Pipelines, valves, reactors and heat exchangers are standard equipment of the chemical industry that gets fouled continuously. There are hundreds of different substances that cause fouling, depending on the chemicals used. Fouling in the equipment can be elastic or inelastic, porous or solid. Due to the differences in fouling types, the cleaning process of fouled equipment is troublesome, and it requires a lengthy stoppage for cleaning. As a result, chemical plants are losing precious production time.
To minimize the process stoppage for fouling removal, chemical plants have been actively searching for fouling prevention methods. This can be implemented by applying a coating to the inner wall of equipment, for instance. Another common method to reduce fouling is to slightly change the process environment (e.g. pressure, humidity, temperature). However, such approaches do not always lead to a drastic improvement of the fouling situation. In the worst case, these methods may even present negative impacts on the final product.
When the above-mentioned fouling prevention methods are not demonstrating any results, it is natural to choose a more optimal solution that can both remove and prevent fouling without stopping the production or changing its process.
Benefits of using Altum's software-guided power ultrasound
- It provides more uptime by reducing the total time and frequency of maintenance stoppages.
- It does not require the dismantling of fouled equipment.
- It is an environment-friendly solution that provides a safer work environment for the site workers as no chemicals are used or required for fouling removal.
- It can reduce the overall maintenance cost as power ultrasound does not affect the durability of equipment, unlike high-pressure water jet cleaning, for example, which significantly increases the risk of corrosion for the equipment.
In a large chemical plant, stopping the production process for a day may cause a loss of several hundreds of thousands or even up to millions. Altum's software guided power ultrasound is an optimal solution for this issue as it has a short payback against investment. Altum's fouling prevention method consumes less energy and reduces CO2 emission.
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