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SubCom® Direct Fired Heaters – Technology

Submerged Combustion Process Heating Technology

The use of fossil fuels has contributed to industrialization enormously, but this has resulted in an increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. The challenge to many industries is the requirement to heat large volumes of water or aqueous solutions efficiently – which usually requires a combustion process.

With our experience spanning decades of designing and fabricating process heating solutions, we found that there is one combustion process capable of heating large volumes of industrial liquid solutions at higher thermal efficiencies than traditional methods. That process is Submerged Combustion and Inproheat Industries has patented features of this technology as SubCom® in its direct fired heaters.

SubCom® direct fired heaters have been used in industrial liquid heating and evaporation processes across oil and gas, mining and metals, LNG vapourization, food production, wastewater treatment, chemical, lumber and other industries.

Submerged combustion makes it possible to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, and use combustion processes more economically and more responsibly – creating savings for years to come.

A SubCom® direct fired heating solution application will typically achieve a thermal efficiency in excess of 15% over conventional heating methods.  This increased efficiency results in an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions and fuel costs. These clear savings offer a dramatic capital cost recovery compared to conventional heating methods.

SubCom® Efficiency Curves
SubCom® Efficiency Curves

Design Benefits

Fuel Costs Savings and Optimal Efficiency

SubCom® direct fired heaters are 15% to 30% more fuel efficient than boilers, which results in an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gases. A SubCom® direct fired heater system has zero loss of efficiency during its lifespan.

No Additional Process Costs

No pre-treatment of the solution is required because there are no heat transfer surfaces to plug or foul; the heat is conveyed via gas bubbles disbursed directly through the liquid-to-be-heated. No post-treatment of the solution is required because there is no dilution of the solution-to-be-heated; no new liquid is injected into the process, as there is with direct steam injection.

Maintenance Savings

SubCom® direct fired heaters are low-maintenance because there are few wearable parts and no heat transfer surfaces to plug, foul or corrode.

Reduced Manpower Costs

SubCom® direct fired heater systems are not pressure vessels and are simple in design and operation. Therefore, no regulatory operator certification is required.

Recover and Reuse Clean Water

When SubCom® direct fired heaters are used for evaporation, any evaporated water can be condensed and reused in other onsite processes.

Increased Safety

SubCom® direct fired heaters are inherently safe as the combustion process is fully-contained by non-flammable liquid, and the exhaust gases exit at near ambient liquid temperature. Exhaust temperatures are typically 200°F to 300°F (100°C to 150°C) less than boiler systems.

The SubCom® Solution

SubCom® technology has been a cornerstone of Inproheat Industries because it offers technical and economic advantages over other alternatives. Through practical application and controlled development in our own facilities, we have developed proprietary designs that make it possible to use direct fired heaters with submerged combustion in many new and challenging applications.

Our clients choose SubCom® direct fired heaters again and again as a highly efficient and greener industrial solution for process heating applications.