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One kg of steam is equivalent to 27 kg of thermic fluid for delivering the same heat content. For heating applications less than 200o C, steam is preferable to thermic fluid as heating media

Of all heating media, steam has the highest energy content. To go by numbers, 1 kg of steam has around 540 Kcal of heat content while 1 kg of thermic fluid (high temperature oils) has around 20 Kcal of heat content.

steam vs thermic fluid

This implies that for every 1 kg of steam you need 27 kg of thermic fluid to deliver the same heat content. Therefore the quantity of thermic fluid to attain a specific temperature would be 27 times more than steam.

For processes requiring very high temperatures (in the range of 250°C), high pressure steam is required. Even though steam is the most efficient energy carrier, the cost involved to manufacture the equipment required to handle such high pressures makes thermic fluid commercially viable.