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BOILER FUNDAMENTALS

INTRODUCTION TO BOILERS
A boiler is an enclosed vessel that provides a means for combustion heat to be transferred into water until it becomes heated water or a gas (steam). The steam or hot water under pressure is then usable for transferring the heat to a process. When water is boiled into steam its volume increases about 1,600 times, producing a force that is almost as explosive as gunpowder. This causes the boiler to be an extremely dangerous item that must be treated with utmost respect.

INTRODUCTION TO BOILERS
The process of heating a liquid until it reaches it's gaseous state is called evaporation. Heat is transferred from one body to another by means of (1) radiation, which is the transfer of heat from a hot body to a cold body through a conveying medium without physical contact, (2) convection, the transfer of heat by a conveying medium, such as air or water and (3) conduction, transfer of heat by actual physical contact, molecule to molecule. The heating surface is any part of the boiler metal that has hot gases of combustion on one side and water on the other. Any part of the boiler metal that actually contributes to making steam is heating surface. The amount of heating surface a boiler has is expressed in square feet. The larger the amount of heating surface a boiler has the more efficient it becomes. The measurement of the steam produced is generally in pounds of water evaporated to steam per hour.

When heat is added to saturated steam out of contact with liquid.INTRODUCTION TO BOILERS Gallons of water evaporated x 8. . The temperature of superheated steam. expressed as degrees above saturation.3 pounds/gallon water = Pounds of steam The heat required to change the temperature of a substance is called its sensible heat. is referred to as the degrees of superheat. When water under pressure is heated its saturation temperature rises above 212°F. its temperature is said to be superheated. The quantity of heat required to change a chemical from the liquid to the gaseous state is called latent heat. This occurs in the boiler. The saturation temperature or boiling point is a function of pressure and rises when pressure increases.

and (2) Watertube boilers in which the conditions are reversed with the water passing through the tubes and the furnace for the hot gasses is made up of the water tubes.BOILER TYPES Boilers and pressure vessels are built under requirements of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers or ASME referred to as the "ASME Code. contain long steel tubes through which the hot gasses from a furnace pass and around which the water to be changed to steam circulates. ." There are virtually infinite numbers of boiler designs but generally they fit into one of two categories: (1) Firetube boilers.

BOILER TYPES Firetube Common types of firetube boilers are scotch marine. Firetube boiler . are more fuel efficient and easier to operate but they are limited generally to capacities of 50. HRT or horizontal return tube. Firetube boilers typically have a lower initial cost. firebox.000pph and pressures of 250 psig.

"A" type. bent tube. Watertube boiler A type Watertube boiler D type . "O" type.BOILER TYPES Watertube The more common types of watertube boilers are "D" type. and castiron sectional.

Field erected boiler with superheater . Large watertube boilers used in industries with large steam demands and in utilities must be completely assembled and constructed in the field and are called field erected boilers.BOILER TYPES All firetube boilers and most watertube boilers are packaged boilers in that they can be transported by truck. rail or barge.

STEAM BOILER SYSTEMS • • • • Feedwater system Steam system Fuel system Draft system .

Valves provide access for maintenance and repair. .FEEDWATER SYSTEM The feedwater system provides water to the boiler and regulates it automatically to meet the demand for steam.

. Throughout the system steam pressure is regulated using valves and checked with steam pressure gauges. The steam and feedwater systems share some components. Steam is directed through piping to the point of use.STEAM SYSTEM The steam system collects and controls the steam produced in the boiler.

All fuels are combustible and dangerous if necessary safety standards are not followed. .FUEL SYSTEM The fuel system includes all equipment used to provide fuel to generate the necessary heat. The equipment required in the fuel system depends on the type of fuel used in the system.

FUEL SYSTEM In a fuel oil fired boiler plant. fuel oil leaves the tank through a suction line and duplex strainer traveling then to the fuel oil pump. . From the discharge line some fuel oil is burned and some returned to the tank through a regulating valve. The fuel oil is then forced through the pump and then through the discharge line.

In a low pressure gas system city gas pressure is reduced from pounds to inches of pressure by passing through a gas regulator.FUEL SYSTEM In a natural gas fired plant gas. . gas passes through the regulator and gas is reduced to the proper pressure for the burner. Through the regulator gas is drawn into the burner and mixed with air supplied by a blower. is supplied at a set pressure which varies depending on the gas source. Gas systems are low pressure or high pressure. Some boilers have combination burners which can burn gas or fuel oil or a combination of both gas and fuel oil. This mixture is directed to the burner where it is ignited with the pilot light. In a high gas pressure system.

.DRAFT SYSTEM The draft system regulates the flow of air to and from the burner. Air must also be provided to direct the flow of air through the furnace to direct the gases of combustion out of the furnace to the breaching. For fuel to burn efficiently the right amount of oxygen must be provided.

DRAFT SYSTEM A forced draft system uses a fan to force (or push) air through the furnace. . An induced draft system uses a fan to draw (or pull) air through the furnace. A combination or balanced draft system uses forced and induced draft fans. Gases of combustion enter the stack from the breaching and are released to the atmosphere.

The burner is the principal device for the firing of oil and/or gas. Burners are normally located in the vertical walls of the furnace. Only three combustible. The boiler combustion furnace in which the fuel burns provides a chamber in which the combustion reaction can be isolated and confined so that it can be controlled. Combustion may be defined as the rapid chemical combination of oxygen with the combustible elements of a fuel. Burners along with the furnaces in which they are installed.COMBUSTION Combustion is the method of combining the fuel and air systems in a source of heat at sufficient temperature to produce steam. hydrogen and sulfur. The convection surfaces are the areas to which the heat travels that is not transferred in the combustion furnace. . Here additional heat is removed. are designed to burn the fuel properly. chemical elements are of any significance: carbon.

STEAM TO WATER CYCLE
In a steam heating system steam leaves the main steam line and enters the main steam header. From the main header piping directs the steam to branch lines. Branch lines feed steam through a riser to the steam heating equipment. At the heating equipment heat is transferred to the building space. As the steam releases heat to the building space and is cools it turns back to water or condensate. The condensate is separated from the steam by a steam trap. The steam trap allows condensate to pass but not the steam. The condensate passes through the condensate return line and is collected and directed back to the boiler to repeat the steam to water process.

STEAM TO WATER CYCLE
Separation of solids in the water occurs in the boiler but since it is operating continuously and at higher temperatures this "buildup" can occur very rapidly. When this occurs the heat transfer can not be achieved as readily which requires more fuel to produce the steam. If continued unchecked damage to the metals in the boiler shell and tubes will result.

STEAM TO WATER CYCLE
Pretreatment equipment such as softeners, de-mineralizes, etc. are used to remove as much of the dissolved solids as possible before they get to the boiler. To remove the solids that continue to the boiler chemicals are added to react with the solids creating a sludge. This sludge is then periodically removed by opening valves from the bottom of the boiler and relieving it to the drain. This process is called blowdown. Waterside problems can also shorten boiler life from corrosion brought on by the oxygen content in the feedwater. Pretreatment for the removal of oxygen is performed in a deaerator but here again the removal is not complete and chemical additions are made to aid in improving the oxygen removal process.

or condensed steam returned from the processes and (2) Makeup water (usually city water) which must come from outside the boiler room and plant processes.STEAM TO WATER CYCLE The water supplied to the boiler that is converted into steam is called feedwater. . The two sources of feedwater are: (1) Condensate. For higher boiler efficiencies the feedwater can be heated. usually by economizers.

or other source for the addition of new water to the boiler system necessary to replace the water evaporated . well water.MAKEUP WATER Makeup water is the water supplied from the municipal water system.

The higher the operating pressure of the boiler the more critical the removal of foreign items from the feedwater becomes. .000 psig + may actually use distilled water for ultimate purity. Large utility boilers operating at 3.MAKEUP WATER Water softeners Water as it passes over the ground. In a heavy use industrial steam boiler the water could be completely replaced as often as once each hour. These elements collectively are called hardness. through caves and springs picks up some of the elements from the limestone and other elements of nature which dissolved and remain.

Hardness varies from area to area. potassium (P). Hardness is composed primarily of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) but also to lesser amounts sodium (Na). and several other metals. The purpose of using hardness as the unit of measure is that tests to measure in parts per million (ppm) are much more difficult and expensive to use. . Hardness is measured in grains with one grain of hardness in the water being 17. Some filtering of the water may occur in the water softener but that is not the purpose of its design and too much of other pollutants in the water could actually foul the water softener affecting its operation.WATER SOFTENERS The purpose of a water softener is primarily for the removal of hardness from the boiler makeup water.1 ppm of these elements. Makeup water is the water supplied from the municipal water system. well water. or other source for the addition of new water to the boiler system necessary to replace the water evaporated. Usually near salt water the hardness is very low as the limestone is virtually non existent and in mountainous areas where limestone is everywhere hardness is usually very high.

. water heaters and whatever the hard water contacts. Hardness is removed from the water by a process known as positive ion exchange. They form a curd with soap and scale in piping. This process could also be known as "ion substitution". for substitution is what occurs. Sodium (Na+) ions.WATER SOFTENERS All softeners soften or remove the hardness from the water. The primary minerals in the water that make "hard" water are Calcium (Ca++) and Magnesium (Mg++). which are "soft" are substituted or exchanged for the Calcium and Magnesium as the water passes through the softener tank.

It is a law of nature that opposite charges attract. the Zeolite is charged with positive. A softener tank contains hundreds of thousands of Zeolite beads. Each bead is a negative in nature and can be charged or regenerated with positive ions. The resin has the ability to attract positive charges to itself.. . In a softener. The proper name for it is polystyrene resin.e. i. "soft" sodium ions. a negative will attract a positive and vice versa. The reason it does so is because in its manufacture it inherits a negative charge.WATER SOFTENERS The softening media is commonly called resin or Zeolite.

In effect. they displace the "soft" Sodium ions that are already attached to the bead. The result of this "exchange" process is soft water flowing out of the tank.WATER SOFTENERS As "hard" water passes through the Zeolite. As the "hard" ions attach to the Zeolite bead. the Sodium is "exchanged" for the Calcium and Magnesium in the water supply with the Calcium and Magnesium remaining on the Zeolite beads and the Sodium ions taking their place in the water flowing through the softener tank. the Calcium and Magnesium ions are strongly attracted to the beads. .

WATER SOFTENERS It can now be readily understood that a softener will continue to produce "soft" water only as long as there are Sodium ions remaining on the Zeolite beads to "exchange" with the Calcium and Magnesium ions in the "hard" water. When the supply of Sodium ions has been depleted. The regeneration of the Zeolite beads is accomplished by a three step process. . the Zeolite beads must be "regenerated" with a new supply of Sodium ions.

SOFTENER DESIGNS Water softeners come as single mineral tank units (simplex). double mineral tank units (duplex) and multiple mineral tank units. Simplex softener .

Triplex or other multiplex units usually are the result of need for increased capacity and units can be added to keep soft water available.SOFTENER DESIGN Since regeneration cycles can take approximately one hour simplex units are used only when this interruption can be tolerated. Duplex softener Triplex softener . To avoid interruption duplex units are used so that the regeneration of one unit can be accomplished while the second unit is on line. The reliability of new electronic/metering controls for regeneration have allowed users to depend on smaller units with more frequent regeneration.

After the salt-brine is drawn. The mineral bed is loosened and accumulated sediment is washed to the drain by the upward flow of the water. An automatic backwash flow controller maintains the proper flow rate to prevent the loss of resin.The flow of water through the mineral bed is reversed. A given amount of salt-brine is rinsed slowly through the mineral bed.REGENERATION PROCESS Backwash . the unit will continue to rinse slowly with water to remove all of the salt-brine from the media bed.Ordinary salt has the capability to restore the exchange capacity of the mineral. . Brine draw and slow rinse .

The unit is then returned to SERVICE the brine maker is refilled with fresh water to form salt brine for the next regeneration. .A high down flow of water repacks the mineral bed.REGENERATION PROCESS Fast rinse . The total regeneration time is approximately 60-90 minutes. Any trace of brine not removed in slow rinse is flushed to the drain.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) are released as gases and combine with water (H2O) to form carbonic acid. Certain gases. such as carbon dioxide and oxygen. (H2CO3). When heated in boiler systems. greatly increase corrosivity. CO2 + O2 + H2O =H2CO3 .BOILER FEEDWATER Deaeration All natural waters contain dissolved gases in solution.

. It also dissolves iron (Fe) which when returned to the boiler precipitates and causes scaling on the boiler and tubes. This scale not only contributes to reducing the life of the equipment but also increases the amount of energy needed to achieve heat transfer. carbon dioxide and other non-condensable gases from boiler feedwater is vital to boiler equipment longevity as well as safety of operation. Carbonic acid corrodes metal reducing the life of equipment and piping.DEAERATION Removal of oxygen.

Mechanical deaeration for the removal of these dissolved gases is typically utilized prior to the addition of chemical oxygen scavengers. .DEAERATION The term given to the mechanical removal of dissolved gases is deaeration. Simplified. these laws state that removal of oxygen and carbon dioxide can be accomplished by heating the boiler feedwater which reduces the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surrounding the feedwater. Mechanical deaeration is based on Charles' and Henry's laws of physics.

In boiler systems.DEAERATION The easiest way to deaerate is to force steam into the feedwater. this action is called scrubbing. (2) steam is readily available and (3) steam adds the heat required to complete the reaction. steam is used to "scrub" the feedwater as (1) steam is essentially devoid of O2 and CO2 . . Scrubbing raises the water temperature causing the release of O2 and CO2 gases that are then vented from the system.

(2) Agitation decreases the time and heat energy necessary to remove dissolved gases from the water. deaerating equipment must satisfy the following 4 requirements: (1) Heating of the feedwater: The operating temperature in the unit should be the boiling point of water at the measured pressure. The pressure/temperature relationship is important since boiling must take place rapidly for quick and efficient removal of gases.DEAERATION For efficient operation. If this temperature and pressure cannot be economically achieved then it is important to get as close to it as possible. .

.DEAERATION (3) Maximization of surface area by finely dispersing the water to expose maximum surface area to the steam. This enables the water to be heated to saturation temperature quicker and reduces the distance the gases have to travel to be liberated. (4) The liberated gases must be vented to allow their escape from the system as they are released.

005cc/l or 5 ppb). Consequently.DEAERATION While the most efficient mechanical deaerators reduce oxygen to very low levels (. The majority of the combined carbon dioxide is removed with the steam of the boiler. subsequently dissolving in the condensate. good operating practice requires removal of that trace oxygen with a chemical oxygen scavenger such as sodium sulfite or hydrazine. Free carbon dioxide can be removed by deaeration. even trace amounts of oxygen may cause corrosion damage to a system. frequently causing corrosion problems. These problems can be controlled through the use of volatile neutralizing amines or filming amines. . but this process releases only small amounts of combined carbon dioxide.

. Most of the non-condensable gases are released to the steam as the water enters the unit. Incoming water is sprayed through a perforated distribution pipe into a steam atmosphere where it is atomized. The water then cascades through the tray section. There it is heated to within a few degrees of the saturation temperature of the steam.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Tray Type Deaerators are composed of a deaerating section and a feedwater storage section. they as well as a small amount of steam are vented to atmosphere. It is essential that sufficient venting is provided at all times or deaeration will be incomplete. Deaerated water falls to the feedwater storage section below and is protected from recontamination by a blanket of steam. The steam heats the water to the saturation temperature of the steam and removes all but a trace of oxygen. which immediately contact incoming steam. As the non-condensable gases are liberated. breaking into fine droplets.

. spring loaded nozzles located in the top of the unit spray water into a steam atmosphere which is heated to within a few degrees of the saturation temperature of the steam.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Spray Type Deaerators work on the same general principle as the tray types. and the heated water falls to a water seal and drains to the lowest section of the steam scrubber. Most of the noncondensable gases are released to the steam. In this case. The spraytype deaerators do not use trays for dispersion of the water.

The deaerated water overflows from the steam scrubber to the storage section below. a slight pressure loss causes the deaerated water temperature to remain a few degrees below the inlet steam saturation temperature. .TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Spray Type Deaerators (cont) The water is scrubbed by large quantities of steam and heated to the saturation temperature prevailing at this point. The intimate steam to water contact achieved in the scrubber efficiently strips the water of dissolved gases. As the steam-water mixture rises in the scrubber.

Most of the steam condenses in the spray section to become part of the deaerated water. vented to atmosphere. . A small portion of the steam. after flowing through the scrubber. passes up into the spray heater section to heat the incoming water.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Spray Type Deaerators (cont) The steam. removes noncondensable gases from the system.

.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Spray/Tray Type Deaerators are a combination of the above with a steam spray nozzle sending the water over the trays.

2120F.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Feedwater Tanks are another form of mechanical deaerators normally found in small firetube and watertube boiler systems due to cost considerations. These less expensive systems are limited by design as they are operated at atmospheric pressure with feedwater temperatures ranging from 1800F . feedwater tanks operate by forcing steam into the feedwater which scrubs oxygen and carbon dioxide gases that are then vented to atmosphere. . while deaerators operate under pressure allowing for higher temperatures and more efficient oxygen removal. Like deaerators.

Division I. The most practical potential solution for cavitation is the installation of a slipstream. Practically speaking. . Steam bubbles form and fill the pump cavity causing vibration. The slipstream will not always work leaving the choices of increasing the NPSH by increasing the distance between the tank and the pump. a condition know as cavitation.2000F and rely more on the assistance of a chemical oxygen scavenger for complete oxygen removal. or sizing a new pump properly. The temperature is normally controlled as high as possible without causing pump problems which occurs when the Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) is too low.TYPES OF MECHANICAL DEAERATORS Feedwater Tanks (cont) Steam enters the bottom of the tank agitating the feedwater as it rises to the top of the tank. Pressurized deaerators must have the ASME U stamp attached and be built under the regulations of TheAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers Section VIII. most feedwater tanks are controlled between 1800F . This condition may cause serious damage to the feedwater pump and jeopardize steam production. which allows a portion of the high pressure feedwater to recirculate to the suction side of the pump where it lowers the temperature and eliminates the boiling and cavitation. and finally is vented along with the liberated gases.

ECONOMIZER An economizer removes additional Btu’s from the stack gasses by circulating the deaerated boiler feedwater through a series of bent tubes in the stack. Due to the higher efficiencies of firetube boilers the payback is usually longer and therefore economizers are not used as frequently on them. Economizers in watertube boilers typically increase the efficiency of the boiler 4-10% which is usually less than a one year payback. Finned tube economizers are less costly and more efficient as the "fins" are a source of heat transfer as well as the tubes. This translates into a "free" source of energy from the boiler operation. An economizer can also be a useful means of increasing the steam capacity of a boiler. .

ECONOMIZER The use of high sulfur oils. . particularly #6 oil. Since the economizer is directly part of the boiler and has contact from the gases of combustion it must also be built under the regulations of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code Section I and have the ASME S stamp attached. A bare tube economizer is easier to keep free of the corrosive sulfur but requires more tubes to achieve the same efficiency as a finned tube economizer. This can be improved by increasing the temperature of the feedwater to the economizer and the use of soot blowers but the life of an economizer in that environment is limited to about 2-3 years. is very corrosive on the economizer tubes.

deposits and corrosion. Deposits and corrosion result in efficiency losses and may cause boiler tube failures and inability to produce steam. A boiler is the sump of the boiler system. The predominant cost factor for producing steam is fuel costs. Achieving that goal depends on properly managed water treatment to control steam purity.BOILER WATER CHEMISTRY Producing quality steam on demand is the purpose of operating industrial boiler systems. as shown below. It ultimately receives all of the pre-boiler contaminants. Boiler performance. . and service life are direct products of selecting and controlling the chemistry used in the boiler. efficiency. The boiler water must be sufficiently free of deposit forming solids to allow rapid and efficient heat transfer and it must not be corrosive to the boiler metal.

Deposits act as insulators and slow heat transfer. . This is why it is important to have an analysis of deposit characteristics.DEPOSIT CONTROL Deposits in boilers may result from hardness contamination of feedwater. Hardness contamination of the feedwater may result from either deficient softener systems or raw water in leakage of the condensate. and corrosion products from the condensate and feedwater system. The insulating effect of deposits cause the boiler metal temperature to rise and may lead to tubefailure by overheating. The graph demonstrates that different types of deposits will effect boiler efficiency differently. Large amounts of deposits throughout the boiler could reduce the heat transfer enough to reduce the boiler efficiency.

they are dissolved in the water. ability to stay in solution decreases. scale or deposits develop. and means that as temperature increases. the elevated temperatures and pressures cause the components of water to take on dramatic changes. sometimes in crystallized forms and other times as amorphous particles. . Most of the components in the feedwater are soluble. The coming-out of solution is referred to as retrograde solubility. However. When solubility of a specific component in water is exceeded. under heat and pressure most of the soluble components come-out of solution as particulate solids.DEPOSIT CONTROL When feedwater enters the boiler.

Formation of this sludge requires that alkalinity from caustic be present in the boiler water. If sufficient alkalinity is not maintained in the boiler water. a sticky precipitate will form and reduce heat transfer. When phosphate treatment is preferred over chelant treatment. the boiler water is conditioned to form a fluid sludge which can be removed by bottom blowdown. . Hardness can be kept from depositing in boiler water by treatment with chelating agents.DEPOSIT CONTROL Internal chemical treatment for deposit control is achieved either by adding a treatment to prevent the contaminants from depositing or by adding a treatment chemical that will allow for easy removal by blowdown.

Sludge conditioners enhance the removal of precipitates from industrial boilers. Sludge conditioners are organic polymers which combine with the precipitates to permit the particles to be dispersed. This makes removal by blowdown easier. This is especially true when the precipitates also contain iron and copper corrosion products from the preboiler system and organic contaminants from condensate returns.DEPOSIT CONTROL Even when the precipitates formed in the boiler water are in the form most desired. they are often difficult to remove completely by blowdown. .

are maintained in the range of 300 -500 ppm OH. Hydroxide alkalinity. if controllable without excess blowdown. This treatment provides the ideal conditions for formation of calcium and magnesium precipitates in the preferred states. such as organic acids. especially if organic contaminants enter the boiler. . however.CONVENTIONAL PHOSPHATE TREATMENT Conventional phosphate control involves maintaining a phosphate residual and a hydroxide alkalinity residual in the boiler water. Phosphate residuals are typically maintained in the range of 20-40 ppm PO4. promote foaming. It may. It also provides a residual of alkalinity to neutralize any acid contamination.

.CHELANT TREATMENT A chelant is a compound which is capable of "grabbing onto" calcium. The undesirable scales of calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate are successfully eliminated by chelant treatment. Chelant treatment of boiler water is attractive because the chelates of calcium and magnesium are soluble. magnesium and iron.

Depending on the concentration of all the boiler water chemistry. will result in undesirable calcium-phosphate deposits. Phosphate can enter the boiler water where city water makeup supplies phosphate. some chemistry precautions need to be mentioned. magnesium silicate deposits may result.CHELANT TREATMENT While the chelates of the hardness and iron contaminants are soluble. and if present in significant amounts. . Phosphate will compete with the chelant for calcium. Both hydroxide alkalinity and silica compete with the chelant for magnesium.

after the deaerator and before the boiler drum. A stainless steel injection quill is required. The preferred feed location is down-stream of the boiler feedwater pump. Injection quill .CHELANT TREATMENT Chelants should be fed to the feedwater downstream of any copper alloys.

Feed chelant only downstream from copper or copper alloys. 3. Feed catalyzed sulfite or a suitable oxygen scavenger to the storage section of the deaerating heater. (If not possible. Assure that the feedwater mixes with boiler water before entering downcomer tubes.0 . Use a 304 SS injection quill. 2. Maintain feedwater pH >8. 6. 1. Proper feed of chelant will result in a chelant residual in the boiler water. 7. The photo below shows the preferred feed locations for chelant feed and other requirements for adequate assurance of chelant control.CHELANT TREATMENT • • • • • • • • • • • Feed to the deaerator storage is not recommended since copper alloys in the boiler feed pump may be attacked. ensure that 316 SS is used at least three feet prior to the injection quill). preferably after the economizer. Feed chelant products continuously to boiler feedwater line. 4. Use a 316 SS chemical feed line. 5.

however. A chelant residual should be maintained in the feedwater at all times. Chelant treatment is not a solution for highly variable and excessive concentrations of hardness in the makeup and condensate returns.CHELANT TREATMENT A chelant residual in the boiler water. is not in itself proof of adequate feed control. .

etc. not all the energy used in producing steam is lost when condensate is formed. . turbines.CONDENSATE RETURN SYSTEM When steam has performed its work in manufacturing processes. However. There is a significant fuel savings related to the heat required to raise the temperature of makeup water at (50OF to 60OF) to equal that of the return condensate. it transfers heat and reverts back to a liquid phase called steam condensate. building heat. it is very valuable as a source of feedwater. As most condensate return is still relatively hot (130OF to 225OF) . as well as basic water cost itself. not to mention the additional cost in pretreating (softening) the makeup.

When the steam condenses. This reaction is chemically expressed as: H2O + CO2 = H2CO3 . Leaving the boiler with the steam it travels throughout the plant supply system. then its condensate is also pure H2O however. the carbon dioxide dissolves in it to form carbonic acid. The heat and pressure of the boiler break down the alkalinity in the boiler water to form carbon dioxide gas CO2. as we have learned the water we use to produce steam is not pure containing many dissolved minerals and gases.CONDENSATE RETURN SYSTEM When pure water H2O is used to produce steam.

. can cause localized attack in the form of pitting when present in the condensate system.CONDENSATE RETURN SYSTEM This acid depresses the condensates pH and causes corrosion to take place. Oxygen can infiltrate the system from open condensate receivers. Oxygen. This type of corrosion can generally cause equipment to fail more quickly than the generalized corrosion caused by carbonic acid attack due to it concentrating in a small area. Most often it weakens pipe walls at threaded joints and the resultant metal loss can lead to large amounts of copper and/or iron being returned to the boiler to cause troublesome deposits. poor deaeration or leaky siphons. as in the boiler system. This corrosion appears as grooving or gouging in the bottom of steam headers or condensate return lines.

filming amines and contamination neutralizing and filming amines.CONDENSATE RETURN SYSTEM There are three main chemical programs to control corrosion in the condensate system. being neutralizing amines. .

NEUTRALIZING AMINES Are high pH materials which neutralize the carbonic acid formed in condensate systems. By raising and controlling pH level in condensate from 7. 2.0. Morpholine . .5 to 9. 3. Cyclohexylamine . Diethyleminoethanal (DEAE) .a low distribution ratio product. neutralizing amines retard acid attack and greatly reduce the amount of corrosion products entering the boiler. The three primary neutralizing amines in use today are: 1.a high distribution ratio product.a medium distribution ratio product.

but little protection against oxygen attack. or they can be fed directly into the steam header. Distribution Ratio = Amine in Steam Phase / Amine in Condensate Phase Neutralizing amines have low flashpoints and therefore can be fed directly to the feedwater or boiler water. The feed rate is based on the amount of alkalinity present in the feedwater. Neutralizing amines offer excellent protection against carbonic acid attack. .NEUTRALIZING AMINES The distribution ratio is used to predict the amine concentration in the steam and condensate phases and impacts significantly regarding proper amine selection.

NEUTRALIZING AMINES FILMING AMINES are various chemicals that lay down a vary thin protective barrier on the condensate piping protecting it against both oxygen and carbonic acid attack. The protective film barrier is not unlike the protection afforded an automobile by an application of car wax. .

Care must be taken to start this program slowly with an initial feedrate of one fifth that of the final feedrate to prevent the removal of old corrosion products from the system and their subsequent return to the boiler. .NEUTRALIZING AMINES FILMING AMINES (CONT) The protective film barrier is continuously being removed (a little at a time). the filming amine should be fed using an injection quill to the steam header to insure proper vaporization and distribution throughout the steam system. Additionally. requiring continuous feeding of the filming amine based on steam flow rather than feedwater alkalinity.

NEUTRALIZING AMINES FILMING AMINES (CONT) The formation of gunk balls (Gunking) can occur due to overfeed. . contaminants in the condensate or wide pH swings causing deposits to form in low flow areas like steam traps.

are the combination of neutralizing and filming amines and are a successful alternative to protect against both carbonic acid attack and oxygen attack. The neutralizing amines. main purpose is to provide better distribution of the filming amine throughout the condensate system which in turn helps to prevent gunking. it combines the elevated pH approach to neutralize carbonic acid in conjunction with the protective barrier film approach.NEUTRALIZING AMINES COMBINATION NEUTRALIZING AND FILMING AMINES are the combination of neutralizing and filming amines and are a successful alternative to protect against both carbonic acid attack and oxygen attack. it combines the elevated pH approach to neutralize carbonic acid in conjunction with the protective barrier film approach. . although they will elevate pH. As its name implies. As with filming amines they should be fed directly to the steam header utilizing an injection quill. As its name implies.

temperature. system metallurgy and the plants systems pH level all play an important role in determining the most effective treatment program. Each different set of operating conditions will tend to dictate the appropriate treatment that is required. Each different set of operating conditions will tend to dictate the appropriate treatment that is required. . The expected steam pressure. The expected steam pressure. temperature. system metallurgy and the plant systems pH level all play an important role in determining the most effective treatment program. Clearly each program or approach has certain features and benefits as well as limitations.SUMMARY Clearly each program or approach has certain features and benefits as well as limitations.