What is Boiler Water Treatment?
Boiler water treatment is an efficient and reliable operation of steam generation equipment requires the application of the best available boiler water treatment chemistry combined with monitoring and control solutions to mitigate corrosion and deposit formation while optimizing fuel and water usage. By implementing a well-controlled boiler water treatment program, our customers can expect reduced fuel costs, reduced water usage, reduced environmental emissions, among other benefits.
Why is Boiler Treatment Important?
The purpose of boiler water treatment is to maintain the optimal performance and longevity of a boiler system by effectively managing the water quality within it. Boiler treatment is important because it helps prevent issues such as corrosion, scale formation, and fouling, which can negatively impact the efficiency and reliability of the boiler. By treating the boiler water, harmful substances and impurities are controlled or removed, minimizing the risk of equipment damage and unplanned shutdowns. Additionally, proper boiler water treatment ensures that steam produced is of high quality, reducing the likelihood of contamination in the steam distribution system and improving overall process safety.
Potential Boiler Water Treatment Issues
Proper water treatment for boilers is essential to maintain efficient and reliable boiler operations. Failing to adequately treat boiler water can lead to several issues. First, the accumulation of deposits, such as calcium, magnesium, silicate, and iron oxide scales, can form on the internal surfaces of the boiler, reducing heat transfer and impairing overall efficiency.
Additionally, boiler waters may contain dissolved gasses such as oxygen and CO2, which can cause oxygen pitting corrosion and carbonic acid corrosion, further compromising the integrity of the system. Furthermore, the presence of impurities and contaminants can lead to foaming and carryover, causing water droplets and solids to be carried into the steam, potentially damaging downstream equipment. In summary, neglecting water treatment for boilers can result in reduced efficiency, increased maintenance costs, accelerated equipment deterioration, and compromised safety.
How to Treat Boiler Water
Treating boiler water involves several important steps to maintain water quality and minimize corrosion or scaling issues, which includes the following:
1. Water testing and analysis:
- Regularly collecting samples of pretreated boiler makeup water, boiler feedwater, boiler water, and condensate at a minimum help identify any imbalances or contaminants in the water and guides subsequent treatment decisions.
2. Chemical dosing:
- Based on the water analysis results, appropriate chemicals are added to the boiler water to adjust pH levels, control alkalinity, inhibit corrosion and minimize scaling.
- Chemicals commonly used include oxygen scavengers, scale inhibitors and dispersants, and pH adjusters, which are carefully dosed to maintain optimal water conditions.
3. Blowdown and water replenishment:
- Blowdown is the process of removing a portion of the boiler water to control the concentration of dissolved solids and prevent their accumulation, which can lead to scaling.
- Regular blowdown is followed by replenishing the system with fresh water to maintain the desired water level and dilute any remaining impurities.
4. Control of dissolved oxygen:
- Oxygen in boiler feedwater can cause corrosion, so it is essential to minimize its presence.
- Techniques such as mechanical deaeration or chemical oxygen scavengers are employed to reduce dissolved oxygen levels and protect the boiler from corrosion damage.
5. Monitoring and maintenance:
- Continuous monitoring ensures that the treatment approach is effective, and adjustments can be made if necessary.
- Regular maintenance, including inspections and offline protection, is crucial to keep the boiler system in optimal condition and prevent any long-term issues.
By following these steps, boiler water can be effectively treated to maintain its quality, minimize corrosion and ensure the safe and efficient operation of the boiler system.
Flexible treatment programs to drive efficiency, safety, and reliability in your steam-generating system
Veolia's boiler services include a range of solutions that combine chemistry, equipment, data analytics, and field services to address boiler water performance. We offer boiler water treatment services and chemistries depending on your specific system and operational needs. Our boiler water treatment product line is at the forefront of innovation through sustained investment in research and development.
Explore the technical side of boiler water systems, from feedwater deaeration to corrosion, in Chapters 10-22 of Veolia's Water Treatment Handbook.