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Injecting steam in fuel gas line

Sunday, July 09, 2017   By: pradeep [1918] 2 Stars
Dear All
Recently an Interviewer asked me that if we inject steam in fuel gas Natural gas pipeline of boiler then what will happen. Whether efficiency of boiler increase or decrease
Regards
Pradeep

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Sunday, July 09, 2017   By: cmolanes@itba.edu.ar [50] 4 Stars
Mr. Pradeep:

I am quite puzzled by your posting... steam is actually, as you surely know, injected in fuel oil burners to assist in pulverizing, and in some gasoil burners as well, but I cannot imagine the need to do so in gas burners, since gas will naturally mix thoroughly with air.

Perhaps there is the possibility, with steam, of smothering the flame temperature, as is done with water injection, when flame temperatures rise to the point of generating NOx, and for some reason steam being better, with gas burners than water, but this is just a guess.

In case steam is used to smother the tempertures, then possibly there will be a certain reduction in efficiency, but the need to avoid contamination with the flue gases will be mandatory with most regulations.

Just to play Sherlock Holmes, perhaps in some case, with dual burners, steam might help as cooling medium of the gas burners when oil is being burnt, when normally in this case it is the air flow that helps cooling down the gas lances, but please take this as pure fancy.

Claudio Molanes

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017   By: pradeep [1918] 2 Stars
Dear Sir
I was also puzzled by this question thats why i asked it on this forum that may be anyone can throw light on it.
Regards
Pradeep

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Monday, July 10, 2017   By: Murphy [21] 4 Stars
I cant imagine placing saturated steam in a natural gas line. The first issue that will occur is steam condensation. This water condensate will cause problems of unimaginable types and amounts if the drip legs in the gas boiler manifold are not drained. This is just a very bad idea if your burners are not designed for this liquid. So, your burners have to be designed to combust very high amounts of water that is entrained in the fuel. What comes to mind is incinerator burners.

We can inject steam at the combustion envelop such as what Mr. Molanes was discussing.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017   By: pradeep [1918] 2 Stars
Dear Sir
If we take supersaturated steam instead of saturated steam then I think condensation problem will not arise. Then how will it affect efficiency of boiler?
Regards
Pradeep

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017   By: Murphy [21] 4 Stars
I understand the question and it might be misplaced a little, so let me explain what I mean - When water or condensate is rapidly heated to extreme temperatures such that the H2O or water is ripped or stripped apart so the H2 or hydrogen and O2 oxygen are separated. This is where at a conceptual glance the science is trying to be applied, but superheated steam doesnt have enough heat. Even superheated steam will cause condensate to form in the steel gas line. Water should be a minor constituent in the natural gas as apposed to a significant constituent too.

On another thought, there are manufactured fuel gases, but not natural gas, that are known as water gas or carbureted water gas that uses steam in the making, but this gas is made by blowing forced hot air through a bed of hot coal or hot carbon to get the bed hot then hit the bed with steam that creates CO and H2 for a really hot flame with a decrease in N2 too.

Another manufactured gas method that uses natural gas and is considered natural gas reforming creates a very hot flame temp. In this process natural gas an steam are combined at around a 1550F catalyst that results in the production of H2 or free hydrogen, CO or carbon monoxide and CO2 or carbon dioxide.

Other than this there cant be an application that I am aware of that benefits by injecting hot steam in a steel natural gas line. It just seems like a very bad idea. I think you answered it the question right by saying I dont know at the interview.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017   By: pradeep [1918] 2 Stars
Dear Sir
You rightly said i do not know told them
Regards
Pradeep

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017   By: Jim Watts [764] 5 Stars
Although there are practical reasons not to do so, the question is reasonable from a non technical person.
In the case of gas turbines steam injection is carried out and it increases the output so why not a boiler.
The steam cannot be injected into the fuel supply for safety reasons including loss of flame stability and resultant furnace explosions. Nor is injected into the fuel of a gas turbine for the same reason.
Steam could be injected into the combustion chamber as is done on a gas turbine.
So what would happen?
As the steam would enter the furnace as steam and leave with the boiler fluegas, the effect on the boiler depends on the temperature entering and leaving.
If it comes in hotter than it goes out the boiler output would increase and vice versa.

The boiler change is due to heat exchange but the gas turbine gets a larger change due to pressure drop and flow increase.

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