Selecting the Right Electric Heater for Heating Chemicals

Many industrial chemical reactions have to take place at precise temperatures. Some of these reactions can take place at temperatures comfortable for humans. Many of these are controlled by keeping the room temperature close to the required temperature for the reaction. But others need storage in hotter conditions. For these needs electric heaters are often used instead. Electric heaters are good because they are simple to control and they offer precise performance. They’re safer, more durable and can be controlled more precisely than oil powered heaters as well. Here are some of the perks of using a heater such as an electric circulation heater as well as some tips that you should keep in mind:

Safer Operation

001-STILL FRAMES 0000Generally, electric heaters are safer than fired heaters are because there is no flame element to potentially cause problems while heating up the chemicals. Even electric circulation heaters, which come into direct contact with the chemicals in question have no flame element. Some chemicals are combustible and others become volatile when they come in contact with flames even if they don’t catch fire. Either way, it’s better to heat these chemicals with an electric element rather than a flame heater.

 Precise Controls

Continuing with our example of electric circulation heaters usually come with precise temperature adjustments, and some even come with advanced control boards allowing you to set a temperature or range of temperatures and have the unit cycle through them as needed. There is a great deal of control with electric heaters that are harder to get out of a fired heater. That is another reason that many companies rely on electric heat to warm up chemicals and other sensitive liquids that simply can’t be heated easily by other means.

Know About Your Chemicals

The type of chemical you have and the heating requirements of it both determine the type of electric heater that you should purchase for your chemicals. Before purchasing a new heater for your system, it’s vital to know the heating requirements for the chemicals in question. The power density of a specific heater and the size and number of heaters all depends on the chemical being heated and it’s specific heating requirements. Some chemicals need to be hotter than others, and it’s important not to heat others too much. As long as you know what your chemicals require it shouldn’t be difficult to meet those needs with the right product.

Direct Versus Indirect

Heating chemicals is a nasty business for heaters, and many times you don’t want the heater touching the chemicals itself. That isn’t a big deal as long as you have the proper heating solution available to you. When you buy an electric heater there are direct and indirect heaters. The direct heaters are submerged in the chemicals themselves and apply heat right to them.

The indirect heaters have another material in between them and the chemical and they heat that other material up which then heats up the chemical. In many instances, it’s better to have an indirect heater when warming up corrosive chemicals. That’s because the heater can be shielded by another material that will keep it safe. Indirect heaters are often mounted within pipes or other enclosures and are still placed right down in the chemicals. They simply have shielding for safe operation. The benefit is you can replace a shield if it wears out and the heater will remain in excellent condition.

Direct heaters tend to be a bit more efficient but only work well with non-corrosive chemicals. Heating chemicals is a sensitive task that has to be taken on carefully. When you have electric heaters to rely on that task is just a tiny bit easier.