Interior of an ethylene glycol storage tank before cleaning
Most car manufacturers and automotive service shops recommend flushing the cooling system, i.e. radiator, of cars after a period of time to get rid of deposits that accumulated over the years.
And the same recommendation can be made for the industrial cleaning of storage tanks, too.
Over time, and depending on whether the storage tank is made of metal, plastic, or fiberglass, reactions between the tank itself and its contents can cause contamination in the tank. Metal tanks can rust. Sludge can build up in petroleum tanks. Coatings, that are often used to line the interior of tanks, can fail.
For many reasons, storage tank cleaning becomes almost mandatory.
A case in point is this 30 ft X 10 ft ethylene glycol storage tank pictured here. The coated lining of this steel tank was beginning to fail possibly contaminating the contents.
Ethylene glycol, better known as antifreeze, serves a very useful purpose in more than just the automotive industry. It's an important and useful industrial compound found in stamp pad inks, ballpoint pens, solvents, paints, plastics, films, and cosmetics.
A Blackwell's, Inc. associate after cleaning the interior of a storage tank that contained ethylene glycol.
To make the repair to the failed lining, the tanks contents had to first be pumped out, temporarily stored, and the tank thoroughly cleaned. Since storage tanks are considered a confined space, OSHA restricts entry into the tank only to those trained and equipped to do so.
Breathing ethylene glycol vapors can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation so the proper eye and respiratory protection gear was worn by the Blackwell's associated doing the cleaning of the tank. Ethylene glycol is poorly absorbed through the skin but the associate also wore a chemical resistant suit and gloves.
Employees at industrial facilities generally lack the training, skill, and equipment to perform specialized industrial cleaning and repairs in confined spaces. That's why companies like Blackwell's, Inc. are called on to do the work.
Specialized Industrial Cleaning, Concrete Coatings and Concrete Repair