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How To Clean An Industrial Fuel Tank

June 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 205

Cleaning an industrial fuel tank is an important part of its routine maintenance. Over time, sludge and scale from rust can accumulate on its walls and baffles. Sediments and other impurities formed from the natural process of fuel degradation can also gather and settle in the bottom of the tank. The accumulation of debris in the fuel tank can reduce its efficiency and can pose a potential environmental hazard. As such, regular cleaning of the fuel storage tank is needed to keep it in good condition.

A fuel storage tank also needs cleaning in preparation for a product or fuel change, routine inspection, repair and decommissioning. In this article, we provide some tips on how to clean an industrial fuel tank.

Choose a fuel tank cleaning specialist

Cleaning a fuel storage tank is a complex and often dangerous job that should not be done by inexperienced or ordinary personnel. Research on the available tank cleaning specialists in your area. Each contractor may use different methods of how to clean a tank. As much as possible, the use of man entry is kept to a minimum to keep all personnel safe. Contractors today use specialised equipment and methods to clean fuel tanks. One method is the vacuum transfer system wherein liquids, debris and other impurities are suctioned over a long distance. The materials and fuel extracted are then transported to a licensed holding area where they undergo further cleaning or refining.

Other contractors can also use a range of pumping solutions to separate sediments from fuel. Their equipment can be powered by either air or hydraulic to ensure work can be carried out safely in potentially combustible areas. Make sure to select a contractor with the methods and equipment that will best suit your cleaning requirements. Also ensure that your chosen contractor can safely carry out the project on time and on budget.

Schedule the project in advance

Your tank cleaning project must be scheduled in advance to ensure that business operation is not interrupted and all regulations and requirements are met. Each project can run on a different timetable depending on your scope of work. Do you need processing of sludge for liquid and solid separation? Do you need degassing? Do you need assistance in the re-positioning of support legs or in the decommissioning of tanks? Discuss your requirements thoroughly so that a project completion date that is amenable to you can be established.

Employ trained personnel

There may be instances when the cleaning of a particular area of the fuel tank must be carried out by personnel instead of a machine or equipment. As such, ensure that all personnel and supervisors employed in your tank cleaning project have the essential knowledge and training to complete the job safely and effectively. Any personnel inside a man entry of the tank must be trained, skilled and must also wear proper protective clothing and breathing equipment. Outside the tank, there must be an operator supervising the process who is properly trained in emergency procedure in case something goes wrong.

Keep the tank site clean

The area where the fuel storage tank is installed must also be kept clean. If you have an above ground tank, make sure that the space under it is free from any clutter. This space must never be used as a storage area. If the fuel tank is kept inside a roofed area, sweep the site regularly with a broom to help minimise the build-up of dust, sand and other sediments.

Some final words

Fuel tank cleaning is a highly specialised task that should be carried out by tank cleaning professionals on a regular basis to keep your fuel storage tank in excellent condition. Efficient fuel management and maintenance reduces costs, minimises downtime and protects the environment. If you are unsure where to start looking for a tank cleaning specialist, it can help to consult with your fuel tank supplier as they may be able to give you advice on a tank cleaning specialist that fits your requirements.

This article was written by Tom Jerrat for DTE Group. DTE Group is the leading provider of self bunded tanks and fuel tanks in Perth, Australia. All DTE group products and services are suitable for applications in the petroleum, chemical, industrial, power, process and mining industries. Visit for details..

Source: EzineArticles
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