Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32578
Quantitative Changes in Biofilms of a Seawater Tubular Heat Exchanger Subjected to Electromagnetic Fields Treatment

Authors: Sergio Garcia, Alfredo Trueba, Luis M. Vega, Ernesto Madariaga


Biofilms adhesion is one of the more important cost of industries plants on wide world, which use to water for cooling heat exchangers or are in contact with water. This study evaluated the effect of Electromagnetic Fields on biofilms in tubular heat exchangers using seawater cooling. The results showed an up to 40% reduction of the biofilm thickness compared to the untreated control tubes. The presence of organic matter was reduced by 75%, the inorganic mater was reduced by 87%, and 53% of the dissolved solids were eliminated. The biofilm thermal conductivity in the treated tube was reduced by 53% as compared to the control tube. The hardness in the effluent during the experimental period was decreased by 18% in the treated tubes compared with control tubes. Our results show that the electromagnetic fields treatment has a great potential in the process of removing biofilms in heat exchanger.

Keywords: Biofilm, heat exchanger, electromagnetic fields, seawater.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 578


[1] Trueba A, Garca S, Otero FM.Mitigation of biofouling using electromagnetic fields in tubular heat exchangers condensers cooled by seawater. Biofouling 30(1):95-103. 2014.
[2] Cho YI, Fan C, Choi BG Theory of electronic anti-fouling technology to control precipitation fouling in heat exchangers. Int Commun Heat Mass. 24: 757770. 1997.
[3] Trueba A, Garca S, Otero FM, Vega LM, Madariaga E. The effect of electromagnetic fields on biofouling in a heat exchange system using seawater. Biofouling. 31(1):19-26. 2015.
[4] Shahryari A, Pakshir M. Influence of a modulated electromagnetic field on fouling in a double-pipe heat exchanger. J Mater Process Technol. 203: 389-395. 2008.
[5] Lipus LC, Ako B, Hamler A. Electromagnets for high-flow water processing. Chem Eng Process. 50:952-958. 2011.
[6] Xiaokai X. Research on the electromagnetic anti-fouling technology for heat transfer enhancement. Appl Therm Eng. 28: 889-894. 2008.
[7] Gabrielli C, Jaouhari R, Maurin G, Keddam M. Magnetic water treatment for scale prevention. Water Res. 35: 32493259. 2001.
[8] Tai, C.Y.; Wu, Chi-Kao; Chang, Meng-Chun. Effects of magnetic field on the crystallization of CaCO3 using permanent magnets. Chemical Engineering Science. 63: 5606-5612. 2008.
[9] Tijing, L. D.; Kim, H. Y.; Lee, D. H.; Kima, C.S.; Choc, Y.I. Use of an oscillating electric field to mitigate mineral fouling in a heat exchanger. Experimental heat transfer. 22: 257-270. 2009.
[10] Santomauro, G.; Baier, J.; Huang, W.; Pezold, S.; Bill, J.Formation of calcium carbonate polymorphs induced by living microalgae. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology. 3: 413-420. 2012.
[11] Garc´ıa S, Trueba A.Influence of the Reynolds number on the thermal effectiveness of tubular heat exchanger subjected to electromagnetic field-based antifouling treatment in an open once-through seawater cooling system. Appl Therm Eng. 140: 531-541. 2018.
[12] Trueba A, Vega LM, Garca S, Otero FM, Madariaga E. Mitigation of marine biofouling on tubes of open rack vaporizers using electromagnetic fields. Water Sci. Technol. 73: 1221-1229. 2016.
[13] Slowinski EJ, Wolsey WC, Rossi RC. Chemical principles in the laboratory. Brooks/Cole. 10th ed. Minnesota (MN): Cengage Learning. 28: 225230. 2012.
[14] Garc´ıa S, Trueba A, Vega L.M., Madariaga E.Impact of the surface roughness of AISI 316L stainless steel on biofilm adhesion in a seawater-cooled tubular heat exchanger-condenser. Biofouling 32: 19. 2016.
[15] Lpez-Galindo C, Casanueva JF, Nebot E. 2010.Efficacy of different antifouling treatments for seawater cooling systems. Biofouling. 26: 923930. 2010.