A New and Novel Abiotic-Biotic Fouling Sensor for Aqueous Systems

August 20, 2019

Authors: P. Bierganns, E. S. Beardwood. Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning, Madrid, Spain, June 11-16, 2017., now operated by HTRI (Heat Transfer Research Incorporated)

ABSTRACT: Deposits on surfaces in water – bearing systems, also known as “fouling”, can lead to substantial losses in the performance of industrial processes as well as a decrease in product quality and asset life. Early detection and reduction of such deposits can, to a considerable extent, avoid such losses. However, most of the surfaces that become fouled, for example, in process water transport pipes, membrane systems, power plants, food and beverage industries to name a few, are difficult to access and the analysis of the water phase do not reveal the extent of the deposits. Furthermore, it is of interest to distinguish between biological and non-biological deposits. Although they occur together, different counter measures are necessary. Therefore, sensors are required that indicate the development of surface fouling in real time, non-destructively, in-situ and can discriminate between abiotic and biotic based deposits. A new and novel sensor has been developed that provides said discriminate detection by utilizing conventional heat transfer reduction sensory coupled with ultrasonic detection of materials on the same surface concurrently. The technical aspects of the design, operation, and application will be discussed in the paper. Real time graphical detection followed by automated reduction control runs will also be presented as well as revealing if the deposit is biotic or abiotic.