Metallic alloys and nonmetallic materials, including coatings and plastic liners, were exposed to high-temperature (232.2°C [450°F]), highly saline (20%) brines in a 10-MW geothermal loop experimental facility at the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area in the Imperial Valley, Calif. Mild carbon steel corrodes rapidly, especially in presence of air, while nickel alloys are very resistant to the Salton Sea geothermal brines. The Teflon® coatings and the vinyl esters exhibited the greatest resistance among the nonmetallic materials tested. Twenty-seven proprietary scale inhibitors were tested to determine the ones most promising for use in the Salton Sea brines. Several scale control additives were effective in retarding silica precipitation at 90°C, the temperature limit of these laboratory tests.
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