A Superabsorber Project
Specialized Condenser Technology for the Chemical Industry
“The size of these Temp-Plate® inflated heat transfer plates was so large and there were so many to be made, nearly 200 plates for 1 heat transfer bank. We collaborated with our engineering agency, DEG Engineering GmbH in Germany and Mueller Manufacturing in the Netherlands to complete the project in a timely manner and deliver high quality condensing units to India.”
Mueller Sales Engineer, Groenlo, Netherlands
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited invited DEG Engineering GmbH to participate in a project for manufacturing a propylene derivative petrochemical for a "superabsorber" end product. DEG Engineering GmbH designed the operating units, to provide high condensation rates for various process streams under challenging conditions:
“BPCL wanted to bring production of these superabsorber chemicals to their Kochi refinery in India, so ancillary industries could flourish in the country. A superabsorber is a polymer that is capable of absorbing and holding many times its own weight in liquid and is used in everyday items like diapers. No one in India was actively producing this chemical, so it is often imported.” said Rene Spekschoor, Mueller Sales Engineer
The challenge for BPCL was to source efficient heat transfer equipment that could provide very specific high heat loads, organized to an optimized flow geometry to produce high condensation rates. At the same time the equipment had to handle critical fluids with high corrosion potential. Plus, at near-vacuum (10-100mbar) conditions, the occurrence of inertial gases inhibiting the condensation rate, made the process even more challenging for each condensing unit.
The heat transfer condensing units, designed by DEG are made with Paul Mueller Company's Temp-Plate® inflated heat transfer plates. Not tubes as you see in some designs. The plate technology offered high efficiency and provided the advantages needed to overcome these challenges and assure process stability. Mueller had produced similar Temp-Plate® heat transfer equipment based off DEG's engineering, for a refinery in China. The managers of the Kochi refinery in India saw the success of that project and contacted DEG Engineering GmbH to bid on their project.
This time the scope of work included several condensing units using large amounts of Temp-Plate® heat transfer panel and challenging our manufacturing partners to their limitations of material handling. Mueller and DEG Engineering relied on their decades of expertise and experience in previous projects, to design and manufacture solutions to the right specifications for BPCL. We coordinated with partner manufacturers to build the housing and casing for the units.
The entire project from order of the condensing technology to delivery of the Temp-Plate® heat transfer units took just over a year. Then with the equipment ready to go, the logistics and shipping had to follow a tight delivery schedule.
Mueller arranged special transportation for excessive size and weight and each heat transfer unit went by specialty freight to the Belgium port of Antwerp. Here they were loaded onto a seaworthy vessel to sail around the coast of Portugal into the Mediterranean Sea. From there the ship crossed through the Suez Canal and into the port of Dubai before they traveled across to India, arriving at the Port of Chochin where the Temp-Plate® heat transfer technology was installed in the tops of the columns as head condensing units.
“This enormous challenge in thermal design was made possible through a collaborative effort with many partners. At DEG, we are proud to be one of the few engineering companies in the world able to work with companies like BPCL to design, execute and manage projects of this scope. Our special design for head condensers with the Temp-Plate® units are now in place at the refinery in India and production is well underway." said Karl Siebeneck, Senior Project Manager, DEG Engineering GmbH
If you have a project in the field of condensation, evaporation or heat recovery, with the need for energy efficiency or feasibility under critical conditions contact DEG Engineering.