Application Quench Water Cooler
Industry Chemical
Fouling Issue / Frequency

In the conventional heat exchanger, fouling reduced the heat transfer (k-value) from 100 to 25% in 4 to 6 weeks.

Solution / Approach

A test with the self-cleaning heat exchanger technology was done to prove the performance. After this test, 4 self-cleaning heat exchangers applying recirculation with fluid velocity of 0.45 m/s and a heat transfer surface of 1,250 m2 each were installed. A large storage vessel maintains a constant liquid flow into the self-cleaning heat exchangers. After 3 years of operation, the plant went bankrupt and stopped the production of acetylene

Process Conditions Tube Shell
Medium Quench Water Acetylene Plant Cooling Water
Pressure 6 barg 6 barg
Temperature In: 80oC
Out: 37oC
In: 32oC
Out: 46oC
Flow 4 x 700 m3/h 4 x 2100 m3/h
Number of Tubes 703 per heat exchanger
Length of Tubes 16 m
Diameter Tubes 28.5 mm (ID)
Particle Type Stainless Steel
Particle Size 1.6 mm

No cleanings per year required compared to the 12 cleanings per year with the conventional heat exchangers.
Heat transfer increased due to the particles from 1600 W/m2K to 3000 W/m2K with 10% of particles
Heat exchange surface reduced from 24,000 m2 with conventional heat exchangers to 5,000m2 with the self-cleaning configuration.
Pumping power reduced from 2100kW to 850kW due to lower liquid velocity


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