Progressive Technical Services Ltd

Chemical cleaning case study


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The passivation solution used was chosen by the customer following extended negotiations with their client relating to the advantages of Citric Acid over the use of Nitric/Hydrofluoric and the relative safety features of each solution. Progressive Technical Services opted to use a three dimensional rotating tank washing machine and a specialist high head pump normally associated with the cleaning of petro-chemical storage tanks to ensure all internal surfaces were covered. A preliminary four hour degreasing solution was the first stage of the process followed by a Fresh Water rinse. The CitriSurf solution was introduced into the tank and a six hour circulation was carried out. The solution was pumped back to the holding barrel and the residue remaining in the tank was rinsed out with Fresh Water. A copper sulphate test to establish free iron content following the procedure confirmed the tank suitable for commissioning. The user friendly and environmentally safe passivation solution used was Citrisurf 3050 from global speciality chemicals company HOUGHTON. The CitriSurf technology is suitable for all grades of stainless steel and offers superior safety features over conventional acids. With reduced health and safety risks Syntex and the client Ensus were happy for the passivation to commence whilst significant construction continued locally. The new technology is based on special additives to provide extended life and faster process time.

The company was approached by an company based in Teesside that were providing engineering services to their client on a new bio ethanol facility at Wilton in Cleveland. Their brief to us was to provide a means of passivating four new stainless steel tanks prior to their use for the storage of ethanol. With years of experience within the chemical cleaning industry we were well aware of the traditional use of acids for cleaning. The client stipulated that due to the construction works taking place around the site we had to use chemicals that were safer and easier to handle.

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