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In US Oil Refineries, the cleaning of aboveground storage tanks can be a complicated, lengthy, and costly task. In most cases, the refinery owner has a limited budget, restrictive schedule, and is bound by specific federal, state, and local regulations. Federal regulations include RCRA restrictions that include required waste minimization, limited disposal options, strict air emission standards, and stringent record keeping and regulatory reporting requirements.

In most cases, despite the fact that the remaining tank bottoms in the tank contain sediment and water, the remaining tank bottoms are also entrained with valuable hydrocarbons. The solution for US Refineries is on-site processing of hazardous waste tank bottoms via 2~Phase Centrifuges, 3~Phase Centrifuges, and/or filter presses. This technology is capable of separating the valuable hydrocarbons from the solids and water. The benefits are significant:

Benefits of On-site Centrifuge Processing of Hazardous Waste:

  • Hydrocarbons are recovered and returned to the refinery owner for continued refining and sale.
  • Water is returned to the refinery and disposed of via on-site API separator.
  • Removal of water weight from the tank bottoms reduces the disposal cost of hazardous waste at a RCRA permitted incinerator, landfill, or cement kiln.
  • Separation of solids from hydrocarbons and water, in the form of centrifuge cake, reduces the volume of the waste to be disposed of at a RCRA permitted incinerator, landfill, or cement kiln.
  • The utilization of manway cannons to re-suspend the solids in the tank during the removal process greatly reduces the need for confined space entry.
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If you are planning on taking a tank out of service for API inspection, routine maintenance or repair, or product changeover, please contact Tom Holmbeck at Tom will work with you well in advance to determine a turnkey estimated budget for removal of all tank bottoms from the tank, on-site processing, hydrocarbon recovery, and waste minimization. This turnkey approach will also include final cleaning as well as transportation and disposal of hazardous waste centrifuge cake to a RCRA permitted hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility or cement kiln.

Tom Holmbeck is an API certified TES with over twenty years of tank cleaning experience. Experience includes tank cleaning, centrifuge processing, transportation, and hazardous waste disposal options.