Chemical water treatment: the essential vitamins required for a “healthy” steam and condensate loop

A steam and condensate loop acts like a living breathing organism; taking in water to produce steam and utilizing that steam for work, then returning a portion of the used steam as condensate to be reutilized.


A steam and condensate loop acts like a living breathing organism; taking in waterCourtesy of Spirax Sarco. to produce steam and utilizing that steam for work, then returning a portion of the used steam as condensate to be reutilized.

From a chemical perspective, the steam loop requires specific control over chemical constituents and nutrients by a water treatment chemical program that is specifically relevant to each plant.

There are 3 key areas of the steam and condensate loop that require a regular “health check-up”:

1. Feedwater: The Life Blood

One needs to check for hardness and silica to prevent scaling as well as oxygen control and pH to prevent corrosion. It all starts with the feed water quality. It needs to be controlled if the boiler is expected to last and produce high quality steam over the long term.

2. Boiler: The Heart Of The Steam Loop

The “heart” of the steam loop is the boiler. Its ability to continue to efficiently produce high quality steam is what is important. In order to accomplish this, a preventative mechanical and chemical maintenance program is vital to implement. Most prominently, checking to ensure dosing of the correct scale and corrosion inhibitor chemicals in the right quantity and in the right place is imperative. Controlling alkalinity and TDS levels will minimize carryover, and sometimes specialty anti-carryover. As such, foaming chemicals may need to be used. If the boiler is not under control, the steam it produces will struggle to meet requirements both in quantity and quality.

3. Condensate: Feedback On The Body

A lot can be learned about the state of a steam distribution system by testing the condensate. Checking pH can point to evidence of condensate line corrosion or carryover. Checking conductivity will often disclose a level of product contamination. Measuring iron levels in condensate is an essential indicator of both carryover and condensate line corrosion. As a consequence, it is a good indicator of the performance of your condensate protection chemical program.

Constant monitoring of the condensate is critical in assessing the overall performance of one’s water treatment program. Taking action to ensure you get the most from your steam plant is the real key to gains in productivity.

Content provided by Spirax Sarco, originally published in Steam News. Edited by Anisa Samarxhiu, Digital Project Manager, CFE Media, 

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on creating and enhancing a safe workplace in manufacturing.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me