Patrick Luckow

Research

My research project, advised by Dr. Avram Bar-Cohen, centered around the use of high thermal conductivity polymers in heat exchangers, which may offer significant benefits over those materials currently used in seawater applications for the power industry, as well as coastal petroleum refineries and gas liquefaction plants. Such heat exchangers may provide greater corrosion resistance, lower raw material cost, lower manufacturing cost, reduced disposal costs, and increased geometric flexibility. Moreover, the inherently low energy of fabrication and formation for polymer materials may lead to considerable energy savings over the lifetime of the heat exchanger.

The compression process in natural gas liquifaction generates large amounts of heat, usually dissipated via plate heat exchangers using seawater as a convenient cooling fluid. Such an application mandates the use of a corrosion resistant material. Titanium, expensive in terms of both energy and dollars, is a common choice. The "total coefficient of performance," which incorporates the energy required to manufacture a heat exchanger along with the pumping power expended over the lifetime of the heat exchanger, is used to compare such materials to thermally conductive polymers.

© 2008 Patrick Luckow