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6 Benefits of Solid Water Treatment Chemicals for Corrugated Boilers

Posted by Vince Marcucci

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Liquid and solid water treatment products have plenty in common. 

They both consist of powerful chemical combinations developed to fight the plagues (i.e. scaling) that shorten the useful life of industrial steam boilers. They both combine different polymers to deal with corrosive and scale-forming water while controlling dissolved and suspended solids in the boiler water.

But when it comes to chemicals used in boiler water treatment for corrugators, the similarities between solids and liquids stop there.

Consider the many safety, cost, and convenience benefits of switching from traditional liquid products to sustainable solid water treatment chemicals:

6 Pros of Solid Water Treatment Chemicals vs. Liquids

If speed and savings are priorities 1A and 1B at your corrugated board plant, you may need a change in industrial boiler water treatment chemicals. The biggest improvements in solid chemicals vs. liquids are:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Fewer refills
  3. Easy transport
  4. Safer handling
  5. More space
  6. Sustainable packaging!


1. Increased Savings 

You’ll be shocked how much less freight costs when your supplier is shipping lightweight chemistry products to you. Liquids can cost almost 4x more than solids to ship.

Think about it: A case of solid products weighs less than 50 lbs. Meanwhile, liquid water treatment chemicals arrive in 55-gallon drums weighing 500 lbs. -- much costlier to move around. 

(Not to mention more dangerous, which we’ll get to soon.)

Liquids also require you to mark them as a “hazardous product,” since they include caustic substances.  Most solids are shippable by UPS or FedEx, resulting in quicker lead times and lower shipping expenses.

A final cost benefit of solids is that they don’t require special containment or triple-rinsing to comply with disposal requirements.

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2. Fewer Deliveries, Fewer Refills

Because liquid steam boiler chemical treatments need frequent replacement, you’re looking at:

  • More potential for spills during shipping 
  • More potential for injury
  • More shipping costs
  • More time wasted handling new containers
  • More time wasted dealing with empty containers

Solid product chemistry allows for complete, minimal-waste product use. You’ll replace the product less frequently and only as needed. Testing procedures help monitor boiler water chemistry control so your  results are always optimized for curbing corrosion and scaling.

3. Easy Transport to Difficult-to-Access Areas 

Size matters in a manufacturing facility. For example, when transportation of a 50-gallon liquid drum is necessary, there’s no shortage of procedures or dangers.

  • A worker transports the liquid chemical from the loading dock, through the plant, and finally to the boiler room.
  • A maintenance worker or chemical supplier transfers liquid from the drum to a chemical storage tank requiring containment.
  •  Chemical storage tanks and containment basins take up valuable space in mechanical rooms.

A switch to solid chemistry removes the inconvenience of transporting liquid chemicals through your facility or to a remote location. Typically 11 lbs. or less, solid chemistry poses little to no hassle.

The use of solids also eliminates the environmental hazards associated with liquid chemical storage and containment. It even eliminates the need for huge storage tanks and containment basins, providing ease of access for maintaining equipment.

4. Improved Safety 

Handling of highly acidic or alkaline chemicals can increase the risk of:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Inhalation
  • Ergonomic injuries

We’ve heard the horror stories of plant workers suffering chemical burns due to splashing and spilling during handling and transport. If that wasn’t enough, heavy lifting of liquids also increases the potential for back injuries. 

Liquid chemistries also create hazardous areas and waste when they accumulate and dry inside containment basins. The use of solid product chemistry eliminates the potential for chemical spills and risks during:

  • Shipping
  • Application
  • Storage


5. Maximize Floor Space 

Again, size matters.

Liquid chemical drums and bulk tanks are a massive waste of factory floor space. Solid chemicals keep space free from danger and obstruction, optimizing the square footage of your mechanical rooms. 

You can even store cases of solid chemistry on shelves, worry-free. No special containment is necessary!

6. Sustainability 

Solid water treatment chemicals can help you run a more sustainable corrugated packaging operation, and even make it easier to meet ISO 14000 standards.

Solid chemistry packaging can go straight into a recycling bin. Liquid-filled drums typically require handling considerations, triple-rinsing, and other restraints that tack onto your disposal costs.

Solid chemistry even impacts CO2 reduction. Take for example a 500 hp boiler with an average operating load of 70% at 15 cycles of concentration. Switching from liquids to solids could reduce the boiler’s CO2 emissions by 70 tons annually.

Switching to Solid Water Treatment Chemicals

It’s easy to pass off liquid and solid boiler water treatment chemicals as “close enough” and not worth the switch. Change is scary, after all, and involves training overhead.

However, a move to a solid chemicals program clearly improves ROI and production efficiency vs. competing liquid chemicals. Your employees will also love the removed safety concerns of transporting, lifting, and using liquid chemicals. These benefits will pay you back in no time -- making solids a water treatment essential for improved boiler plant operation.

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Topics: regulations, Water Treatment, water management plan, Solid Chemistry, Corrugating Industry, industrial boiler, chemical treatment products


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