Petrochemicals aren’t just in most of the products we use every day, they are vital if we want to increase living standards in developing countries and sustainability in developed ones. Present in solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, insulation, and electric vehicles, petrochemicals can even be made from renewable feedstock and recycled materials. Here at Alfa Laval, it is our job to support these processes, increasing their productivity and efficiency on the road to Net-zero.

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The basic layout of a petrochemical plant

We know that every plant is unique and comes with its own set of specific heat transfer requirements. That’s why Alfa Laval can help you find the heat exchangers that best suit your process. With the widest range of solutions for your process steps, we can set you up with the best product, all the relevant spare parts, and a regular service plan to help you optimize performance.

1. Reaction

The compounds in the mixture undergo a chemical reaction where the desired product and a variety of by-products are produced. Depending on the chemistry, the mixture needs to be heated or cooled for the reaction to progress at an optimum rate.

2. Separation

The products are then separated from unwanted byproducts and unreacted raw materials using thermal separation methods like distillation, absorption-stripping and evaporation. These byproducts can then be further processed, and the raw materials will be recycled as new feed.

3. Cooling

Separation typically takes place at elevated temperatures. The products are often cooled after the separation step to facilitate storage and transport.

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The challenges of heat transfer in petrochemical processing

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Output limitations from bottlenecks in heating and cooling applications
  • Lower production rates from an insufficient cooling capacity
  • Unnecessary fuel consumption and excess emissions
  • Frequent production stops to clean your heat exchangers and remove fouling
  • Slow control loops in your heating and cooling applications

How Alfa Laval can help

If you update to the latest Alfa Laval technology, you could: 

  • Use a lower grade steam for heating
  • Reduce the need for steam
  • Limit bottlenecks with a closer temperature approach
  • Lower water consumption in your cooling processes
  • Use warmer cooling water
  • Reduce fouling with superior flow turbulence
  • And speed up control loops


Energy efficient petrochemical production

Our highly efficient heat transfer technology reduces, energy, water, and material consumption, while increasing overall production uptime in even the heaviest duties.

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Industry equipment

With the widest range of solutions for the industry, we can support process and utility positions with the world’s largest plate heat exchanger, and corrosion resistant Hastelloy heat exchangers as well as separators.

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Petrochemical applications

Whether you are working in base, fine, or intermediate chemical production, Alfa Laval has a range of solutions to help you.

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Customer success stories

Find out how much energy these customers saved in their petrochemical plants with the support of Alfa Laval’s heat transfer expertise.

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Find the service you need for your petrochemical plant

When you turn to Alfa Laval for services and parts, you will experience a readiness and reliability that is guaranteed to save your time, money, and carbon footprint. It really is that simple.

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Clean Energy

Ready to discover tomorrow’s solutions for green hydrogen production, fuel cells, carbon capture and energy storage? Click here to learn about Alfa Laval’s solutions to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

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Find the most energy efficient heat exchanger for your process with Alfa Laval’s HEXpert selection tool. Saving energy is just one click away.

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