Dubai, UAE: Contaminants in process cooling systems are known to be the primary obstacles that inhibit them from functioning efficiently, in addition to increasing the use of cooling water. As water is the medium used in water-cooled systems to transfer or reject heat, contaminants largely originate from here, making these systems susceptible to scaling, fouling, corrosion and microbiological activity.
Fouling is a form of deposition of suspended matter, which enters the system as particulate matter, airborne contaminants, process leaks and through corrosion. While iron and aluminium can act as coagulants, airborne contaminants, such as clay, dirt and dust; and gases, such as hydrogen sulphide, can form insoluble precipitates with metal ions.
Peter Tracey, General Manager of CoolTech Energy Water Treatment, says, “In this region, we experience a lot of environmental dust, which is scrubbed from the air by the action of cooling towers.” He warns that the effects are similar to scaling, and often, the two phenomena are confused.¹
Experts say that proper planning at the design stage and by preventing agglomeration, the negative effects of fouling can be controlled.