We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Condensate Polisher?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A condensate polisher is an installation designed to remove impurities and trace minerals from power plant steam. The condensate is collected as a byproduct for reuse as boiler feed water and requires that all impurities be removed prior to reintroduction into the system. This is a precautionary measure to prevent boiler corrosion damage and increased maintenance requirements. The condensate polisher removes impurities such as silica and iron oxides by passing the condensate through beds of specially formulated polymer resin beads which serve as ion and physical filters to produce clean, demineralized water. Once the beads' cleansing action is exhausted, they are either rinsed and regenerated or, in the case of nuclear plant installations, sent to radioactive waste treatment facilities.

Most electric power generation plants produce large quantities of steam as a process byproduct. In most cases, the steam is allowed to condense for reuse as feed water for the facilities' boilers. This is a sound financial and environmental practice, thereby making the plants more cost effective with reduced environmental footprints. The reuse of condensate is problematic, though, due to the large amounts of process-generated impurities suspended and dissolved in the steam. Condensate polisher installations purge the condensate of both dissolved silica oxide impurities and suspended iron oxide solids, and return usable, mineral free water to the boilers.

Condensate polishers function on both a chemical and mechanical level by utilizing ion exchange and physical filtering processes. Both functions are achieved by passing the condensate through beds of specially formulated cross-linked polystyrene polymer beads. During its passage through the bead bed, dissolved impurities such as silica oxides are removed from the condensate by a process of ion exchange between the beads and the dissolved impurities. The polymer resins used to manufacture the beads may be either of anion or canion types which remove negatively or positively charged ions respectively. In many applications, mixed resin beds are used which remove both simultaneously.

Suspended solid impurities are eliminated by a process of mechanical filtering while passing through the bead beds. Generally these are iron oxide particulates or solids which are shed from the facility equipment during the power generation process. After a period of use, the beads become saturated with solids and their ion exchange capabilities become exhausted. The beads may then be removed from the condensate polisher enclosures and rinsed to remove all trapped solids. The chemical structure of the beads is also regenerated during the process restoring their ion exchange capabilities. Due to the highly regulated nature of the nuclear power generation industry, however, exhausted condensate polisher beads from fusion plants are generally transferred to radioactive waste disposal facilities.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.