Message Boards

Message Boards (
-   River Talk & Cruises (
-   -   Delta Queen Boiler Question (

Jim Reising 10-03-2013 01:17 PM

Delta Queen Boiler Question
Does anyone know if new boilers on steamboats have to meet any emission requirements? I know that new diesel engines on commercial boats have to meet certain standards now, but what about boilers? The emission standards for new trucks are quite restrictive.

Carl Jones 10-04-2013 12:52 AM

Here again people looking at old pictures of steamboats and all that black smoke will get the wrong impression. That black smoke was often there because the photographer asked for it. It is my understanding that the firemen and engineers prided themselves in how little smoke could be seen coming from the stacks. I am sure the old fire tub boilers would have a hard time passing the EPA. Over the years oil fired boilers have gotten more efficient and smaller per hP. Hope someone with more knowledge chimes in.
Missouri River Riverrat

Carmen 10-04-2013 02:25 AM


My understanding was that they want to change from Bunker C to Marinediesel which requires also to change the firebox. Means also less emissions.


Nori Muster 10-04-2013 06:48 PM

I heard the new boilers they are considering would get much better miles per gallon.

Phillip Johnson 10-04-2013 10:45 PM

Nori, it's more like gallons per mile!!! The boilers in the DQ are her original WW1 Navy Destroyer type surplus boilers. While these boilers and the tanks are setup for use with heavy "Bunker C" (#6 fuel oil) with tank heaters, you can also burn any diesel fuel (#2 fuel oil) in the boiler using the same burners and pumps. the #2 burns cleaner and is easier to keep a clear stack, it also does not require pre-heating in order to atomize it at the burner. However, the much less refined #6 is cheaper than #2 and thus the reason the DQ has always burned primarily #6 or some form of blended fuel that was cheaper than #2. When the DQ was originally built, everything on the boat required steam. All the pumps, equipment, main engines and most demanding the steam dynamos for generating electricity.

The steam demand now is primarily the main engines, with a few pieces of auxiliary equipment and heating coils for the house heat. The reduced demand for steam, combined with modern technology in boiler and furnace (firebox) design has resulted in much more efficient package boilers that will more than meet the DQ's needs while consuming much less fuel and lowering her overall operating costs.

To answer Jim's original question, the new boilers will have to meet the current emissions standards that apply to steam powered vessels as determined by the USCG and the EPA.

Tom Schiffer 10-05-2013 08:23 AM

Years ago, at Emery, we burned, primarily, pulverized coal. We had an electrostatic particle precipitator and you might see some heat refraction at the stack but zero emissions This was true also when we burned oil, which was bunker C. It HAD to be cheaper to put up with the heating requirements, and messy, stinky, handling problems. Think molasses in January for viscosity at room temperature and on a cold day... We kept steam on the 400,000 gal (I think) storage tank 24/7/365 so as to reduce the viscosity to where we could pump it. We also atomized with steam...and air when starting up. In latter years, we were required to burn what we called No.4, which was a blend of No. 6 (Bunker C) and No.2 (diesel). This was due to sulfur emissions...not particulates (smoke). What the requirements were for mobile sources, I have no idea. Cap'n Walnut

Lexie Palmore 10-05-2013 12:13 PM

Here's the rub.
Does not the DQ need a new boiler?

Yes, we prided ourselves in having only heat waves emitting from our fire tube boilers. (We had 2. The second one was bought brand new.) Once, a tv crew wanted smoke and we had to round up kerosene soaked rags to produce smoke. We then started the practice of saving rich pine, which we called Hollywood, to either produce smoke or heat up a cold fire. When we lengthened our stack, even the Hollywood had a hard time smoking.

I have observed some of these outside boilers(?) which burn wood for home heat. They take a lot of wood and can produce a lot of smoke, which the neighbors don't like. Apparently the units are not very efficient, to make so much smoke, and they are not that old. Or maybe the user doesn't know how to fire the thing. One of the users has obviously replaced his, which is probably a newer model and more efficient. We checked in to getting one of those and decided not to. Our indoor wood stove does just fine and produces only heat waves, most of which heat the house.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
All content on this site is copyright protected and may not be re-used without written permission.