Chemical industry

Chemical industry

No modern products without HX-Factor


Elegant stockings, cheerfully colored paint, and trendy smartphones – you wouldn’t have any of these without modern chemistry. It all started in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the production of sulfuric acid, soda, fertilizers, paint, artificial fibers, and medicine. Today, the chemical industry has become one of the most innovative and strongest-growing industry sectors. Along with basic chemistry, specialized chemistry, and pharmaceuticals, what has become the fifth-largest German industrial sector, produces for more than 150 billion euros. Without efficient – and above all safe – heat exchangers this advanced chemical industry would simply not be feasible.

Gas cooling

In the chemical industry, production processes basically represent chemical reactions on an industrial scale. So-called technical gases are widely used here – e.g., oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases. In large-scale chemical production, central supply facilities often provide such gases. Turbine and piston compressors increase the pressure of these gases to the required level. After each compression step, usually finned tube heat exchangers or shell and tube heat exchangers remove the heat of compression via a water cooling circuit. Our finned tube or shell and tube heat exchangers as pressure gas coolers are also widely used in the further processing of petrochemical products, paints, coatings, and polyurethane products.

An additional important field of chemical application is gas recooling in air-separation systems. These facilities are used on large industrial scale to obtain gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and noble gases. Extremely low temperatures are necessary here. In addition to compact pressure gas coolers, we can also configure various finned tube heat exchangers for such processes.

Industrial drying

Our finned tube heat exchangers are highly effective for industrial drying and for the cooling of conveying air in the production of powders and granules, as they are widely employed in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Plain finned heat exchangers can also be used in severely polluted air.

Steam condensation

In many chemical processes, steam is required, or results from production. Typical examples are in the manufacture of fertilizers and terephthalic acid – the latter of which is primarily used in making PET, which goes in turn to the production of bottles. To return exhaust steam and vaporous refrigerants to liquid form, a number of shell and tube heat exchangers and plate heat exchangers are available for selection.

Separation technology

In order to recover valuable substances (for example, iodine in pharmaceutical production) or to prevent pollution of the environment (e.g., with inert gases in storage tanks), desublimators have proved highly effective. In this process of thermal substance separation, we rely on an example from nature: desublimation which works like natural crystallization when hoarfrost develops Unlike chemical scrubbing, this solution eliminates the need for disposing of solvents. Desublimation also enables greater product purity and higher degrees of separation.

Focus on safety

Product and production safety are key aspects in the chemical industry. The valuable – and sometimes also dangerous – products involved must be effectively kept separate from the cooling media: and vice versa. Our engineers assure reliable compliance with these requirements in their design of heat exchangers and in selection of materials used for them.

In many critical processes – e.g., in the liquefaction of highly toxic chlorine, as required in plastics production – the use of shell and tube heat exchangers is standard in the chemical industry. This makes it possible to employ only one shell-and-tube heat exchanger, and to enjoy a high degree of protection against leakage. These systems pay off with their low initial investment and as a result of lower water and energy consumption. We likewise offer patented solutions for essential detail processes: for example, for the cooling of especially pure gases.

Thanks to especially selected materials, aggressive media present no problems for our plate heat exchangers. They have proved especially effective under the most problematic of conditions, such as with sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and chemical applications in mining. Optimized channel geometry prevents undesirable adherence of substances – known as fouling – even for problematic media such as latex dispersions. For the heating of steam or media used for cleaning and disinfection, brazed or welded heat exchangers are available from us that are designed for appreciably greater operational pressures than usual.

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