Compact heat exchanger improves the process for BASF

An Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchanger has successfully replaced a shell-and-tube heat exchanger at BASF's amine plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The main reason for purchasing the Compabloc was the compactness of the unit and the low capital investment cost.

DATE 2023-11-28

Amines are produced through a reaction between ammonia and alcohol. Un-reacted ammonia is stripped off in a distillation tower and fed back into the process. Originally, BASF had purchased two shell-and-tube heat exchangers for use as top condensers on the distillation towers. After some time, however, these were damaged due to several process shutdowns and start-ups. The decision was therefore made to replace these shell-and-tube units and, at this point, BASF contacted Alfa Laval.

A feasibility study was conducted, and it was discovered that
Alfa Laval could provide a unit that was much smaller than the existing installation. The lower capital investment costs of the Compabloc also made it possible to select a corrosion- resistant plate material, without exceeding the budget. This meant that BASF was able to upgrade the material from carbon steel to UB6.


The Compabloc welded heat exchanger is probably the most compact and efficient heavy-duty heat exchanger in the world.


Customer's voice

We are very happy with the performance of the Compabloc, and have successfully replaced several other shell-and-tube units with Compablocs. The Compabloc is the clear alternative to bulky shell-and-tubes.

Mr Wambsganss
Plant manager at BASF