Whether your site is in the driest desert or miles offshore, you will face the issue of contaminants within your gas turbine compressor. Once there, these foulants can impact productivity, damage components and even cause costly unscheduled shutdowns if you don’t address them in good time. But where do contaminants come from and what can you do about them?

Where do contaminants come from?


Unfortunately, whatever kind of fuel you use, it is unlikely to be a totally pure product. Natural gas for example consists mostly of methane but also has small amounts of nitrogen, CO2, ethane, propane and hydrogen sulphide. The latter is of most concern when it comes to compressor blade corrosion and, if water contaminates the fuel, you may also note the presence of alkali metals.

The contaminants in liquid fuels depend on the type you choose. You may have residues from the fuel’s crude origin; contaminants introduced by poor handling during processing; or during transport.


No matter how good your air filter is, you’re likely to face the issue of airborne contaminants entering your gas turbine compressor. As you’d expect, the type of contaminants vary site-to-site and even day-to-day but you could note:

  • Salt
  • Dust
  • Sand
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Chemicals
  • Fertilizers
  • Mineral ores

Sea salt alone introduces chloride, sodium, sulphates, magnesium, calcium and potassium to your compressor. The physical particles of salt can cause erosion but you also have the issue of corrosion if the salt is mixed with water.


Untreated water can introduce a range of contaminants including sodium and potassium which will corrode the delicate inner workings of your turbine compressor.

Read more about how to maintain gas turbine performance on our main website: https://www.rochem-fyrewash.com/news/77-how-to-maintain-gas-turbine-performance-in-a-corrosive-environment/


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Dutch Gas Turbine Association

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