Industrial gas boilers are a key component in the total industry output and in the total energy consumption of the United States. As an illustration, in the US, the energy consumption of industrial boilers accounts for 37% of the total industrial energy consumption. Additionally, about 51% of the US industrial boiler capacity uses natural gas as their primary fuel.

Industrial Gas Boiler

Industrial gas boilers are closed pressure vessels that produce high or low-pressure steam or hot water for industrial use. Specifically, plants commonly use natural gas boilers to produce power for multiple applications.

The competitive advantage of industrial gas boilers is the availability of natural gas resources and its high energy-to-heat ratio. Generally, there are two types of boilers used in industrial applications—Fire-tube and Water-tube boilers.

The use of a fire-tube or water-tube industrial boiler depends on the industrial process for which they are going to generate steam or hot water. 

Fire-tube Industrial Gas Boiler

Fire-tube boilers are cylindrical vessels in which the flames in a furnace produce hot gases that pass through tubes surrounded by water. Consequently, the heat contained in the tubes transfers to the water, heating it and producing steam.

Fire-tube boilers can be either low or high pressure. Most low-pressure boilers produce hot water for heating purposes, while the high-pressure boilers produce steam for process use.

Pros and Cons

Fire-tube boilers are widely available in packaged form, allowing smooth relocation and installation. Additionally, they are also easy to operate, control, and maintain. However, they take longer to respond to fluctuations in the pressure demand. As a result, their uses are for space heating and diversity of industrial operations that do not require high pressure.

Water Tube Industrial Gas Boiler

Water-tube boilers have a furnace that burns gas or another type of fuel, whose combustion heats water-containing tubes. As a result, the tubes produce steam by transferring the heat received to the water circulating inside them. Afterward, the resulting vapor reenters the furnace through a superheater to generate extra pressure.

In particular, this device heats the saturated steam above the boiling point at very high pressure, turning it into superheated dry steam, which leaves the boiler with pressure high enough to drive large turbines. They are used by industries and utilities that demand high-pressure steam for their processes.

Pros and Cons

Water-tube boilers are highly efficient, produce very high pressures, and for their low water content, respond fast to fluctuations in demand for steam. Nevertheless, the degree of steam pressure limits its availability as ‘packages” because as the pressure generated increases, so does the size of the boiler.

There is a point beyond which they have to be custom assembled and installed in their working location. As a result, they have big sizes, are challenging to maintain, and the cost of acquisition and installation is higher than fire-tube.

If you require information or assistance for buying, renting, installing, and operating industrial Fire-tube or Water-tube boilers, contact us here.

  • The Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme, ETSAP , provides key information about Industrial Combustion Boilers, including highlights around: Process and Technology Status, Performances and Costs, Potential and Barriers. It provides in addition, with a Summary Table with Key Data and Figures.

To know which of these boiler types is the most convenient for you, let us see what a boiler is. “A boiler is an enclosed vessel in which a fluid such as water is heated to produce steam or the vaporized form of a liquid. The steam or hot water is then circulated through a piping system to transfer heat for various applications such as heating, power generation, and other processes. Boilers and associated pieces of equipment are efficient heat exchange systems. However, they can be dangerous if not properly maintained and operated”.

There is a wide variety of boilers for a myriad of applications; from heating a room, to drive the turbines of a utility company. Although all of them produce steam and hot water, they have different designs, differ in their operation, and use various types of fuel. As a result, it is convenient to know more about the boiler types available, so that you can decide which one is the most suitable for your application.    

Industrial Boilers

Fire-tube Boiler

Fire-tube steam boilers are cylindrical vessels that hold water that surrounds a set of tubes conducting hot gases produced by a furnace. Consequently, the heat in the tubes transfers to the water surrounding them, producing steam.

The installation and relocation of modern fire-tube steam boilers are possible because they are available as portable packages. Also, they are easy to maintain. Nevertheless, due to the massive amounts of water at high pressure that the boiler holds, it requires safe operating procedures. The users of fire-tube boilers are industrial and commercial facilities whose processes demand lower steam pressures from this type of boilers. 

Water-tube boiler

Water-tube boilers are highly efficient machines that, by their design, produce superheated dry steam at very high pressures. It feeds large amounts of vapor (several million pounds-per-hour), at very high pressures, up to 5,000 PSIG, to industrial processes. A water-tube industrial boiler has a larger size than a fire-tube.

They are the kind of boilers capable of feeding the processes of heavy industry and utility companies. However, the acquisition and installation costs are high. In the case of heavy industries, they are custom made on the installation site, which can be complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, they are challenging to maintain. Thus, they require highly skilled personnel for operation and maintenance. 

Commercial Boilers

Commercial boilers have different ways to generate heat; firetube, small water tube, and electric resistance. Their ideal users are universities, libraries, office buildings, schools, laundries, hospitals, and other similar facilities,

Among the different boiler types, commercial boilers are some of the most diverse. These units can use propane, natural gas, electricity, or light oil to provide hot water or steam for process requirements or comfort heating. Based on the type of boiler selected and its application, these systems boost fuel efficiency as high as 99%.

A central heating boiler’s size is proportional to the size of the facility. The ideal size for a boiler is one that can cope adequately with the heating needs the coldest season of the year. A typical commercial heating system has four main components: The boiler produces the heat. The pipes, pumps, and valves, distribute the heat. Radiators and convectors, irradiate the heat to the specific room. Finally, there is a control system that regulates everything.

Home Boilers

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers typically extract over 90% of the heat from the fuel they burn, making them both cost-effective and energy-efficient. 

Combination Boilers

A combination boiler is a type of condensing boiler. They are highly efficient and compact, making them ideal for smaller homes. They can act as both, a water heater and also a central heating unit. 

System Boilers

A system boiler directly heats a house’s central heating and also produces hot water for the storage cylinder. It is a heat-only boiler. 

Boiler Types by fuel consumption

Another way that boilers can be classified is by the type of fuel that they burn. The most common are: 


Most industrial coal-fired boilers run on crushed or pulverized coal, which burns more efficiently than large coal clumps.

Gas and Oil

Gas-fired boilers operate using natural gas, most often a mix of methane, ethane, butane, pentane, or propane. Oil-fired boilers burn gasoline, diesel, and other fossil fuels.


Biomass boilers burn plant materials like wood chips, wood construction debris, and corn husks. 

Boiler Types by Combustion System

All the boilers mentioned before typically fall into one of the following combustion method categories.

Thermic Fluid

Thermic fluid heaters use fossil fuel inside a closed system. The sealed system can lead to greater efficiency, although it is not ideal for specific applications.

Fluidized Bed

It is the most common method used for burning solid fuels in boilers today; fluidized bed technology involves a bubbling hot mixture of water and material particles (like sand) with fuel in suspension. This mix allows for rapid heat transfer and cleaner, more efficient operations. 

If you need one of these boiler types, Teems Steam is here to provide solutions for all of your boiler rental, sales, installation, and operation needs.

Sources: Superior Boiler, Odesie

From all the industrial boilers in the market, you want to buy one that meets your needs and runs at pick operational efficiencies for the longest period of time. Accordingly, there are many factors affecting the buying decision that you have to consider. Those key aspects are types of boilers available, price, lifetime efficiency, operational specifications, size, safety, maintenance, fuel, and accessories.

Types of Industrial Boilers

There are three types of industrial boilers, water tube, fire tube, and firebox. They are configurable for use in many types of operations.

Water Tube Boilers

They are the type of industrial boilers where water passes through tubes while the hot combustion gas flows on the other side of the pipes. Water Tube boilers are more expensive and efficient and less dangerous than fire tube boilers. They produce high temperatures and steam pressure.

Fire Tube Boilers

They are the type of industrial boilers where heat and gases of combustion (from the furnace) pass through tubes that are enclosed on water. They have a lower cost than water tube type and require less maintenance. However, they are not capable of producing high heat, pressure, and steam.

Fire Box Boilers

They are a traditional “locomotive” type of boiler. The “firebox” is the space where the heat originates, producing hot gases that pass through the tubes, heating the fluid. It is reliable but limited in its applications.

Price of an Industrial Boiler

A steam boiler is an expensive piece of equipment. Consequently, price is a crucial variable to be considered when buying one. Nevertheless, in the long run, you may spend more money in downtime for repairs, maintenance, and fuel consumption if you buy a lower price boiler.

Lifetime Efficiency

It is crucial to make the buying decision with the lifetime efficiency of the boiler in mind. Hence, It would be best if you did a cost-benefit analysis for the expected useful life of the boiler. Specifically, you should consider: running times, operational costs, maintenance schedule, and costs, and expected lifetime of the machine. Buying the right kind of boiler saves you money and trouble in the long run.

Operational Specifications

The operational specs give you the matching points with the demands of your facility. Therefore, it is essential to know them beforehand. For instance, if your plant demands high temperature and pressure for its production processes, you need a high-performance boiler. Furthermore, they are a vital input in the feasibility study. Some of them are heat output capacity, temperature, thermal efficiency, and maximum pressure.

Size of an Industrial Boiler

It is vital for various reasons. The more steam you need for operating the facility, the larger the boiler size that you require. Consider that the run costs of an oversized boiler are higher compared to the run costs of an undersized one. Nevertheless, the latter may not be able to meet the high-temperature requirements needed by your facility.

Industrial Boilers Require Safety First

Safety is a primary consideration when buying a boiler. Handling the operation of a boiler is a highly technical job that requires well-trained personnel. They must follow the operational procedures in detail, due to the potential hazard of the high temperatures and pressures involved. High-quality boilers take safety first as an original manufacturing specification. Accordingly, you should check the safety track record of the specific brand and model that you want to buy.

Maintenance of Industrial Boilers

It is vital to take into consideration the maintenance schedule of the boiler. Since you want it to be functioning at peak efficiency for the longest time possible. Additionally, low-quality boilers require frequent repairs, which means that they have to be replaced sooner than one of higher quality.

Fuel for Industrial Boilers

Before buying a boiler, the owner has to consider the type of fuel that the boiler uses, evaluating its availability and cost. Boilers use oil, electricity, coal, natural gas, and propane.


Many accessories are necessary to complement the operation of the boiler: de-aerators that remove excess oxygen from the water, safety valves, and others.


You are responsible for the operation of a facility that depends on the high efficiency, long-running times, and extended use-life of an industrial boiler. Therefore, it is crucial to make a decision that you are not going to regret later on. Because you don’t want to have your plant shut down for boiler repairs. Or worse, to have part of your personnel suffering injuries for malfunction of the boiler that you selected.

Accordingly, you want to buy the right model and size of the boiler for your plant requirements. Afterward, you should install it correctly and keep it well operated and maintained by highly skilled personnel. Then, you will have your facility operating at optimal levels for a long time. We have that boiler, call us here to have a conversation about it.

Sources: Superior Boilers

A boiler is a closed metal container with a heating element. Its purpose is to produce steam or heat water by increasing the temperature inside the chamber so that it is higher than that of the environment. Boilers also increase the pressure so that it is greater than atmospheric.

The combination of a boiler and a superheater is known as a steam generator.

How do boilers work?

The basic principle of operation of the boilers consists of a chamber where combustion occurs with the help of combustion air. Then, through the use of a heat exchanger, the transfer of heat is performed and the water is heated.

Taking that into account, the term “boiler” is a remnant of the past when steam boilers boiled water to generate steam. Modern boilers generally heat water using natural gas, butane, or propane.

This hot water is distributed to each radiator through a network of pipes. This causes heat to be distributed more evenly throughout the room and provides a more homogeneous temperature throughout the building during the winter months.

What is the structure of a boiler?

The actual structure of a boiler will depend on the type; however, in a general way, we can describe the following parts:

  • Burner: used to burn the fuel.
  • Home: it houses the burner inside and its where the fuel is burned to generate the hot gases.
  • Heat exchange tubes: The heat from the gases is transferred to the water as they travel through these tubes. It also generates steam bubbles.
  • Liquid-vapor separator: it is necessary to separate the drops of liquid water from the hot gases before feeding them to the boiler.
  • Chimney: it is the escape route of the fumes and combustion gases.
  • Housing: contains the home and the heat exchange tube system.

Boiler classification

Several characteristics define the type of boiler:

A. Depending on the relative position between the fluid and the flue gases

1. With multiple smoke pipes – Pirotubular.

2. With multiple tubes of water pipes – Acuotubular.

B. Depending on the number of steps:

1. One step of gas travel.

2. Multi-step.

C. Depending on the energy needs of the process:

1. Hot water boilers.

2. Thermal fluid.

Advantages of gas boilers at home

Price: There are boilers with a variety of prices.

Speed, comfort, and space: for home use, the heating process can be quite fast. You can regulate the consumption and temperature using the built-in thermostat. Also, they do not usually take up much space.

Shelf life In general: this type of boiler lasts longer than other heaters.

Cleaning: Natural gas boilers, unlike some of the alternatives, do not pollute, unlike other means of heating that do emit waste.


A boiler is an engineering machine or device designed to generate steam. In particular, this steam is produced through a constant pressure heat transfer, in which the fluid, initially in a liquid state, is heated and its phase changes.

What type of steam does an industrial boiler produce?

The main objective of an industrial boiler is steam generation. Specifically, using a heat transfer at constant pressure to generate steam. Thus, the fluid, which is initially in a liquid state, heats up and becomes saturated steam.

Saturated steam can have different applications such as sterilization, fluid heating, or electricity generation.

Use of boilers

Steam has a wide variety of applications, boiler-created steam, which is usually water steam, is used for the following purposes:

Sterilization (staining): it was common to find pots in hospitals, which generated steam to sterilize medical instruments. Also, it is useful for the sterilization of cutlery in dining rooms with industrial capacity.

To heat other fluids, such as in the oil industry. For instance, heating heavy substances with steam can improve their fluidity.

Boilers are an essential part of thermoelectric power plants. In fact, they create steam which rises and moves a turbine that generates electricity.

Boilers are industrial installations that vaporize water for various applications in many industries. Specifically, they produce steam by applying the heat of a solid, liquid or gaseous fuel.


Boilers or steam generators purpose is to:

  • Generate hot water for heating and general use, or
  • Generate steam for power plants, industrial processes, or heat.

Operation and Applications of Industrial Boilers

Boilers are vessels that work under pressure using constant heat transfer, in which the liquid heats and changes state.

Industrial boilers have a great variety of applications in many industries that depend on them to deliver their products or services. For instance, hospitals, oil companies, restaurants, laundries, textiles, etc.

The water used in hot water and steam boilers needs a recalcification treatment typically to preserve the life of the boiler.

Every boiler has one or more drain pipes, which connects to the tanks’ lowest point. They are used to purge and extract the sludge.

The discharge of the purge pipes will be arranged in such a way that there is no danger of accidents for the personnel. Thus, it is emptied to the sewer through an intermediate retention pond or purge tank.

The conditions retention ponds must-haves are:

a) It will be easily accessible for inspection and sludge removal.
b) To prevent steam leaks, adjusted inspection covers or doors will be used.
c) The pond will be provided with a metal ventilation tube, which is connected to the room’s exterior.
d) The diameter of the exhaust pipe must be greater than the width of the purge tube.
e) It must have a valve in the lower part that allows personnel to drain all the water from the boiler.

For ideal performance, industrial boilers need to use proper fuel. In particular, these are characterized by a high calorific value, a specific degree of humidity, and a percentage of volatile materials and ashes.

It is necessary to analyze the fuels that we are going to use in each device. In particular, the chemical analysis is what allows us to distinguish the elements that are part of the fuel.

It’s also important to remember that air-fuel mixtures should be accurate, otherwise, it can damage the industrial boiler, and serious accidents can occur. It is necessary to take all the required precautions before handling industrial machinery and its fuel.

Boiler installation

Important factors to account in the installation of a boiler:

-Adequate illumination is imperative Noy only to ensure proper installation, but also to avoid accidents.

-Its location: usually, it will be located in the basement of the building, with good lighting, and adequate ventilation. Also, enough space for the operator to perform the maintenance work comfortably.

-Manufacturer specifications: adhere to them at all times.

-Protection devices: necessary for safe operation.

-Qualified staff: To ensure proper installation and maintenance you should hire only qualified and certified personnel.

-Another aspect to consider is that proper installation can significantly reduce the most common problems in boilers. For example, scale, corrosion, and deposits. Furthermore, among other pressing issues, these elements can affect the thermal performance, or cause the boiler control component reading to fail.

How to provide preventive maintenance to a boiler?


  • Water level, combustion.
  • Pressure/temperature feed water.
  • Flue gas temperature.
  • Fuel oil pressure and temperature.
  • Gas pressure.
  • Atomization air pressure.
  • Supply and return water temperatures.
  • Replacement water consumption.
  • Vapor pressure.
  • Adequate fuel valve closure.
  • Air and fuel connections.
  • Indicator lights and alarm.
  • Limiting and operating controls.
  • Security controls and connections.
  • Filtration, noise, vibrations, abnormal conditions, etc.

-Inspect the inside surface of the container


  • chimney sweeping of fire pipes
  • Water chamber inspection

If you are looking to install an industrial boiler in your facility we recommend that you hire a specialized company. It can offer installation and maintenance for peace of mind.

Knowing how an industrial boiler works is very important because they are machines widely used in many industrial processes. Boilers are equipment for steam generation. They are thermal instruments that have the purpose of converting water into steam by burning fuel.

The steam, which is produced by a generator, advances at high pressure through pipes. Industrial boilers heat water and generate vapor, using two prevalent methods: the smoke pipe and the water pipe.

At the beginning of the industrial revolution, when industrial boilers became popular, those with heat pipes were the most popular.

The hot gases of the fire, made with coal or wood, passed through pipes to heat the water in the tank, generating steam for use in industrial processes.

This type of boiler is considered hazardous because the tank is fully pressurized. For instance, if the tank explodes, the explosion can cost several lives or severely injure people nearby.

What you should consider before a boiler installation

Before installing boilers, you must ask yourself a series of questions that will help you make the acquisition much more efficient.

Types of boilers according to their fuel

You should choose a boiler that uses a fuel that’s widely available and affordable near the area where you live.

Gas boilers:

They can be of two types:

Natural gas: It is the one that emits less gas from all types of fuel. You need to pass the relevant controls and proper ventilation.

Butane gas: Usually used wherever there’s very little need for heating.

Oil or diesel boilers

They need to store the gas in their tank. Oil or diesel boilers can be by accumulation or snapshots.

Types of boilers according to their typology

-Atmospheric. They are the ones that use the cabin air where they are for combustion. They are illegal in many countries.

– Stakes: They are called watertight because combustion takes place in a sealed chamber.

If you need more information, contact us.