(140b) Testing to Improve the Reliability of Fouling Mitigation | AIChE

(140b) Testing to Improve the Reliability of Fouling Mitigation

Changing the operation and design of field heat exchangers involves the risk that a fouling mitigating action may not provide the intended benefit or potentially make fouling worse. For this reason, operators are often biased to replace bundles with the same design rather than use a new technology or design idea does not work out as planned. To help minimize risk, fouling testing can performed to evaluate the impact of proposed mitigation strategies and provide a data to make informed decisions. HTRI’s high temperature fouling units are designed to perform fouling tests at the temperatures, velocities, and pressures of the hottest portion of the crude preheat train. There are seven test variables that may be leveraged to study fouling: bulk fluid temperature, initial wall temperature, flow rate, pressure, the fluid, the surface, and the test duration. Examples will be provided to illustrate how testing may be used to optimize design decisions as well as evaluate the benefit of proposed mitigation techniques.