The evolution of modern cooling water treatment methods and non-phosphorus chemistries
By Brad Buecker & Ray Post
A concept often not well recognized is that cooling water chemistry programs are designed in large measure to treat metal surfaces and not just the cooling water itself. For many years over the last century, a common cooling tower treatment program utilized sulfuric acid to minimize scale formation, with chromate chemistry to inhibit corrosion of various metals in the system, most notably carbon steel. Almost universally, this method was discarded in the 1980s due to dawning knowledge of the toxicity of hexavalent chromium (Cr6+).
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