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Content archived on 2024-05-21

Minimizing chemicals discharge and health hazards at cooling circuits by a novel sensing approach


Scientific objectives and approach:

The planning proposed by the consortium is divided in 2 phases within the two years of the project:
The first year will consist in the development of the Fouling Monitor System (FMS) and of the Biofouling Risk Evaluation System (BRES) and the software. The new device will be tested in laboratory.
The second year will be dedicated to field trials. This aims at testing the behaviour of the device in the cooling system of industry. The different chemical provider partner will find among their consumers some cooling circuits that correspond to several characteristic to test the sensor in several condition. Those partners will be in charge of the maintenance of the device.
In parallel, one of the partners will carry out some water analyses to evaluate the accuracy of the sensor.
At the end of the technological transfer phase, the validation of the efficiency of the developed technique and the economic viability of the process will be qualified by industrial partners.

Problems to be solved:

Cooling circuits are treated by the injection of a variety of chemicals, in order to limit scaling, corrosion and above all biofouling. Biofouling has two adverse effects: the reduction of cooling performance and the development of infectious micro-organisms, such as Legionella Pneumophilla and of various species of amoebas.
Specialised companies, including a large number of SMEs, provide integrated water treatment services for this application. They are paid for ensuring a sufficient water quality and a correct performance of the cooling system. The market for these services is in the range of 1.5 billion Euro per year in the European Union.
Controlling the process of chemicals injection is difficult with regard to the prevention of biofouling. Therefore these chemicals are provided in excess, with the consequence that biocide substances and disinfection by-products are unnecessarily released to the environment.
The COOLSENSE project aims at providing a cost effective approach for the control of biofouling prevention.
This approach is based on innovative sensor systems, which rely on the application of recently developed electronics manufacturing technologies.

Expected Impacts:

Expected results are 3 industrial prototypes (2 Fouling Monitoring System and 1 Biological Risk Evaluation System)for the 3 SME proposers :
Fouling sensor : a small device, easy to insert in a circuit, which gives the thickness and electrical conductivity (interpreted as the nature) of any material layer deposited by the water. Cost of ownership is the same as a conductivity meter. It can be used for the injection control of any antifouling chemical or scale inhibitor.
Bacterial surge warning : sensors measure regular physicochemical parameters, which are interpreted by a model as growth factors. Warnings can be issued if favourable conditions appear for the growth of a specific organism, e.g. Legionella. An adapted chemical response can be triggered.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Tylstrupvej 50

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Total cost
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Participants (8)