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51317--9087-A Novel Non-Toxic Method for the Decontamination of Silicate Scales - A Case Study

Acceptable “industry standard” for dissolving a silicate deposit is hydrofluoric acid. Here, we introduce a safer, more environmentallyfriendly el method for dissolving silicate scales and present a case study for its application in industry.

Product Number: 51317--9087-SG
ISBN: 9087 2017 CP
Author: Samar A. Gharaibeh / Thomas R. McCartney / Roxanne A. Shank
Publication Date: 2017
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Silicate scale formation is a technical challenge for industrial process water operators and a financial burden for all industries that use water to support theiroperations.Silicates are mainly present in power-generating units such as boilers and condensers heat exchangers in refineries and petrochemical plants water desalination and other industrial equipment such as degreasers in paper mills. Wherever this scale is present its removal is crucial due to the fact that it decreases thermal conductivity and fluid flow rate.The chemical nature of the silicate scale depends on the chemistry of the water and theacceptable “industry standard” for dissolving silicates deposits is hydrofluoric acid often delivered by adding ammoniumbifluoride NH4·HF2 to a stronger acid solution.Although this approach iseffectiveit alsorequires meticulous attention to issues such as hazard potential (generation of HFin-situ) and acid-driven metallic corrosion (since cleanings must be done at lowpHs). Also calcium (which is present in most of the silicates) can decrease the efficiency of HF cleaning (HF spending). Fluoride ions attack calcium and produces insoluble toxic byproduct. Therefore safer more environmentally friendly ways to remove silicate deposits are desirable.Here we introduce a novel method for dissolving silicate scales and present a case study for its application in industry.

 

Key words: Silicate scale, hydrofluoric acid, corrosion, HF spending, industrial water systems, biodegradable polymers

 

Silicate scale formation is a technical challenge for industrial process water operators and a financial burden for all industries that use water to support theiroperations.Silicates are mainly present in power-generating units such as boilers and condensers heat exchangers in refineries and petrochemical plants water desalination and other industrial equipment such as degreasers in paper mills. Wherever this scale is present its removal is crucial due to the fact that it decreases thermal conductivity and fluid flow rate.The chemical nature of the silicate scale depends on the chemistry of the water and theacceptable “industry standard” for dissolving silicates deposits is hydrofluoric acid often delivered by adding ammoniumbifluoride NH4·HF2 to a stronger acid solution.Although this approach iseffectiveit alsorequires meticulous attention to issues such as hazard potential (generation of HFin-situ) and acid-driven metallic corrosion (since cleanings must be done at lowpHs). Also calcium (which is present in most of the silicates) can decrease the efficiency of HF cleaning (HF spending). Fluoride ions attack calcium and produces insoluble toxic byproduct. Therefore safer more environmentally friendly ways to remove silicate deposits are desirable.Here we introduce a novel method for dissolving silicate scales and present a case study for its application in industry.

 

Key words: Silicate scale, hydrofluoric acid, corrosion, HF spending, industrial water systems, biodegradable polymers

 

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