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What You Need to Know About Fuel Storage Tank Cleaning

Posted by alinaben98 on March 23rd, 2017

Above grounds fuel storage tanks (ASTs) are cleaned for to multiple reasons including change of petroleum products stored within the tank, regulatory requirements, or to conduct maintenance and repair work. Cleaning an above ground oil or fuel storage tank is extremely dangerous because of the presence of hazardous and toxic material and vapors. The task can only be carried out by trained and qualified professionals.

Risks Of a Dirty Tank

Here are some of the risks involved with having a dirty fuel storage tank.

1. Superficial fuel residue accumulated over the time increases the risk of fire and explosion.
2. Accumulated sediments and moisture degrade the quality of fuel.
3. Condensation can cause water accumulation to occur inside the fuel tank. This may lead to rust and corrosion to the inner walls of the tank, the tank bottom in particular, leading to seepage and leaking.

Cleaning Frequency

The cleaning frequency of any fuel tank depends on the tank location and the way it is being used. For instance, fuel tanks which are more consistently filled and emptied tend to accumulate more particles, sediments and fuel residue than the TANKS which are used less frequently. Hence, frequently used tanks should be cleaned more often than infrequently used ones.

How to Conduct Tank Cleaning

Here are a few crucial steps which are imperative in cleaning the fuel storage tank in an efficient way.

1. The first step is to drain the tank completely to ensure removal of all oil or fuel.

2. If a stubborn sludge remains in the tank bottom, the best strategy would be to use a solvent (kerosene) or an emulsifier (such as BioSolve Pinkwater) to remove that sludge. Usually pumping, circulating, and effluent treatment equipment is needed for this complex task.

3. Once the petroleum product and sludge is removed completely, the inside of the tank should be cleaned. The most common method for interior tank cleaning is the installation of a water cannon(s) in the manway door(s). The water cannon, which sprays a surfactant solution onto the tank walls, is controlled remotely. The result of this process is to scrub the tank walls, roof and bottom for complete removal of sludge, other impurities, water and organic matter.

4. Remove all the effluent using a pumps or the tank’s sump until the tank is completely drained.

5. No “manned entry” for inspection or repair should be undertaken until vapor readings (“LELS”) are below the allowed level.

And in case an oil spill has happened, make sure to use a high quality oil spill cleanup product capable of eliminating the fire and explosion hazards.

Here are some essential requirements to conduct the cleaning procedure in the most professional and safest way.

1. The crew for tank cleaning should consist of at least 3 well trained and experienced people.
2. The team should possess proper fuel storage tank cleaning equipment and material including BioSolve Pinkwater, vacuum trucks for sludge removal, fract tanks, supplied air system (SCBA) and proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Periodic cleaning of fuel storage tanks is essential for safety purpose and should be done by trained people in a professional way.

Author’s Bio: Author is an avid reader and blogger. This article is about oils storage tank cleaning process and its importance.
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Also See: Fuel Storage, Tank Cleaning, Storage Tank, Storage Tanks, Tank, Storage, Fuel

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