Steam injection heating of Waterwater, Sludge & BioSolids, & High Viscosity Fluids

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Courtesy of ProSonix LLC

A number of unique challenges emerge in the heating of agricultural, municipal, and food waste streams in anaerobic digestion process and biogas production. Heating devices are subject to variable size particulate, fibrous materials, wear, temperature, flows, and fluid characteristics that can make it extremely difficult to achieve and maintain optimal performance and efficiencies of heating equipment. In addition, organic materials in the sludge present potential of plugging & fouling as a result of burn-on issues.

Direct Steam Injection (DSI) heating of fluids has typically been employed in applications where heat exchangers have difficulty meeting operating conditions, or operating reliably in harsh environments without excessive maintenance.

Successfully applying direct steam injection in these environments requires an understanding of the wide range of options in the direct steam world and looking for technologies that fit the process needs. A well designed system utilizing direct steam offers significant performance and reliability advantages over conventional heat exchangers.

Success with Direct Steam Injection is greatly dependant on the characteristics of the design of the heater, characteristics of the steam jet, and the means by which the steam is injected into the waste stream. The presentation will demonstrate the various injection options available, and describe the parameters the will determine the best choice for a variety of heating applications.

The following topics will be discussed:
• Fundamentals of Direct Steam Injection heating
• DSI Heater design characteristics consideration
• Rate of steam addition
• Impact of waste stream characteristics (Wear, Viscosity, Fibers, Scorch, etc.)
• Steam to liquid pressure differential
• Addressing process upsets such as flashing and hammering (steam hammer)
• Energy savings & Economics of DSI

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