Vapor recovery condenser systems, comprised of a closed system of pipes, valves, compressors, and exchangers provide a safe space for vapors to be compressed without being emitted into the atmosphere. Not only is this better for our environment, but it also allows the reuse and repurposing of costly chemicals that would have otherwise been lost in vapor. Chemical and petroleum vapors can be re-condensed into a usable liquid using direct condensation and returned to their original source or repurposed for different use.
Shell and tube condensers are safe, efficient and can be designed for much higher pressures and temperatures than other heat exchanger types. When stainless steel condensers are built to ASME pressure vessel code and TEMA guidelines for best fabrication processes, they can handle design pressures up to 3000 psig and temperatures from cryogenic up to 1000F.
Surface finishes for condensers in the oil extraction market should be polished to a food grade 32Ra or better, and can be provided with finishes more commonly seen in the pharmaceutical and personal care markets of 20Ra and electropolished to a near mirror-like finish. This helps to prevent fouling and scaling inside the tubes and bonnets, while also eliminating crevices that can hold material and lead to contamination.
When solvents are in contact with the product, it is very important to keep the solvents as clean and uncontaminated as possible throughout the process. Condensing the vapors in the tubes of a shell and tube heat exchanger ensures solvent purity. The polished finish on the tubeside makes a shell and tube exchanger easier to clean between product batches. The shell side of an exchanger has many crevices where tubes and tie rods pass through baffles, which is why it is more common to use the utility fluids in the shell.
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