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What is Cation Conductivity

June 22, 2009

Q. What exactly is Cation conductivity and how it is beneficial in boiler water?

Prasad Reddy
Researcher - INDIA

June 23, 2009

A. Hi, Prasad

"In high pressure steam systems, cation conductivity is a useful tool for monitoring return condensate for low levels of contamination by anions such as Cl-, SO4-, HCO3-, etc. In practice, a cooled sample of condensate or high purity water flows through a cation exchanger in the hydrogen form. The cation resin replaces contaminating cations such as Ca++, Mg++, Na+, NH4+, and amines in the sample with hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions exchanged for the other cations in the sample increase the conductivity contributed by the contaminant salts of mineral acid anions listed above by 3 or 4 times. Thus the cation exchange column can be thought of as a "conductivity amplifier" for mineral and organic acid contaminants; increasing the sensitivity of the conductivity analyzer to low levels of contamination. "

-- per


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 13, 2015

Q. The cationic conductivity was well defined.

I would like to clarify --
1. Will Cationic conductivity of live steam be higher than that of the condensate return from the turbine, OR both will be same?
2. Is there will be effect of cooling system for steam condensing after exhaust from steam turbine, i.e., air cooled system or water cooled system will have any effect?
3. Is there any Feedwater limit to achieve cationic conductivity < 0.3us/cm?


Nisar Ahmad
- Rawalpindi, Pakistan

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