The chemical industry is producing a huge variety of chemicals by using various processes. Most of the time, however, basic chemicals are reacting with each other to obtain the desired finished chemical. While some chemical reactions require heat in order to take place (endothermic), some others, on the contrary, release a fair amount of heat once initiated (exothermic). Because their processes require thermal flexibility and stability, heat exchangers are essential for chemical and petrochemical companies. Heat transfer systems used in the chemical industry can be based on different concepts and technologies and use a wide range of heat transfer fluids. The majority of chemical companies will use mineral oils or water to carry, dissipate or exchange heat in their processes. However, regardless of the thermal fluid in use, heat transfer systems will lose efficiency over the years because of fouling. Fouling is the accumulation of undesirable material such as varnish, sludge, algae, scale, insoluble salts and minerals on the internal surface of heat transfer systems. The following article provides more information on fouling and suggests how to prevent this phenomenon from causing efficiency loss in heat transfer systems.
For all of the challenges heat transfer systems can pose, the tribology specialist Klüber Lubrication has developed highly efficient solutions which can help to restore the full efficiency of water circulation and cooling systems.