Batch-cooling of a chemical product

17 December 2016

The problem of the customer was not simple. A chemical product is produced by adding batches of ingredients. The addition has two negative influences: the viscosity and the temperature of the product rises enormously! In addition, the temperature rise has a detrimental effect on the product quality and should be kept at a maximum of 80ºC.

Spiralex BV was asked to contribute to a solution for this problem. Not easy, because the viscosity became increasingly higher (up to about 8000 cP), the product reacts differently in the different batch steps. We had to take this into account in the design of the corrugated tubular heat exchanger, because as the product becomes more viscous, the flow velocity drops and the temperature difference between incoming and outgoing product in the heat exchanger becomes ever greater!

The first step we took was installing a test unit. This unit has been running for a few months. We used the test data to select and design the correct corrugated tubular heat exchanger. It became an corrugated tubular heat exchanger with 19 inner tubes and a total length of 3 meters (due to lack of space we were bound to this length). If it turns out that the batch will take too long and they need more capacity, we can easily expand by placing the same heat exchanger in series (using a bend).