Replacing underground settling tanks

We’re expanding our old oil refinery. Part of the expansion includes replacing our underground settling tanks. Unfortunately, we’re not sure where all the flows are coming from; generations of engineers added to the network, making analysis of this complex of underground piping almost impossible. Can you suggest any methodology for identifying these sources? In addition, laboratory tests show that we have naphthalenes in our settling tanks, which confounds our efforts to reduce the size of the new settling tank. This tank will replace one of the larger, older, corroded tanks. How can we reduce the size of this new tank and handle naphthalenes?

Send us your comments, suggestions or solutions for this question by May 16, 2008. We’ll include as many of them as possible in the June 2008 issue and all on Send visuals — a sketch is fine. E-mail us at or mail to Process- Puzzler, Chemical Processing, 555 W. Pierce Road., Suite 301, Itasca, IL 60143. Fax: (630) 467-1120. Please include your name, title, location and company affiliation in the response.

And, of course, if you have a process problem you’d like to pose to our readers, send it along and we’ll be pleased to consider it for publication.

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