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Corrosion of electronic equipment is a fact of life to chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, and many other industries. The gases that cause corrosion-related problems in these facilities – hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, chlorine, nitrogen oxides, etc. - are the same gases that are present and cause odor control problems at wastewater plants. Operators are beginning to realize that the computerized control equipment used in their facilities are subject to the same corrosive attack that leads to plant shut down in these process industries. The objective of this paper is to show how odorous gases are damaging to computerized control equipment in wastewater plants as well as how to protect and monitor such environments.

Plant personnel responsible for its operation and maintenance need to know if their electronic control equipment is under attack from corrosive gases. These are the types of questions that can be answered by reactivity monitoring. Direct gas monitoring can inform technicians of gas presence, but cannot add the effects of multiple gaseous components in the air. For these reasons, several tools have been developed for environmental reactivity monitoring. Reactivity monitors are of three basic types: 1) continuous corrosion monitors that interact with monitoring/control systems, 2) self contained monitors that can provide readouts of the environmental condition, and 3) reactivity coupons which can be used as spot checks. These tools can correlate the corrosiveness of an environment to the reliability of electronic process equipment and control equipment by published standard guidelines (Instrument Society of America's standard Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement and Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants). These guidelines provide information as to the levels that will ensure reliable operation. The standard levels and their corresponding equipment reliability predictions will be presented here.

After contaminant removal has been implemented, then reactivity monitoring can be used to monitor the protected environment. Continuous corrosion monitors can track episodes for which there was an accidental release of a solvent, gas, etc. that may effect the electronic equipment. This allows operators to not only know that there is a problem, but find the source by evaluating the time frames of the incidents. These are some of the results that can be obtained by reactivity monitoring.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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