Fluidized Bed Heat Exchanger

The FBHX is an Advanced Process Enhancement Exchanger. It utilizes proven FBHX Technology to provide a cost-effective and timely solution to severe heat exchanger fouling problems.

Operating Principles of the FBHX

The severe fouling liquid is supplied to the inlet channel at the base of the FBHX where a proprietary flow distribution system provides uniform distribution of liquid and particles throughout the internal tube-side surface of the tube bundle. The solid particles, which are maintained in a fluidized state, exert a polishing or scouring effect on the tube walls. Continuous agitation of the liquid boundary layer adjacent to the tube wall results in high levels of turbulence and non-declining heat transfer coefficients at relatively low velocities. The scouring action at the tube wall removes tube-side deposits at an early stage, which are then discharged through the outlet channel. The particles are disengaged from the liquid after a significant velocity reduction in the outlet channel and returned to the inlet channel through one or more downcomer tubes where the cycle is repeated.

Design Characteristics and Operating Parameters

Solid Particles  Material, Size and Shape Selection

  • Glass or ceramic beads (spheres) are typically applied to fouling solutions with inorganic scaling constituents.

  • 2 to 3 mm cut metal wire (cylinders) are typically applied to CPI application with organics and inorganics.

Critical Design Parameters and Heat Transfer Performance

  • Design fluidization velocities typically range from .8 to 2.0 ft/sec.

  • Tube-side film coefficients can range from 1600 to 2500 BTU/hr ft2  F.

Pumping Power, Footprint and Headroom

  • Pressure drop across the FBHX is typically equal or slightly higher than a conventional shell & tube HX.

  • The FBHX requires a smaller footprint and greater headroom (20-50 ft).

Pumping Power, Footprint and Headroom

  • The only reported instances of a few?FBHX tube failures followed over 20 years of service

  • Only one worst case scenario report of particle weight loss within a FBHX handling a most severe corrosive solution.

Whenever the conventional approach involves the installation of redundant stand-by exchangers, with excess surface and a short-term cleaning cycle, the FBHX offers an exceptional opportunity to increase on-stream time, annual production and profit at thebottom-line.

Exceptional Opportunities for Process Improvements

When properly integrated with existing process designs and various heat transfer systems, which may be subject to debottlenecking or up-grading to achieve an increased increment of capacity, the FBHX Technology offers an opportunity to drastically increase on-stream reliability while concurrently reducing production costs.

Typical Applications among over 50 installations in Europe, the U.S., the U.K. and Iceland

  • Chemical Process Industries Forced circulation evaporators, reboilers and concentrators with both organic and inorganic fouling constituents.

  • Pulp & Paper Industry, Geothermal Brines Recovery and utilization of waste heat energy from hard-scaling and severe fouling groundwaters and process solutions.

  • Petrochemical Industry Reclamation of a wax laden wastewater from a Methanol Plant for reuse as a cooling tower make-up.

  • Food Processing Industry Heating of liquids containing proteins, raw juice heating.

  • Desalination High temperature MSF Evaporation of untreated sea water for the production of ultra-pure distilled water with NO scaling of the heat transfer surfaces.


FBHX  Conceptual Design Development to Resolve a Specific Fouling Problem

Provided with the critical operating parameters associated with a specific fouling problem, we develop a conceptual design of the FBHX to solve the problem. The Conceptual Design is in sufficient detail to obtain firm prices from our qualified and affiliated ASME Code Fabricators or from your preferred Fabricator.