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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Intensified and high performances thermosyphon reboilers : application to the oil and gas processing industries


The main purpose of this project is to improve and develop high efficient evaporators and reboilers used in the oil and gas processing industries by introducing innovative technologies. Process intensification will be achieved by reducing the size of the equipments and increasing heat transfer, which lead to a higher heat recovery and a lower energy consumption. In order to reach these objectives, both innovative technologies and accurate design methods will be develop. Finally, promotion and diffusion of the results towards end-users will be emphasise by evaluation of the technical and economical feasibility.

This project focuses on both tube and plate bundles applied to the oil and gas processing, and deals with:

- the establishment of thermal and hydraulic performances of innovative surfaces under actual flow conditions (boiling of hydrocarbons);
- the development of a new design methodology, based on local and overall flow modelling;

- the construction and the test of a pilot unit incorporating enhanced tubes;
- the test of a vertical intensified plate thermosyphon;

- the organisation of a seminar on process integration;

- the promotion and the diffusion of innovative enhancement techniques for reboilers.


The programme consists on 7 work packages, with the
contribution of 4 EU countries. The work will be conducted by R&D laboratories, with a strong industrial participation including tubes and heat exchangers manufacturers, engineering and software companies as well as end-users.

In a first step, phenomenological studies will be performed to identify the functional parameters which enhance heat transfer in plate and tube bundles. Both numerical and experimental work will be performed.

In a second step, an innovative design method, based on modelling of two-phase flow, will permit to optimise the bundle arrangement in order to reduce the stagnation zones. Experimental results obtained under actual flow conditions (boiling of hydrocarbons) will validate the simulation models. The last step concerns the design, the manufacturing and the test of a small unit which will be incorporated in a process line. The results will be compared with those obtained on small scale units and will allow the assessment of the thermal design method.

In parallel, diffusion and promotion of the results will be made by two different ways. First a software handbook, which incorporates the major results obtained in this project, as well as those obtained in previous Joule programmes, will be realised (public deliverable). Secondly, in order to promote the use of innovative intensified technologies in the process industry, a European Workshop on process integration will be organised.

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Participants (9)