific applications.
Custom Solutions for Your Business
Of course, this is just a brief overview of boiler water treatment options. Your FCT Water Representative would love to answer any further questions you may have about other treatment options and steps in the process of a complete boiler water treatment program.