What are Boiler Water Treatment Chemicals? | WorldOfChemicals

Boiler water treatment, a supercritical industrial process

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

“The industrial revolution was another of those extraordinary jumps forward in the story of civilization,” the quote by Stephen Gardiner clearly explains how industrialization has changed all aspects of our life today. As we explore the various industrial techniques and processes, it is worth mentioning the incredible use of boilers in industrial processes. Without this critical piece of equipment, most of the chemical & industrial processes would not have come into existence. Whether it’s a simple food manufacturing process or a more complex nuclear fission reaction, the role of a boiler remains inevitable. To ensure that the boiler runs smoothly and efficiently in the long run, it is important to treat it in a proper way, failing which the boiler would lose it efficiency.

What are the boiler water treatment chemicals?

The efficiency of the boiler majorly depends on the feedwater used. Untreated water, such as water from rivers, municipality bores, and taps can cause severe damage to the boiler. Hence, it's critical to completely remove, or chemically modify the various substances present in untreated water. This is an important step in all chemical process which will avoid any potential damage to the boiler. The chemicals used in treating the feedwater are called the boiler water treatment chemicals.

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Hazards of using untreated water in boilers

 Boilers are mainly known for their heat transfer abilities. When untreated water is used, the heat transfer ability is drastically reduced and leads to overheating, pressure drop, tube failure, and efficiency loss. This is due to dissolved salts and minerals present in water, which eventually gets deposited over the sides of the boiler. Moreover, the dissolved gases in untreated feedwater will lead to corrosion of the piping system and reduced the efficiency of the boiler. Hence, it is mandatory to conduct a water treatment programme before it is being used in the boilers.


Boiler Water Treatment Methods


Oxygen Scavengers to Prevent Corrosion: Corrosion of boilers occurs when untreated feedwater is used. The dissolved oxygen in the feedwater reacts with the metal scales of the boiler to form oxides. This can be prevented by using oxygen scavengers (also known as oxygen absorbers), that’ll remove or reduce the level of oxygen in the entire system. The most commonly used oxygen scavengers are activated charcoal and a mixer of iron powder with sodium chloride.


Alkalinity builders: All industrial process work at an optimal pH range, failing which appropriate results cannot be obtained. Most of the high-pressure reactions need a high pH level. To increase the pH level, chemically modified substances called alkalinity builders are added to the boiler. Most industrial process use concentrated sodium hydroxide based alkalinity builders, which are balanced with phosphates, chelants, carbonates, and certain polymers.


Scale and corrosion inhibitors: One of the major issues that affect the operations of industrial boilers is an accumulation of salt deposits on the internal lining of the system. As a part of the equipment maintenance, scale and corrosion inhibitors are used. The common inhibitors are catalyzed sodium bisulphite, carbohydrazide, diethyl hydroxylamine, and cyclohexylamine. Oxygen scavengers also work well as scale and corrosion inhibitors.


Sludge conditioners: If the boiler is not maintained properly, suspended particles tend to settle at the lining of the system. If left untreated, it can drastically reduce the boiler efficiency. A sludge conditioner is often used to remove and clean the boilers. In some instances, it is also used to prevent and control scale formation.


Other chemicals: In addition to the above said methods to treat feedwater, there are numerous other water treatment methods that are process-specific. Condensate line protection and multi-functional treatments are some of the important methods used in treating the boiler feedwater.

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Leading boiler water treatment chemicals manufacturers

The key players operating in the global boiler water treatment chemicals market:

BASF SE

Akzo Nobel N.V.

Ecolab Inc.

Kemira OYJ

Suez Environment

Veolia International

King Lee Technologies

Ion Exchange India Ltd

The Dow Chemical Company

GE Water and Process Technologies


The current trends in boiler water treatment chemicals

The boiler water treatment chemicals market is ever-expanding and has no threat of slowing down in near future. Based on a recent report, the market for 2016-2026 identifies an anticipated growth in the industry. The boiler water treatment chemicals market is an on-going trend in the segments that include corrosion inhibitors, coagulants, flocculants, pH boosters, oxygen scavengers, and scale inhibitors to name a few. Whereas, based on the end-user analysis, the boiler water treatment chemicals market will see a huge growth in various industries that include power, steel, metals, petrochemicals, oil refineries, textiles, dyes, paper mills, sugar mills, food and beverages among others.

The Asia Pacific, particularly, China and India dominate the global boiler water treatment chemicals production, whereas North America is also a favorable market. The boiler water treatment chemicals market in GCC, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa will also expand rapidly. There is an increased market growth for boiler water treatment chemicals in the Middle East and Africa too.


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