NitroLance™ UHP Liquid Nitrogen Cleaning

NitroLance™ cleaning a waste heat boiler
NitroLance™ Mobile Platform ready to move
NitroLance™ platform deployed and ready for action

Harnessing the power of liquid nitrogen, Conco NitroLance™ removes difficult deposits quickly and safely without producing secondary waste streams or risk of cross-contamination.  Unlike conventional methods of cleaning using water or other media, liquid nitrogen rapidly evaporates leaving nothing behind except the deposit removed.  And because no waste water is produced using NitroLance™, no drying time is required following cleaning, so equipment is immediately available to be returned to service.

NitroLance™ is a highly effective solution for removing the most tenacious deposits encountered in power generation, petroleum refinery and petrochemical process equipment. NitroLance™ is currently being used on the following equipment;

  • Ljüngstrom™ air heater basket elements
  • Economizers fin tube surfaces
  • Steam coil air preheaters
  • Waste heat recovery boilers in Sulfur Recovery Units

How NitroLance™ Works

NitroLance™ quickly and effectively cleans utilizing three basic mechanisms of action on the fouling deposit being removed; mechanical pressure, super-cooling, and thermal/volumetric expansion.  The image below depicts the cleaning of tube internals using a rotating carrier and a multi-port orifice configuration with the mechanisms of cleaning action referenced.

Mechanical Pressure – The pressure exerted at the nozzle tip of the system is regulated from 5,000 PIS to 55,000 PSI based on the equipment being cleaned and the fouling/deposit characteristics present.

Super Cooling – The super cool liquid nitrogen (-160°F to -250°F) facilitates embrittlement fracturing of semi-porous fouling deposits. 

Thermal/Volumetric Expansion – As the high density LN2 vapor penetrates the cracks and crevices of the fouling deposit, it rapidly converts to a gas expanding nearly 700 times its volume.  This rapid expansion, combined with the mechanical pressure and super cooling, causes the fouling deposit to rapidly break apart and release its bond to the parent metal. 

See the NitroLance™ in action on our video page.

Safe for Metal Surfaces

Comprehensive testing of metal surfaces cleaned by NitroLance™ was performed by Air Liquide Corporation, and found no notable effects on the metal surfaces as a result of LN2 cleaning.

NASA Approved Technology for Safety and Efficacy

NitroLance™ technology was approved for use on cleaning of the solid rocket boosters (SRB’s) on the Space Shuttle because of its safety profile and efficacy of removing insulating material faster than conventional methods.