A postgraduate research project on the energy absorption characteristics of ammonia / water in refrigeration cycles uses Therminol ® 59 - a heat transfer fluid produced by Eastman.
São Paulo - October 2013 - Encouraging academic study through the use of its products is one of Eastman´s ways of pursuing its company values. And that is why Eastman, the specialty chemical company, has become the newest supporter of a PhD project at the University of São Paulo (USP)´s Institute for Energy and the Environment.
The research project, which also has the support of FAPESP (The State of São Paulo Research Support Foundation (grant numbers: 2010/10858-4 and 2010/16304-0) , "aims to analyze the phenomenon of distillation of an ammonia / water solution with the goal of producing ammonia vapor of high purity, with a concentration of up to 99.9%, ideal for use in ammonia / water absorption refrigeration cycles" comments the researcher Eli Aguilar, who has already achieved academic success before starting on his doctorate. He obtained a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the USP Polytechnic School and a Diploma in Renewable Energy, Distributed Generation and Energy Efficiency (USP) after graduating in Mechanical Engineering from the Trujillo National University in Peru. The focus of his work is to reduce the size of refrigeration systems in comparison to conventional cooling systems and hence to reduce their cost.
Heat exchange processes are essential to meeting the research objectives, and it is precisely for this purpose that Eastman´s Therminol 59 heat transfer fluid is used. The product is just one of the synthetic heat transfer fluids produced by Eastman, which has the largest range of fluids in the industry. For 50 years customers worldwide have relied on industry-leading Therminol heat transfer fluids for their performance, reliability and technical support.
Therminol 59 is a synthetic heat transfer fluid with excellent low-temperature pumpability characteristics (down to -45 ° C) and thermal stability up to 315 ° C. These characteristics make the fluid ideal for applications that combine heating and cooling processes. A feature of Therminol 59 is its long service life, which is a characteristic of all the Therminol heat transfer fluid range. A long service life means fewer fluid changes, which means lower operating costs - critical in today's highly competitive environment. "Therminol 59 can be used in many different industries, such as Oil & Gas, Biodiesel, Pharmaceutical, specialty chemical batch production processes, amongst others," says Eastman Fluid Specialist, Nicola Tripaldi.
According to Aguilar, after a comparative analysis between various different fluids available in the market, Therminol 59 was chosen largely due to its excellent thermo-physical properties. The USP postgraduate emphasized that "this represents efficiency in heat exchange, allowing a reduction in the size of heat exchanger surfaces". Eastman supplied him with Therminol 59 for his research, as part of its research support program.
The main research procedure is divided into four phases:
- Pressure Tests: using water instead of ammonia to test connections and identify possible leaks;
- Electrical Tests: testing the electrically driven pumps, fans and heaters;
- Working Pressure Tests: a test of the system under pressures of up to 15 bar, using water;
- Final Tests: system tests with an ammonia / water solution.
Aguilar goes on to say: "the project is particularly relevant to work to rationalize energy use and, in particular, will contribute to the development of ammonia / water absorption refrigeration cycles for use in co-generation (combined heat and power) or even tri-generation (combined cooling, heat and power) systems". The research project´s concern with sustainability is also a central concern in Eastman´s business.