The effect of silica nanoparticles on colloidal stability of tannins

The use of water sources with high silica concentration has proven to be a major challenge for the operation of steam boilers. Despite advances in conventional technologies, high silica water (>150 mg/L) continues to have a major impact on the operation and efficiency of boilers mainly due to silica deposit, which reduces heat transfer.
This project will investigate the behavior of tannins as a function of colloidal silica concentration, pH, and salt concentration, using photometric dispersion analyzer (PDA) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Field results show that tannin chemistry has changed the way steam boiler systems operate resulting in a higher efficiency and giving a significant cost reduction for low-pressure boilers (<300 psi). In addition, operational data support that the green tannin chemistry performs in silica levels well above any established industry guidelines, while reducing the environmental footprint of the industry. This work provides a new model for how high silica water can be treated in the future.

Faculty Supervisor:

Theo van de Ven


Salman SafariMohsenabad


TGWT Clean Technologies Inc




Natural resources


McGill University



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