POSSIBILITY OF USING IMAGE ANALYSIS TO QUANTIFY CLEANING OF DEPOSITS
Keywords:cleaning, image analysis, gravimetric method, fouling, fluid dynamic gauging (FDG)
Cost of cleaning of fouling layers from equipment surfaces is large. Hence, an optimisation of cleaning process is vital. Nevertheless, the techniques commonly used to study cleaning have limitations such as time-consuming, etc. Hence, this work aimed to investigate the possibility of using image analysis (Image J) to quantify cleaning efficiencies of 3 systems: (i) coconut milk foulants found in a pasteurization process (ii) coconut milk foulants on fabric and (iii) milk foulants found on membrane. It was found that cleaning efficiencies from the image analysis was similar to that obtained from the traditional methods. Moreover, similar relationship between cleaning conditions and cleaning efficiencies were obtained. Therefore, image analysis could replace the traditional evaluation method. Time and cost used in the cleaning study can be reduced and this is beneficial when several cleaning conditions must be investigated. Nevertheless, there was limitation of using the image analysis when fouling particles could penetrate inside the pores; they could not be seen from the image. In this case, image analysis can still be used to narrow down conditions that give high cleaning efficiencies. These conditions then are studied further using the traditional methods.
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