Environmental and Economic Impacts of Biofouling on Marine and Coastal Heat Exchangers
Paper in proceedings, 2021

Biofouling is a major problem that affects the heat transfer efficiency of marine and coastal heat exchangers. The reduced heat exchanger efficiency results in energy loss and thereby affects the overall energy efficiency in the marine industry segment. Additional energy is required to compensate for the energy loss leading to increased fuel consumption which in turn contributes to global environmental issues like climate change. The current industrial methods of biofouling mitigation or removal from heat exchanger surfaces increase both operational and maintenance expenditure causing further environmental damages. This paper presents two models to provide an overview of the major environmental and economic impacts due to biofouling in marine heat exchangers. The study results suggest the need for sustainable biofouling prevention techniques to improve the energy and resource efficiency of marine heat exchangers.

Environmental impacts

Energy efficiency

Heat exchanger

Resource efficiency



Ninan Theradapuzha Mathew

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Johan Kronholm

Klas Bertilsson

Alfa Laval Corporate AB

Mélanie Despeisse

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management

2194-0541 (ISSN) 2194-055X (eISSN)

Vol. EcoDesign and Sustainability II 385-398

EcoDesign 2019: 11th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing
Yokohama, Japan,

Biofouling heat exchangers. A Neptune project.

European Commission (EC), 2018-01-01 -- 2018-09-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management

Energy Systems



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