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Aalborg Solutions No.

5 · May 2003

Correct boiler water treatment ensures

a long service life for your boiler
Oxygen in the boiler water is the Number One enemy of the boiler plant, closely followed by sea-
water and oil. Aalborg Industries recommends multi-chemical water treatment

Various treatment options cases, serious corrosion damage is water treatment system incorpo-
A variety of boiler water treat- subsequently found in the boiler. rating an oxygen-binding compo-
ments are effective to deal with nent which can be controlled sepa-
the ultimately hazardous problems Boiler corrosion and oxygen rately, based on the analysis of
of scaling, corrosion or sludge in a One of the most common reasons remaining dissolved oxygen or the
boiler plant. The remedy depends for boiler corrosion remains the amount of component in excess.
of the type of boiler plant and action of dissolved oxygen in the The multi-chemical treatment sys-
problem. make-up water and feedwater. In tem has the further merit of better
The options range from multi- many procedures, excessive oxygen individual control with reduced
chemical treatment to single-treat- content is unfortunately merely chemical usage.
ment/one-shot products and from treated as a secondary factor based
manual to automatic water treat- on "good" experience and/or
ment systems. Reduced manning results measured on an optimized
levels create a demand for easier plant during a test trial.
methods and procedures because
engine room staff has less time to
undertake traditional water analy-
sis and treatment.

Corroded boiler furnace dome and con-

Easy - but not fail proof
vection tubes
Fairly simple methods of boiler
water analysis involving combined Good boiler water treatment is
treatment chemicals are available. dependent not just on the chemi-
Such systems are often referred to Severe corrosion of boiler convection cals but also on the daily mainte-
as single-treatment or "one-shot" tubes on the water side nance of the condensate and feed-
systems and are based on two sim- water systems, as well as the boiler
ple tests: the pH value and the When Aalborg Industries evaluates itself. It is important that the con-
conductivity of the boiler water. a case of boiler corrosion, our pol- densate returns in its full amount
One-shot systems generally require icy is to either measure and control and that, if possible, the hot well
a supply of high quality make-up the oxygen content in the boiler temperature is kept at 85-95°C for
water and an optimized conden- water or to measure and control deoxygenizing (see "Aalborg
sate and feed water system (far the amount of oxygen-binding Solutions" No. 2) and that the
from common on all plants). component. boiler is regularly skimmed and
Unfortunately, the advantages are blown down. The crew must still
minor in comparison with the Multi-chemical water treatment ensure skilled and efficient moni-
results when such support condi- Aalborg Industries recommends toring and maintenance of the
tions are not satisfied. In many the use of a multi-chemical boiler complete system.
A feedwater deaerator, whether A multi-chemical treatment Condensate and feedwater sys-
pressurized or under vacuum, is method should be adopted with an tem layout
generally better than traditional AWT system, and the system Owners and yards should consider
open hot wells. Deaerators under- should incorporate an oxygen the layout of the condensate and
write closed installations into probe for measuring and control- feedwater system at the newbuild-
which only a small amount of ling the amount of dissolved oxy- ing design stage with attention to
air/oxygen penetrates. gen in the boiler water. Aalborg the following aspects:
Additionally, it is possible for a Industries anticipates increasing
larger amount of the heat to be adoption of AWT systems driven - The proposed type of boiler
returned to the system instead of despite installation costs - by the water treatment
cooling the condensate in a cooler short-term and long-term benefits Number and location of chem-
before it enters an open hot well. to operators. ical injection points
Manual or automatic water
In terms of boiler water treatment, treatment
the best water condition is Installation point for salinity and
obtained if the majority of the oil-detection equipment
condensate can be led directly to a Design of cascade tank
deaerator since the pressure, tem- Hot well or deaerator system
perature and mechanical design Temperature control of the hot
give better possibilities for water well
Severe pitting and scaling in downcomer The tables in the left column indi-
AWT - Automatic water treat- tube cate Aalborg Industries' recom-
ment systems mended characteristics for boiler
Automatic water treatment (AWT) Seawater and oil contamina- water and feed water for its own
systems can take care of many of tion auxiliary boilers.
the daily tasks and reduce the Attention is drawn to the damage
crew's work load. Furthermore, caused by contamination from sea- Sodium sulphite can be used
most systems can log water condi- water and oil. Both promote heat instead of hydrazine; the allowed
tions at frequent intervals, transfer resistance on the water excess in that case being 30-60
enabling records to be stored on side of the boiler, causing the steel ppm. When other types of oxygen-
floppy disks for subsequent easy structure facing the flame and flue binding agents are applied,
assess. gas to be heated beyond its design Aalborg Industries recommends
point. Structural damage/rupture that their excess should be meas-
Recommended boiler water charactis-
tics for boilers working at pressures up will occur when the contamination ured to confirm that no oxygen is
to 20 bar becomes sufficiently high, resulting dissolved in the boiler water. A
Appearance clear and free of mud
in a leaking boiler. value of <0.02 ppm is advised if
Chloride content <100 ppm Cl
"P" alkalinity 100-150 ppm CaCO3 the content of dissolved oxygen is
Total alkalinity <2 x "P" alkalinity Prevention better than cure measured directly.
pH at 25°C 10.5-11.5 Aalborg Industries thus always rec-
Hydrazine excess 0.2-0.5 ppm N2H4
ommends the provision of salinity
Phosphate excess 20-50 ppm PO4
alarms/shut-downs and oil-detect-
Specific gravity (20°C) <1.003 kg/m3
Conductivity (25°C) <2000 micromhos ing systems in the feedwater
Oil content nil arrangements. Many ships are,
however, still delivered without
Feedwater characteristics recommended
for boilers such safeguards even though their
Appearance clear and free of mud costs are very small compared with
Hardness 0-0.5 ppm CaCO3
the expense of a damage repair.
Chloride content <15 ppm
pH at 25°C 8.5-9.5 Author: John Karlsen, head of
Oil content nil Customer Management, Denmark

Aalborg Solutions is published by the Aalborg Industries After Sales and deals with operation
of steam and heating equipment. Ideas and suggestions for topics are most welcome.
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