The mineral sediment that generally sticks to the sides of steam boilers, and the presence of which is fraught with the utmost danger, resulting in many instances in great injury to life and property, besides eating away the substance of the iron plate, was referred to in a paper lately read by M. Jeannolle before the Paris Academy of Sciences, in which the author described a new method for keeping boilers clean. This method is as follows:
The inside of a steam boiler is placed, by means of piles of a certain power, in reciprocal communication, the current passing at one end through positive, and at the other through negative, wires. In incrusted steam boilers, at a temperature ranging from 212° to 300° Fahr., and a pressure of from 30 to 90 lb. to the square inch, the current thus engendered decomposes the accumulated salts, and precipitates them, from which they may easily be removed, either by means of a special siphon or by means of some other mechanical process. When boilers are free from fur, and where it is intended to keep them free from such, a continuous current may be set up, by means of which the sedimentary salts may be decomposed, and a precipitate produced in a pulverized form, which can be removed with equal facility.
From a series of minute experiments made by M. Jeannolle, it appears that in order to render the various actions of electricity, perfect, it is necessary to coat either with red lead or with pulverized iron, or with any other conductor of electricity, an operation which must be repeated whenever the boiler is emptied with a view to cleaning out. The above system Is being advantageously applied in Calais for removing the incrustations of boilers. The two poles of a battery of ten to twelve Bunsen elements are applied to the ends of the boilers, and after thirty to forty hours the deposits fall from the sides to the bottom. When a boiler has been thus cleared, the formation of new deposits may be prevented by applying a much less energetic current under the same conditions.