Tank blanketing, also referred to as tank padding, is the process of applying a gas to the empty space in a storage container. The term storage may refer to any container that is used to store products, regardless of its size.

Though tank blanketing is used for a variety of reasons, it typically involves using a buffer gas to protect products inside the storage container. A few of the benefits of blanketing include a longer life of the product in the container, reduced hazards, and longer equipment lifecycles.*

Nitrogen — the most widely used commercial gas — is the ideal tank blanketing gas when injected into the vapor space of a storage tank. It prevents ignition of flammable liquids, inhibits vapor loss, and protects chemicals, pharmaceuticals and foods from oxygen and moisture degradation. Nitrogen is also used as a purging agent and in cryogenic applications. It is simple to use and requires little or no maintenance.

Advantages of thermal mass flowmeters for tank blanketing

Thermal mass flowmeters often serve as a cost control measure in tank blanketing applications, determining the when, where and by whom of gas usage, particularly where nitrogen is used as a blanketing gas. Meanwhile, flow monitoring of tank blanketing feed lines can prevent unsafe conditions that may arise when gas supply is insufficient.

A major oil and gas and petrochemicals company in China recently required a tank blanketing gas monitoring solution for an ethylene project. Blanketing was required for flammable liquid tanks to create an inert environment in the vapor space. Total tank capacity was 700,000 cubic meters (185 million gallons).

Thermal mass flowmeters often serve as a cost control measure in tank blanketing applications, determining the when, where and by whom of gas usage. Meanwhile, flow monitoring of tank blanketing feed lines can prevent unsafe conditions that may arise when gas supply is insufficient.

After thorough evaluation of technology options, the company specified Magnetrol’s Thermatel TA2 thermal mass flowmeters. The meters, which were delivered to the user fully calibrated and configured, offered key advantages, such installation simplicity, effectiveness at extreme low pressures, and economical mass flow totalization. In addition, the meters offered diagnostic technology that enabled calibration verification procedures to be performed in the field, thus significantly reducing total cost of ownership. Recalibrations can cost tens of thousands of dollars and result in multiple weeks of downtime or lack of flow measurement.

This content is sponsored by Magnetrol International. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Process Flow Network editorial team.

* “Tank blanketing,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_blanketing.

* “Injury Facts,” National Safety Council, http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts.aspx