Idrabel Italia mainly works for oil and petrochemical industry providing tank cleaning and oil recovery services using the BioRecOil Process technology. Recently, Idrabel has developed another important auxiliary activity which involves thermographic surveying and sludge mapping using a specific software named Sludge Viewer.
Thermographic surveying and sludge mapping are initially carried out on each tank, prior to commencing the cleaning process, to estimate sludge amounts and its distribution profile within the tank.
Idrabel Italia has the systems, equipments and technology to carry out such activities taking into consideration all the Safety aspects and procedures required by the industry. Thermographic measurements are carried out, without the need for direct contact with the tank. Images are collected form various points along the perimeter of the tank, using a special ultra sensitive thermographic sensor camera. The camera detects infrared energy (heat), converting it into an electronic signal with varying intensity which eventually produces a thermal image reflecting the thermal densities within the tank.
The interpretation of those images allows the determination of the sludge height and the stratifications of water and sediments along the perimeter of the tank. Other measurements are carried out from the tank roof using ATEX certified sonar sensors and special proof equipments to complement the total three dimensional imaging process.
In addition, sludge samples are collected to determine its characteristics. Sludge characterization together with the lab simulations enables identifying the optimum tank cleaning strategy to be carried out as well as the ability to forecast the amounts of recoverable hydrocarbons and sludge residuals upon completion of the tank cleaning activities.
The specific software developed Sludge Viewer allows the elaboration and presentation of the data collected. It also allows displaying a 3D interactive sludge distribution image within in the tank and provides full indication of both its height and quantity.
All the information obtained can be used for the design of the possible tank cleaning to optimize the process and maximize the oil recovery and sludge removal.