Case History

Recovered hydrocarbon liquids provide $400,000 in unexpected revenue when a crude storage tank is cleaned using FQE® LEL-Vapor and FQE Solvent-H

Results Achieved

Recovered hydrocarbon
liquids provided $400,000 in unexpected revenue for the client
Contaminated soil reduced from over 51,000 ppm total petroleum hydrocarbon to less than 1,000 ppm

Chemicals Utilized

Award-winning asphaltene dispersant and anti-foulant


Rapid absorption and encapsulation of vapor-state hydrocarbons

Project Overview
Tank Size 240 ft. (73 m) diameter
Tank Design External floating roof
Service Vacuum resid
Sludge Volume 16,200 barrels (2,575 m3)
% Oil Recovered 94.8%
Time Required 6 weeks
A large Gulf Coast petroleum refining company in the United States had a floating roof tank that required cleaning.

This tank was in heavy, crude service with a heavy paraffin content sludge on the bottom. A serpentine heater coil system had been previously fitted in the tank, and was non-functional due to corrosion. Additionally, the floor was also expected to be damaged and leaking. The company had previously cleaned a sister tank of similar size and debris/sludge volume by cutting access doors in the tank shell and excavating the sludge from the vessel with backhoe equipment, which damaged the tank floor. The solids were disposed by incineration at a fee of $400 per ton. Approximately 3,000 tons of crude solids was expected.

In this case the debris removal was completed with side-mounted circulation tools that carried a proprietary product chemical package (FQE Solvent-H) and cutter stock to facilitate the dissolution of the recoverable solids. Over 94% of the available oil and diluent volume was salvaged as recoverable hydrocarbon. The tank was then treated with FQE LEL-Vapor degassing product, leaving it clean and vapor free. The recovered hydrocarbon liquids were sold as marine
diesel fuel for $28.00 per barrel, giving the client over $400,000 of
unexpected revenue.

The soil surrounding the tank was contaminated by hydrocarbon liquids (>51,000 ppm total petroleum hydrocarbon) from the damaged floor. The soil was treated with FQE Clean Earth chemical to facilitate remediation. Following this treatment, the soil was tilled. After three weeks of follow-up, the contaminated soil TPH was less than 1,000 ppm.

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