Research project will cut the cost of industrial fouling clean-up by 50%, its developers claim.
An ultrasonic cleaning method being developed by researchers at the Brunel Innovation Centre (BIC) – a division of Brunel University – is set to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of fouling clean-up.
BIC researchers say their method, known as CleanMine, will remove the solid deposits - commonly referred to as “fouling” - left in valves and heat exchangers without the use of aggressive chemicals.
We are tweaking the system to remove calcite deposits from two inch check valves
David Rowe, project partner
Traditional forms of fouling removal usually require that a process plant to be shut down while contaminated equipment is thoroughly cleaned - costing the plant excessive amounts money in the process, BIC said.
However, using BIC’s new method, plant owners can expect to achieve cost savings of up to 50%.
This is achieved through reduction of waste, energy usage and consumables associated with the cleaning processes, BIC said.
As the technology is still under development, however, BIC is currently looking for an interested company to evaluate the system under industrial conditions.
“Ideally this should be a non-hazardous application, but the process will be developed for use in hazardous conditions by incorporating corrosion resistant and fire resistant housings,” said David Rowe, whose company, Cedar Metals, is a contributing partner on the BIC project.
“Currently, we are tweaking the system to remove calcite deposits from two inch check valves,” Rowe added.
The CleanMine project is part-funded by the Innovate UK – formerly the Technology Strategy Board – and also includes industry input from UK firms including: Plant Integrity, Jackweld, and Innovative Science and Technology.
Any company interested in working alongside BIC on the next phase of the CleanMine project can do so by contacting Cem Selcuk on: +44 (0)1223 899325, or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.