Carbon savings through heat exchanger servicing


29 June 2022

Alfa Laval’s 2021 sustainability report has highlighted the potential for significant carbon savings through the application of effective cleaning and maintenance in industrial processes.

The report explores a number of avenues through which various industries can reduce their carbon emissions in line with net zero targets. Among the major findings was that up to 2.5% of global CO₂ emissions could be prevented if the heat exchangers currently installed in industrial processes are effectively cleaned and maintained

John Smith, service operations divisional manager UK & Ireland at Alfa Laval, said: “Our 2021 sustainability report has re-iterated the importance of two factors which we have long championed as crucial to the success of all industrial processes – cleaning and maintenance.

“A healthy heat exchanger is able to perform far more efficiently than its poorly-kept counterpart, which is not only critical to maintaining streamlined operations, but also reducing a company’s environmental impact. On an industry-wide scale, this holds the potential for significant carbon savings, which will in turn prove key to falling in line with net zero targets.”

This development compounds an earlier finding from the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario, which indicated that energy efficiency can deliver more than 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions savings in the next 20 years.

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Alfa Laval’s report also highlights the role that a number of new technologies can play in achieving this goal. Compact plate heat exchangers, for instance, are 20-50% more efficient than conventional technology.

John concluded: “We have long advocated the adoption a strategy of preventative maintenance across all applications of heat exchangers. However, the potential carbon savings highlighted in our 2021 sustainability report put this into an entirely new light.

“Fifty percent of the prospective efficiency savings raised by the IEA are to be found in industry, so the onus is on this sector to make changes towards best practice if net zero targets are to be achieved. For this reason, the importance of effective cleaning and maintenance in industrial processes simply cannot be understated.

"We believe that UK-based assets such as our very own Advanced Service Center in Camberley will be an invaluable resource as the nation grapples with net zero. By keeping components such as heat exchangers in peak working order, operators can benefit from both improved performance and a reduced carbon footprint for their industrial processes.”

The full report is available to read here.