Integrated tank cleaning and emission control
Cristin Johnson of USA DeBusk discusses what to look for in unified project planning and execution.
Over the last 20 years, tank cleaning methodologies have evolved with regard to material processing, non-entry cleaning, material removal options, and control and/or destruction of hazardous vapours. Non-entry methods of cleaning tanks to limit human exposure has been the driving factor in these technology developments. Emission control serves an increasingly important role in aboveground storage tank cleaning operations as companies worldwide look not only to comply with regulatory requirements, but also to reduce their carbon footprint to an absolute minimum.
More than ever, the people and resources engaged in removing and processing material from tanks must work in close coordination with those used to capture and treat harmful emissions. Integrating these services is no longer just beneficial, it is essential.
The objectives of tank cleaning and emission control are in close alignment. For example, the speed of sludge removal is a key performance indicator for both operations. Removing material eliminates the emission source and reduces the number of times the tank vapour space must be turned over (purged and ventilated).
The following discussion provides an overview of the assets and capabilities needed to perform tank cleaning, degassing, and emission control according to today’s higher standards. It also discusses a scenario for better integration between these services.