Above ground petroleum tanks: How to clean them?


Fuel storage tanks are huge cylinders made from steel. They are commonly used to store petroleum and the range of liquid material. To maintain quality, texture and chemical composition of the liquid product stored in these vessels; you need to clean them regularly. If a tank is used to store petroleum products, it necessarily requires regular maintenance for the integrity of the product.

Tank maintenance and cleaning is a sensitive issue. Petroleum tanks suppliers in Dubai have to meet the state and federal regulations to ensure that stored product is safe for use. Periodic cleaning of fuel tanks is critically important for oil retailers, distributor and oil refineries. Over the passage of time from repeated filling; vessels accumulate moisture and dust particles, which have to be removed.

Here I am sharing few cleaning steps; fuel suppliers should follow to maintain the quality and performance of their fuel products.

How often they get cleaned?
The frequency of cleaning entirely depends on the rate of use.  How often a vessel is filled and transported to dispense the fuel on another site. It has been observed that regular use accumulate particles, sediments and fuel residues, which have to be cleaned. Otherwise, it will convert into more serious issues like sludge, diesel bugs and rust. Vessels must be cleaned before filling a different product to prevent mixing of two different products.

Are there any dangers of using dirty vessels?
Moisture, water and sediments can reduce the energy level of fuel. Also, the use of this contaminated fuel will also reduce the engine performance of machines and vehicles. In addition to impairing performance, residue formation in fuel doubles the chance of fire or tank explosion. Similarly, long term presence of water in the storage vessel will rust the tank from inside out and cause leaks and seepage. In fact, cleaning is must especially after long use and before discarding a vessel.

What are the major steps of tank cleaning?
Don’t forget to conduct the onsite meeting with the cleaning crew to discuss the safety issues and possible potential hazard to do this job sensibly. Document all the points discussed in the meeting. Once the inspection is completed, you are get set go to start the process. Fuel tank cleaning is a stepwise process that has to be performed carefully.

Here are the three major steps of tank cleaning,

Step-1 Draining
Draining or emptying of the tank before cleaning is the first step. As you aim to clean all the residues, moisture, gases and contaminating liquids; you will have to remove all the content present in the tank. Vessels that are not cleaned regularly often have a thick layer of sludge. A special liquid is sprayed on the interior lining of the container to soften this layer. Once the layer is detached from the wall, it can be conveniently taken out from the hose with pumping,

Step-2 Scrubbing
Scrub the interior walls of the vessel to remove any sludge from the interior surfaces. Industrial cleaner purposefully designed for fuel tank cleaning is used for efficient removal. Scrubbing confirms that vessel is clean now and has no residues of sludge, organic matter, diesel bug and water. It removes all the impurities attached to the interior walls.

Step-3 Rinsing
After removing residues and fuel sludge, thoroughly rinse it with water and leave it dry. After complete drying, a vessel is ready to store the fresh fuel again. All you need is to ensure that it’s dry and have no trace of moisture.

Endnote: These are few essential cleaning steps, petroleum tanks suppliers in Dubai are following for cleaning aboveground petroleum tanks.

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