What was the challenge or problem to solve?
Lime build-up is one of the most common problems both in everyday objects and in industrial processes.
The precipitation and subsequent accumulation of this compound in pipes or resistances, has associated certain problems such as obstructions, operating failures, increased energy consumption, accumulation of dirt or biofilm …
In the process of precipitation and lime, different factors influence, within which, there is a great dependence on the specific use case and application.
Therefore, the client proposed simulating the lime accumulation process under real conditions of use, under controlled laboratory conditions, to later propose different strategies to prevent or reduce lime deposition.
How was it addressed or what was the solution?
First, the Materials Innovation team carried out a characterization of the type of lime accumulated in the specific use case: quantity, crystalline form of deposition, evaluation of critical points … For this, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) techniques were used .
Next, different qualities of water, and formulations of synthetic water, were prepared to simulate the different scenarios and degrees of hardness.
Finally, a set-up was designed that simulated real operating conditions, and the different variables that affected lime deposition (temperature, concentration, time…) were adjusted. All of this made it possible to have a representative and reproducible test to reproduce in an accelerated and controlled manner the process of lime accumulation.
- Know the type of lime accumulation process (amount, crystalline form …)
- Reproduce the specific lime accumulation process for the case study analyzed
- Optimize the lime generation process to achieve an accelerated test
- Characterize the actual lime accumulation process
- Develop different formulations of synthetic waters
- Design a set-up similar to real conditions
- Optimize the deposition process under strict control of parameters
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