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Process Decontamination

Quad=s Technologies Are:


Using Quad=s chemical formulations and application techniques reduces the time required to prepare process equipment for safe personnel entry


Quad utilizes safe, non-corrosive chemicals


Chemical decontamination techniques clean better than traditional methods


Saving time saves money. For those critical path items, Quad=s approach can significantly reduce downtime.


With only a small amount of your time, Quad can engineer an application for you.

Environmentally Sensitive...

Quad=s chemical formulations are designed to be safe to the environment and the residual materials can often be treated using on-site capabilities.

Specific to your needs...

Quad=s service is engineered to meet your specifications. We can design and implement a decontamination program custom to your requirements, capabilities and constraints. We can assist you in designing the process decontamination set up.


New Decontamination Techniques Designed to Save You money

Quad=s chemical process decontamination saves time and moneyBon any time sensitive project, Quad=s decontamination services can shorten the critical path and savings can be substantial.

Perhaps you have used chemical decontamination techniques before and know the benefitsBQuad offers you the ultimate in selection, flexibility and effectiveness. We use a number of different proprietary chemical systems. The exact chemistry is selected to optimize you particular situation, and execution can be effected by either your personnel, with Quad=s engineering and oversight, or if you prefer, Quad can provide you with the complete service package.

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In preparation for maintenance or service work, process equipment must be decontaminated in order to make the work space safe for human occupation.

Traditional techniques of preparing equipment for service work

Decontamination or unit degassing has long been an operational requirement for vessel entry and maintenance work. Typically, equipment such as process towers is decontaminated by steaming to atmosphere, a scrubber system or to a flare. Another technique utilizes the injection of hot nitrogen gas to remove vapor contaminants. Repeated water flooding of process units is also

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used to purge the vapor space of any gasses present. In some cases, hydrocarbon solvents are also used to remove heavy bottom materials. While the use of these solvents is often necessary, they add additional vapor reduction time, since they must also be removed from the equipment following use.

Safe, Biodegradable Chemistry -- Quad=s techniques depart from the normal. Harsh chemicals are avoided in favor of naturally occurring biodegradable materials which in special combination can quickly remove chemical contaminants from process equipment.

Chemistry selected to meet your needs -- Recognizing that one tool cannot solve all problems, Quad offers multiple approaches to decontamination of process equipment. We use biodegradable chemical technologies. Decontamination chemistry is optimally selected depending upon the decontamination objective and waste treatment capabilities or limitations, among other things. Our techniques and chemistries are designed to include cleaning by circulation, vapor phase and regenerative foam circulation. Generally, Quad=s techniques rely on microemulsification and micro encapsulation.

The Ultimate in Effectiveness and Flexibility

Service Engineered to meet your specifications B Quad can design and implement a decontamination program custom to your requirements, capabilities and constraints. We can assist you in designing the process decontamination set up; assist you with on-site consultation during decontamination operations; provide you with the decontamination chemistry suited to your particular situation or, if you desire, we can turn-key the entire process utilizing our qualified management, technical support and operating personnel.

Expertise -- Quad Environmental Services is staffed with specialists in the use of chemical systems to decontaminate process units. These experts have been involved in the use of chemical decontamination systems from the earliest use of the technology and have personal experience in the application to virtually all process equipment.


Quad=s techniques greatly improve the flexibility and economics of petrochemical plant turnaround. Significant savings in time are typical. Unit downtime is greatly reduced. The high cost of steam generation is minimized and the cost of often used solvent washes is avoided.

When compared with other techniques, such as water flooding, substantial reduction in waste generation is experienced. Even better, often not only is the volume reduced, but the form of waste is less expensive to treat. Since Quad utilizes biodegradable materials in its process, most removed residues may be easily recovered or treated in existing plant facilities, instead of requiring high cost thermal treatment. In addition, since purging to atmosphere is avoided, reduced air emissions may result, yielding potential emission credits.

Safety is improved - Quad=s cleaning improves internal atmosphere conditions for confined space entry and work and may reduce required breathing protective equipment.

 Microemulsification techniques rely on combinations of terpenes and surfactants to remove process residues. These materials are circulated through the process equipment, along with water which forms the carrier for the active materials. For example, Quad=s proprietary chemistry is combined with water to form an unstable emulsion. The material is circulated through process lines and is cascaded through certain types of equipment such as towers, etc. Heat is added to the process to make the surface active agents more alive. The heat also caused the chemistry to enter the vapor state where it can easily contact the bottom side of equipment internals. Contaminants are absorbed into the emulsion created by the chemicals. Circulation is continued until no further contamination is absorbed into the water/chemical emulsion system. In the event that large amounts of heavy materials are expected, equipment is place in the circulation loop so that they are removed during circulation, and are not returned to the system being cleaned. After six to twelve hours of circulation, the solution is drained or pumped to a holding tank and the process vessels are rinsed with fresh water. Once cleaning is completed, the organic/water system is allowed to quiesce so that water and contaminants may be separated.

Micro encapsulation approaches the problem of equipment decontamination from a slightly different angle. Instead of circulating a water/solvent/surfactant system to create an emulsion, this process utilizes a foam system which remains stable during circulation activities. Surfactants reduce the surface tension of the oil/metal interface and surround the oil with water soluble tails pointed outward. Due to the molecular arrangement of the water soluble coating, hydrocarbons encapsulated in this manner cannot evaporate into the air space Chemical circulation of a process unit, such as a tower, is accomplished using a system which fills the vessel with foam. The foam fills the unit and carries biodegradable cleaning agents throughout the tower. The foam collapses to a liquid at the bottom of the unit and is recirculated, redeploying the foam back into the unit.

Once opened, the vessels are typically found to be in considerably cleaner condition than that observed with other, more traditional techniques. LEL and Benzene normally approach zero percent and zero ppm respectively. Since Quad uses organic, biodegradable material, and the material removed is normal to the plant, the residues may be treated using existing plant techniques. None of Quad=s techniques strongly emulsify residual oils removed during decontamination, thereby allowing rapid phase separation of oils for possible recovery and re use. Waste water is relatively free of hydrocarbons and can usually be sent to plant site waste water treatment.


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Call us : 713-477-6460   Fax us: 713-477-7454      E-mail us: Chuck Goodner chuck,goodner@quadenviroservice.com , Fred Sieber sieberfa@quadenviroservice.com or Steve Ohm steve.ohm@quadenviroservice.com
Last modified: July 27, 2005