Chemical / Petrochemical



In the chemical and petrochemical industries, reliable temperature maintenance is essential to ensure chemicals and liquids are kept in their desired state. Many processes and components used in these industries are heat dependent, as well, including molded and extruded components, steam superheating, and more. Utilizing a reliable, expertly designed heating system allows equipment to function correctly and ensures job site safety. 

Sigma Thermal designs, engineers, and services heating systems for demanding industries like the chemical and petrochemical sectors. Our experts custom-engineer heating systems for a multitude of chemical-related applications and also services other heater brands. 

The Role of Heaters in the Chemical and Petrochemical Industries

Heaters are essential to the chemical and petrochemical industries. There is a diverse range of heating applications, and as a result, a wide variety of heating products and components are on the market. As such, it is important to determine which type of heating system is best suited for your application. It’s important to select a heater that will meet all the hydraulic and thermal demands of the intended application, as well as flow rate requirements. Environmental conditions are also important to consider. For example, what pressure and temperature conditions will the system need to withstand, and will it be exposed to any harsh chemicals? 

Electric heaters provide several valuable benefits for petrochemical-related applications:

  • Minimizes in-plant emissions 
  • Ability to withstand high-temperature fluid heating
  • Accurate temperature control featuring quick response time 
  • Provides total energy conversion 

Other common heating systems include:

  • Circulation heaters: These highly efficient closed-system heaters work by moving liquid through the system and heating it as it flows within a chamber. Heat is applied to the chamber from the outside, and when the material exits the tube it has been heated to a pre-set temperature. This type of heating system minimizes heat loss and works well with steam, gas, or oil materials. 
  • Immersion heaters: This type of heater employs the use of direct heat transfer to quickly warm the liquid to the desired temperature. The heating element located in the tank of the heater is immersed in the liquid medium and heats it through direct contact. With this type of heater, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of scale buildup, which can hinder the heating system’s efficiency. 
  • Flanged heaters: Flanged heaters are a new development in electric heating technology and are highly efficient. They feature multiple flanges comprised of tubular heating elements that are welded to the heating tank or pipe body. Flanged immersion heaters can achieve a higher wattage and provide an increase in the heated surface area. 

How Sigma Thermal Services the Chemical and Petrochemical Industries

Sigma Thermal offers a range of products that meet the needs of chemical and petrochemical applications which span many different industries including agriculture, energy, and industrial sectors. Some of our capabilities include:


  • Ammonia Heating: Ammonia is most frequently used in fertilizers in the agricultural industry. It is stored at -30°F but must be heated to 40°F before it can be used to make fertilizer. Because growing seasons are limited, there is a very short window in which to distribute the substance. Ammonia heating systems help combat this problem.
  • Steam Superheating: Heat is applied to steam to elevate its temperature to extreme levels. This process gives the steam an immense amount of propulsion power while preventing vaporization making it suitable for use in turbines and other engines.
  • Tank Suction Heating: Tank suction heaters reduce heating demands by heating materials only as they are withdrawn from the tank, making them a cost-effective option. They protect frozen pipelines.
  • Plant Utility Heating Systems: These systems are categorized into either direct or indirect heating applications. Direct systems apply heat directly to the medium while indirect systems use a heating element to distribute the heat to desired locations via the chosen material.


Sigma Thermal for Reliable Petrochemical Solutions

Heating products are essential components in the chemical and petrochemical industries. At Sigma Thermal, our expertise in the heating industry allows us to provide first-rate heating technology to a range of industries. Some of our products include thermal fluid and biomass energy systems, electric process heaters, direct-fired and process bath heaters, and more. Our products are built to deliver reliability in critical applications. 

Sigma Thermal has offices located around the globe, to provide timely individualized support for our customers, wherever they’re located. Whether you need a standard packaged heater or a full custom-engineered system, our experts can help you identify the right solution. To learn more, contact us, or request a quote to get started.