A Study of Pre-Boiler System Corrosion under Reducing and Oxidizing Conditions
By Steven Dunn
In the United States, it is becoming increasingly difficult to permit the building of conventional coal-fired power generation stations because of ever increasing environmental regulations. Because of the cost and difficulty of complying with the new regulations, many power utilities are in the process of extending the life of their existing coal-fired power generation fleets. The process of extending the life of older power plants is creating new challenges in boiler and pre-boiler system corrosion minimization. One of the challenges is adapting the boiler feedwater chemistries to changing metallurgies in the pre-boiler systems. Pre-boiler systems are defined here as being the main steam condenser, boiler feedwater heaters and the associated piping. As these systems age, the heat exchanger tubing in this equipment can need replacing. The tubing in steam condensers and feedwater heaters has traditionally contained copper-based alloys because of the high heat transfer coefficients of copper-based materials. Because of the current high cost of copper, the tubing in many feedwater heaters and steam condensers is being replaced with iron-based materials such as stainless steel.
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