The use of “clean” fuel is a prerequisite at today’s elevated gas turbine firing temperature, modern engines are more sensitive to high temperature corrosion if there are impurities present in the fuel and/or in the combustion air. It is a common belief that distillate grade fuels are contaminant-free, which is often not true. Frequently operators burning distillates ignore the fuel quality as a possible source of difficulties. This matter being also of concern in plants mainly operated on natural gas and where distillate fuel oil is the back-up fuel. Distillates may contain water, dirt and often trace metals such as sodium, vanadium and lead which can cause severe damages to the gas turbines. Sodium being very often introduced through contamination with seawater during the fuel storage and delivery chain to the plant, and in combination, or with air borne salt ingested by the combustion air. Excursions of sodium in treated crude or heavy fuel oil can occur during unnoticed malfunctions of the fuel treatment plant, when changing the heavy fuel provenience without centrifuge adjustment, or by inadequate fuel handling. For burning heavy fuel, treatment with oil-soluble magnesium fuel additive is state of the art to inhibit hot corrosion caused by vanadium. Air borne salts, sodium, potassium and lead contaminated distillates, gaseous fuels, washed and unwashed crude and residual oil can not be handled by simple magnesium based additives. The addition of elements like silicon and/or chromium is highly effective in reducing turbine blade hot corrosion and hot section fouling.
This paper describes field experience with the use of chromium containing fuel additive to reduce high temperature corrosion of hot section parts, as well as the interaction of oil-soluble chromium and magnesium-chromium additives on material behaviour of blades and vanes, and their economical and environmental aspects.