RESEARCH PAPERS: Heat Exchangers

Effect of Suspended Particles on Crystallization Fouling in Plate Heat Exchangers

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Bansal, X. D. Chen

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

H. Müller-Steinhagen

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, The University of Surrey, England

J. Heat Transfer 119(3), 568-574 (Aug 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2824143 History: Received August 11, 1996; Revised February 05, 1997; Online December 05, 2007


The presence of suspended particles in solutions significantly affects the crystallization rate. This study investigates the effects of calcium sulphate (crystallizing) particles and alumina (noncrystallizing) particles on calcium sulphate crystallization fouling in a plate heat exchanger. Calcium sulphate particles are formed during the preparation of calcium sulphate solution due to breakage of calcium sulphate crystals growing on the heat transfer surface. These suspended particles settle on the heat transfer surface and act as nuclei. The availability of extra nucleation sites increases the crystallization rate significantly. These particles can be removed with a filter, and the removal of the particles prevents this extra assistance available for crystallization. Therefore, the crystallization rate is reduced markedly. Alumina particles were purposely added during the preparation of calcium sulphate solutions. These particles attach loosely to the heat transfer surface compared with crystalline deposits which adhere strongly. Therefore, calcium sulphate crystals growing on these particles are removed easily. Also, alumina particles settling on the growth faces of calcium sulphate crystals may act as a distorting agent. This slows down the growth of the crystals.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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