Boilers create steam by applying heat energy to water. The fuels used to heat industrial boilers include coal, oil, natural gas or nuclear fission. When water turns into steam, its volume expands more than 1,000 times - and it can traverse steam pipes at more than 25 m/s. As a result, steam provides an effective way to move energy and heat around a plant, from a central boiler to wherever it is needed.
The biggest issue associated with boilers is the fact that water’s life-giving properties also encourage bacterial growth, which fouls boiler surfaces. Water also dissolves gases (like oxygen and carbon dioxide) which can corrode metals. Corrosion is the reversion of a metal to its original ore form – so the iron used to construct boilers can revert to iron oxide as the result of corrosion.
If left untreated, scale deposits and fowling diminish a boiler’s efficiency, and can lead to unplanned downtime. The feed water used for boilers must be as pure as possible, with minimal suspended solids and dissolved impurities.
Metering pumps are used to treat boiler feed water, in a variety of ways, including: