Alkali iron trisulfates have been recognized as a major contributor to corrosion of super-heater lubes of boiler furnaces. Factors effecting formation of trisulfate were studied in an oil-fired laboratory combustor that simulates a boiler-furnace environment. Catalysis of SO2 to SO3 by fly ash to produce the high SO3 concentrations necessary for stability of trisulfates at superheater temperatures was investigated. Effects of deposit composition, deposit thickness, temperature, and SO3 concentration on formation of trisulfates were examined.

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