March 2015

Special Report: Corrosion Control

How caustic stress leads to failures of incinerator caustic spray nozzles

Frequent failures of the waste spray nozzles in incinerators result in accelerated degradation of the refractory lining, requiring unscheduled shutdowns for repairs. A study was carried out to identify the factors that contributed to the nozzle failure and to prevent the reoccurrence of similar failures in the future.

Maity, M., Al-Zahrani, E., Al-Meshari, A., SABIC Technology Centre

The primary function of incinerators is to burn hazardous materials, such as contaminated products, out of specification products and wastes. In this case study, a detailed investigation was conducted into frequent, premature failures of spent caustic [i.e., sodium hydroxide (NaOH)] spray nozzles in an incinerator. The operating temperature of the spent caustic incinerator is approximately 980°C. The incinerator is downfired, internally refractory lined and externally water jacketed. The wastes (mainly caustic) are atomized and sprayed from the incinerator upper cone through nozzles fabricated from austenitic stainless steel (SS) grade 310 (Fig. 1).     Fig. 1. Sc

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