Continuous monitoring of chlorides and sulfates using microfluidic capillary electrophoresis (MCE) technology provides a proactive approach to controlling the impact of some of the most corrosive contaminants in power plant water. This case study explains the advantages of measuring chloride and sulfate with on-line MCE technology versus other technologies. It then provides an example of the benefits achieved with the installation of a METTLER TOLEDO Thornton 3000CS chloride and sulfate analyzer at the Nearman Creek Power Station in Kansas, USA.
With chloride and sulfate being key corrosive contaminants in power plants, the need to measure their levels has increased with the rise in power plant cycling, as well as with the construction of larger plants with expensive capital assets. On-line, ppb-level monitoring of chlorides and sulfates can be done with MCE technology, allowing fast reaction to contamination of the water cycle.
MCE technology is based on capillary electrophoresis, which uses an electric field to separate ions in an electrolyte, based on their mobilities. As detailed in the case study, early research on the use of this technology for power plant cycle chemistry measurements was initiated at Colorado State University in the USA.
At the Nearman Creek Power Station the installation of a 3000CS analyzer, which uses MCE technology, helped the plant conclude that acetate ions from decomposition of their amine additive increased their cation conductivity measurements, masking the true content of chloride and sulfate within their stream.
While they were receiving alerts from the cation conductivity system that there was a risk of high chloride and sulfate contamination, the installation of an MCE-based system allowed them to confirm that this was not the case, and that they were operating within their recommended limits. This saved time and effort in validating and responding to alarms.
MCE technology provides significant benefits to power plants, including clear monitoring of the levels of corrosive ions and helping power plants to stay within their turbine's warranty requirements. An analyzer with MCE technology can play a critical part in any power plant's water cycle management system.