Universities suggest automatic tube cleaning for environment

Universities of Birmingham and Cadiz conducted research into relation between CO2 emissions and biofilm in condenser tubes and recommend automatic cleaning with tube inserts as an effective method to contribute to a better environment.


We cite from a research publication by researchers from the  in which they conclude that there is a linear relation between biological fouling and CO2 emissions in power plant condensers. Controlling biofilm growth in the tubes therefore has a positive environmental impact:

Nevertheless if, this additional emission could be reduced or avoided altogether, it would constitute a significant contribution to the aims of the Kyoto Protocol. This could be achieved through effective biofilm control.

It is also flagged that chemical water treatment will be increasingly difficult with regards to discharge regulations. Mechanical cleaning via tube inserts (Eqobrush brushes) is mentioned as an effective alternative.

A combination of relatively low biocide concentration and physical method (ultrasound or tube insert) has also been shown to be effective for biofouling control in cooling water applications. This could be a solution to severe biofouling problems and at the same time, satisfy regulations in respect of noxious chemical discharge (Tianqing and Bott, 1998, Wills et al, 2002).

Click here to download the entire article by T.Casanueva-Robles and T.R. Bott as published by The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2016.