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Everything You Need To Know About Tank Sweeps

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We have seen a lot of changes over the last several decades in the oil and gas industry specifically in areas regarding how equipment is inspected and maintained. Most of the processes have gone from high labor to high tech.

For example, cleaning oil tanks used to be a much more labor intensive and unsafe process. Now, with the help of technology there are some pretty amazing tank sweep non-entry systems hitting the market, that can offer not only a more precise but safer alternative to traditional methods. 

Why The Need for Tank Sweep

Storage of oil in fuel tanks can lead to sludge buildup. 

This sludge needs to be periodically removed (desludged) because it can lead to corrosion inside the tank which can negatively affect operations by clogging filter nozzles, safety valves, and pipes (tank cleaning).

It can also cause corrosion of the oil tank which may lead to leaks that can lead to fires and/or environmental pollution. 

Advantages of Tank Sweep  

The tank sweep process is a highly efficient development.

It can reduce downtime due to the speed of the systems, lower costs because of the reduction of waste products, increase safety because it is a non-entry operation,  and is better for the environment because it allows for a higher level of hydrocarbon recovery. 

How Tank Sweep Works 

Tank Sweep processes were traditionally developed to handle incidences where solid levels in tanks were high and prohibited the removal of manway covers on tanks or landing of floating roofs, but are now being used as a highly effective tank cleaning solution. Below is general overview of how Tank Sweep works: 

Tank Sweep Setup: 

  • Tank Sweep units are fitted to the tank shell using either a cold tap flange or by hot tapping a flange if there are no available manways on the tank.  
  • Pump is fitted together with hoses and a filtration unit.

Tank Sweep Operations: 

  1. Jet streams are directed through nozzles into the tank
  2. Tank contents are circulated under high pressure and carefully controlled to prevent spilling and control mixing
  3. Once the liquid in the tank is homogenized the fluid begins being sent to a centrifuge for liquids screening
  4. The centrifuge removes solids from the homogeneous mixture
  5. Oil and water is returned to the tank in order to maintain safe operating levels 
  6. Operation is deemed complete once the required specific gravity in homogenized fluid is achieved

Tank Sweep System Components 

Most Tank Sweep systems are comprised of the following components: 

Interested in learning more? 

Industrial Fluid Management focuses primarily on industrial service rentals for the petrochemical markets, offering superior service while meeting all of your rental needs.

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