painted fuel tankIn a recent project US Cleanblast / Advanced Indoor Air Quality Care,  performed   and  presenting a case study on dry ice blasting fuel tanks. This particular study was at a Power Plant in New York.

Fuel tanks are located at power plants, Petro-Chemical plants , co- generation stations,  peeking stations, and fuel storage facilities, etc..

Fuel Oil tanks need to be insulated and heated to prevent coagulation of the fuel oil.  The heating process of the fuel tank causes condensation between the insulation and the steel tank which in turn causes degradation of the steel and rusts the tank.  This can cause several types of failures including minor leaks to catastrophic failure of the tank.

Dry ice blast prepping the surface of the tanks is essential in prepping before painting to remove all rust, debris and failing paint.

DIB prepping the surface is EPA approved mitigation for the method because there is no secondary waste stream.

This process prevents rust migration, once prepped and painted that prevents anymore rust.

The EPA discourages pressure washing due to the Water involved with the process.  There are remediation and capturing of the water that is very costly and can cause violations.  Ice blasting has no secondary waste stream and all the paint chips, dirt and debris are contained to capture falling paint chips and debris.

Guidelines for safety with fuel stage on Industrial Sites

Following safety There must be no possible corrosion that could affect the tank’s integrity. As with supporting structures, rust can have a major impact on the soundness of a fuel tank. The degree of damage caused by rust is dependent on the thickness of the steel used in the tank’s manufacture, and the depth of the rust has penetrated. AS1692 outlines the minimum thickness of plate used in tank construction with which current manufacturers of fuel tanks comply. Areas at particular risk of rust damage are: • Top of tanks, especially if they are cylindrical tanks mounted vertically (on end);  Underside of tanks; • Fill point, outlet and drain plug; • Welded seams; and • Surfaces and joints between the tank and the support structure. Guidelines Regarding Rust on Tanks • Tanks should have a good paint coating as protection from corrosion. • Any rust present on tanks should be dry surface rust only with no pitting that may impact on the tank’s structural integrity

Dry ice blasting fuel tanks and Power Plants