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ATEX approval for pumps on Ethanol offloading

07 April 2009

By 2010 international legislation dictates that oil companies must be capable of offering fuels that have a minimum of 5.75% bio-fuel content. This means that petroleum products suppliers must have the capability to blend Ethanol and fuel accurately and efficiently.

ATEX approval for pumps on Ethanol offloading
ATEX approval for pumps on Ethanol offloading

Blending bio-fuel products at the load rack reduces the dependency on multiple storage tanks, maximises flexibility by creating variable product load arms and eliminates many of the issues associated with the storage of bio-fuel based products. Honeywell Enraf is in a prime position to assist the oil companies in meeting the incoming legislation as it has a proven blending product, the Micro-Blend System, for mixing ethanol with petroleum products at the load rack. Ethanol is an octane enhancer which has to be added to the product to the highest degrees of accuracy. However, getting the Ethanol into the blending terminals is just as important an application as taking out into the finished product.

To help its customers optimise tanker offloading, Honeywell Enraf has developed a range of offloading/blending skids employing ATEX certified Blackmer sliding vane pumps from AxFlow. These skids enable users to offload Ethanol and, if required, add denaturant to the Ethanol at the point of tanker offloading

Depending on the customers’ use of the skids, up to four Blackmer pumps are employed on each skid, with 2 inch pumps for blending in denaturant and two 4 inch for offloading Ethanol from trucks into storage. Blackmer pumps were selected because as Ethanol is an alcohol it cannot remain within the systems and when offloaded all the liquid has to be accounted for. This cannot be achieved with a centrifugal pump, whereas with the Blackmer positive displacement vane pump all the liquid is drawn from the truck and pushed into the terminal. There is also the fact that Blackmer vane pumps are recognised internationally as the standard pump for tanker offloading duties. To achieve ATEX compliance, AxFlow provided its knowledge and took on the task of obtaining ATEX 01T3 internal certification for the Blackmer pumps.

As a result of combining their respective expertise in pumping technology and blending bio-fuels, the two companies have produced an innovative range of blending/pumping packages that has been eagerly accepted by Honeywell Enraf’s international petroleum products customers.

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