Water Treatment Requirements for Low- and Medium-Pressure Boilers
By William F. Harfst
Low- and medium-pressure boilers must be protected from scale deposition and corrosion to promote optimum energy efficiency and prolong the useful life of the plant equipment. The definition of low and medium pressure is somewhat discretionary. For the purposes of this discussion, low pressure shall apply to boilers up to 150 pounds per square inch gauge (psig). These boilers are typically used in space heating applications where the percentage of return condensate is high. Medium-pressure boilers fall in the range of 150 to 650 psig. These are typically power-generating plants where process steam is required. The makeup demand is greater in medium-pressure boiler plants due to steam consumption and loss. In either case, the water treatment requirements can be met with basic chemicals. However, in the specialty chemical market, the various brand names and proprietary formulations create some confusion as to the best practice for boiler water treatment. This article will clear away some of the clutter by presenting a basic approach to providing effective chemical treatment for low- and medium-pressure boilers.
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