Article | 3 Issues with Cooling Towers that Water Treatment Can Fix

Cooling towers are indispensable equipment in breweries for heat transfer and extraction during beer-making operations. It also prevents the release of excess heat in the atmosphere, thereby thwarting its risk on human, plant and animal lives. By their design, cooling towers use the process of evaporation to carry out their function and consume a significant amount of water.

While water is the most appropriate medium for cooling towers, it is highly prone to scale, corrosion and microbiological growth which have a direct impact on the operational efficiency and costs, quality of the beer and lifespan of the equipment. Water is a scarce resource – so, it is also the social responsibility of breweries to reduce, recycle and reuse it properly.

Let’s understand cooling towers issues and their preventive management through a water treatment solution.

1. Scale

After cooling towers evaporate pure water, the residual liquid water concentrates over time and crystalizes into insoluble impurities such as silica, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate and magnesium silicate on heat exchangers when minerals reaches its saturation point. This creates an uneven flow of water, lowers the effectiveness of heat transfer and increases energy consumption.

2. Corrosion

Since the cooling system continuously comes in contact with water, contaminated water with low pH can cause corrosion. The electrochemical reactions, environmental factors as well as pH, alkalinity and hardness of feeding water are also other causes of corrosion. Microbiological induced corrosion is also another common source of corrosion in a cooling system. This is due to poor microbiological control like presence of slime and bacteria. Over a prolonged period, corrosion leads to degradation, pitting corrosion, thinning and breakage of the equipment and piping. These further results in downtimes, production delays and loss in productivity.

3. Microbiological Growth

Both scaling and corrosion become breeding grounds for fungi, bacteria, algae and other microbes. Legionella bacteria which thrive in stagnant water in particular are detrimental for breweries. These organisms also enter the cooling system through air and water. They create a ‘biofilm’ on the equipment, producing a foul smell and further worsening the corrosion problem. It becomes a vicious cycle which not only weakens the components and structure of the cooling system but also enhances the risk of airborne/respiratory diseases for the employees.

How Cooling Tower Water Treatment Can Help?

A cooling tower water treatment solution is a complete approach of various processes such as pre-treatment which includes side-stream filtration, de-ionizaton (softener, RO and Demin), chemical application of the antiscalant, corrosion inhibitors and application of biocides or biodispersantsThese will prevents the regular occurrence of scales, corrosion and microbiological infestation, ensuring that the cooling towers operate at their optimum efficiency. NCH Asia offers highly specialized and effective water treatment solutions for breweries.

Get in touch with us to know more.

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