The main applications of industrial boilers

There is no industrial sector that does not make use of a boiler to generate process heat. Depending on the main characteristics of an industrial boiler, different fields of application can be identified. Let’s look at the main ones depending on whether it is a steam, water or thermal oil boiler.


Steam generators represent the most widely used boilers in the industrial field. Laundries, ironing factories, and tailors, for example, employ steam for the production of their garments, as does the textile tailoring industry.

The food industry uses steam in different stages of production, from pasteurization to sterilization, such as breweries, wine cellars and dairies.

Steam is also frequently used in hospitals for sterilization purposes. The steam volumes and pressures that are required by hospitals never reach high levels and, therefore, the use of industrial fire-tube boilers, which can achieve high levels of efficiency, is often preferred.

Steam boilers are also used in power generation. Steam is the fluid carrier that conveys thermal energy to a turbine, which generates electricity. The water-tube steam boiler is often used for the large volumes and high pressures required.

So many other industries choose steam as their energy source. Finally, these include the meat processing, food processing, tanning, engineering and oil mills industries.


Industrial hot water boilers are used when the required process temperature is relatively low (not exceeding 90 °C), such as the chemical, food and beverage industries.

Hot water generators are also intended for use in industrial applications such as for district heating plants and large heating plants in hospitals, airports, and shopping centers.

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Thermal oil has applications in a variety of industries. Laundries, for example, require an evaporator, a device with a coil of tubes immersed in water that evaporates through heat exchange with thermal oil at 200°C. It is similarly used in hospitals for sterilization processes.

The food industry also makes use of this fluid: in a deep fryer, for example, vegetable oil is heated and kept at the required temperature by heat transfer from the thermal oil.

Thermal oil is also used for heating and cooling process equipment for the pharmaceutical, chemical, and petrochemical industries.

In the textile industry, thermal oil is often used to provide heat for hot/cold water coils and heat exchangers; in the steel industry, for heating hot baths for steel processing, fluid storage tanks, rolling cylinders, molds, etc.

Finally, the glass, plastics and papermaking industries also use this fluid for their industrial processes.

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