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Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Dear all,
need advice about conversion - reconstruction - additional equipment - piping - pumping etc. from fuel oil storage tank to bitumen storage tank. Appreciate any guidelines and advice.

Best regards

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

If you're increasing the working temperature, read through the design requirements of API-650 Annex M carefully. Many tanks which satisfy the basic standard won't meet the Annex M requirements.
I assume this would be a change-of-service under API-653.
You may need to check for increased specific gravity. Corrosion may be more of an issue. If insulation is required, you have considerations with insulation supports, personnel access, roof loading, etc.

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

There are a lot of considerations, in all reality beyond the scope of the internet. While the highly experienced folks like JStephen here can help a great deal, in my opinion you'd be best served by hiring an expert who will be privy to your specific needs and conditions and help guide you through the choices you will have. For example, "fuel oil" can be many things. For another, there may be foundation considerations from higher specific gravity and/or temperature.

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Dear Mr. JStephen, IFRs - so far I know that existing tanks are used for heavy fuel oil (don't have specification at the moment). Also - intention is to use tank as dual - for heavy fuel oil or bitumen - depending of needs of market.
My idea is to have additional piping connected to existing one (valve, manifold, insulation if needed etc), new pump(s) for bitumen. Checking of static calculation as well as mechanical calculation of tank. Also heating of stored bitumen is an issue.
Appreciate your effort and thank you for your time. Appreciation also any further input. Thank you very much.

Best regards

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Stored bitumen is commonly somewhere between 130 to 160C.
Anything much below 110 to 120 it's basically solid - won't be pumpable or flow anywhere.

I doubt your fuel Oil is anything more than 60C.

That's a massive temperature change and impacts just about everyhting in terms of tank design, flange and valve ratings, heating systems, pipe insulation and trace heating (electric or steam).

You could design for Bitumen and use it for Fuel oil, but not the other way around.

Often anything over 60C (sometimes 50c) needs insulation for personnel protection.

Any water in bitumen has a tendency to boil and create steam / bubbling, but doesn't make any difference in Fo service.

Every single square inch of material exposed to bitumen will need to be ehated otherwise it goes solid. SO if any pipes are internal or buried then that causes issue.

How you swap duties is difficult for stripping out all the bitumen. You need to figure out how before you fill it. It's not easy as when you go below the heating coils it all goes solid. Horrible trying to strip out the bottom and you need to let the temp drop to 40C before you can put people inside the tank.

It sounds like a good idea on paper but in reality you will never swap bitumen to Fuel Oil. Too hard.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Such a wonderful post @LittleInch, a star for you.

Dear saraycad,

There has been negligible to nil corrosion issue in a bitumen tank. However, the roof sometimes do blow up.


Kolkata, India

RE: Conversion fuel tank to bitumen tank

Dear LittleInch
thank you for great post. It really gave me a picture of the problems. So much you told me without any hesitating. Thank you so much - you are real teacher.

Dear Mr. Dhurjati Sen - as for VOC I put a question of incineration and inertisation to Client. Thank you

Best regards

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