Compabloc retrofit boosts solvent distillation capacity

Retrofitting the Remat Chemie vacuum film evaporators with special double-pass Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangers and one spiral heat exchanger as a preheater boosts capacity and reduces emissions.

DATE 2023-11-28

To meet rising demand for its solvent recycling services, the Dutch company Remat Chemie BV, one of the leading solvent management companies in Europe, decided to expand its vacuum film evaporators. The company turned to long-time partner Alfa Laval for solutions. Rather than investing in a costly new vacuum film evaporators, Remat Chemie installed a special double-pass Alfa Laval Compabloc compact heat exchanger and one spiral heat exchanger as a preheater in each of the two existing spiral condenser distillation columns. This drastically reduced costs, expanded capacity by 30%, and cut solvent emissions by more than 80%.

Upgrading for additional production capacity

When Remat Chemie needed to ramp up production capacity, Alfa Laval recommended installing a double-pass Compabloc condenser and one spiral heat exchanger as a preheater in each of the two existing columns.

The team at Remat Chemie was hesistant at first that these compact units could handle the critical ondensing processes, but agreed to test the equipment in one of the vacuum film evaporators. Just two weeks into the trial, Remat Chemie was satisifed with how well the Compabloc performed as well as the 30% increase in capacity.

This capacity increase was achieved without having to build additional vacuum film evaporators or otherwise extend the plant footprint. What’s more, the double-pass condensers eliminated the need for separate sub-coolers and vent condensers, which are required when using shell‑and-tube units.

Mark van Aerle, Operations Manager at Remat Chemie says:

Seeing is believing. Alfa Laval supplied us with good information throughout the entire process. This gave us confidence in the solution and, from a more practical point of view, allowed us to pre-fab all necessary piping without interfering with the process,

Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangerThe compact, fully welded Compabloc heat exchanger is designed to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures. 

More about Compabloc 

Benefits and features

  • Highly competitive capital and installation costs
  • More capacity in a small space
  • Higher heat recovery resulting in lower emissions
  • Long service intervals and easy service access for low lifetime costs
The experience we had in the past made us consult Alfa Laval again for the current plant upgrade.

Mark van Aerle, Operations Manager, Remat Chemie

Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers






Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers are designed to handle the toughest heat transfer challenges, such as frequent fouling from dirty media or limitations from pressure drop and floor space. 

More about Spiral heat exchangers