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Proceedings of an International Conference on Mitigation of Heat Exchanger Fouling and Its Economic and Environmental Implications

ISSN:
1-56700-172-6 (Print)

REVIEW OF FOULING MECHANISMS

C. B. Panchal
Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA; School of Chemical Engineering Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Abstract

To reduce the uncertainty of predicting and mitigating fouling, a better understanding of fouling mechanisms is needed. The major challenges and related issues associated with the five categories of fouling are presented, and the interactive effects of different fouling mechanisms are identified. The major challenges for future research on fouling mechanisms are (1) designing heat-exchange equipment on the basis of fouling rates, not on fixed values of fouling factors; (2) making global predictions of fouling propensity on the basis of measurements at strategic locations; (3) developing self learning prediction techniques that would use plant data; and (4) applying monitoring based fouling mitigation. A vision is presented for mitigating fouling in the next millennium, and the major barriers focused on fouling mechanisms are identified.