Control Instruments Corporation

Tank Barge Degassing


Courtesy of Courtesy of Control Instruments Corporation

The Customer

The Company is a premier tank barge operator. They use waterways to transport petrochemicals, pressurized products, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals from producers to intermediaries to end users. Their operations span the major inland waterway systems of the United States including, the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Illinois River and the Ohio River.

The Process

After a shipment of product has been unloaded, the tank barge must be degassed of any leftover gases or vapors. These gases and vapors are purged and sent to an enclosed flare for destruction.

The Problem

They needed to measure the BTU content of the waste gas stream going to the flare and control it with assist gas to keep the BTU content above 300 BTU/SCF. They wanted an analyzer that could handle measuring the variety of chemicals and gases (over 41) transported in their barges.

In addition they wanted the analyzer to have a fast response time so it would quickly respond and activate their controls to adjust the assist gas (methane or propane).

The Solution

The CalorVal BTU Calorific Analyzer was the analyzer of choice because it accurately and continuously measures the direct BTU content of the varying waste gas stream. The CalorVal features “Universal Calibration” which provides a highly uniform response to a wide variety of gases and solvents. It is real time measurement and will quickly respond and activate the controls to adjust the assist gas as needed. It is a rugged industrial design offering operating simplicity.

The Installation

The analyzer was installed outside on a simple platform located one hundred feet from the base of the enclosed flare. The CalorVal’s stand-alone design made installation easy. After operating the analyzer on a daily basis for several months the Customer purchased additional units for other locations.

SIC Code

  • 4449: Water Transportation of freight


  • 483211: Inland Water Freight Transportation

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