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Do you know what a chemical cleaning process involves?

Published 1.8.2022

The chemical cleaning process at the Ensenada Barragán Thermal Power Plant has just been completed, removing deposits from pipes and boilers using chemical and mechanical solutions. In this article, we take a deep dive into one of the more challenging stages of the project.

The chemical cleaning process is carried out at industrial facilities at a specific point to get rid of all the waste products left over from the construction stage, leaving equipment ready for commissioning. There are two parts to this process, which starts by flushing water through the installation to sweep away dirt particles mechanically before the chemical cleaning phase. This process uses acids, bases and corrosion inhibitors to degrade and remove any other residue, ensuring that start-up conditions are optimal and that the turbines will operate safely when they start producing power. The process is also another checkpoint, an opportunity to verify the state of the installations with a view to pre-empting any problems or breakdowns in the future, and it also extends the useful life of the equipment involved.

At Ensenada Barragán, the acid cleaning stage of Boiler 11 is nearly done, with 80% progress achieved so far out of the total process. Tayhana Cilento, who works in the Pre-commissioning, Commissioning and Commissioning Engineer team, explains that, “it’s very exciting to work on such a major challenge at a project as important as this one. This experience helps to develop us as professionals and learn to overcome the kinds of obstacles that crop up in day-to-day construction activities, where you have to take into account the difficulties and conditions of existing installations.”  

Once the installation has been cleaned with a steam blow to ensure that any remaining residues are removed from the pipes, and with the surrounding services in operating condition, the next stage is the much anticipated systems start-up itself. This also means that we’re getting closer to the completion of the work!

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