Coated heat exchangers as self-cleaning producer gas condensers

Controlled cooling of the producer gas from a steam-blown gasifier is challenging because of the impending risk of tar fouling on the heat exchanger surfaces. A scrubber is typically used today to avoid this, which causes energy losses as the latent heat only becomes available in the solvent at a low temperature. A more resource and energy efficient process would be possible if the producer gas could be cooled down in a heat exchanger that could resist tar adsorption.

In this project, we will coat a heat exchanger with a strongly hydrophilic surface, so that it is well wetted by the condensing steam. As the tars are nonpolar, they will not dissolve in the water film and a self-cleaning producer gas condenser has been realized. Experiments and simulations will be combined to investigate the function closer and optimize the design. Simulations of this kind has a huge potential in the future development of energy efficient processes based on nano-engineered surfaces.


Henrik Ström (contact)

Forskarassistent vid Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics


Alfa Laval Lund AB

Lund, Sweden

Göteborg Energi

Gothenburg, Sweden


Swedish Energy Agency

Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2018

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance

Basic sciences


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)


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