Each Chief Engineer should be given the name of the company of the
treatment products which has the contract furnishing chemicals and service for
his particular vessel. It is important that each vessel have the booklet of
instructions for the treatment used.
Contracts with the company should provide that they will not only furnish the
necessary chemicals as requisitioned but that their service engineer will meet
each vessel upon arrival in stated ports, collect water samples, test same
soonest possible and give a report. This report should include the analyse is
of the water samples taken as well as recommendations of actions.
The Chief Engineer must see to it that the form provided with the chemical
company for recording the feed water and boiler water tests is completely
filled out each day of the voyage and that this report is turned over to the
chemical company's representative when attending the vessel.
In order to counteract the effects of contamination, boiler feed water is
treated chemically, to control (1) scale formation in the water sides of
boilers, (2) corrosion, and (3) foaming and priming, and it is treated
mechanically and by heating to reduce the dissolved oxygen present in the
The purpose of the boiler water treatment is:
1 To neutralize acid forming salts in boiler water, i.e. maintain a slightly
2 To provide scale removing and scale preventing chemicals.
3 To precipitate impurities into a sludge which can be removed by bottom and
surface blows, and
4 To prevent corrosion by oxidation.
APPLICATION OF BOILER WATER TREATMENT CHEMICALS TO THE
The importance of the correct method of applying treatment chemicals cannot be
Additions of hydrazine to the feed water into the feed system must be
continuous and sufficient quantity to remove the last traces of oxygen from the
feed water and to leave a small excess.
The excess being sufficient to give a small residual in the boiler water to
produce sufficient ammonia, by decomposition of the hydrazine in the boiler, to
raise the pH of the condensate to over 8.5.
Continuous application by means of a suitable dosing unit, direct injected into
the feed line immediately after the F.W. pump.
The importance of continuous, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, injection
of hydrazine and amine should be reflected in the installation of reliable
chemical dosing units. The use of unreliable equipment can mean no hydrazine or
amine additions when the unit is out of action. This can lead to the onset of
corrosion in the boilers and subsequent repair costs far outweigh the cost of a
reliable chemical dosing pump.
Other chemicals shall be injected in the same way.
Mechanical de-aeration to reduce oxygen in the feed, is standard practice for
all boilers. The need for it, however, depends on various factors, e.g. plant
loading, boiler pressure and the evaporation rate. It is advisable to reduce
the oxygen content of the feed water to under 0.02 mg/l for boilers up to 40
bar. With modern de-aerators these levels are easily attainable, if installed.
At atmospheric feed water system with open condensate- filter - hot well-
tanks, the temperature shall be kept as near boiling as possible, also when
large quantities of make up water is added. Heating coils in the tank as well
as condensate temperature control and alarm should be provided.
Regular testing for oxygen content of the feed
water is necessary.
As much of the dissolved oxygen as possible must be removed by mechanical
de-aeration and supplementary chemical treatment used only for the last traces
of oxygen. The feed temperature should be maintained as high as possible in the
feed tank to reduce the oxygen content of the feed. In open feed tanks, the
temperature shall be at least 85°C (or higher).
The chemicals used for removal of the residual oxygen from the feed water are:
1 Hydrazine )
The hydrazine (N2H4) must be
continuously dosed into the feed water to react with all the oxygen present and
to produce a small reserve of hydrazine in the boiler water. The normal level
of hydrazine reserve to be maintained in the boiler water is between 0.1 and
0.3 ppm N2H4.
'he chemical reaction with oxygen can be expressed
N2H4 +O2=2H2O + N2
As the products of reaction are harmless - nitrogen as and water, hydrazine
treatment does not increase the dissolved solids content of the boiler water.
The excess hydrazine in the boiler breaks down to give ammonia which provides
suitable alkaline conditions in the steam condensate system. The reaction can
proceed in two ways:
B 2N2H4--- 2NH3+N2+H2
Hydrazine for trace oxygen scavenging is normally recommended for boilers
operating above40 bar but it can also be used in low pressure boilers where
corrosion has been experienced and it is necessary to avoid any increase in
boiler dissolved solids.
Sodium sulphite is frequently used for removal of traces of oxygen from boiler
feedwater. It can be used in marine boilers operating at pressures up to 40
bar. Catalysed sodium sulphite is used in most cases, as the reaction time with
oxygen is extremely fast even at ambient temperature.
In marine practice, particularly for low pressure shell type boilers, it is
usual to add the catalysed sodium direct to the boiler and not continuously
into the feed water. This reduces the amount of sulphite required as most of
the oxygen flashes off with the steam and only the small amount in the boiler
water has to be removed by the sulphite. This, in turn, limits the increase in
boiler dissolved solids resulting from the formation of sodium sulphate.
To ensure removal of all oxygen, a small sulphite reserve is maintained in the
boilers, the level of excess
sulphite varying according to pressure and type of boiler and whether or not
the feed water is de-aerated.
Hydrazine, apart from its comparatively slow reaction with oxygen at ambient
temperatures and at a pH of under 9.0 has certain advantages over catalysed
sodium sulphite, as follows:
A The use of hydrazine does not contribute to any increase in boiler dissolved
solids and this is an important factor in high pressure boilers or in low
pressure boilers where any additional dissolved solids must be avoided.
B The use of hydrazine results in a protective magnetic iron oxide film
(Fe3O4) on the boiler meta!
surfaces which acts as an additional protection against oxygen corrosion.
C The excess hydrazine in the boiler breaks down to produce ammonia which has
beneficial effects in raising the pH of the steam/condensate system and thus
affords some protection to the system by neutralising any carbon dioxide.
BOILER BLOW DOWN
Boiler blow down is an essential requirement for complete control of the boiler
treatment. A reduction in the boiler water concentration of dissolved an
suspended salts is required to meet the limits set for control of treatment.
An automatically operating continuous blow down control might also be fitted
The frequency and duration of blow down is indicated by the test results from
the boiler water conductivity which shows the total content of soluble salts
collected into the boiler from the feed water and the treatment. It is also
equal to the specific gravity, i.e. measurement of the total salt content may
be done by a specific gravity meter.
The conductivity is measured in micro Siemens per centimetre (µS/cm) and
the approximate relationship between the salt content and the conductivity is
S=K x C, where
S=salt content, mg!!
K=0.6 for boiler water and 0.7 for condensate
The pH value indicates if the sample water is acidic, neutral or alkaline.
The following table shows the characteristics of water solutions over the
Since boiler water shall be alkaline in nature, it is important to follow the
treatment makers' recommendations to keep the pH within the limits stated.
It is to be noted that large quantities of make-up water from evaporators
containing dissolved CO2 might cause a decreasing pH in the condensate.
The CO2 dissolved into the make-up water will follow to
condensers by the steam flow.
BOILER WATER TREATMENT PRODUCTS
Except for above mentioned chemicals for oxygen scavenging the boiler water
treatment products are mostly special chemicals with combined effect. Apart of
those Trinatriumphosphate Na3PO4
and sodium NaOH may be used for increasing the alkalinity and as softener.
There are several makers of boiler water treatment products where a few makers
could be noted as examples:
Automatic sample tests and dosing equipment will be recommended as a
"One shot" type treatment products may be used in system with total
balance only and with addition of a separate oxygen scavenger.