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Econotherm hosts webinar on waste heat recovery opportunities in oil and gas

Econotherm Managing Director Mark Boocock was recently invited by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) in Canada to host a webinar on the topic of Harnessing Waste Heat Recovery in the Oil and Gas Sector.


More than 600 people registered for the one-hour session, which discussed different mechanisms being used by industrial manufacturers to recover waste heat from their process.


"The main source of energy consumption in a refinery is the fired heater  which is also the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions," says Boocock. "So, to no surprise, the use of air pre-heaters in oil refineries has become quite established in which heat is being taken from the flue gas stream and then put through a heat exchanger to pre-heat the combustion air that goes into the fired heater."


Mark Boocock presents waste heat recovery seminar to APEGA.

Of note, Boocock was joined by Econotherm Technical Director Hussam Jouhara to highlight how heat pipe heat exchangers (HPHEs) are being applied to reduce energy consumption and mitigate emissions in the oil and gas industry. The two presenters provided comparative examples with other waste heat recovery solutions such as shell and tube heat exchangers, examining factors such as thermal efficiencies, temperature/corrosion allowances and maintenance schedules.


"For example, unlike conventional cross-flow heat exchangers where the exhaust out can often stay up to 80°C than the dew point, heat pipe heat exchangers can bring that down to 20°C. This means it can unlock higher potential for waste heat recovery," says Jouhara.


Some of the questions addressed include:

  • How the heat pipes achieve superconductivity

  • Whether the working fluid causes internal corrosion to the heat pipes

  • Does the savings only come from eliminating the heat needed for air combustion

  • Whether there's a risk of heat pipes bursting due to overpressure or overheating


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