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Leonid Lushkevich

Developer of an innovative online detonation cleaning device - SootGone™. Founder, Owner, and CEO at LeonPulse Ltd.

June 5, 2023

What is Detonation Cleaning and the SootGone™ Detonation System in particular?

An Overview of the Detonation Cleaning Method and Stages of Detonation

In comparison with conventional methods of online boiler cleaning from soot and ash, an online detonation technique based on the action of detonation waves generated outside the boiler avoids the most undesirable effects and offers several advantages.

To be clear, it is not dynamite, detonation cord, or other explosives or propellants that used to be exploded inside the boiler for cleaning purposes in a non-controlled mode with a high potential hazard.

The source of highly effective detonation cleaning is an instantaneous high amplitude hot, dry peak shock wave followed by omnidirectional sound waves with diffraction, reverberation, and reflection.

The detonation-cleaning phenomenon in a simplified view has two stages of cleaning:

Stage 1: Generation of the direct impact of a shock wave

The shock wave pushes the air along with it, forming a pressurized wall of moving air. In the attached movie (SOOTGONE  the Innovative Fouling Cleaning System), we observe the pressurized wave wall generated by our detonation pulse generator that moves objects of different sizes.

It is a substantial shock air wave that propagates in a cone pattern but not in an omnidirectional way. 

It has been experimentally demonstrated that detonation shock waves have an exceptionally high shear capacity, essential for removing slag and fouling deposits.

Powerful waves of this type effectively keep hoppers, horizontal channels, and various chambers clean.

Stage 2: Generation of powerful sound waves

The direct impact shock wave of detonation transforms into fast supersonic and sonic waves, which propagate deep into the boiler and thrust the boiler surfaces. These strong sound waves provide omnidirectional remote cleaning, which removes fouling far from the line of sight. 

Though very intensive sound waves can cause vibration only and cannot move objects like shock waves, they are very effective in cleaning heat transfer surfaces. 

Due to their diffraction, reflection, and reverberation properties, sound waves effectively clean sintered and unsintered fouling from not only semi-radiant and convection parts of boilers, including membrane walls and rotary air heaters, but also effectively penetrate and deeply clean inside the tube bundles of the boiler.

SootGone™'s Peculiarities Compared with Existing Detonation Devices

A clear understanding of the differences between existing detonation technologies that are already on the market is critical when it comes to the innovative SootGone™ detonation system.

The design of traditional detonation devices existing on the market is based on the Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) principle, which is completely different from the philosophy behind SootGone™'s approach to detonation wave generation.

  • PDE principal – oxidizer-fuel pre-compressed mixture directly in shock generators with the application of compressors or high-pressure gas cylinders – ignition - detonation.

  • SootGone™ principle – low-pressure air-fuel mixture system filling - ignition - flame front propagation along the relatively short pipes with acceleration and compression – detonation in pulse generators.

Its innovative approach makes SootGoneTM one of the most competitive detonation devices on the market:

  • Applying the Flame Front phenomenon as a working medium makes it possible to design unique Detonation Pulse Generators without a single moving part, which makes them affordable even for small enterprises and very reliable in operation.

  • For SootGone™ operation there is no need for compressed air or Oxygen, which excludes the implementation of compressors with high capital and O&M costs. There is no need for cylinders with high-pressure compressed gases either.

  • The Soot Gone™ is a custom-made bespoke system, and each model is designed and specified for each customer and application providing a specific solution.

  • SootGone™ is a low-pressure air-gas pipe system in which a deflagration-to-detonation (DDT) transition occurs in the pulse generator. Since SootGone™ is a pipe system and does not include pressure vessels it should not comply with Pressure Equipment Directive (PED).

  • Thanks to its low cost, a pulse generator can be installed simultaneously with the option of doubled operation (see the right picture). The double installation of pulse generators so that each one of them will be in proximity to the zone to be cleaned enhances the cleaning efficiency of the boiler.

A wide variety of industries can benefit from our SootGone™ system:

  • power plants (combustion of oil, shale, coal, biomass, wood-fired power plants, etc.)

  • waste-to-energy plants (chemical, municipal, medical waste incineration)

  • chemical and petrochemical industry

  • cement and lime plants

  • pulp mills burning black liquor 

  • cargo boilers with heavy oil combustion 

  • incinerators of different types 

  • heat recovery steam generators

Single Pulse Generator installation

Double Pulse Generator installation

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