CCS and Power Systems

Crosscutting Research - Plant Optimization Technologies


Development of Computational Capabilities to Predict the Corrosion Wastage of Boiler Tubes in Advanced Combustion Systems


Performer: Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc.

Project No: FC26-07NT43097


Program Background and Project Benefits

Staged combustion is a method of reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in boilers by controlling the combustion mixture of air and fuel. Its process conditions are particularly corrosive to lower furnace walls. Superheaters and/or reheaters are often employed in the upper furnace to reuse hot combustion gasses to further raise the temperature of steam vapor. Relatively high metal temperatures and the presence of certain metals in coal ash cause severe coal ash corrosion attack to superheater/ reheater tubes. The problem is further intensified when steam outlet temperatures of advanced combustion systems are significantly increased.

To address these corrosion concerns, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Technology Energy Laboratory (NETL) is collaborating with Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) on a project to develop corrosion models capable of predicting lower furnace and superheater/reheater tube corrosion wastage (deterioration). Because corrosion attack is activated by heat, the effect of temperature will also be investigated. Ohio State University faculty will support B&W’s efforts by contributing their technical expertise in the area of high-temperature corrosion.

A predictive tool to determine corrosion wastage rates in lower furnace and superheater/reheater tubes will aid in the design and maintenance of boilers, especially those operating at elevated temperatures, and will contribute to attainment of DOE targets for increased efficiency and reduced emissions in power plants. These improvements will help the U.S. to manage environmental issues associated with coal-fired power plants. In addition, more efficient use of domestic fuels will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy fuels, thereby increasing national security.


Project Details