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National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 143

Flow Accelerated Corrosion and Its Prevention


through All Volatile Treatment Oxidizing
(AVT (O)) or Oxygenated Treatment (OT) in
Conventional Fossil Fuel Power Stations
S. Banerjee

Abstract--- Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) also known List of Abbreviations


as flow assisted corrosion, is an important corrosion AVT(R)- All Volatile
AVT(O)- All Volatile
mechanism that are encountered in power plant units and, Treatment (Reducing) Treatment (Oxidizing)
have a significant negative impact on the availability, OT Oxygenated Treatment Ppb/PPB parts per billion
reliability and operation and large safety and financial HRSG Heat Recovery (or g/lit)
impact. The prevention of this phenomenon is to operate steam Steam Generators ECP Electrochemical
water cycle in AVT (O) i.e. All Volatile Treatment (Oxidizing) FAC Flow accelerated corrosion potential
or on an oxygenated chemical regime known as Oxygenated corrosion Fe Iron
Treatment (OT). This type of treatment has proved to be very SC Specific conductivity BFPS Boiler feed pump
successful during the last four decades in Once-Through units LP Low Pressure suction
and, more recently, it has also been implemented with similar CPI Condensate polisher CPD condensate pump
results in many drum boiler units. Having previously been inlet discharge
most concerned about failures occurring in higher pressure DAO Deaerator Outlet EI Economizer inlet
areas of the cycle, FAC is now a primary concern as over 60% LPFWHI Low pressure HP High Pressure
of all utilities have reported finding it in their facilities. Feed water heater inlet CPO Condenser polisher
Defined as localized rapid metal loss resulting in tube wall outlet
thinning of carbon and low alloy piping, FAC is known to IP intermediate pressure
occur in the mid-temperature regions of the cycle, between Symbols: s/cm micro siemens per cm - measurement of
120 deg. C and 205 deg. C. In high pressure boiler cycles, electrical conductivity
these temperatures exist in boiler feedwater or LP (low
pressure) and IP (intermediate pressure) sections.
In this paper, theoretical basis of the FAC mechanism is I. INTRODUCTION
reviewed with few failure examples and the potential ways to
mitigate this phenomenon either through AVT (O) or OT. All
Volatile Treatment (Oxidizing) - AVT(O) or Oxygenated
F LOW-accelerated corrosion (FAC) is metal loss that
occurs in carbon steel equipment when the normally
protective oxide layer is dissolved into a flowing stream of
Treatment - OT has proven to be effective in reducing water and/or steam. The metal goes through continuous
corrosion products formation and transport, shortening the cycling of oxide layer production, followed by loosening and
unit start up times and simplifying lay-up procedures and dissolution into the turbulent stream. The oxide layer is not
chemical monitoring. The chemistry of oxygenated treatment able to protect the metal, and the continuous loss of the oxide
is interesting and explains why the program has become layer results in the steady loss of metal thickness.
popular. In conventional AVT(R) programs, iron
FAC-sometimes referred to as flow-assisted corrosion
concentrations in the feedwater are often above 10 ppb. Iron
leads to wall thinning (metal loss) of steel piping exposed to
particulates are the primary product that carries over to the
flowing water or wet steam. The rate of metal loss depends on
boiler. The paper is focused upon FAC and methods to prevent
a complex interplay of many parameters such as water
it.
chemistry, material composition, and hydrodynamics. Carbon
Index Term--- Flow Accelerated Corrosion, Corrosion, steel piping components that carry wet steam are especially
Wall Thinning, Piping System, Reliability, Metallurgy susceptible to FAC and represent an industry wide problem.
Experience has shown that FAC damage to piping at fossil and
nuclear plants can lead to costly outages and repairs and can
affect plant reliability and safety. The industry as a whole has
worked steadily since 1986 to develop and refine monitoring
programs in order to prevent FAC-induced failures.
Having previously been most concerned about failures
S. Banerjee, DGM (Chemistry), OPJSTPP, JPL, Raigarh, (CG), India. E-
mail: soumitra.benerjee@jindalpower.com occurring in higher pressure areas of the cycle, FAC is now a

ISBN 978-93-83459-12-4 2014 Bonfring


National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 144

primary concern as over 60% of all utilities have reported condensate/feedwater system contains copper alloys, oxygen
finding it in their facilities. Defined as localized rapid metal scavenger feed is not recommended, but rather programs that
loss resulting in tube wall thinning of carbon and low alloy make use of deliberate oxygen feed are now the preferred
piping, FAC is known to occur in the mid-temperature regions choice.
of the cycle, between 120 deg. C and 205 deg. C. In high
pressure boiler cycles, these temperatures exist in boiler
feedwater or LP (low pressure) and IP (intermediate
pressure) sections.
FAC induces metal dissolution at flow disturbances
(Figure 1), i.e., elbows, reducing fittings, in carbon steel, and
is most pronounced at temperatures near 150 deg. C. FAC is
also greatly influenced by pH, and becomes increasingly
severe if the pH is allowed to drop towards 9.0 or below.
While FAC has become a recognized problem, many people in FAC Mechanism
the power industry are still unaware of the issue, and continue
to specify oxygen scavenger feed for new units. Unless the

Fig. 1: Schematic of FAC Mechanism


As shown in fig. 1 above: Till now, in India, accept for few super critical units, the
Oxidation of iron to soluble ferrous ions and widely-accepted condensate/feedwater chemical treatment
magnetite at the internal interface between the steel consisted of ammonia or amine feed to establish an alkaline
and the oxide. environment. This treatment is combined with feed of an
Fe + 2H2O = Fe2+ + 2OH- + H2, 3Fe + 4H2O = Fe3O4 + oxygen Scavenger/metal passivator to eliminate any oxygen
4H2 not removed by a deaerator and/or a deaerating condenser.
Diffusion of soluble species (iron and hydrogen) The combination of ammonia and oxygen scavenger feed
across the porous oxide and diffusion of hydrogen came to be called all-volatile treatment reducing, [AVT(R)].
through the carbon steel. The thinking was that all oxygen must be eliminated from the
Dissolution and reduction of magnetite at the external feedwater system.
interface between the oxide and the water. In the globe, especially US, UK, Japan, Germany, this
2Fe3O4 + N2H4 + 12H+ = 6Fe2+ + 8H2O + N2 changed in 1986. On December 9 of that year, an elbow in the
Transfer of soluble iron species towards the flowing condensate system ruptured at the Surry Nuclear Power
water and transfer of hydrogen towards the air after Station [near Rushmere, Virginia, USA]. The failure caused
diffusion through the steel. four fatalities and tens of millions of dollars in repair costs and
The rate of metal loss depends on a number of parameters lost revenues. Researchers learned from the accident and
including the feedwater chemistry, the material composition, other similar incidents that the reducing environment produced
other materials in feedwater system, and the fluid by oxygen scavenger feed results in single-phase flow-
hydrodynamics. accelerated corrosion (FAC).
At low velocities, the flow is laminar and essentially Sudden failures of high-pressure, high-temperature
parallel to the surface of the metal or to the adjacent feedwater piping by flow-accelerated-corrosion (FAC)
streamlines. The velocity varies from essentially zero near to continue to appear in the utility industry, the conventional
the oxide/water surface to a maximum at the centre line of the condensate/feedwater treatment of oxygen-scavenging/pH-
pressure vessel/tube. The growth of Fe3O4 at the oxide/steel conditioning, used for many years by utilities throughout the
interface matches the dissolution. At higher velocities, the world, has proven to be the root cause. The reducing
action of the friction between the water and the oxide induces environment generated by this chemistry will induce FAC,
irregular fluctuating radial and axial velocity components with where gradual thinning of pipe or tube walls in a much
flow. The fluid is mixed in a random manner and becomes localized area leads to sudden and catastrophic failure. Refer
turbulent. Thus the growth of Fe3O4 cannot match the flow- fig. 2 & 3 below.
accelerated dissolution, exfoliation and spallation and the
oxide thickness reduces and becomes less protective.

ISBN 978-93-83459-12-4 2014 Bonfring


National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 145

Fig. 2: Demonstrating the Tube-Wall thinning Caused by


Single-Phase FAC

Fig. 4: Feed Water Pipe thinned by FAC


Corrosion and FAC are a balance between the growth of
the oxide on the metal surface and its dissolution into the
water. Under normal conditions these two processes are
approximately equal and an oxide forms on the surface which
provides protection. In the abnormal situation with FAC, the
Fig. 3: Feed Water Pipe Thinned By FAC dissolution of the oxide into the water is greater than its
growth on the metal surface so that the remaining thickness is
Conventional Reducing chemistry concept: The safe below that needed to provide protection. In most severe FAC
range for condensate/feedwater systems is much more cases, there is essentially no, or very little, oxide on the
restricted than that shown on the graph (figure 7) and is surface. This applies to both single and two-phase FAC. In
typically held between the pH values of 9.0 and 9.6. When a both, it is always the water phase that is responsible for the
steam generator is placed on line, and where subsequent dissolution of the oxide. The focus in fossil and HRSG plants
oxygen concentrations in the condensate and feedwater remain should be to reduce FAC as much as possible, which is
at levels within a low part-per-billion (ppb) concentration, indicated by a minimum amount of iron in the feedwater.
steel develops a protective coating of iron oxide known as
magnetite (Fe3O4). This mechanism also occurs on boiler As is clearly evident, the pipe wall gradually thins.
water wall tubes. Formation of protective oxide layers is still a Catastrophic failures occur when the affected area can no
very important concept but has now become hematite (Fe2O3) longer withstand the inside pressure. Sudden ruptures of high-
against earlier magnetite (Fe3O4). temperature feedwater lines have killed many workers at
several stations in world in the last decade or so. Normally
Optimizing chemistry in the condensate/feedwater system single phase FAC is denoted by the orange peel texture as in
is critical for two reasons. First, to prevent corrosion of the figure 5.
piping and heater tubes themselves, and second to minimize
the formation and transport of corrosion products that travel to
the boiler and beyond. The two primary corrosion control
issues in condensate/feedwater systems involve pH and
oxygen. It is these control issues that influence FAC.
To understand the problem, in another sub-mechanism
(dissolution of magnetite layer), first consider the nature of the
protective magnetite (Fe3O4) layer. The compound is actually
a joint mixture of FeO and Fe2O3 that often exhibits a rippled
pattern. Iron exists in a +2 (ferrous) oxidation state in FeO and Fig. 5: Single-Phase FAC
+3 (ferric) in Fe2O3. The ferrous ions are those that are FAC has also been a problem in heat recovery steam
susceptible to FAC and in affected zones the ions migrate out generator (HRSG) waterwall tubes that have many tight-radius
of the magnetite matrix. The reducing environment elbows. The low-pressure circuits of HRSGs often operate
continually regenerates ferrous iron, whose constant migration near the temperature of highest corrosion potential, which
weakens the wall structure and eventually reduces pipe exacerbates FAC potential. A particular difficulty with
strength to the point of sudden failure. From a straight-on HRSGs is that the two or three semi-independent waterwall
view, the corrosion has the texture of an orange peel. Figure 4 circuits make chemistry control rather difficult. One extra-cost
illustrates a side-view of FAC. solution for controlling FAC in HRSGs in the design phase is
to specify tube material, at least in elbows, of 1.25 percent
chrome steel. This material is resistant to attack.
Aside from the obvious concern of catastrophic failure of
feedwater piping, FAC is a significant safety concern. Unlike
high pressure boiler tube failures that occur inside a structure,
FAC occurs in areas of the plant that are in close proximity to
plant personnel. The first documented failure was in
December 1986 at a nuclear power plant in Virginia.

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National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 146

FAC metal loss is best described as the absence of the Turbine exhaust diffuser (T)
protective iron oxide layer that, when present, limits corrosion Air-cooled condenser (T)
in boiler systems. Without this protection, the surface is free Downstream of control valves (most often T).
to react with the passing water (or steam-air mixture called
two-phase FAC) and metal loss is rapid. Classic FAC attack
is bare (shiny) metal with a scalloped appearance in the
direction of flow (figure 6 pictured below).

Fig. 6
Factors that affect FAC are: flow velocity, geometry, Fig. 7
metallurgy, temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, and FAC is a process whereby the normally protective
pH. Piping geometry and flow velocity go hand in hand, as magnetite (Fe3O4) layer on carbon steel dissolves in a stream
failures typically occur in areas of higher velocity relative to of flowing water (single phase FAC) or wet steam (two phase
adjacent areas like the outside of tube bends or where a tube FAC). Historically, the terms Flow assisted corrosion, and
intersects a header, so periodic inspection of these areas in Flow induced corrosion have been used to define FAC. This
your boiler cycle is highly recommended. To understand why process reduces or eliminates the oxide layer and leads to a
iron oxides would not develop in these areas, researchers rapid removal of the base material until the pipeline bursts.
focused on the sometimes complex physics and chemistry of The FAC process can be as high as 3 mm/year.
iron oxides. Iron exists in two oxidation states (Fe+2 and Fe+3)
and a variety of structures, so there are sixteen known iron Fig. 8 to 13.below are some cases of failure due to FAC.
oxides and oxy-hydroxides, each with different properties.
Magnetite (Fe3O4) is formed in a boiler circuit under anaerobic
conditions and is very stable, dense and uniform at high
temperatures (>205 deg C). Between 120 deg C and 205 deg
C, magnetite forms less rapidly and is pourous and irregular;
and below 120 Deg C, magnetite forms very slowly.
Therefore, in the temperature range that FAC is of concern,
magnetite is of less help when it comes to corrosion protection
than at the higher temperatures as shown in figure 7 below.
Commonly recognized locations of FAC damage and
Fig. 8
failure in conventional fossil plants (S: Single Phase, T: Two
phase) included the following:
Feedwater heater normal drains (S, T). Most Prevalent
area, where about 60% of organizations record
problems.
Piping around boiler feed pump (S). Includes steam
attemperation supply piping and downstream spray
control valve (S, T).
Piping to economizer inlet headers (S). Especially
associated / near valves to header and supply tees.
Economizer inlet header tubes (S). Most frequent are
usually those nearest to supply header. Fig. 9
High pressure (HP) feedwater heater tubes and tube
sheets fabricated in carbon steel (S).
Low pressure (LP) feedwater heater shells (T),
especially near cascading drain entries.
Deaerator shells (T) near to fluid entry (HP cascading
drains) piping.
Expanders and reducers on either side of valves (most
often T).
Locations near thermo-wells in piping (S).
Fig. 10

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up to 150 g/l. What chemists discovered is that in very pure


feedwater (cation conductivity, 0.15 S/cm), the oxygen
causes the magnetite to develop a tenacious and very insoluble
film of ferric oxide hydrate (FeOOH).
AVT is the method that keeps dissolved oxygen close to
zero and suppresses corrosion. On the other hand, OT or AVT
(O) is the method that keeps traces of the dissolved oxygen
(20-200 g/l) and forms a protective film called hematite
Fig. 11 (Fe2O3). Hematite particle is fine and dense, so the surface of
its protective film is flat, as shown in Fig. 8. The solubility of
hematite is extremely less compared to magnetite (Fe3O4).
Magnetite particle is relatively large, so undulation (wave-
shaped) scale is formed on the surface of the metal. Behaviour
on FAC rate & ECP with increase in dissolved oxygen (DO) is
shown in fig. 15.
In an OT program, oxygen is deliberately introduced to the
condensate and feedwater system. Two variations of
oxygenated treatment are most popular. In the first, oxygen is
injected alone without any pH-conditioning chemicals. This
Fig. 12 program is known as neutral water treatment (NWT). More
often, ammonia is injected for pH control. This is known as
combined water treatment (CWT).

Fig. 13
Prevention of FAC through All Volatile Treatment
Oxidizing (AVT (O)) or Oxygenated Treatment (OT)
There are two possible choices for feed water treatment
viz. AVT (O), and OT. The treatment chosen should match the
unit, unit metallurgy particularly feed water, cooling water and
possible contaminant ingress, but the aim of all the treatments
should be to prevent boiler tube failures and provide
protection to the steam turbine.
Fig. 14: SEM Photomicrograph inside Boiler Tubes
Research has shown that alpha structured ferric oxide,
known as hematite (-Fe2O3) can strengthen the porous
magnetite layer and result in a more stable protective layer.
Hematite is formed in oxidizing environments, so having some
dissolved oxygen present in feedwater circuits (<10 ppb) is
now seen as beneficial. This has led many plants to abandon
the use of chemical oxygen scavengers in all ferrous systems
where continuously well operated mechanical deaeration and
minimal air in-leakage is the norm. Iron oxide solubility is
also very dependent upon pH especially in the typical FAC
temperature range as pictured above.
Over 40 years, researchers in Germany and then Russia
Fig.15: Behaviors of ECP and FAC Rate as a Function of DO
began using a programme known as oxygenated treatment
Concentration
(OT) to minimize carbon steel corrosion and iron dissolution
in steam generators. The key component of the program is OT was developed in Germany some 40 years ago for
deliberate injection of pure oxygen into the replacement of AVT(R). The program was adopted by other
condensate/feedwater network to establish oxygen residuals of European utilities and has gained large acceptance at utilities
in the U.S. The treatment requires the controlled injection of

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National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 148

oxygen into the condensate/feedwater system. Common teen ppb concentration should be investigated and corrected as
injection points are just after the condensate polisher and again quickly as possible.
at the deaerator outlet. In CWT programs, which are most
For mixed-metallurgy systems, OT and AVT (O) are not
common in the U.S., oxygen is dosed to maintain a 30 to 150
acceptable, as they would initiate excessive copper corrosion.
ppb residual. Ammonia is added to raise the pH within a range
However, operation with complete absence of oxygen leads to
of 8.0 to 8.5. Typically, in pure DM water 50 to 70 ppb of
FAC. So, the correct program is to feed an oxygen scavenger,
ammonia will produce this pH.
but at reduced concentrations to minimize FAC. This can be
The chemistry of oxygenated treatment is interesting and quite difficult when relying upon standard dissolved oxygen
explains why the program has become popular. In and oxygen scavenger analyses. The technique of oxidation-
conventional AVT(R) programs, it may be difficult to keep reduction potential (ORP) monitoring is becoming popular for
dissolved/suspended iron concentrations in the feedwater mixed-metallurgy condensate/feedwater chemistry. In short,
below 2 ppb and excursions above 10 ppb are not uncommon. on-line ORP monitors measure the electrochemical potential
Iron particulates are the primary product that carries over to of the solution versus a standard electrode, most commonly
the boiler. With oxygen injection however, the base layer of silver/silver chloride.
magnetite becomes covered and interspersed with an even
A general rule-of-thumb is that the oxygen scavenger
tighter film of ferric oxide hydrate (FeOOH). This compact
should be fed to maintain an ORP within a range of -350 to -
layer is more stable than magnetite and releases very little
300 millivolts (mV). This corresponds to a range of -150 to -
dissolved iron or suspended iron-oxide particles to the fluid. A
100 mV for a standard hydrogen electrode (SHE). However,
properly orchestrated OT program should lower feedwater
chemists have found that this guideline should not be
iron concentrations to less than 1 ppb.
considered an absolute. A better plan is to set up
The keys to an OT program are controlled oxygen feed and comprehensive tests that include dissolved iron and copper
high-purity condensate, where cation conductivity can be analyses, and coordinate the optimum ORP range with
maintained 0.15 S/cm. Such steam generating systems are minimized copper and iron concentrations. In figure 16, we
always equipped with condensate polishers. OT has also been can see the increase of benefits with increase of controls in
applied to a number of drum units throughout the world, as it steam water cycle.
is a condensate/feedwater treatment and thus can function
regardless of boiler design. OT cannot be used in systems that
contain copper-alloy feedwater heater tubes, as copper
corrosion would be much too severe.
An issue that has come to light regarding OT programs is
that of two-phase FAC. At points in the steam generating
system, particularly deaerators and feedwater heater drains,
zones of physical separation between water and steam will
develop. Chemicals in the feed solution that prevent FAC may
settle in one phase leaving the other without protection. Thus,
FAC can occur when all chemistry parameters are seemingly
in acceptable ranges. Two-phase FAC is virtually impossible
to control chemically. The issue can be addressed Fig. 16: Hierarchy of Controls and Benefits for Employment
mechanically by utilizing 1.25-chrome steel in affected areas, of AVT (O) or OT, AVT (O) [Oxidizing All Volatile
as was mentioned earlier for HRSG elbows. Treatment]
An offshoot of OT is a program developed by EPRI known In oxidizing all volatile treatment the use of reducing agent
as all-volatile treatment (oxidizing), or AVT (O). The idea is eliminated. The ORP will be around 0 mV which could be
continues to be establishing a FeOOH layer on the feedwater slightly +ve or ve. For units operating with AVT (O), the
piping, but by a less intensive mechanism. What the achievable iron levels can be around 1ppb or less. The
researchers found is that in condensate/feedwater networks requirements for AVT (O) are:
where condenser air in-leakage is minor and where condensate Elevated pH of 9.2 9.6.
dissolved oxygen levels stay at or below 10 ppb, discontinued Cation conductivity of less than 0.20 S/cm.
feed of the oxygen scavenger allows the FeOOH protective Minimum air in-leakage to ensure less than 10 ppb
layer to form naturally. As with OT, this program is only for dissolved oxygen at CPD.
systems with all-ferrous metallurgy. One difference from OT,
No addition of reducing agent (N2H4) to the feed water
however, is that the pH should be maintained within a range of
to ensure oxidizing ORP.
9.2 to 9.6. An operating guideline is cation conductivity 0.2
With AVT (O) or OT, the protective cover layer pores
S/cm. Excursions in dissolved oxygen concentration and
become plugged with ferric oxide hydrate (FeOOH) or ferric
cation conductivity-particularly the former-indicate excess air
oxide (Fe2O3). The Fe2+ ion diffusion from steel surface
in-leakage within the condenser. Increased air in-leakage also
through the pores in the protective cover layer to the
introduces excess carbon dioxide, which influences corrosion.
oxide/water phase boundary is strongly inhibited. The few
Thus, for a unit on AVT (O) any air in-leakage difficulties that
raise condensate dissolved oxygen levels much above a mid-

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National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 149

ferrous ions leaving the steel are oxidized either in the layer Fig. 18: Major Difference between AVT(R) and OT
pores or right at the protective layer/water boundary.
2Fe (OH)2 + O2 + 2H+ = 2Fe(OH)2+ + H2O
2Fe (OH)2 + O2 = 2FeOOH + H2O Advantages of OT:
2Fe (OH)2 + O2 = Fe2O3 + 2H2O
Reduction in Boiler Chemical Cleaning frequency
The very low level of corrosion product transport into
the boiler results in less deposition on waterwalls thus
considerably reducing the boiler chemical cleaning
frequency. In addition, fouling of BFPs, feedwater
control valves, boiler orifices and of valves may be
overcome.
Reduction in Boiler Tube failures
For boiler tube failures there are three under deposit
corrosion mechanisms: Hydrogen damage, caustic
Fig. 17: Growth of a Cover Layer of FEOOH on the magnetite gouging, and Acid phosphate corrosion. The under
under oxidizing conditions of AVT (O) or OT deposit corrosion is likely to initiate in areas where the
excessive amounts of deposits have formed. Any
In AVT (O) the lower levels of oxygen maintained by air measure e.g., OT resulting in reduced corrosion
in-leakage control are not high enough to passivate 100% of product transport into the boiler is the most important
the feed water particularly the deaerator surfaces. For this corrective action w.r.t. possible boiler tube failures.
reason, the achievable ferrous ion concentration in the Reduction in Pressure drop in once through units
feedwater is around 1 ppb under AVT (O) conditions and Due to the formation of rippled magnetite deposits in
below 1 ppb for OT conditions. For HRSG plants with all supercritical once through units operating on AVT(R),
ferrous feedwater systems the feedwater chemistry should be the pressure drop increase is a typical problem. This
AVT (O) to avoid single-phase FAC in feedwater and LP problem can be overcome by use of AVT (O) or OT.
evaporator circuit. Control of single phase FAC
OT (Oxygenated Treatment) Single phase FAC in the condensate and feedwater
In Oxygenated treatment, oxygen and ammonia are added system typical of units operated on AVT(R) can be
to feedwater. The ORP is kept around +100 to +150 mV. stopped.
Reduction in Polisher regeneration Frequency
The requirements for OT are:
In once through boilers the lower pH i.e., low
Cation conductivity of less than 0.15 S/cm. ammonia content in the condensate to be polished
Minimum air in-leakage to ensure less than 10 ppb results in less no. of regenerations. This leads to huge
dissolved oxygen at CPD. savings in chemicals and manpower. The service runs
Addition of oxygen to the feed water to ensure in OT are much longer in comparison to AVT.
oxidizing ORP. There is one important pre-condition for getting benefit
OT uses oxygenated high purity water to minimize from all above advantages that is the purity of whole cycle has
corrosion and FAC in the feed water train. Oxygen, hydrogen to be excellent i.e., cation conductivity less than 0.15 S/cm.
peroxide, and air can be used as oxidants. OT can be applied If this purity level cannot be maintained then AVT (O) should
only in plant cycles with all ferrous metallurgy downstream of be used instead of OT.
condenser. The Chemistry Controls required in Table 1 below:

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National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 150

Table 1: Chemistry Controls for AVT (O) & OT

Step-3 (Evaluate reducing agent requirement): This


step involves a series of tests to minimize the
II. PRACTICE FOR OPTIMIZATION OF ALL-FERROUS FEED generation and transport of feedwater corrosion
WATER CHEMISTRY IN CONVENTIONAL AND HRSG products.
Step-1 (Review normal or current feedwater Step-4 (Monitoring with new feedwater treatment):
treatment): This step involves a review of the current This step requires a repetition of monitoring in step-2
feedwater treatment. If the review indicates problems, to confirm that running with reduced or zero reducing
then some baseline monitoring is required. agent provides the optimum feedwater treatment.
Step-2 (Monitoring baseline on current feedwater Step-5 and 6 (Consider converting to OT): These steps
treatment): This step involves a complete base-line involves whether the units can run on OT and how to
monitoring to quantify the current chemical convert units to OT.
parameters and to determine whether continued use of Step-7 (Continue to optimize the feedwater treatment):
a reducing agent and AVR(R) or a change to AVT (O) This steps continues the efforts described in steps 3
should be contemplated. The monitoring should and 4.
include the adequacy of the makeup and chemical feed Step-8 (Operation and continuing monitoring): The
system, condenser tightness, air in-leakage, and feed water treatment used on each unit [AVT(R),
corrosion product transport. AVT (O) or OT] should be continually checked to
ensure it is always the optimum treatment.

Fig. 19: Decision Tree for Optimization of All-Ferrous Feed Water Chemistry in Conventional and HRSG Units

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Core Parameters for AVT (o) Feed Water Treatment


(Drum units without a reducing agent and with an all-ferrous
feedwater system)
Cation conductivity- CPD, CP O/L or ECO I/L, RH (or MS),
Blow down
Specific conductivity- Make up, Blowdown (or down comer) Before all we water doctors go out and turn off our
pH- Blow down (or down comer) deaerators and oxygen scavengers, there are many prerequisite
Dissolved oxygen- CPD, ECO I/L requirements that MUST be met in order to operate in these
Sodium- CPD, CP O/L or ECO I/L, RH (or MS), Blowdown oxidizing atmospheres. One is that the system must be an all
(or down comer) ferrous metallurgy- No copper alloys in the steam cycle. One
Phosphate- Blowdown (or down comer) (PC only) of the compromises to operation in an oxidizing environment
is typically a higher pH of the feedwater and steam which has
For AVT (R) Feed Water Treatment
corrosive effects on copper metallurgy.
Cation conductivity- CPD, CP O/L or ECO I/L, RH (or MS), A second requirement is a significantly better quality (i.e.
Blow down much lower allowable dissolved solids) on the feedwater
Specific conductivity- Make up, Blowdown (or down comer) system. This is needed in order to avoid the oxygen pitting
pH- Blow down (or down comer) normally associated with residual oxygen levels in feedwater
Dissolved oxygen- CPD, ECO I/L system. Most industrial boiler systems will not achieve the
Sodium- CPD, CP O/L or ECO I/L, RH (or MS), Blowdown required water purities necessary to operate in an oxidizing
(or down comer) environment. Although not absolutely necessary in all cases,
Phosphate- Blowdown (or down comer) (PC only) many systems planning to operate in an oxidizing atmosphere
ORP- Deaerator I/L will require condensate polishers to achieve and maintain
feedwater qualities required to be successful.
For Combined Cycle/ HRSG Plants

Cation conductivity- CPD, CP O/L or ECO I/L, MS (or RH), III. CONCLUSION
Blowdown (or down comer) (each drum) Feedwater treatment optimization by adopting the right
Specific conductivity- Make up, Blowdown (or downcomer) feed water treatment i.e. OT or AVT (O) depending on system
(each drum) metallurgy can significantly reduce the flow accelerated
pH- Blowdown (or downcomer) (each drum) corrosion (FAC) both in conventional and HRSG plants.
Dissolved oxygen- CPD, ECO I/L Besides reduction/elimination of FAC, the transportation of
Sodium- MS (or RH) corrosion products from pre-boiler system to the boiler are
Phosphate- Blowdown (or downcomer) (each drum using a minimized resulting in reduced deposits, cleaner heat transfer
phosphate treatment) surfaces, delayed or no need for boiler chemical cleaning,
Silica- Makeup minimum under deposit corrosion, and reduction in boiler tube
In India a 500MW unit station having all ferrous feed failures.
water system were converted to AVT(O). The first 500MW
unit was converted to AVT(O) w.e.f. June-2004. The iron and As compared to AVT (O), Oxygenated treatment (OT)
crud values in feedwater were reduced significantly. which uses addition of oxygen in feedwater can further reduce
the FAC because in AVT (O) the lower levels of oxygen
The optimization of feedwater chemistry was carried maintained by air in-leakage control are not high enough to
out by the following four steps: passivate 100% of the feed water surfaces. Hence OT should
Step 1: Monitoring and controlling the Dissolved be considered as the next step for implementation on the units
oxygen in the condensate to around <10-15ppb. presently operating on AVT (O) feedwater chemistry.
Step 2: Reviewing the AVT (R) that was in practice Operation of boiler feedwater systems in an oxidizing
prior to June 2004 and FAC was monitored by environment produces an oxide layer on the ferrous metals
recording the total iron in the feed water sample. The that is more tenacious than the normal ferric oxide found in
crud values were in the range of 10 ppb in the AVT boiler feedwater systems operated in a reducing environment
(R) regime. as is the common practice in most steam cycles. With the
Step 3: Reduction of reducing agent i.e. Hydrazine oxide layer being more tenacious, it is significantly less likely
from 20 ppb to 10 ppb, and monitoring the iron in to be removed in the process known as flow accelerated
feedwater, crud levels, and all other base parameters. corrosion (FAC).
Step 4: Total elimination of reducing agent by July
2004 and conversion to AVT (O) regime. The crud ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
values in feed water decreased to <4.0 ppb after
stopping hydrazine and the total iron in feedwater Authors is thankful to the management of JIPT, Jindal
dropped from 2- 5 ppb to <2.0 ppb. Power Limited for giving permission to study, present and
publish this paper. Thanks are also due to operational staff of
Commissioning Chemistry Department of Jindal Power
Limited, Tamnar, Raigarh.

ISBN 978-93-83459-12-4 2014 Bonfring


National Seminar on Thermal Power Plant Performance Management - NSTPPPM 152

REFERENCES
[1] Cornell, RM; Schwertmann, U. (2003). The iron oxides: structure,
properties, reactions, occurrences and uses. Wiley VCH.
[2] Dooley, Barry (2005). EPRI Presentation to HRSG Users Group.
[3] FAC in conventional fossil fuel units, PPChem, R. Barry Dooley, Kevin
J. Shields, and Steve J Shulder
[4] Japan Society of Maintenology (E-JAM)
[5] Design Factors and Water Chemistry Practices Frank Gabrielli and Horst
Schwevers
[6] Evaluation of Oxygenated Water Treatment, Mitsuhiro Yamagishi,
Masamichi Miyajima, 14th International Conference on the Properties of
Water and Steam in Kyoto
[7] Power Plant Main Cycle Oxygenated Treatment: Victor Marcu, Orot
Rabin Power Station, The Israel Electric Corporation Ltd.Flow-
Accelerated Corrosion: A Critical Issue Revisited By Brad Buecker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mr. Soumitra Banerjee is M.Sc. in Applied Chemistry
under the faculty of engineering from Govt.
Engineering College, Jabalpur in the year 1995, He is
Certified IMS Auditor (ISO 9001:2000, ISO
14001:2004 & OSHAS 18001:2007) TUV. He has the
work experience of 18 years in various industries as
Adani Power Ltd, Tata Power Company Ltd,),
Raymond Ltd., at Chhindwara (M.P.), Gujarat
Paguthan Energy Corporation Ltd, Ion Exchange
Services Ltd., Asian Paints (I) Ltd

ISBN 978-93-83459-12-4 2014 Bonfring