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Boiler water treatment

The targets of successful boiler water treatment are to prevent the scale to minimize corrosion and
carryover.
Major benefits of boiler water treatment:

Save energy losses or stabilizes fuel consumption

Increase life of your boiler

Ensures optimum heat transfer

Reduces unnecessary shutdown / maintenance bills

Saves frequent acid cleaning cost


Actually, problems comes from boiler water:
1. Scale formation
2. Corrosion
3. Foaming/carryover
So, your boiler efficiency is decreased.

A/ SCALE FORMATION
Thickness of
scale

Increases in fuel consumption due to this


scale

1) 1/2 mm

2%

2) 1 mm

4%

3) 2 mm

6%

4) 4 mm (1/8 ")

10 %

5) 8 mm (1/4")

20 %

6) 16 mm (1/2 ")

40 %

7) 30 mm (1")

80 %

Factors for scale formation in boiler:

Water contains lots of dissolved solids

Calcium and magnesium are the major hardness components and primary source of scale in boiler
and feed system heat exchanger equipment.

Deposits will cause the temperature of the metal to increase until overheating, metal softening,
blistering and failure occurs

B/ FACTORS FOR CORROSION IN BOILER:

Dissolved oxygen cause hematite (red rust).

Chloride stress corrosion and Transgraular cracking will occur where there is stainless steel.

Oxygen pitting, high levels of dissolved oxygen will result in pitting and scabs will form over the
pits.

Caustic stress corrosion where there are deposits present hydroxyl ions will collect and cause
corrosion, crating and grouping of tube metal.

Acid attack: An excess of hydrogen ions will corrode tube metal, which will create a methane gas,
which will stress the tube and cause it to crack.
Corrosion in your boiler can reduce its life and may cause serious accidents.

C/ CORROSION CONTROL IN STEAM AND CONDENSATE LINES


Corrosion of steam and condensate lines in one of the most costly problems facing plants. After boiler
corrosion may incur cost penalties such as:
1. Repair cost: The largest expense is not repairing, it is the lost of production during repair.
2. Steam leaks: Usually, steam leaks are not serious enough to cause boiler shutdowns, but do
drain a system of valuable latent heat also increased fuel usage is needed to compensate for
the energy lost through leaks.
3. Corrosion products: Iron oxide deposits cause energy losses.

D/ FOAMING/ CARRYOVER

System slugs will normally break and release dry steam in the steam drum.

A high concentration of suspended dissolved solids in boiler water will stabilize steam slugs and
prevent them from braking.

This will result in carryover, which enables wet steam and water to impinge on turbine blades,
valves, and create water hammer which can damage piping and pipe hangers.
Maximum limits for different boiler water to get good quality steam.

BOILER
PRESSURE
(PSIG)

TOTAL DISSOLVED
SOLID
( TDS)

0 - 300

3500

700

125

301-450

3000

600

90

451-600

2500

500

50

601-750

2000

400

35

751-900

1500

300

20

901-1000

1250

250

1001-1500

1000

200

2.5

1501-2000

750

150

1.0

ABOVE 2000

500

100

0.5

ALKALINITY SILICA
(PPM)
(PPM)

10 BAR = 145.038 PSI at 0 FT Above Sea Level


Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
In a boiler generating steam, impurities in the feedwater concentrates in the boiling water
When a boiler generates steam, impurities in the feed water will concentrate. When the concentration of impurities
becomes higher, foam is generated and the volume of the boiling water increases, resulting in more and more low
quality wet steam generated.
The concentration of impurities is often termed TDS - Total Dissolved Solids (ppm) and can be measured using the
conductivity or density method.
Measuring TDS with the density method
TDS = 1.1 106 ( - 1) (1)
where

TDS = Total Dissolved Solids (ppm)

= relative density of the boiler water at 15.5oC


This is a manual method and requires measuring a cooled down sample with a very sensitive hydrometer.
Measuring TDS with the conductivity method
TDS = 0.7 (1)
where
= conductivity (s/cm)
This method can be used with an automatic resistance meter controlling the blow down cycles of the boiler. Note that
electrolytic polarisation of the probe may be a problem and that an ac (amplitude current) resistance meter normally is
used. Be also aware that the conductivity increases with temperature.

TDS Range
Boilers are normally operated in the range 2000 - 3500 TDS.
TDS (ppm) Conductivity (s/cm)

Relative Density

1.00000

1000

2000

1.00091

2000

4000

1.00182

3000

6000

1.00273

4000

8000

1.00364

Blow Down Rate

The blow down rate depends on the

steam consumption (steam used in the process and not returned as condensate to the
boiler)

concentration of impurities in the feed water

maximum allowable TDS in the boiler

Boiler Blowdown Rate


Calculating boiler blowdown rate
A blowdown of the boiler is a routine operation necessary due to the increased concentration of Total Dissolved Solids - TDS - in
the boiler during the steam production.
The blow down rate of a boiler depends on

steam consumption (steam used in the process and not returned as condensate to the boiler)

concentration of impurities in the feed water

maximum allowable TDS in the boiler

The blowdown rate can be calculated as


qBD = qS fc / (bc - fc) (1)
where
qBD = blowdown rate (kg/h)

qS = steam consumption (kg/h) fc = Total Dissolved Solids - TDS - in the feed water (ppm)

bc = maximum allowable Total Dissolved Solids - TDS - in the boiler water (ppm)

Selecting TDS Calibration Solutions

A Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) standard calibration solution should contain the same types of dissolved solids known
to be in the test solution. Failure to do so will result in significant discrepancies between the ppm or ppt reading and
the actual ppm or ppt of TDS in the test solution.
The easiest way to obtain a TDS standard calibration solution is to use a ready-made standard solution that has the
same types of dissolved solids as the solution to be tested. These ready-made solutions offer convenience and
accuracy. They are commonly formulated with either KCl, NaCl, CaCO 3 or a 442 natural water formulation (40%
sodium sulfate, 40% sodium bicarbonate and 20% sodium chloride) to meet the majority of applications. Choose a
ready-made calibration solution according to the following guidelines:

Choose a TDS standard calibration solution that contains the same types of dissolved solids to be tested.

Choose a TDS standard calibration solution that has a ppm or ppt value as close as possible to the value of
the solution to be tested. If this is not reasonable because of the variations in the test solution, it is best to
calibrate the TDS standard that has a ppm or ppt value in the upper one-third of the TDS indicator's
measurement range.

The following is a list of ppm TDS standard calibration solutions available for Eutech Instruments, with their
contents and applications described. Standardization values of the calibration solutions are based on
conditions of 25oC.
Application

Solution Code No.

Use With

Adjust Display to:

TDS of KCl solutions, brines, general


purpose TDS measurements

EC-CON-2764BS

TDScan High

1380 ppm

TDS of lake, stream, well waters,


boiler and cooling tower feed waters,
general water treatment

EC-CON-447BS

TDScan Low

330 ppm (442); 220


ppm (NaCl for brines)

It is possible that the above list will not contain a calibration solution appropriate for some applications. One solution to
this problem is to have "tailor-made" ppm TDS standard calibration solutions. This is done by formulating a mixture of
salts in relative proportions that simulate the solution to be tested, then dissolving this mixture into distilled water. This
should be performed according to the formula:
1 mg salt mixture/liter of distilled water = 1 ppm TDS, or in other words
X ppm TDS = X mg of salts + one liter of distilled water
Remember that "X" mg of salts is the number of milligrams of a mixture of salts that's proportions simulate your test
solution, NOT "X" milligrams of each salt in the mixture.
An appropriate value for "X" is determined by the following rule:
Try to choose a ppm or ppt for a calibration solution as close as possible to the expected ppm or ppt values of test
solutions. If the test solution's TDS value is expected to vary a great deal, it is best to choose a ppm or ppt value for
the calibration solution that is in the upper one-third of the TDS indicators measurement range.
Note TDScan Low, TDScan High are like all other dissolved solids testers in that they use the detected conductivity of
a solution to give a direct reading in ppm (parts per million) or ppt (parts per thousand) of TDS. The relationship
between Conductivity and TDS is greatly affected by the types of dissolved solids or salts present in the solution. It is
absolutely necessary to use a calibration solution similar in dissolved solids content to the solution to be tested in
order to get acceptable accuracy. Also it is recommended that the calibration solution be at the same temperature as
the test solution to minimize temperature effect errors.