Product story

Why does Aurora™ keep furnaces and boilers running longer, safer, and more cost-effectively

Industrial furnaces and boilers are expensive to run, as well as difficult (and relatively unsafe) to clean and maintain. To mitigate internal slagging, fouling, and corrosion, more and more customers are using Imerys Aurora™. Here’s why.

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In biomass or coal plants, for example, the fuel source is ignited to create steam, which in turn passes through a turbine and generates the electricity. However, increasing fuel costs means operators are looking for alternative fuels which sometimes do not burn as cleanly within the furnaces. 

The challenges associated with burning non-design fuels are often bed agglomeration or slag formation within the furnace, which can lead to complications and outages down the line. Bed agglomeration is linked to the reaction of alkalis with fuel ash constituents and bed particles, while furnace slag formation is caused by molten alkali silicates.

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How Aurora can help protect boilers and furnaces

A solution to both of these problems is the application of an alumino-silicate-based fuel additive. Aurora™ is a powerful additive used to protect furnaces and boilers from the slagging, fouling, bed agglomeration, and corrosion that occurs as a result of burning fuels high in volatile alkalis. 

Aurora is made from an engineered blend of minerals and is added in slurry, granular, or powder form into the furnace. The product both increases the ash melting temperature and captures alkalis, incorporating them into compounds which remain solid at boiler temperatures, exiting the boiler as fly or bottom ash. This significantly reduces the downtime needed for repairs and cleanups.

Why choose Aurora?

Thanks to Aurora, furnaces and boilers can operate cleanly and efficiently, not losing any effectiveness due to residue build-up,” as Adam Campen, Technical Sales Manager for Ceramics at Imerys Performance Minerals Americas, explains. The reduced need for repair or replacement of equipment from erosion, corrosion, or damage from falling slag means maintenance costs are kept down. This also means boilers and furnaces have increased availability as there are fewer outages that can cost operators dearly. 


Why is Aurora a better sustainable solution for safe energy production?

Cleaner burning furnaces also means an increased fuel flexibility and a higher tolerance for fuel quality variations and non-conventional fuels. Operators using Aurora are thus able to consider a wider range of sustainable biomass fuel options, such as agro-waste, meat and bone meal, municipal solid waste, peat, pellets, poultry litter and wood waste. 

Last but not least, cleaner boilers and furnaces means improved safety. With much less manual internal cleaning of furnaces required, human exposure to molten ash and furnace gas is greatly reduced and dangerous techniques such as explosion cleaning are avoided. 


Fueling the future with Imerys and Aurora

Customers who choose Aurora also benefit from Imerys’ long experience and expertise in mineral solutions. As Campen notes: “Our world-class ceramics labs, whose research dives deep into ash properties with fuel, combined with our ability to manufacture Aurora at many of our sites around the world means there is no one who can assist furnace and boiler operators better in this domain than Imerys.” 

This is why Aurora is an increasingly popular product, with word-of-mouth between industry peers acting as the main driver of sales. “Users have even started giving it quite endearing nicknames!” says Campen. “It’s nice to see a solution you worked so hard on in the lab being met with such enthusiasm in the field.”

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