Boiler Feed Water Treatment Methods

Oxygen Scavengers to Prevent Corrosion: Corrosion of boilers occurs when untreated feed water is used. The dissolved oxygen in the feed water reacts with the metal scales of the boiler to form oxides. This can be prevented by using oxygen scavengers (also known as oxygen absorbers), that’ll remove or reduce the level of oxygen in the entire system. The most commonly used oxygen scavengers are activated charcoal and a mixer of iron powder with sodium chloride.

Alkalinity builders: All industrial process work at an optimal pH range, failing which appropriate results cannot be obtained. Most of the high-pressure reactions need a high pH level. To increase the pH level, chemically modified substances called alkalinity builders are added to the boiler. Most industrial process use concentrated sodium hydroxide based alkalinity builders, which are balanced with phosphates, chelants, carbonates, and certain polymers.

Scale and corrosion inhibitors: One of the major issues that affect the operations of industrial boilers is an accumulation of salt deposits on the internal lining of the system. As a part of the equipment maintenance, scale and corrosion inhibitors are used. The common inhibitors are catalysed sodium bisulphite, carbohydrazide, diethyl hydroxylamine, and cyclohexylamine. Oxygen scavengers also work well as scale and corrosion inhibitors.

Sludge conditioners: If the boiler is not maintained properly, suspended particles tend to settle at the lining of the system. If left untreated, it can drastically reduce the boiler efficiency. A sludge conditioner is often used to remove and clean the boilers. In some instances, it is also used to prevent and control scale formation.

Other chemicals: In addition to the above said methods to treat feed water, there are numerous other water treatment methods that are process-specific. Condensate line protection and multi-functional treatments are some of the important methods used in treating the boiler feed water.

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