Optimized Unloading of Crude Oil in Cold Conditions
A well-known phenomenon at oil terminals in cold regions is that crude oil transported in railway cars can be too stiff to unload. To help solve this problem, Neste Jacobs has developed an unloading device called Ecoarm. It is a ready to use system that can be used as is or configured by combining top-unloading, bottom-unloading or top-warming technologies to meet clients’ needs.
Traditionally, oil transported by train is unloaded through valves underneath the tank. The tool used for this is a base unloading arm with a built-in heating system.
“But if bottom unloading is not possible, which quite often is the case in the Baltic region, the car must be unloaded from the manhole on top of the tank,” says Staffan Lindberg, Account Manager at Neste Jacobs. “But it is very time consuming and inefficient in the winter to warm the tank from the outside with, for example, hot steam.”
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The good thing about Ecoarm is that the system heats the oil via the top manhole and from the inside out. Roughly speaking, the system consists of a pump nozzle equipped with a heating coil that has two extendable hot oil spray nozzles on both sides of it.
As the oil thins, beginning from the midsection of the tank, the nozzles begin to move sideways and upwards and gradually rise to the top of the tank. This way, all the oil will be efficiently warmed up and can be unloaded.
Fast and safe
The key benefit of Ecoarm is that unloading can be done with high volume flows in cold weather. The equipment is hydraulically operated and steered remotely, which makes it safe to operate.
“Ecoarm is the market´s most efficient and versatile unloading system for oil products that are difficult to handle,” says Lindberg.
The Ecoarm by Neste Jacobs unloads crude oil from railway cars no matter how cold and stiff the oil is.
Ecoarm is a complete system consisting of hot oil spray nozzles, heat exchangers, pumps, initial heating valve box, controls and hydraulics. © Polarteknik Oy Ab
Edited by Carin Hall