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1994 Edition, January 1, 1994

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Source Control and Treatment of Contaminants Found in Petroleum Product Terminal Tank Bottoms

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I46060 * W/D NO S/S
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 1994 Edition, January 1, 1994
  • Published Date: August 1994
  • Status: Not Active, See comments below
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Page Count: 113
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


In the previous API projects (Voung et. al., 1993 & Klock et. al., 1994), toxicity reduction of tank bottoms after being subjected to treatment in a sequencing batch biological reactor was investigated. It was shown that arsenic, copper, zinc, and ammonia present in the biologically treated tank bottom effluents may contribute to fish toxicity. A combination of additional treatment: steam stripping to remove ammonia, iron coprecipitation to remove heavy metals, carbon adsorption, and UV-peroxide oxidation, subsequent to the biological treatment were shown to be necessary to reduce the fish toxicity to a non-toxic level for some but not all the tank bottoms. Implementation of such multiple treatment processes for tank bottoms is not practical except perhaps at a very large-scale distribution terminal where sufficient wastewater treatment expertise and personnel are available. Even though the multiple treatment processes are technically implementable at some terminals, they might still be cost prohibitive. Potential generation of air emission and hazardous wastes are the additional drawbacks of implementing treatment system on site at product terminals.

This project approached the problems via a different strategy. Instead of focusing all the effort on finding technical solutions for the tank bottom treatment, this project tried to answer two questions: (1) Through what pathways do the metals, particularly arsenic, and ammonia enter the tank bottoms; and (2) What source reduction measures can be taken and to what extent must they occur in the refinery so that the tank bottoms at petroleum product terminals can be treated to a non-toxic level on-site.

This project therefore consisted of two phases. In Phase I, the pathways of the three metals (As, Cu, Zn), particularly As, were investigated from crude through the refining processes to the tank bottoms. Speciation of arsenic compounds found in tank bottoms has been conducted to aid the confirmation of the sources of arsenic. Selenium and ammonia in the tank bottoms were analyzed, although no major effort has been devoted to their fates in the refining processes. In the Literature Review section, it has been shown that several techniques which remove metals from the hydrocarbon phase can be potentially used in a refinery to remove metals from refining process streams, hence reducing the migration of metals from products to tank bottoms. Based on the findings of this study, different approaches to reduce the metals from the sources were identified and recommended.

In Phase II, the upper concentration limits of organics, ammonia, and metals (As, Cu, and Zn) in the tank bottom that could be treated by two integrated treatment processes to the non-toxic level were determined. The two treatment processes were activated sludge coupled with iron coprecipitation and activated sludge coupled with powdered activated carbon. The two treatment systems were selected because they are simple to operate and practical to implement at the distribution terminal. The results of Phase II study determine the necessity and the extent that source reduction may be taken to resolve the fish toxicity issues in the tank bottoms.