Posted in | News | Materials Analysis

Highly sensitive method for iron in boiler feed water

Adsorptive stripping voltammetry (AdSV) provides fast and sensitive detection of iron in process waters of the water-steam circuit (boiler feed water, makeup water, condensate) in power plants. This is achieved by adding 2,3-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) as complexing agent to convert the iron into an adsorbable complex that is reduced on the electrode surface after a defined preconcentration time. Detection limits down to 0.1 μg/L can be achieved.

Image credit: Metrohm Middle East FZC

At high temperatures, steam reacts with the iron in the carbon steel of steam boilers. This leads to the formation of a thin layer of magnetite, an iron(II,III) oxide, which passivates the steel surface protecting it against further corrosion (Schikorr reaction).

Under unfavorable conditions, the inhibiting magnetite layer can flake off, which leads to elevated iron concentrations in the water-steam circuit. A regular iron determination enables monitoring of not only corrosion processes but also the formation and destruction of the protective magnetite layer.

Compared to atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or inductive couple plasma (ICP) for the determination of iron, adsorptive stripping voltammetry (AdSV) is a viable, less sophisticated alternative with only a moderate investment in hardware required and low running costs. To learn more about the method read our free Application Note AN-V-179 on this analysis.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Metrohm Middle East FZC. (2023, January 09). Highly sensitive method for iron in boiler feed water. AZoM. Retrieved on July 20, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Metrohm Middle East FZC. "Highly sensitive method for iron in boiler feed water". AZoM. 20 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Metrohm Middle East FZC. "Highly sensitive method for iron in boiler feed water". AZoM. (accessed July 20, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Metrohm Middle East FZC. 2023. Highly sensitive method for iron in boiler feed water. AZoM, viewed 20 July 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.