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Ecorobotics Featured In Sulfuric Acid Today’s 2021 Fall/Winter Issue

 In Articles

We are proud to share that Ecorobotics was featured in the latest issue of Sulfuric Acid Today, where we had the opportunity to talk about the efficiency and safety of our tank Robotic Cleaning System (RCS).

Sulfuric Acid Today has been published semiannually (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter) since 1994, and it has immense value in covering various problems in industry. It is the only trade magazine dedicated to sulfuric acid maintenance solutions for fertilizer, mining, smelting, regeneration, manufacturing, oil and gas, petrochemical, and other sulfuric-acid-related industries.

We are grateful that our efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of industry cleaning methods are being recognized in our field.

Traditional cleaning has always carried its own set of significant dangers, but for years, tank owners had few alternatives. Traditional industrial tank cleaning involves human crews cleaning the tank manually, which is highly unsafe and leads to inefficient and unpredictable results. Workers that go in the tank are exposed to hazardous chemicals and dangerous working conditions.

This inefficient method of cleaning puts personnel at risk both before and after the cleaning process, as chemical exposure can have long-term implications. Workers must enter a confined space that was built to carry potentially hazardous liquids, not people. If anything were to happen — an explosion, fire, oxygen deprivation, or heat exhaustion — it would practically be impossible for a worker to get out on time.
Innovative robotic technologies eliminate human entry while offering more efficient cleaning in less time and at lower cost. ecorobotics in sulfuric acid today

Inspired by the need to increase safety, quality, and efficiency, we created our Robotic Cleaning System. After ten years of researching, designing, engineering, and building, the RCS was ready to change the future of industrial tank cleaning.

Here’s a comparison: A bulk removal from a spill tank would take 67 days to complete using a conventional cleaning method. An H5 Robotic System would only need 11 days. It would also extract up to  four times as many barrels per day, completely eliminating confined space entry (CSE). The same project done traditionally would require 670 hours of CSE.

Our RCS leverages a hydraulic track system to move, along with a water cannon and vacuum for cleaning. The RCS is used to safely remove hazardous and non-hazardous materials from storage tanks, piping, sumps, ponds, culverts, and ditches. This method doesn’t require many people on the site, as all robots can be controlled remotely. It almost completely eliminates the need for additional equipment and human entrance in confined spaces. We bring all of the machinery needed for each project.

We recently completed a project for a fertilizer manufacturer in the Southeast United States. The goal of the project was to efficiently — and above all, safely — remove phosphoric acid sludge. A manway cannon robot known as the Viper Cannon was attached to the tank’s manway flange on the roof to wash the tank’s walls without requiring confined-space entry by human crews. For cleaning, this system used a remotely controlled high-pressure directed flow; this phase of the process took about three days.

Then, through the ground-level manway, an H-Series robotic crawler with an articulating arm extension was inserted to clean and extract most of the incredibly hard phosphoric acid solids from the tank. To loosen up the solid substance from the tank, we employed a 20,000-psi pump and nozzle. It took about 41 days to complete the bulk removal operation.

In the final phase of the project, confined space access was performed at the client’s request to do a final rinse. The entire operation was completed in 44 days, with a total material extracted of 3,813 barrels (26 bbl/hr).

If you’re interested in learning more about robotic tank cleaning, read more on how Ecorobotics is helping today’s industry.

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