Many US boiler manufacturers have recommended limits on the chlorine (Cl) content (< 0.25% or < 0.3%) of coals to be used in their boilers. These limits were based primarily on extrapolation of British coal data to predict the probable corrosion behavior of US coals. Even though Cl-related boiler corrosion has not been reported by US utilities burning high-Cl Illinois coals, the manufacturer's limits affect the marketability of high-Cl Illinois coals. This study measured the relative rates of corrosion caused by two high-Cl coals (British and Illinois) and one low-Cl Illinois baseline coal under identical pilot-scale combustion conditions for about 1000 h which gave reliable comparisons. Temperatures used reflected conditions in boiler superheaters. The corrosion probes were fabricated from commercial alloy 304SS frequently used at the hottest superheater section of utility boilers. The results showed no evidence of direct correlation between the coal chlorine content and rate of corrosion. A correlation between the rate of corrosion and the metal temperature was obvious. The results suggested that the different field histories of corrosivity from burning high-Cl Illinois coal and high-Cl British coal occurred because of different metal temperatures operated in US and UK utility boilers. The results of this study can be combined into a database, which could be used for lifting the limits on chlorine contents of coals burned in utility boilers in the US.
Additional publication details
Corrosivities in a pilot-scale combustor of a British and two Illinois coals with varying chlorine contents