Why Removing Calcite (Limestone) from Landfill Leachate Systems’ Lines Require Specialized Descaling Chemicals

Calcite clogging is a major problem in the industry. This type of scale is typically associated with pipes, heat exchangers or other water handling equipment in general industry but it is also true that landfill channels can also become completely clogged with limescale. Typically the problem is ignored in landfills until it is too late and leachate channel systems become clogged resulting in back-ups of leachate flow. Ignoring the problem when signs of clogging are starting to happen only creates bigger headaches down the road. 

When it comes to cleaning calcite deposits in your leachate lines, there’s no better option than an industrial strength, specialized chemical descaler.  According to Goodway’s Director of Liquid Solutions, Ray Field, “It’s well documented that an inhibited acid descaler is the product of choice in these cases.” The main advantage to a chemical descaler is its ability to permeate throughout the entire leachate collection piping system. Alternatives like high-pressure water jetting may reach inside the first 75 feet of piping, but after that the scale down the channel is so deep that water jetting can’t get to the worst areas of scale. It then becomes a pervasive problem within the entire leachate network in the landfill.

Other alternatives include commodity acids — for example, commodity grade and concentrated sulfuric acid. But this can make a limescale headache even bigger. When adding sulfuric acid to calcite-clogged pipes, you’re going to end up turning your leachate lines into gypsum (or calcium sulfate). That’s a million times worse than even the worst limescale problem!

Power plants (and any associated landfills) provide an additional challenge. Each involve massive amounts of water. What’s more, they share a symbiotic relationship with regard to methane gas. Power plants pay landfills for their methane gas. When their leachate lines become clogged, methane metering from the landfill slowly chokes off — along with the amount of revenue going to the landfill from the power plant. That’s a direct result of letting calcium carbonate build up and going unchecked in a landfill leachate collection system. 

Certain chemical descalers are not only safe, but also dissolve mineral deposits extremely fast. For example, Goodway’s Scalebreak Liquid Descaler is biodegradable and dissolves calcium, lime, rust and other deposits from your systems. This particular descaler can be applied in a variety of environments that contain different materials, including steel, brass, copper, plastic and rubber. Thanks to Goodway’s customizable capabilities, Scalebreak products include special formulas specifically for stainless steel, maritime applications and potable water systems. Goodway also offers alkaline neutralizing crystals which allows lowering descaling acidity to meet your needs.

 Not only will specialized chemical descalers make systems operate more efficiently in the here and now, they will also increase the overall life of your systems with efficient and non-interrupted operation.

In the end, removing calcite from leachate lines requires customizable chemical liquid solutions for descaling — and maybe an aspirin or two if you’ve put it off for a while.

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How Chemical Descalers Clean and Maintain Boilers, Chillers and Cooling Towers

In this “Just Venting Podcast,” Ray Field, the Director of Goodway Liquid Solutions, discusses the physical and financial impact of scale build-up on boilers, chillers and cooling towers. Ray also provides tips on how to avoid expensive repairs, improve energy efficiency and decrease electrical costs by implementing an effective maintenance plan.

 

Chemically Inclined: The Case for Clean Boilers

Boiler cleaning is something most companies don’t want to think about — if boilers are working within operational limits it’s often easier to keep up with smaller preventative maintenance (PM) tasks but put off a total chemical clean until performance starts to suffer. The problem? Once scale forms on boiler surfaces both fuel and efficiency losses quickly ramp up. Here’s a look at the cost of scale and the case for regular chemical cleaning.

Fuel Failures

What’s the real impact of scale on boiler efficiency? According to the Department of Energy (DoE), even “normal” scale at 1/32 inch thickness produced by low-pressure applications leads to a two percent fuel loss. In high pressure applications, the resulting iron plus silica deposits can result in fuel losses of up to seven percent. And while two percent may not sound like much, the EPA offers a helpful example: A firetube boiler using 450,000 MMBtu of fuel (at $8.00 per MMBtu) over 8000 hours per year with 1/32 inch of normal scale means a yearly operating cost spike of over $70,000.

As noted by research from NC State University, the reduced heat conductivity of scale leads to big problems in agriculture applications: If left untreated, ½ inch thick scale can lead to 70 percent increased fuel usage and significantly reduce overall boiler efficiency. Simply put? Even minimal scaling is a major problem.

Calculating Clean

Chemical cleanings aren’t cheap — and require you to shut down boiler operations for at least a day. So how do you know when it’s worth investing the time and money and when you can afford to wait?

As noted by ACHR News it’s a good idea to conduct regular visual inspections of boiler tubes to check for scale build-up. Regular monitoring of flue gas temperature can also indicate a problem — if the temperature rises when boiler load and excess air are held constant, scale is the likely culprit. Other reasons to consider a chemical clean include one or more system failures due to corrosion, or if you replace a significant amount (more than 10 percent) of your boiler tubing. According to Hartford Steam Boiler, evidence-based assessments are always the best way to determine chemical cleaning needs; while time-based cleanings have the benefit of simplicity and regularity they can’t take into account the myriad factors — such as water chemistry, frequency of startup, shutoff and blowdown — which contribute to scale formation.

Once you’ve identified scale, the next step is selecting a chemical solution and deploying the product. Best bet here? Draft and follow a solid set of best practices to ensure your chemical clean fully penetrates and dissolves scale before you flush and re-ignite boiler systems. Given the cost and time investment associated with chemical descaling, it’s worth doing right the first time.

Bottom line? Scale is expensive and ruins boiler efficiency. Rely on evidence-based methods to detect build-up and immediately deploy a full chemical descale if your boiler shows any signs of scale.

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Subscribe to our Seasonal HVAC System Efficiency Podcast Series. This time of year our focus is on Boilers, Chillers and Cooling Towers. Also, check out our descaler calculater!

Burgeoning Biomass Boilers Demand Next-Gen Design

Burgeoning Biomass Boilers Demand Next-Gen DesignThe race for more efficient, green energy production has many countries—and companies—exploring options like solar, geothermal, wind, and water power. There’s another contender, however, one that isn’t quite as flashy or news-worthy: Biomass. This technology comes with some significant benefits such as an almost-identical infrastructure profile to that of coal-fired plants. But there are also challenges—as noted by ACHR, biomass boilers often require special handling to ensure they’re operating at peak efficiency.

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A Clean Boiler Saves Money, Energy

An energy-efficient boiler not only saves your facility money on its monthly utility bills, it also helps reduce greenhouse emissions and protect the environment.

background dollarPurchasing Energy Star-qualified boilers ensures they meet the strictest energy efficiency standards, which are set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. In order for a boiler to achieve the Energy Star rating it must have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating above 85%.

AFUE measures equipment efficiency. Products that have higher efficiency ratings usually include features such as electronic ignitions, combustion technologies, which extract more heat, and sealed combustion using air to fuel the burner to reduce drafts, according to the EPA’s Energy Star program.

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Facility Management To Do Now: Boiler Maintenance

Your facility’s boiler may finally be at rest now that the heating season is over, but that doesn’t mean that you should overlook your boiler’s maintenance needs. The perfect time to address any maintenance issues is when your boiler is offline.

heating engineer repairman in boiler roomProper maintenance is key to keeping your boiler functioning reliably. But as we explain in our past post, What You Need to Know About Boiler Maintenance Costs and Benefits, a preventative maintenance program also improves safety, minimizes downtime, decreases replacement costs and reduces energy and water usage.

A boiler inspection should occur regularly, at a minimum of once a year. Energy Manager Today recommends checking the boiler for leaks and proper functioning of valves, controls, safety devices, and indicators as part of a standard boiler maintenance program.

Any parts that are not functioning properly can put the boiler at risk of major damage. Additionally, during the inspection look for any signs of corrosion or overheating. These are potential warning signs that the boiler is not working properly and you should repair it promptly.

In the introduction to our checklist, How to Clean Industrial Boilers, we explain that fuel consumption within a boiler can increase by up to 5% because of scale, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dirty boiler tubes affect efficiency in both old and new systems. Facility managers must include boiler tube cleaning as part of their preventative maintenance plans. Preventing scale build up in a boiler can reduce energy costs as well as reduce the cost of repairs and lengthen the system’s lifespan.

Goodways offers a variety of brushes and scraper tools that attach to our cleaning tools to remove light deposits as well as thick deposits and everything in between.

Our liquid descaler product breaks up the toughest deposits. Our descaler equipment with pH analysis automatically descales while it monitors pH. The equipment injects chemicals as needed until the boiler is completely clean.

With Goodway’s boiler tube cleaning tools, it’s possible to descale a boiler in as little as an hour. Goodway is a global leader in boiler cleaning products, using the latest technologies and innovations to bring you the cleaning tools that enable you to clean your boiler as quickly as possible.

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What You Need to Know About Boiler Maintenance Costs and Benefits

An article in Facilities.net highlights the benefits of preventative maintenance programs for boilers. The article explains such programs provide great benefits to building managers by improving safety, minimizing downtime, decreasing replacement costs, and reducing energy and water usage.

But before instituting a plan, a building manager should still take the time to determine if using a program will prove beneficial enough, considering the costs.

Preventative maintenance programs for boilers are most beneficial if the failure rate of the system as well as the cost of the program are less than the cost of repairs or other corrective action, according to the Facilities.net article

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Power Plant Descaling: More Important Than You Think

Sometimes when we in the industry think of descaling power plants, we mainly think of the large condenser boxes that create steam and run turbines. And while that is a huge part of the operation, there are dozens of other applications where water is used within a power plant.

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The most common scale ingredient is CaCO3, or calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in hard water. Herein lies the problem: if thousands of gallons of water are flowing through boilers, heat exchangers, condensers, cooling towers and other parts of a power plant, scale is likely to build up.

How Stuff Works shows us how a nuclear power plant works. The Centre for Energy shows us how a thermal power plant works. And the U.S. Geological Survey shows us the inner workings of a hydroelectric power plant. Although the plants vary in operation, function and components, what the illustrations show is that a power plant contains numerous large applications with water circulating through them, requiring descaling.

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Fool-Proof Ways to a Clean Vending Machine

Cooled vending machines are basically refrigerators with coils requiring cleaning and maintenance just as refrigerators do. Heated vending machines contain boilers that need descaling.

Because food (and food particles) may remain in a vending machine for long periods of time, it’s also important to address bacterial and mold growth.

If vending machine operators pay little attention to equipment maintenance that can lead to expensive emergency repair calls. Vencoa Vending Machines estimates each call – for just one issue – can cost as much as $200 while regular scheduled maintenance by the route person only costs one or two dollars more than the regular fee. Routine, preventive cleaning saves money, leading to increased revenues.

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How to Clean Industrial Boilers – Checklist Download

We’ve covered cleaning your facility’s cooling system in our Spring Cleaning Checklist posts. Now it’s time to address cleaning boilers and heat exchangers.

Fortunately, Goodway makes it easy for you to start today. Below are two printable cleaning checklists to get the ball rolling:

Checklist 1: “How to Clean Industrial Boilers
Checklist 2: “How To Clean Heat Exchangers

(Note: You must provide your email address to get access to each checklist.)

We’re writing a series of blogs to explain each checklist in more detail. This first post in the series addresses industrial boilers. The second post will discuss cleaning heat exchangers. We’ll address the importance of cleaning these systems and reference the checklists, including what tools/products you need to get the job done right.

Here’s more about this week’s topic – cleaning industrial boilers:

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a tip sheet addressing energy efficiency for boilers. The agency’s data shows fuel consumption may increase by up to 5% because of scale. Preventing scale build-up can result in substantial energy savings. Both firetube and watertube boilers can experience build-up and reduced efficiency. Proper testing and regular cleaning reduces fuel consumption and allows systems to operate more efficiently. Higher efficiency and a clean system reduce the cost of repairs and lengthen the system’s lifespan.

How often you should clean you boiler depends primarily on the environmental conditions affecting your system. Regularly testing your boiler’s efficiency is the best way to understand how often cleaning is needed. Rising stack temperatures indicate a dirty system. Testing can also identify other problems including fouling on the exchanger, dirty burners, improper firing ratios and impingements on the flame. Goodway’s Stack Efficiency Tester measures stack temperatures, O2 and CO. The device calculates CO2 along with excess air and combustion efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a visual inspection whenever boilers are shut down. A video scope shows you what’s there and helps you determine if all the scale has been removed during the cleaning process. Remove scale with acid cleaning or through mechanical means, according to the U.S Department of Energy. Use one of our cleaning tools to loosen deposits.

Choose from a variety of brushes and scraper tools to attach to our cleaning tools to remove everything from light to thick deposits. Our liquid descaler breaks up tough deposits from water tube boiler tubes. One of our popular items is our descaler equipment with pH analysis. It automatically descales while monitoring pH. As more chemicals are needed the equipment injects more, until the boiler is clean.

The “How To Clean Industrial Boilers” checklist explains the step-by-step tube cleaning process in more detail. As an additional tip, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends consulting with your local water treatment specialist to consider modifying the feedwater treatment.

With Goodway’s boiler tube cleaning technology, it can take as little as an hour to descale a boiler. Goodway is a global leader in boiler cleaning technologies. We use the latest technologies and innovations to bring you the cleaning tools that enable the fastest cleaning process for boilers.

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