Alfa Laval Compabloc boosts capacity and cuts CO2 at Dow Wolff Cellulosics in Belgium

Dow Wolff Cellulosics, Belgium, has installed two Compabloc compact heat exchangers from Alfa Laval for different duties in one of the plant's solvent recovery columns. The first unit, required urgently to replace a worn-out shell-and-tube reboiler, was delivered by Alfa Laval at extremely short notice and provided a substantial capacity increase.

DATE 2023-11-28

Concerned about the long delivery time for a customised shell-and-tube, Dow looked around for alternatives. The application is a challenging one since the product has an extremely high viscosity.

After consulting Alfa Laval, the company confirmed that a Compabloc compact plate heat exchanger was the answer. The heat transfer discipline of Dow process engineering was also convinced that a plate heat exchanger, when properly designed, would be a good alternative for a shell-and-tube – even in this critical application. Compabloc, an advanced, fully welded plate heat exchanger designed for heat recovery, condensation, reboiling and gas cooling, could be delivered on time and would handle the duty efficiently.

Big energy savings

Calculations show that the second Compabloc, installed to heat the process feed to the column, will provide annual energy savings of 22,400 GJ and a reduction in CO2 of 1,250 tonnes.

The company

Dow is a diversified chemical company with 46,000 employees worldwide, delivering a broad range of products and services. Located in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, Dow Wolff Cellulosics manufactures HEC (hydroxyethyl cellulose) under the brand name CELLOSIZE™, which is primarily used as a paint thickener.

Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangerThe compact, fully welded Compabloc heat exchanger is designed to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures. 

More about Compabloc 

Features and benefits

  • Highly competitive capital and installation costs
  • More capacity in a small space
  • Higher heat recovery resulting in lower emissions
  • Long service intervals and easy service access for low lifetime costs
It was great to be able to take delivery of a new reboiler at such short notice. But this was not our main reason for installing a Compabloc. We would not have chosen this technology if we did not believe in it.

Raf Croux, Project Manager at Dow