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Tag Archive: Chemical Heat Exchangers

  1. Enerquip Helps Generon Provide State-of-the-Art Systems

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    GENERON is the world leader in the design and manufacture of custom process air and gas separation systems including nitrogen generators for onshore and offshore platforms, floating production, storage and offloading units and transport tankers for the oil & gas market. GENERON has an expanded product base which includes primary compression, instrument air and post compression packages.

    GENERON can design and manufacture standard systems or custom engineered packages. For over 40 years, GENERON has provided thousands of systems worldwide to the oil and gas, marine, and industrial service industries that meet stringent customer and third-party society specifications. GENERON® systems are designed for all areas of classification, from Safe to Hazardous Areas, Class I Division 2, Zone 1 and 2, potentially explosive atmospheres, CE / PED, as well as other European standards.

    GENERON has a wide variety of clients that require nitrogen generation systems, including drilling and service contractors like Schlumberger, Weatherford, and Halliburton; engineering companies like Alliance Engineering, Wood Group, McDermott, Fluor, and Petrofac; and major oil companies like Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Total, and British Petroleum.

    High Expectations

    GENERON’S dedicated research and development team in California is constantly working to improve product offerings.

    Most recently, the GENERON® Dehydration Hollow Fiber Membrane, was re-developed to reduce the weight and size of overall systems, while maintaining instrument quality air. Innovations like this, along with the complete GENERON® product line, continue to elevate the standards and expectations of clients.

    GENERON’s facilities in Houston, Texas and Pittsburg, California allow the hands-on monitoring of quality control while delivering the most cost effective products. Both are certified by certified by DNV to ISO-9000 standards, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Pressure Equipment Directive, GOST, and Underwriters Laboratories and the Canadian Standards Association. High quality and high standards are expected from not only their company, but the companies they partner with.

    For nearly a decade, GENERON has trusted Enerquip to provide stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers for these systems. GENERON turns to Enerquip multiple times a year to fulfill the needs and expectations of a growing customer base. The shell and tube heat exchangers Enerquip develops are integral in the nitrogen generation and natural gas compression and processing packages. GENERON relies on the high standards and integrity of Enerquip’s products and services to fulfill this need.

    Industry Standards

    GENERON relies on Enerquip’s commitment to meet all necessary compliance standards. Enerquip produces shell and tube heat exchangers that are code compliant and follow the regulations set by the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA’s) Classes B, C and R; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); the Pressure Equipment Directive; the Ministry of Manpower; 3-A; as well as the codes set forth by the American National Standards Institute. Enerquip also fabricates to American Petroleum Institute (API) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards. Enerquip is able to produce heat exchangers that are customized to GENERON customers’ specific needs. Many have unique requirements for various sizes, models and capacities. While many other shell and tube heat exchanger suppliers provide standard pieces of equipment, Enerquip is able to tailor each product to the unique applications for which it will be used. This is because Enerquip has in-house engineers who develop solutions for GENERON’s clients’ needs.

    “We often require more customized equipment,” explained Sergio Gonzalez, the Americas Sales Director at GENERON.

    “That’s why we turn to Enerquip. They have the engineering and manufacturing capabilities and facilities.”

    Enerquip can produce shell and tube heat exchangers ranging from two inches to four feet in diameter, and it has access to a variety of alloys with which to create the equipment. Using the right material is important to GENERON’s clients to ensure the longest lifespan of the equipment as possible. Using the wrong metal can cause corrosion or won’t be able to withstand the pressure or other conditions of the operations.

    Quick Turn-Around and On-Time Delivery

    Delivery time is another key factor GENERON appreciates. Enerquip prides itself on providing fast deliveries to clients for whom time is a critical factor. GENERON clients sometimes need to put in rushed deliveries for various systems that GENERON provides. However, the company cannot deliver unless it works with a supplier that can provide them with the necessary equipment in a short period of time. Gonzalez explained that even when GENERON clients need a system to be expedited, Enerquip is eager to accommodate the short time frame whenever possible.

    GENERON also values the time Enerquip takes to answer questions and give feedback about various products and orders. Gonzalez explained the contact person he has at Enerquip, Shane Viergutz, is always available to talk and is helpful.

    “Every time I call them, even if it’s after hours, he answers the phone or returns my calls,” Gonzalez said.

    Sometimes GENERON’s customers need a heat exchanger but don’t need a full system for gas compression, production or processing. Other times, they’ll indicate they need an exchanger or system for an application that GENERON doesn’t specialize in. In these instances, Gonzalez explained, he steers them directly to Enerquip. This is because he knows Enerquip’s engineers will be able to work with them to create the right solution for their needs.

    “I’ve recommended Enerquip to some of my clients when they only need the heat exchanger, or when it’s not our market,” he said. “When they are working on a different application that we are not directly involved with, I send them directly to Enerquip.”

    In getting connected with GENERON’s trusted supplier, the clients know GENERON is looking out for their best interests and will help them succeed in the future.

    GENERON plans to continue working with Enerquip for years to come. The company knows Enerquip and its engineers are dependable, efficient, and will work hard to create the best solution for the many systems GENERON provides to its clients.

    Simply put, said Gonzalez, “Overall, Enerquip gives good service to us, good products, and good quality.”

    Meet the Enerquip Sales Team for yourself.

  2. 4 industries that can benefit from waste heat recovery systems

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    Food and beverage facilities
    Food and beverage facilities often have waste heat they can recover to reduce costs.

    In an age of fluctuating oil costs and increased demands for sustainable practices, waste heat recovery has proven to be a win-win situation for plants and processes in a wide range of industries.

    Waste heat recovery is the process of collecting heat that would have otherwise dissipated into the air inside or outside of a facility, and using it elsewhere in an area of the plant that requires heat generation. This can reduce operational expenses because it decreases the need to pay for heating.

    While virtually any large-scale facility can benefit from waste heat recovery, there are a few industries identified as the fastest-growing end-users of waste heat recovery systems. Here are four sectors where facility managers may find that installing waste heat recovery systems could cut costs and make their processes more efficient:

    “The cement industry is the fastest growing adopter of waste heat recovery systems.”

    1. Fuel refining

    Petroleum refining takes the top spot for industries using waste heat recovery systems. Producing fuel is incredibly energy-intensive, with processes like distillation, thermal cracking and treatment all requiring high temperatures.

    2. Cement production

    The cement industry is the fastest growing adopter of waste heat recovery systems, perhaps in part because of the highly energy-intensive process required to make clinker, the product of a chemical reaction that results in small rocks that are eventually ground into cement.

    Much of the heat lost during this process comes from the kiln, which is heated to 200 to 400 degrees Celsius and is where the chemical reaction takes place. According to a Waste Heat Recovery Technology Analysis drafted by the Department of Energy, systems to recover lost heat from these kilns are widely available but rarely utilized.

    3. Food and beverage

    The food and beverage industry also produces plenty of heat that can be recovered for use elsewhere throughout a facility. Gatorade’s Wytheville, Virginia, plant is one example that worked hard to become as sustainable an operation as possible – it was the first food and beverage site of its size to earn the LEED Gold distinction, according to Food Engineering.

    One of the many adaptations Gatorade made to the facility was its waste heat recovery system.

    “We heat and cool many things around here,” Arnie Wodtke, Gatorade’s director, noted to Food Engineering.

    The facility installed Enerquip shell and tube heat exchangers, which routed cold water – used to cool bottles after filling – to two boilers. Economizers attached to the boilers improved the rate at which that water is heated. When the water reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s sent back to the boiler.

    “It’s easy to measure the direct savings from an energy-efficient motor,” explained Rich Schutzenhofer, vice president of engineering, technology development and resource conservation at the Chicago headquarters of Pepsico’s Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade group, according to Food Engineering.

    “People don’t take into consideration what a 1 percent increase in productivity means across the entire workforce,” he continued. “That’s real; it’s not bells and whistles.”

    4. Higher education

    It’s not just industrial facilities that can benefit from waste heat recovery systems. The University of Illinois-Chicago invested in a heat exchanger and other equipment of its own to reduce operational expenses by $8,000 annually.

    The system is expected to save 15,900 therms of natural gas and 3,100 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. A heat exchanger, combined with repairs to fix leaking pipes, will save the university 2.5 million gallons of water every year.

    “We’re saving energy and the environment at the same time,” Waleed D’Kidek, superintendent of utilities, told UIC Today.

    Have you determined areas of your process where usable heat is going to waste? Reach out to the knowledgeable engineers at Enerquip. We know how to evaluate your operation and determine the best shell and tube heat exchanger for your waste heat recovery needs.

  3. Hastelloy C-276 resists corrosion in some of the harshest environments

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    Before choosing a shell and tube heat exchanger for your operation, it’s crucial to know the strengths and weaknesses of the many alloy options available to you. Different applications will have different requirements in terms of resistance to corrosion, heat or pressure. Learning about these traits is imperative to choosing an alloy that will best meet your needs.

    Alloys are created when specific metals are combined to create a new material. Each element has particular properties that change the characteristics of the resulting alloy. For example, nickel is typically used to increase strength and the alloy’s ability to harden, but without sacrificing ductility, Manufacturers’ Monthly explained. Nickel-based alloys are optimal for operations that require equipment that has high resistance to stress corrosion cracking.

    There is a whole rainbow of nickel-based alloy options that are durable and corrosion resistant. One of the most popular is Hastelloy C-276, which is composed of:

    • Nickel
    • Molybdenum (which reduces brittleness)
    • Chromium (which improves ductility and wear resistance)
    • Tungsten (which offers additional corrosion resistance)

    How it’s made

    When choosing an alloy for a shell and tube heat exchanger, it’s not enough just to choose a material that meets your needs. Making sure it meets government regulations and industry standards is also critical. These guidelines are set by a wide variety of entities. One such organization is ISO, which creates international standards for industries ranging from agriculture to technology.

    ISO 15156 is a standard that corresponds to the petroleum and natural gas industries, and includes recommendations and requirements for the materials that help create equipment used in highly corrosive environments. This standard lists five nickel-based alloys that are ideal for use in hydrogen sulfide-rich environments, Manufacturers’ Monthly reported. The five alloys are categorized on their chemical composition as well as the method in which they were formed. Two ways to create alloys are through solution annealing and cold-working.

    According to ISO, annealing is the process of heating the material to a particular temperature and holding it at that temperature until the metal becomes a solid solution. Once cooled, it becomes easier to cut and work with, and isn’t as hard.

    Cold working refers to the manipulation of the material at a temperature below the recrystallization point, according to Total Materia. This can improve strength, though it can make the metal harder to work with. To offset this effect, cold-worked metals are often intermittently annealed.

    Reducing the hardness is important in some applications, Manufacturers’ Monthly pointed out. Cold-worked nickel alloys can make great tubular structures as a part of larger pieces of equipment, as long as the hardness is lower than 40 on the Rockwell hardness scale.

    Standing up to hydrogen sulfide

    ISO 15156 also offers recommendations on how to address areas where hydrogen sulfide is abundant. This chemical compound is commonly found in natural gas and crude oil, and tends to collect in spaces with little air flow, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As such, it’s highly abundant in offshore drilling applications.

    “Hydrogen sulfide can wreak havoc on the wrong material.”

    Additionally, hydrogen sulfide can be especially abundant in sour reservoirs, or those where abiotic and biotic reactions begin to occur. Manufacturers’ Monthly reported that sour reservoirs in the northern Caspian Sea can have hydrogen sulfide contents as high as 20 percent.

    Hydrogen sulfide can wreak havoc on the wrong material, and as ISO 15156 points out, equipment failure due to chemical corrosion can pose great health and safety risks to those in the vicinity of the operation, as well as the environment. Noting how resistant to hydrogen sulfide corrosion a material is should be a key priority to manufacturers working in these industries.

    Hastelloys 825, 625, and C-276 that are solution-annealed can work efficiently in high-hydrogen sulfide environments, Manufacturers’ Monthly pointed out. Hastelloy C-276 is particularly useful and able to withstand higher pressures of hydrogen sulfide than the 825 and 625 alloys.

    Acidic Environments

    In addition to hydrogen sulfide, plenty of chemical compounds can induce corrosion or other weakening or undesirable reactions. Acidic environments are particularly damaging to many alloys. Hastelloy C-276, for example, doesn’t hold up well to nitric acid, Corrosion Materials noted. However, it has shown considerable resistance to negative effects caused by other common acids and compounds, including:

    • Hydrochloric acid.
    • Sulfuric acid.
    • Acid chlorides.
    • Phosphoric acid.
    • Acetic and formic acids.
    • Hypochlorites.
    • Wet chlorine gas.
    • Acetic anhydride.

    Given the ability to withstand a host of potentially dangerous substances, Corrosion Materials commented that Hastelloy C-276 is one of the most corrosion-resistant materials on the market today.

    Heating up Hastelloy

    As metals warm up, their physical properties begin to change. It’s important to know what limitations your alloy has under certain temperature conditions. The nature of the operation, as well as environmental factors, must be taken into consideration before choosing an alloy. For example, temperatures around oil drilling operations can rise quickly, regardless of climate. But an oil rig near the equator will likely have different requirements than a rig in Alaska or Russia.

    Hastelloy C-276 has a melting point of between 2,415 and 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Corrosion Materials. As such, it can withstand incredibly high temperatures:

    • At 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it maintains oxidation resistance.
    • At 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit, it continues to fight pitting, corrosion and cracking.
    • At 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, it can still carry loads.
    • At 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it has a thermal conductivity of 11 Btu/ft•h•°F.

    Choosing a powerful alloy for your shell and tube heat exchanger is a critical decision to make. Depending on where you are operating, you may have very specific needs. In many cases, Hastelloy C-276 has the ability to withstand the harshest environments while continuing to work efficiently. However, it’s best to speak with a knowledgeable professional before making any concrete decisions.

    If you’re looking to invest in equipment that is highly corrosion resistant, durable and long-lasting, give consideration to a nickel-based alloy. For more information about how your operation can benefit from incorporating Hastelloy C-276, reach out to the engineers at Enerquip. These professionals are among a select few in the shell and tube heat exchanger space that have experience incorporating Hastelloy C-276 in process equipment.

  4. Duplex stainless steel makes an excellent choice for manufacturers

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    Designing a shell and tube heat exchanger involves many decisions that must be made carefully and intentionally. One crucial choice that’s important to every exchanger is the material from which it’s made.

    Engineers have a wide variety of options when choosing the right material from which to build a shell and tube heat exchanger. Steels and alloys come in various compositions, each with their own unique properties, benefits and disadvantages.

    What makes one material more suited for an exchanger over another largely depends on how the equipment will be used – including what chemicals will be introduced to it, the temperature and pressure settings it will be subjected to, and what kind of environment it will be housed in. In addition, the composition material must be cost-effective and easily acquired by the manufacturer.

    Many manufacturers find duplex stainless steel to be an ideal material for shell and tube heat exchangers in a wide variety of industries, including the pharmaceutical, oil and gas and biotechnology industries. Duplex stainless steels are composed of ferrite and austenite, and thus can withstand high-stress applications.

    Ferrite and austenite

    Stainless steels come in many forms. Austenitic stainless steels are the most popular, as they are the most versatile. They are very weldable, according to the American Welding Society, but they do have a tendency to crack when overheated or under too much pressure.

    “Duplex stainless steels can withstand high stress applications.”

    Ferritic stainless steels are another good option for a variety of applications. Though they aren’t as durable as austenitic steels, they have high resistance to corrosion and are fairly formable, making them a versatile solution.

    When combined to create duplex stainless steel, the best properties of both the austenite and ferrite come out. Austenite lends its strength while ferrite resists corrosion and cracking.

    Duplex stainless strength
    Since duplex stainless steels are so strong, engineers have found they can reduce the weight and thickness of materials made from it while still maintaining durability and corrosion resistance. According to Process Heating, duplex stainless steels usually have double the strength of austenite stainless steel. Thinner tubes mean less material is needed, reducing the building cost of the equipment. The exchanger may also be able to be more efficient because of the lower weight.

    In addition to having a strong, efficient exchanger, manufacturers seek out those that can resist corrosion best. Corroded or pitted tubes become weak in time and can eventually spring a leak. A cracked tube is never a good thing, and can cause:

    • Fouling
    • Cross contamination
    • Damaged tube sheets, shells or other important features of the exchanger.

    Damaged tubes are also difficult and expensive to replace.

    Corrosion can occur anytime a substance is introduced to the exchanger that naturally reacts with the chemical composition of the tubes or shell. Chlorine is a common cause of pitting, and can be a major concern for manufacturers operating in a chlorine-heavy environment with an austenite stainless steel heat exchanger. Duplex stainless steels, on the other hand, resist the ill effects of chlorine well and are sought after in industries that work with chlorine frequently.

    Duplex stainless steels’ ability to withstand high temperatures also make them a prime choice for shell and tube heat exchangers. When chloride and tensile stresses are both at play, it only takes a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit to endanger austenitic stainless steel, according to the International Molybdenum Association. When duplex stainless steels are in use, however, temperatures can rise to around 250 degrees before they become risky.Rouging is another problem that some industries need to fend off. Rouging refers to the oxygenation of the metal, represented through a rainbow of colors including red, blue, gold, gray and dark brown. However, IMOA noted that the causes of rouging aren’t always completely understood, but can be greatly affected by the grade of steel equipment is made from.

    When rouging builds up on equipment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, it’s imperative that it gets cleaned to prevent product contamination. The biggest challenge in this is the time and money that goes into this process. Choosing a rouging-resistant material to build equipment is ideal. IMOA explained that the 316L grade of austenitic stainless steel is a favorite among the pharmaceutical industry because it is resistant to rouging to a certain extent. However, duplex stainless steel has also been found to be just as resistant to it, if not more so.

    Cost benefits

    In addition to information about how well one alloy performs in operation compared to another, manufacturers also need to know whether the material is available to them, how difficult it is to obtain it and how much it costs. Process Heating noted that duplex stainless steels have lower nickel and molybdenum contents compared to austenitic stainless steels, bringing down their price point. It also protects the alloy from a volatile raw materials market, which can cause alloy and metal prices to swing upward dramatically at times.

    “Lower nickel and molybdenum contents bring down the price point of duplex stainless steel.”

    Additionally, since the stronger duplex stainless steel can be made durable with less material than an austenitic or ferritic steel, the cost to build it can be reduced.

    Manufacturers also need to look at cost comparisons over the long term. For example, a material that costs less upfront but has weak properties will eventually cost more in the long run through maintenance and replacement costs. Since duplex stainless steel can stand up to higher temperatures and pressures, as well as more corrosive materials, than austenitic or ferritic stainless steels, less maintenance would theoretically be needed to keep the exchanger in working order.

    Using equipment that is made from the proper elements is crucial to having a healthy and productive manufacturing operation. If you’re in the market for a long-lasting shell and tube heat exchanger,

    speak to the engineers at Enerquip, where we’ll be able to identify the best materials and configuration for your operation.

  5. Enerquip Chemical Exchangers

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    The chemical industry relies on exchangers that will prevent cross-contamination and are safe and corrosion resistant. Learn why in the video. 

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  6. Chemical industry preparing for resurgence in manufacturing

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    Chemical manufacturing Chemical manufacturing is on the rise in the U.S. due to affordable energy.

    The chemical industry is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most predominant manufacturing sectors due to affordable energy prices. A report from the analysis firm Boston Consulting Group explained that with steady production due to hydraulic fracturing and affordable labor costs, the chemical industry has been able to take advantage of these trends.

    Currently, the U.S. chemical industry is worth roughly $800 billion, according to the American Chemistry Council. But, experts at BCG believe the value of the industry could increase by $11 billion to $21 billion by 2025. The firm is calling the chemical manufacturing boom “a once-in-a-generation renaissance” for North America.

    Shale boom boosting chemical production

    U.S. chemical manufacturers have seen the recent success in production due to the shale boom and availability of low-cost natural gas and liquid natural gas resources. With advancements in fracking technology, the oil and gas industry has completely revamped U.S. production, making it nearly sustainable on domestic resources.

    However, the success of fracking technology has bled over into other industries, and more specifically, into chemical manufacturing. Now, chemical manufacturers are able to reevaluate their production methods with cheaper energy and labor rates.

    BCG analysts said from 2010 to 2015, within the height of the shale boom, the U.S. chemical industry gained more than $130 billion in capital investments due to natural gas production.

    Rejuvenating chemical manufacturing processes

    With the excess of natural gas and LNG resources, the chemical industry is now able to revitalize its production and manufacturing processes. According to the BCG report, chemical companies will now be able to focus on core business issues such as investing in updated equipment.

    One area of manufacturing equipment that chemical processors rely on is chemical shell and tube heat exchangers. According to a press release from MicroMarket Monitor, the heat exchanger market is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent from 2014 to 2019 in North America. The U.S. will account for roughly 80 percent of the new heat exchangers purchased in North America.

    The primary reason for this uptick in the heat exchanger market is the nation’s chemical industry, which accounts for almost 40 percent of the North American heat exchanger market.

    Additionally, the ACC reported the chemical industry in the U.S. would likely see a 3.2 percent growth in 2015 and another 3 percent in 2016. That type of growth would exceed the entire U.S. economy for the next couple of years with a 5 percent range expected between 2017 and 2019.

    The ACC also believes consumers will see a significant drop in energy bills by as much as 5 percent for 2015. While the production of natural gas is helping consumers, it ultimately leads back to the major chemical producers who can now invest in new technology to keep production levels high.

    Using stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers could reduce fouling and other downtime issues within the chemical processing stage.

  7. Controlling temperatures in chemical processing plants

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    Controlling temperatures in chemical processing is one of the most essential aspects of the entire procedure. By simply reducing or increasing the temperature by a few degrees during chemical processing, dramatic effects and reactions can occur to the end product, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported.

    The chemical industry relies on cooling and heating of base, intermediate and final products. Additionally, heating, cooling and reheating processes in containers, reactors and autoclaves is necessary for most chemical processing plants.

    Many facilities in the industry use shell and tube chemical heat exchangers for a wide variety of duties including:

    • Cooling products that are high in viscosity, such as latex.
    • Heating, cooling and reheating solvents such as toluene, which is often used in paint thinners.
    • Heating and cooling different solutions and acids and bases such as sodium hydroxide.
    • Reducing any contamination between solutions or solvents.

    Chemical processing is dependent on heat transfer from a temperature gradient and fluid flow velocity through heat changers, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reported. However, heat exchangers can also be used for boiling or condensing specific solutions or acids to get them to more accurate levels.

    “As the equation shown above, the heat transfer area (or contact area) is directly proportional to the heat transfer rate,” the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute stated. “If the heat transfer area increases, heat transfer rate increases as well. A common way to increase heat transfer area is adding fins to the surface. It is cheap to put fins to the heat transfer area but fins also increase fouling, especially in bio-process.”

    Controlling reactor temperatures

    Reactor temperatures also have to be controlled in chemical processing. The temperature can affect numerous qualities such as the production rate, operating costs and the final product, Chemical Processing reported.

    Continuous reactors are used to keep temperatures steady without oscillation, which can be achieved by using heat exchangers to maintain the jacket temperature on the reactor. Additionally, reactors need to limit operator intervention significantly and to trim down the consumption of utilities.

    However, batch reactors need fast heat up or cool down processes and to control the response to load disturbances, the source reported. To meet the requirements of these chemical processing standards, chemists have to closely observe equipment temperatures to make sure the end product is not damaged.

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory explained that heat exchangers are used for batch reactors with a pump-around loop to control the temperature and agitate the process, as well.