How should we design our heat exchangers to maximize tube reactor energy efficiency?
optimal energy efficiency while guaranteeing safety and reliability
Managing Director and Development Manager
The entire competition relies on batch reactors. These are easy to plan and operate smoothly. However, our customer planned to carry out their process in a continuous tube reactor.
Their aim was to massively reduce energy costs thereby gaining a competitive advantage.
The challenge was that the process takes place under pressure and due to solid content in the educt, contamination and deposits in the tube reactor would cause problems. No one has ever been able to successfully operate this process continuously in a tube reactor.
We modelled the process in Simulink. This allowed us to quickly demonstrate to the customer the boundaries of energy efficiency. Likewise, in a short space of time, we could show the client how to lay out the heat exchangers so that they would deliver the required performance instead of polluting the reactor.
A decisive factor was that we could demonstrate further potential for efficiency by taking advantage of new media routing combined with semi-recirculation of the product. These accelerate the tube reactor start-up and allow the use of considerably smaller and preferable heat exchangers.