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Steam compressor/vacuum pump

  1. Jul 18, 2014 #1
    Does anyone know what types of compressors/vacuum pumps can be used with low pressure steam at lab scale?

    I'm interested in a mechanical vapor compression system like this one used for large scale desalination and industrial processes. I think these use centrifugal compressors but I know those don't scale down well.

    For a ballpark sense of scale, I think the process would need something like:
    inlet : 9 psi/0.6 bar, 100°C
    outlet: 15 psi/1 bar, whatever superheated temp comes out
    flow rate: 100 CFM

    In the big picture, what characteristics make a compressor suitable for steam? eg, I suspect I should avoid cast iron or plastic but could I just use any compressor that was designed for R134a and fits the other requirements?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2014 #2
    Hi ericksonla, this topic is of interest to me. Presently, I am preparing to carry-out some experiments with low pressure steam in a lab-scale air-cooled condenser. I have the option of using a liquid ring vacuum pump or a rotary vane vacuum pump. I am not sure which one is more suitable so I would be interested to hear what others recommend on this thread. However, one thing I have learnt from experience with steam is that some sort of secondary heat exchanger should be present upstream of the vacuum pump to condense steam that is about to enter the pump. Condensing the steam at this point prevents it entering the pump which could otherwise lead to issues such as cavitation. I am not sure of your set-up so maybe you dont need something like this.
  4. May 22, 2016 #3
    Can anybody here give me names of suppliers of low pressure steam compressor? I need a steam compressor or steam compressor system that can compress low pressure (2.56 kPa) to 1 bar and above?
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