The cleanliness of the heat transfer surfaces of biomass boilers is more important than ever, mainly due to the increase in co-firing and the diversification of fuels. Corrosion, fouling and slag formation are phenomena caused by elements contained in fuels (for example chlorine or alkali metals) and have become familiar even in power plants, where the importance of these problems was clearly less in last. The Finnish company specialized in circular economy clean steelHe has been cleaning biomass and W2E boilers for over ten years using his innovative and patented method smart blasting, mainly in the Nordic countries, but also in Latin America and Spain, where it has satisfied customers such as Enso (Garry) and Smurfit Kappa (Nervion). “We first tried Smart Blasting in November 2022 and it really worked. Our boiler looks new on the inside” says Mercedez Diez, Head of Production at Smurfit Kappa.
In the past, problems caused by fuels were easier to see in advance. “The significantly increased range of fuels and the non-uniformity of the fuels have meant that we are increasingly encountering situations where rapid and severe boiler fouling surprises power plants and the boiler manufacturer. For this reason, at Clean Steel we almost always recommend removing ash accumulations, even incipient ones, during annual maintenance shutdowns. Savings in this area can lead to multiple costs as scale and corrosion progress,” says Clean Steel sales director Vesa Railamaa.
As is known, fouling and slag significantly slow down the mass flow of steam and decrease heat transfer. Boiler efficiency drops, carbon dioxide emissions increase, and more oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide begin to form.
The advantages of Smart Blasting include cleaning quality (SA3), speed of work and safety. The grit used for smart blasting, called Smart Grit, is softer than grit and doesn't create dust, helping the cleaning job and achieving the desired end result. Also, the fact that no water, sand or other virgin materials are used in Smart Blasting is an advantage. “Changing the cleaning method from a familiar method to a modern one is a big step for any power plant and requires the right attitude. However, we believe that this type of preventive and effective cleaning will also become widespread in Spain, and that is why we are here” says Vesa Railamaa.
Clean Steel participates in Expobiomasa 2023, at stand 255.