A standard procedure for cleaning above ground storage tanks (AST) is to start the cleaning process with a “cutter stock” such as kerosene, and complete it with a strong water based emulsification product that includes surfactants. However, use of kerosene may not be feasible for ASTs not located inside a refinery operation.
Of course the primary concerns at tank facilities when undertaking fuel storage tank cleaning is the worker safety. Worker safety is a very complex matter when the work environment is within confined space contaminated by hydrocarbon vapor. Under no circumstance should the work be undertaken unless internationally approved safety standards can be in effect.
A second concern for industrial facilities undertaking fuel storage tank cleaning is the tank down time. Tanking the tank out of service is costly. Manual cleaning requires a lot of time, which can significantly hamper operations. Sophisticated high-pressure spray systems and tank cleaning chemicals have been developed that can do this job in double-quick time, thus making sure that tank down time is brought down to the minimum. Use of proper fuel storage tank cleaning products and techniques also ensures that waste handling and treatment is minimized.
Worker safety and ease of use are important considerations points to keep in mind when choosing an UST or AST cleaning product. Today, water-based cleaning systems are amongst the most convenient and safe to use products available in the market. These systems can be used not only to remove sludge from the bottom of the tank, but also bring down vapors below lower explosive limits (LELs). Another consideration is to make sure the cleaning chemicals are correct for the types of fuel you dealing with. Water-based cleaning systems are usually used for lighter and volatile fuels.
Author’s Bio: The author is a blogger. This article is about fuel storage tank cleaning products.
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