Tank cleaning with Blabo® system
INVESTMENT PROGRAMThe investment program is motivated by the need of the production sector of the petroleum refining, aiming at:
- obtaining higher returns in the transformation process of crude petroleum products
- lower production costs with a result of being competitive in the market
- reduction of discharges of pollutants into the atmosphere
- total elimination of human contact with oil substances in the implementation of the cleaning of storage tanks.
- drastic reduction of the inert substances in landfill.
- obtaining from the cleaning of oil tanks, carried out at regular intervals by treatment of sludge (sludge consisting of inert aggregates with the presence of oil), the maximum recovery of oil present, and subsequent recirculation in the activity of refining
The refineries have sufficient storage capacity using Tank sizes up to 100 meters in diameter, for turning crude oil into petroleum, and finished products such as fuel, gasoline, diesel, bitumen, heavy oils. The product containing crude oil and inert substances and foreign substances to the refining cycle, tends with time to form sediments, which in fact reduces the useful volume of the tank.
The immediate and continuous availability of storage volumes, affects the stability of both prices and production flow.
In fact, in the presence of repeated changes in the cost of oil, an element of stability is to have adequate storage volumes that can be achieved only by guaranteeing full functionality of the storage tanks, freeing them from sludge which can limit their performance, sometimes by up to 20-30%.
The dual goal of making available tank volume storage and recovery of the oil contained in the sludge, has generated a strong interest in the application of technology for refineries to achieve these objectives, while also focusing on compliance with environmental and safety.
The company Rendelin, which has been carrying out these activities for decades in refineries in the industrial cleaning sector and cleaning of tanks used for storage of petroleum products, intends with its project, to contribute and introduce an innovative system which will enable the achievement of the objectives set out above and in short, perform as follows:
- Fully automated production process that eliminates the need for staff intervention inside the tanks (currently standard practice, particularly with the use of PPE)
- Full cleaning efficiency that dramatically reduces the time ‘out of service’
- Recovery of the oil as a percentage of about 98%
- High levels of safety for operating personnel
- Compatible system with a reduced environmental impact, which minimizes the waste material destined for disposal, as well as eliminating atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbons, typical in cleaning activities with traditional systems.
BLABO SYSTEM®Blabo ®is an innovative fully automatic system a movable and transferable type if needed, consisting of 4 modules installed in a container, integrated together, for the disolving the sludge, oil recovery, appropriate for achieving the complete tank cleaning from the presence of sludge, handling them to the refinery in gas-free conditions.
The Blabo ® system meets the requirements and international safety standards including ATEX in Europe and UL in the USA.
The system requires no man entry into the tank, this excludes any contact with sludge and other hazardous substances contained in the tank and also eliminates all risks related to human error.
The process is considered as a mechanical close circuit activity, in which the petroleum product, contained in the sludge, through the contact with a thinning liquid and the contribution of heat, is recovered up to 98%. All this happens in a safe condition in the presence of an inert gas such as nitrogen. It is essential when working in a highly explosive environment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCTION PROCESS AND OPERATIONAL PHASES- A quantity of petroleum product of a similar nature contained in the sludge is heated, pressurized by a centrifugal pump and injected from the top of the tank through the injectors (named SNS) permanently installed. These SNS are part of a system of either 8 to 16, depending on the diameter of the tank, which controlled via a PC, are positioned with the jet of liquid inside the tank, and combining both the rotation and the angle of oscillation, act for the dissolving of the sludge.
The SNS launch the pre-heated washing liquid at a pressure of about 12 bar, on the muddy surface on the bottom of the tank.
As a result of the impact and temperature, you get an initial thinning of the mud. Then appropriately orienting the SNS, due to the pressure a force capable of forcing the movement of the mud in a determined position suitable to be picked up by the vacuum system is transmitted.
- The portion of the liquefied waste is sucked up through a centrifugal pump, which sends the fluid to a first filter capable of separating the solids, sand, and iron scraps. Then the liquid is treated in a "Recycling Module" and after heating it is conducted at 3 Hydro cyclones in parallel, that complete the separation of the solid part.
The oily liquid free from solids, coming from the top of the cyclones, is returned to the SNS for further operating cycles.
Part of the liquid, if deemed excessive for additional operating cycles, is sent to the crude oil storage tanks or directly in the pipe-line
- The portion of oil containing solids, coming from the bottom of the cyclone, is heated and sent to a horizontal, biphasic centrifuge called "Decanter".
In the Decanter the solid part is separated from the liquid phase. The solid part is transferred to the landfill treatment and the liquid one is recuperated.
- Once the centrifuge treatment finishes due to a lack of sludge, the tank is flushed with diesel and then with hot water, using the same sequence of the operating cycle, ie through the use of SNS