Chlorine – should it be in your oil?

Chlorine content can be analysed by different methods, but the result is reported in ppm.

Tested On: Gas engines and Turbines

Diagnostic significance: In Gas engines, Chlorine is an important indicator of gas quality, especially on landfill gas applications. Chlorine compounds are contained in several household products such as bleach that commonly end up at landfill. When chlorine enters the combustion chamber in which fuel and air form water and carbon dioxide the reaction can lead to the formation of chlorine based acids such as hydrochloric acid. These acids lead to corrosion of components of the engine and ultimately reduce machine life.

In turbine applications chlorine is measured typically in Fire Resistant Fluids (Phosphate Esters). Chlorine can be a left over product from lubricant manufacturing process or from the use of chlorinated solvents when cleaning components. Chlorine under high temperatures (such as in steam turbines) results in generation of chloride ions that can lead to erosion of servo valves.

In marine applications it is typically linked to salt water contamination, but Sodium tends to be a better indicator and used instead for diagnostic purposes.

Typical Diagnostic limit: Varies dependent on engine OEMs. Commonly ~1000ppm on gas engines. Typical limits for turbine applications are ~100ppm.