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.”
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27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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