Boilers: Is Oily Condensate a Problem?
By James McDonald
James: “What should one do when oily condensate is being returned to a low- or medium-pressure boiler?” Ashwini: “Immediately isolate the line from where oily condensate is coming. It may be from gland steam if connected to condenser. It may be condensate coming from process plant through a condensate recovery system such as pressurize and pumping unit. Try to overflow deaerator if possible to increase make-up demineralizer water. Increase blowdown and increase phosphate and check oil content of blowdown water. If oil in condensate is too high, then foam comes out from deaerator vent. In such situations, one may shutdown the boiler; otherwise, foaming in the boiler may takes place, which may be detrimental to turbine as well as the superheater. It is necessary to have a condensate polishing unit with oil checked at certain intervals to avoid such a situation.”
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