Tank Cleaning – Heavy Crude Oil / Sludge

Project Overview

 Tank Size  244 ft. (74 m) diameter
Tank Design External floating roof
Service Heavy crude oil / sludge
Sludge Volume 17,000 barrels (2,702 m3)
% Oil Removed 98.8%
% Waste Reduction 99.1% <100 BBL (15 m3)

Results Achieved

Over 98% of sludge volume was salvaged as recoverable hydrocarbon

Hazardous waste reduced from 10,200 bbls (1,621  m3) to less than 100 bbls (15  m3)

Chemical profiles


Created for the dissolution and recovery of asphaltenes in process equipment, pipelines and storage tanks.

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Rapid absorption of vapor-state hydrocarbons in an innovative encapsulant for effective decontamination and degassing of hydrocarbon processing equipment.

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A large Gulf Coast pipeline company in the United States had a large floating roof tank that required cleaning.


The company had been pumping debris/sludge from previously cleaned surrounding tanks, into this tank. The exact contents of the tank were unknown, but were expected to contain paraffin, asphalt, and production sand. Approximately 10,000 bbls (1,589 m3) of sludge was expected.


The sludge removal was done by using roof-mounted circulation tools that carried a proprietary product chemical package (FQE™ Solvent-H) and cutter stock to facilitate the dissolution of the recoverable solids and oil. Over 98% of the sludge volume was salvaged as recoverable hydrocarbon.


The tank was washed and degassed using FQE™ LEL-V leaving the tank clean and vapor free. The insoluble bottoms were processed as non-hazardous solids for landfill application. The volume of hazardous waste was reduced from a projected 10,200 bbls (1,621 m3) to less than 100 bbls (15 m3) of non-hazardous waste.

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