Improved energy efficiency by modifying the surface properties of materials


CALL: 2010

DOMAIN: MS - Materials, Physics and Engineering


LAST NAME: Guillot





START: 2010-09-20

END: 2013-09-19


Submitted Abstract

In order to decrease carbon footprint, the controlling of energy efficiency of process equipment has a significant role. A rough estimate of fouling costs in heat recovery and transfer equipments is 5 billioneuros annually for the total industrialized world due to cleaning, maintenance and energy loss. One of the most remarkable factors in the increasing of energy efficiency is the mitigation of precipitation ofsub-micron particles onto the surfaces of equipments. This is a well-known problem for mineral processing industries where fouling in evaporators may lead to excessive operational costs. In theproduction of clean and renewable energy and in the recovery of energy, the fouling may lead to severe reductions in operational possibilities, reduced production and increased costs. Fouling can be mitigatedby optimizing process conditions, selecting suitable materials and developing coatings for equipments.For example, for stainless steel, some chemical elements (e.g. titanium) improve surface properties and still retain the corrosion resistance.In this project, the target is to develop methods to predict the particle deposition process and modify surface properties of materials to control, or even better, avoid fouling. The focus is to achieve a goodcombination of non-fouling properties and corrosion resistance for stainless steel using environmentally sustainable methods. Therefore, surfaces are developed by taking into account surface finishing, surfacepatterning, alloying, and then coating by thin film deposition techniques. Further, the surface potential and effect of electrical polarization of surfaces on particle deposition is investigated. Corrosionmeasurements are performed in order to investigate the structural and chemical changes on surfaces and in deposited layer, and obtain possible reasons in initiation of corrosion. The suitability of materials isestimated by molecular modelling and tested in a laboratory in order to shorten the development cycle of materials. A micro probe facility is constructed and the novel technique is developed to measure theadhesion force between surface material and fouling deposition. The effect of process conditions is defined by computational fluid dynamics simulations, for which crystallization and particulate foulingmodels are developed and validated. Materials are selected so that they have an industrial interest, and industrial production is feasible with minor changes in the production line and construction of endproducts. Final applications are liquid based heat exchangers used in dewatering and evaporation processes in mineral processing.

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