Self‐Cleaning Surfaces for Heat Recovery During Industrial Hydrocarbon‐Rich Gas Cooling: An Experimental and Numerical Study
Journal article, 2019

The cooling of hydrocarbon-rich gases in industrial processes often leads to severe fouling, which impedes heat recovery, restricts operative conditions and increases maintenance costs. In the present work, we investigate whether self-cleaning surfaces represent a possible solution to overcome this technological bottleneck. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic treatments of compact heat exchanger plates are experimentally and numerically investigated during cooling of syngas produced from biomass gasification. The experimental evidences related to the operation of heat exchanger plates are assessed first, and a deeper insight into the relevant phenomena is thereafter obtained by performing numerical simulations. Our analysis identifies the hydrophobic treatment as the most promising solution and unveils the induced self-cleaning mechanism: the formation of small-sized and movable condensed droplets that enhance the collection and removal of gas impurities. These findings open up new routes towards the development of cheaper, more efficient and sustainable gas cooling systems.







Dario Maggiolo

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Martin Seemann

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Henrik Thunman

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Olga Santos

Alfa Laval Lund AB

Anton Larsson

Göteborg Energi AB

Srdjan Sasic

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Henrik Ström

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

AICHE Journal

0001-1541 (ISSN) 1547-5905 (eISSN)

Vol. 65 1 317-325

Innovativa omvandlingsprocesser vid Chalmers kraftcentral

Swedish Energy Agency (38465-1,Dnr2013-007387), 2016-09-24 -- 2021-04-30.

Coated heat exchangers as self-cleaning producer gas condensers

Swedish Energy Agency (42206-1), 2017-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology

Chemical Process Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Chalmers Power Central



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