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14. July 2019

A clean tank, high recycling rates

BUCHEN practices sustainable maintenance work with new technology

Recycling is the no. 1 priority

Companies looking for green solutions expect industrial cleaning projects to involve recycling as well. A tank cleaning project that is to be carried out at REMONDIS’ branch in the Upper Bavarian town of Oberhausen is a perfect example of how residual materials can be recovered for reuse even when the work is extremely complex and requires stringent safety measures. A tank used for storing a solvent at the site is to be cleaned using innovative technology so that the majority of the residue removed can be recycled.

Processes developed by the company itself

REMONDIS operates a facility at its site in Oberhausen that processes solvents and solvent mixtures so they can be used as a refuse derived fuel (RDF). Having acquired the site last year, an above-ground, fixed-roof tank is now due to be cleaned. Most of the tank’s contents have already been removed with just around 3 metres of liquid remaining. The team’s tasks are now to remove the approx. 1,500m³ of solvent residue safely, to ensure no emissions are released into the atmosphere and to recover as much of the material as possible. To be able to achieve this, BUCHEN has drawn up a plan that requires calling in specialists from a variety of its industrial cleaning divisions.

Separating the liquids from the solids

The first step of this project will involve BUCHEN-ICS homogenising the remaining solvent sludge and pumping it into gas-tight containers. Once this has been completed, FILTRATEC will then take over the residual material and separate it on site into its liquid and solid parts. These experts will be using a mobile ATEX decanter to dewater the sludge, as this equipment enables high volumes of materials to be recovered, guarantees that the whole procedure is safe and ensures no emissions can escape into the air.

Manway Cannon deployed

As nitrogen must be added to the tank for safety reasons, BUCHEN-ICS will be deploying state-of-the-art technology, such as its Manway Cannon system, to carry out the preliminary cleaning work. This automated tank cleaning system uses a cleaning cannon equipped with headlights and a camera. The actual cleaning work is performed remotely with the cannon’s video feed enabling the operatives to follow their progress every step of the way. The tank’s liquid content is used for the cleaning work. Once this step has been completed the liquid is then decanted together with the dislodged material. Using the tank’s content rather than water means much higher recycling rates can be achieved.

Smart concepts and automated processes enable high recycling rates to be achieved during tank cleaning projects.

Once this closed-loop cleaning stage has been completed, the gas will then be removed and BUCHEN UmweltService’s operatives permitted to enter the tank wearing full breathing apparatus. Their job will be to carry out the final cleaning work using, for example, high pressure water jet technology. The used water will then be handed over to REMONDIS so it can process it at its wastewater treatment facility, which is also located at the site.

Image credits: © REMONDIS


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