Fouling Conference 2017, Madrid

In the week of June 12th to June 16th the 2017 Fouling Conference was held in Madrid. At the fouling conference, it was again confirmed that fouling is a big problem in industry. Both researchers and industry are working on methods to mitigate it. Marco van Beek, CTO of Klaren International, presented two papers with applications based on the self-cleaning fluidized bed heat exchanger technology:

  1. Fluidized bed heat exchangers for the evaporation of waste waters: design advantages and operational experiences
  2. Horizontal shell side fluidized bed heat exchanger, design considerations and experiences from a pilot unit

The papers will be officially published after peer review by the technical committee Heat Exchanger and Fouling Conference 2017.

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Fluidized bed heat exchangers for the evaporation of waste waters: design advantages and operational experiences.
Evaporation of water containing dissolved solids for water recovery, solids recovery or liquid waste volume reduction is a common practice in several industries. These types of evaporators are often affected by severe fouling which negatively affects their operation. A solution to fouling problems in evaporators is the use of fluidized bed heat exchangers.

In the paper the working principle of a fluidized bed heat exchangers in combination with forced circulation evaporation is explained. Furthermore, two operational experiences of fluidized bed evaporators are presented. To conclude, the general advantages resulting from the use of fluidized bed evaporators for the case of produced water from gas or oil fields is presented in terms of CAPEX and OPEX.

Horizontal shell side fluidized bed heat exchanger, design considerations and experiences from a pilot unit
Fluidized bed heat exchangers are used in applications where heat is transferred to or from fouling liquids. In this type of equipment, the scouring action of a fluidized bed of particles proves to keep the heat transfer walls clean at the most severe fouling conditions.

The main requirement for this technology so far has been that the fouling liquid must circulate in the tube side and must flow upwards in order to fluidize the cleaning particles. However, in applications where high pressurized gases are cooled with sea-water, mechanical reasons dictate to have the gas inside the tubes and the cooling sea-water in the shell.

For these applications, a zero-fouling heat transfer solution with a horizontal configuration of the fluidized bed technology has been developed. In this configuration, the fouling liquid is circulated upwards through the shell of the heat exchanger developing a stationary fluidized bed. The non-fouling liquid or gas is circulated through horizontally orientated tubes.

By comparing it to an air cooler, it is shown that the horizontal configuration that cools the hot gas by direct sea water cooling uses only 3% of the plot size making it a very compact alternative while maintaining the zero-fouling operation.

The new horizontal configuration has proven its performance in a pilot unit as tested at the Sabiyah power and desalination plant located in Kuwait. Test results show that the heat exchanger remained clean during the test run.

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