Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cooling Towers for Exothermic Reactions in Corrosive Atmospheres

plastic cooling tower
Delta Plastic Cooling Tower
The term “exothermic” describes a reaction or process that releases energy, usually in the form of heat. In chemical processing and manufacturing, controlling the heat created by an exothermic reactions is critical to preserve quality, production and safety. A common way to remove heat is the use of a cooling tower.  Cooling water is circulated through the industrial process via pipes or tubes to extract heat, and then passes through a cooling tower to remove the heat so it can then be recirculated back to the process.

Many exothermic reactions occur when mixing harsh compounds or chemicals. These harsh chemicals have a negative impact on the performance of the process equipment handling the reaction. The equipment is also exposed to vapors and contaminants in the surrounding atmosphere. Metallic structures are the most prone to attack and corrosion.

When a cooling tower is needed in a corrosive or harsh environment, metal framed cooling towers with metal walls should be avoided. Instead, cooling towers with seamless, double wall plastic (HDPE) shells, corrosion proof construction, PVC piping and water distribution systems and totally enclosed motors are recommended.

Sample industries where plastic cooling towers are used in harsh environments are water treatment, waste water treatment, pulp and paper processing, primary metals processing, plating, and corrosive chemical production.