Sludge Eductor for Oil Sludge Pumping

Large Storage tanks are used in Oil & Gas Production facilities to store the extracted Crude Oil while Petroleum refineries use them to store finished petroleum products (Diels, heavy oils, etc)
When Crude Oil or Petroleum products lie idle in the storage tank, it leads to formation of oil sludge inside the tank. The Oil sludge deposits at the bottom of the tank.

This oil sludge deposition is problematic as increases corrosion risk and also reduces the storage capacity. Hence the deposited Oil Sludge is removed regularly and disposed off in an environmentally safe manner. Disposal of Oil sludge is done using special techniques and requires specific equipment. Hence the oil sludge scrapped and collected from the tanks has to be transported to the disposal site.

Transportation is either done by trucks or by pumping the sludge through pipelines. In large tanks the oil sludge quantity is considerable and transport through pipelines is more convenient option.

Oil sludge is a mixture of heavy oils, sand, water and other impurities. It is viscous and sticky in nature and contains solid particles. The sticky nature and presence of solid particles become the prime challenges in pumping the oil sludge through a pipeline.

Sludge Ejectors are essentially liquid ejectors that utilize pumped water for operation. During operation, Sludge Eductors suck the oil sludge from the tanks and mix it with water inside the ejector. The mixture of Oil sludge and Water is then pumped out from the Ejector outlet.

Thus the Sludge Eductor also acts as pump and can develop significant head at the outlet This enables the Sludge & Water mixture to be pumped to long distances with help of the Sludge Eductor. The oil sludge is then separated from the water at the pipeline outlet.

In some disposal plants the disposal is achieved by a froth floatation process or by Bio-slurry addition. In both these techniques water is added to the oil sludge for processing.
In such scenario, the oil sludge is not separated from the water and the water + oil sludge mixture is directly taken up for processing.

Sludge Eductors are perfectly suited for pumping Oil Sludge because of their inherent characteristics
• Ability to handle stick and viscous nature of the Oil Sludge
• Ejectors do not contain any moving parts and have large internal passage areas, hence are not vulnerable to clogging by solid particles.
• As they have no moving parts, maintenance requirements are very less. Also it reduces largely the risk of abrupt breakdowns, helps in maintaining the regular production schedule
• Service Water is a commonly available utility and hence no additional infrastructure is typically required.