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Automatic Tank Dewatering

dewatering1Storage tanks containing hydrocarbon feedstocks, intermediates and finished products will, over time, accumulate a water layer in the tank bottoms, (exceptions are water soluble hydrocarbons such as alcohols and ethers). Standard industry practice is to periodically drain the water from storage tanks so that the water does not adversely impact specifications of the hydrocarbon. Water removal also reduces corrosion problems on the floor of the tank. Manual or other traditional ways of controlling the water draw-off can result in free Hydrocarbon product in the discharge. The loss of this free Hydrocarbon product means less product available for sale and increases the cost of wastewater treatment. Additionally, environmental regulation trends may impose large economic penalties for designing water draw conveyance and treatment systems that allow free product in the water draw-off discharge.

dewatering2The difficulty in this separation process is the presence of emulsion layers e.g. Hydrocarbon/water mixtures. The Agar Interface Level Measurements provide however an unmatched ability to optimize for this separation process by utilizing concentration measurement and control. The principle being used is “energy absorption”. Apart from this optimized separation, the same interface measurements are used for overcoming tank bottom sludge build-up problems.

Animation on Automatic Tank Dewatering

Animation on Agar Interface Level Measurement

More info on Interface Level Measurements

Automatic Tank Dewatering at Shell Fredericia

shellThe Shell Fredericia refinery is Denmark's second largest refinery. Shell Fredericia refines crude oil into valuable petroleum products such as liquefied petroleum gas, jet fuel, fuel oil, gasoline, diesel, bio-fuels, kerosene and heating oil - around 68,000 bbl/d.
Just over half of the finished products are shipped from the port terminal in Fredericia. The rest of the products are transported by tanker trucks daily to customers throughout Denmark.


With KPS having the know how on Automatic Tank Dewatering Processes, and an installed base at many refineries throughout Europe. KPS was selected to design and supply the Automatic Tank Dewatering systems. A requirement of the system was that the amount of oil heading to the waste water treatment facility needed to be as low as possible. Furthermore, the quality of the process water tended to vary in composition through out time, hence larger emulsion layers could build up. Any emulsion upset heading to the waste water treatment facility should be prevented.

The Automatic Tank Dewatering System provided by KPS was able to control the emulsion layers present in the storage tanks and slop tanks, and to prevent any oil discharges heading with the drain line.

More info on Interface Level Measurements

The KPS automated sampling systems installed at AWG and K14 have been running for several years now and after the initial start-up without a need for maintenance.

Head Metering Services of Shell Upstream International


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