Dutch firm Optimum Technologies and French company Maguin, partners in the project, developed a heat resistant mechanical arm to monitor boilers and systematically insert a brush into each pipe, cleaning the boiler while it is still in operation. Typical working temperatures are in the region of 200 degrees centigrade. Computer control enables it to be accurately programmed for each boiler. The system has already been granted a European patent, and a worldwide patent is pending.
Until this development, the only alternative has been to install water tube boilers, which produce far less fouling. However, they cost 3 to 5 times more than fire tube boilers and only operate at high pressures, of over 35 bars.
Steam is still one of the best ways to transfer heat at a constant temperature, and fire tube steam boilers are widely used in industrial applications, all over the world. The concept is simple, hot gases travel through tubes or pipes placed in water, and their heat is transferred to the water surrounding the pipes. However, using heavy or solid fuels such as coal or biomass to heat the gases causes boiler pipes to clog up and become dirty. This continuously reduces the boiler’s efficiency and in the worst cases, can bring it to a standstill. Cleaning fire tube boilers is an arduous and intensive task considering there are generally over 100 pipes to clean. It involves a loss in production, as the boiler has to be taken out of operation. A long brush is used to scrape each pipe out by hand, exposing the cleaner to the residue of noxious gases in the tubes.
According to Enno Nuy, director of Dutch partner Optimum Environmental Technologies B.V, the innovation is being purchased by industrial plants already using fire tube boilers and by new industries which had no option than to use the more expensive water tube boilers in the past. “Tar production plants and recycling plants in the Netherlands have already installed our system,” he says. Nuy believes the partners will be set to exploit ‘the enormous USA and Chinese markets’ with a worldwide patent.
However, “Without EUREKA funding it wouldn’t have happened,” says Nuy. “All those involved were small companies, EUREKA was vital for the research and development of our system.”
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy