Plate Heat Exchangers (PHEs) are widely used in various industrial processes for efficient heat transfer between fluids. However, PHEs are prone to fouling due to the buildup of deposits on the plate surfaces, which can reduce heat transfer efficiency and increase energy consumption. Chemical cleaning is a common method used to remove fouling deposits and optimize PHE performance.




A gas processing plant was experiencing a reduction in heat transfer efficiency for their sea water/cooling water circuit exchanger and an increase trend was observed in energy consumption from its PHEs. The plant management team recognized the need for a solution to remove fouling deposits and optimize PHE performance. The plant management team approached us to develop a solution.


Design Process:


Our team initiated the design process by conducting a detailed analysis of the PHEs’ operational history, which included fluid flow rates, inlet and outlet temperatures, and pressure drop. They also analyzed the process fluids to determine the nature and extent of the fouling deposits.


Using the process and fouling deposit data, Our developed a chemical cleaning solution that involved using a specialized cleaning agent that could effectively remove the fouling deposits without damaging the PHEs’ plate surfaces.


The cleaning process was conducted on-site, and it involved circulating the cleaning agent through the PHEs at a specified flow rate and temperature. The cleaning agent was then flushed out of the PHEs using water to remove any remaining residue.


Our team monitored the cleaning process closely, conducting regular inspections and testing to ensure that the PHEs were not damaged during the cleaning process. They also conducted a post-cleaning analysis of the PHEs’ performance to determine the effectiveness of the cleaning process.




The chemical cleaning process was successful in removing the fouling deposits from the PHEs’ plate surfaces, resulting in improved heat transfer efficiency and reduced energy consumption. The post-cleaning analysis showed a significant improvement in the PHEs’ performance, with an increase in the heat transfer coefficient and a decrease in the pressure drop.


The on-site chemical cleaning solution developed by us was cost-effective and eliminated the need to remove the PHEs from the processing plant for off-site cleaning, reducing downtime and production loss.




PHEs are critical components in many industrial processes, and fouling deposits can reduce their performance and increase energy consumption. Chemical cleaning is a proven method for removing fouling deposits and optimizing PHE performance. The successful implementation of an on-site chemical cleaning solution at the Gas processing plant demonstrates the value of a rigorous design and development process in delivering reliable and efficient industrial equipment. By using specialized cleaning agents and monitoring the cleaning process closely, we can develop effective solutions to optimize PHE performance and reduce operating costs.