Saving Your Ion Exchange Resin In Boiler Feed Water By Utilizing Decarbonation

Posted by Anthony DeLoach, President on May 22, 2018 12:00:00 AM

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Extending the life of your ion exchange resin in boiler feed water applications

Did you know that when producing steam, that it is most effectively accomplished by utilizing a decarbonation process? Decarbonation and Degasification is the most economical way to process in fluent water pre-Ion exchange treatment through a vertical packed tower called a decarbonator or often times referred to as a degasifier.  This is the most economical method to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) to prevent the formation of carbonic acid and other corrosive conditions is Degasification and Decarbonation which will extend the life of the ion exchange resin.  If CO2 levels remain high in the inlet feed water to the ion exchange system the resin beds whether cation or anion will require more frequent regeneration and your chemical usage and cost will rise.

In industrial applications it’s easy to overlook,

and often there is not enough focus on the need to select the right type of decarbonation or degasification system to assure that the process water treatment system will perform at the highest optimal level.  For water filtration when the primary process is membrane filtration of as often referred to “reverse osmosis”, too little attention is given to the need to properly remove CO2 from the process to lower the pH and adjust the alkalinity. 

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Having a high level of CO2 and acidic pH will increase the consumption of ion exchange resins prior to the injection into a boiler feed process to produce steam. Degasification towers are available in several configurations and some utilize steam and some work without steam injection.  Steam injection is often required when there is a need to remove dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water.  When there is no need to remove DO than a normal forced draft degasification tower is much more economical to purchase and to operate and frees up valuable steam to be applied in other locations in the industrial operation.

Chemical operating cost for industrial water applications can be very high!

The consumption of amine for the regeneration of resins will can drastically increase if the water process is not properly adjusted and the carbon dioxide (CO2) not removed prior to the ion exchange water softening process.  This mistake can also add to ion exchange failure and an increased hardness level of the water resulting in scaling and corrosion inside of the boiler tubes.  If the boiler tubes scale or a buildup of corrosion occurs inside the tubes the efficiency of the system is reduced and steam production falls.  If it is left untreated for a long period of time the complete boiler feed system may fail and require costly replacement. You must always consult your decarbonation/degasification manufacture to optimize the removal of CO2 and continue to maintain the balance of the pH to avoid any unnecessary boiler damage.

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You must always remember it is very important to select and properly size the Degasification tower or Decarbonation tower with the proper “distribution” system to maximize the removal of en-trained gases and reduce and or eliminate harmful corrosive conditions, that can and will damage your steam production system components like your boiler and heat ex changers. If the critical equipment is inside of a building or in close proximity to the degasification process you should also consider utilizing a chemical scrubber or biological scrubber to prevent corrosive and harmful gases from collecting on or around the systems and in the presence of the operators to learn more about this by visiting Industrial Water Treatment.  For more information or to learn more contact the professionals at DeLoach Industries Inc. at (941) 371-4995.


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Topics: water treatment issues, scaling, Decarbonation, ION Exchange Resin

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