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High-Purity Water for Power

Water purity is a constant concern for power plants monitoring the quality of makeup and feed water. To prevent corrosion or scaling, these waters must be monitored continuously to detect upsets, leaks, and carryover. The power industry continuously faces issues of corrosion caused by inorganic ions, discharge regulations, and hazardous materials.

Dionex RFIC™ systems help identify corrosive and non-corrosive ion intrusions, extending the life of demineralizer resins and helping maintain a neutral anion to cation balance. These steps help minimize plant down time due to water and steam corrosion and boiler tube failures. Accurate water monitoring also cuts down on the need to replace economizer tubes, the cost of replacement power, and chemical cleaning.

Trace Analysis Techniques

It is estimated that a typical power plant circulates over one billion gallons of water each year. How can power plants be sure that the water they use is as pure as it can be? AutoPrep is a technique developed by Dionex to combine preconcentration and automatic calibration to generate standard curves and eliminate human error, providing an increased level of accuracy at trace levels in an easy-to-use format. AutoPrep is a term that describes a series of automated steps used to prepare samples online.

Why AutoPrep?

  • Simplifies trace analysis
  • Contamination free, because standard calibration and sample preparation is performed online
  • Lower detection limits—less than 5 ppt
  • Sample calibration and concentration is automated
  • Fewer errors, improved reliability
  • Lower labor costs


Corrosion contributes significant cost to the operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants. The buildup of sub-μg/L concentrations of impurities in water used to drive steam generators and turbines can propagate stress corrosion cracking and other corrosion mechanisms. In pressurized water reactors, boric acid is used as a water soluble neutron absorber to control the nuclear reaction. The determination of sub-μg/L anionic contaminants such as chloride and sulfate in boric acid treated waters is critical for minimizing or inhibiting corrosion in nuclear power plants.

An automated RFIC™ method has been developed for the determination of trace anions in borated waters. This method is designed to increase automation, decrease sample handling, and improve accuracy by minimizing the potential for contamination when determining sub- to low-μg/L concentrations of target anions.