Publication | Peer reviewed papers | Asche und Aerosole

Dominating high temperature corrosion mechanism in low alloy steels in wood chips fired boilers

Gruber T, Retschitzegger S, Scharler R, Obernberger I

Published 17 March 2016

Citation: Gruber T, Retschitzegger S, Scharler R, Obernberger I. Dominating high temperature corrosion mechanism in low alloy steels in wood chips fired boilers. Energy and Fuels. 17 March 2016;30(3): 2385-2394.


Ash related problems such as slagging, fouling, and high temperature corrosion in biomass fired boilers are still insufficiently explored due to the complexity of the underlying processes. High temperature corrosion of low alloy steels like 13CrMo4-5 has already been investigated in plants firing chemically untreated wood chips. In this earlier work it has been suggested that the oxidation of the steel is the dominating mechanism in the material temperature range between 450 and 550 °C. Unfortunately the exponential dependence of the material degradation on the flue gas temperature also found within this work cannot be explained with the proposed corrosion mechanism. To determine the dominating corrosion mechanism, additionally test runs have been carried out in a specially designed drop tube reactor. To investigate the time-dependent corrosion behavior of 13CrMo4-5, a newly developed mass loss probe was applied under several constant parameter setups. In addition to these measurements, the time-dependent oxidation of 13CrMo4-5 under air was investigated in a muffle furnace. To gain relevant information regarding the corrosion mechanism prevailing, the deposits as well as the corrosion products have been examined subsequently to the test runs by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analyses. With the experimental data gained it could be shown that the dominating corrosion mechanism strongly depends on the conditions prevailing (e.g., steel temperature, flue gas temperature, and velocity) and can either be the oxidation of the steel by gaseous O2 and H2O or a combination of oxidation and active Cl-induced oxidation.

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