Utility Materials Selection and Compatibility
At WRI, we routinely address materials performance and related issues in advanced energy systems. We collaborate with utilities and commercial equipment manufacturers to analyze the causes of premature component failure. We also build and operate bench-scale and process development equipment for fossil energy applications, including upgrading, combustion, gasification, and fuels production.
- With the University of Wyoming, we’re assessing the potential for corrosion of coal-fired power plant flue gas handling equipment such as ducting, scrubbers, and ESP and/or baghouse with and without mercury emissions control technologies.
- We are evaluating the sorption capacity, integrity and strength of an industrial partner’s proprietary oxide formulations when exposed to coal combustion flue gases as part of a novel oxygen production technology.
- We are developing materials and methods for joining vanadium-based materials. These are essential for the assembly of large-scale hydrogen separation devices in the future.
The range of our experiences in operational conditions includes high temperature, high pressure, reducing, oxidizing, and multi-phase solids, liquids and gases. We have worked with fixed beds, recirculating solids, fluidized beds, bubble slurry columns, coke production, tank bottoms, and hydrogen separation.
For example, a circulating fluidized bed co-firing coal and biomass had to be taken offline when a tube in the external heat exchanger failed. (Photo above). Using SEM/EDX, WRI analyzed the metal and deposits on the internal tube surfaces and determined that inadequate coolant flow was causing boiling in the heat exchanger.
When dramatically accelerated fire-side wear began affecting in-bed evaporator tube bundles in a fluidized bed coal-fired boiler, WRI determined that a critical wear protection coating had been inadequately applied.
Materials of construction include mild steel, stainless steel, alloy steels, super-alloys, copper, aluminum, alumina, glass, clad materials, and refractory lined materials. As new energy systems are conceived, the compatibility of process equipment materials of construction with local environments becomes a critical need. At the front end during development or when a problem appears, call WRI for materials testing, selection, evaluation and trouble-shooting.
Also see Non-Routine Analytical Services.