Operating conditions in steam generating units (boilers) in the waste-to-energy market present a wide range of operating conditions which challenge materials used throughout the units. While operators attempt to operate within a narrow range of conditions, the variability of fuel types, heating values and water content specifically affect refractory life throughout the units. In recent years, many operators have modified combustion conditions in order to reduce controlled emissions, resulting in higher temperatures, larger thermal gradients and different gas chemistries, with potentially harmful effects on refractory performance. Refractory manufacturers have responded through material developments and installation improvements which are meeting the new operating challenges.

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