Dubai, UAE: Process cooling systems are critical in the petrochemical industry as addition or removal of heat is necessary during different stages of oil and gas production and transportation. Especially in the Middle East, seawater or air is used as the medium in process cooling systems for transfer or heat removal from oil and gas.
While using conventional methods, such as seawater, is the norm in the industry (because of its availability), there are numerous problems that come with its use. The corrosive nature of sea water has been a huge concern for the petrochemical sector as it decreases the efficiency of the systems, consumes more energy, thereby inflating expenditure. It is not just corrosion that comes with sea water but fouling, scaling, dust and microbial activity.
“Cooling is always affected by the lifetime of any machine because of scaling,” says Fuad M Mosa, GM Technology (KSA & Emerging Economies), Technology & Innovation, at Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). “We cannot have a scare where the heat transfer will go down, and you need more cooling and this means you need to waste more energy.”
As there is a general awareness to conserve energy, Mosa says there is a need to find a smart way of cooling.