The deposition of insoluble inorganic substances on heat exchanger surfaces has a strong negative influence on the heat transfer and thus on the performance of the apparatus and the process. The analysis of the deposits is a crucial step towards the development of suitable technologies for scaling mitigation and prevention. Such analysis, however, is challenging and often requires advanced instrumentation and sample preparation. To overcome this problem, we present a straightforward analytical approach based on Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. We demonstrate that FTIR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for the chemical analysis of inorganic deposits. For example, it can identify the common anions in scales such as sulfates and carbonates. It can even distinguish between salts with the same anion but different cations such as calcium and sodium. Test measurements are performed on the deposits from a domestic water cooker and from the evaporator of a seawater desalination pilot plant.
- Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
- chemical analysis
- heat exchanger
- IR SPECTROSCOPY