Sand, wax, scales and heavy oil sediments settle and build up in crude storage tanks over time. The volume of sludge in a large diameter oil storage tank could run into thousands of barrels. Removing this deposit using conventional methods would take over six months in some cases. And then follows the problem of what to do with so large volume of sediment made up of sand, scales, wax and other components. Because of the difficulty involved in dealing with so large deposit in tanks, some tank operators settle for the tedious and expensive option of cutting out and discarding the bottom of large tanks.
B.G. Technical offers a fast and cost-effective option for the removal, disposal and cleaning of large tanks. In most cases. the tank is cleaned to water wet surface, ready for inspection and repairs, thereby, saving the cost of cutting out the entire bottom of the tank.
The process starts with sampling and testing of the deposit to determine the environmentally safe chemical that will be effective on it. The chemical is mixed with cutting stock and injected at elevated temperature into the base of the tank. This action reduces the deposit to a viscous fluid which can be pumped out of the tank.
On-site separation is done to recover the cutting stock for re-use. Also, oil and other fluid in the deposit are separated from the solid. The recovered oil is often very valuable to the tank operator. The solid deposits can be processed and made safe for disposal.
Use of Robots:
In some cases, remotely operated robots can be used to speed up the process. The robots are operated from a control room outside the tank. Robots can breakdown hard solids, making them easy for removal. Robots can be manipulated to reach all corners of the tank to deliver the cutting stock.
The use of robots either eliminates the need to send operators into a tank or reduces the human exposure time in a tank.