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Delivering Environmental and Utility Savings in Low-Pressure Steam Boilers

David Broster
by David Broster
25 March 2024
4 minutes read

    At Veolia Water Technologies, we can provide a packaged solution for boiler water customers that incorporates both reverse osmosis technology and boiler water treatment chemicals. Utilising a Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit such as our Sirion Advanced unit alongside our Hydrex 1000 chemical range for boiler water make-up, offers several significant advantages that make it a preferred choice in industrial applications. What makes this package the ideal solution for boiler water customers? 

    Energy Efficiency

    Boiler Engineers

    By far the most valuable reason for utilising RO technology in industrial boiler water systems is the contribution to improved energy efficiency. By removing dissolved solids and impurities, these systems not only allow for better heat transfer within the boiler, resulting in increased heat exchange efficiency and reduced energy consumption, but when used in conjunction with critical chemicals, they also allow the boiler water to be ‘cycled up’ further before replenishment with fresh feed water is required. This is because RO feed water contains a smaller concentration of the aforementioned impurities, therefore the boiler can produce more steam from the same amount of water before any adverse effects start to emerge. This ultimately provides energy savings as less fuel is required to heat less water.

    Scale Prevention

    Boiler Scaling

    Scaling is a common issue in boiler systems due to the inverse solubility of minerals and dissolved solids present in water at increased temperatures. This scaling can lead to reduced heat transfer efficiency, increased energy consumption, and equipment damage. RO systems excel at preventing scaling by removing the majority of dissolved solids responsible for scale formation. By incorporating an RO system into the boiler water make-up process, scaling is significantly reduced or even eliminated, ensuring optimal heat transfer and preventing costly downtime for descaling procedures. Any further scaling risk can be reduced further through the usage of adequately selected Hydrex scale inhibitors.

    Corrosion Control

    Corrosion is a major concern in boiler systems. RO systems play a vital role in corrosion control by removing corrosive ions, such as chloride, sulphate, and alkalinity, from the water. The removal of Alkalinity also reduces the risk of Carbon Dioxide forming in the boiler which can lead to Carbonic acid formation in the condensate return, causing corrosion. Hydrex 1000 water treatment chemicals also aid in the production of a protective layer of magnetite to further protect the system from corrosion.

    Chemical Reduction

    Chemical IBCs and Engineer

    Traditional boiler water treatment methods often require the use of chemicals to control scale and corrosion throughout the entire system. However, RO systems can significantly reduce the usage of chemical treatment. By removing a vast majority of contaminants, they minimise the reliance on chemicals, resulting in cost savings and a more environmentally friendly approach to water treatment. Additionally, reduced chemical usage means fewer potential health and safety risks for personnel working with the boiler system.

    Long-Term Cost Savings

     Implementing an RO system for boiler water make-up can lead to long-term cost savings. The prevention of scaling, corrosion, and fouling helps extend the lifespan of boiler equipment, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, the improved energy efficiency achieved through RO systems leads to lower fuel consumption and operational costs.

    A bundled package of Hydrex water treatment chemicals and reverse osmosis technology offers an immediate opportunity for energy, water and ultimately financial savings in certain low-pressure boiler water systems. With over a century of experience and a global network of experts, Veolia Water Technologies offers reliable and proven technology along with ongoing service and support, ensuring that customers can trust in the continued performance and efficiency of their boiler water systems for years to come.

    Read more about our range of water treatment chemicals and their applications, here.

    David Broster

    Author | David Broster

    David successfully graduated from University in 2013 with a degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology. From there, he accepted a place on a Graduate development programme for a large electrical wholesaler, before taking his first steps into the water industry as field service chemist. This progressed to David moving into account management , where he was responsible for managing and designing critical water treatment programmes for a range of customers. Five years later, in October 2020, he took the next step in his career and joined Veolia Water Technologies as Business Development Manager.

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