Floor lining bio-ethanol storage tank in Austria

The scope of the project

Bio-ethanol and bio-methanol storage move into focus in tank farms with the introduction of E5 and E10 blended fuels. The bulk storage tanks for alcohols in tank farms or refineries are not only exposed to severe steel corrosion. Conventional coating and corrosion protection products are also not chemically resistant to exposure to them. Therefore, these steel tanks face internal corrosion due to the medium as well as to its vapour. But Wolftank Austria is able to provide a complete solution to floor lining in bio-ethanol and bio-methanol tanks.

Sand-blasted and levelled tank floor (left), double laminated floor (right)
Sand-blasted and levelled tank floor (left), double laminated floor (right).

The challenge

A storage tank with 20 m diameter in Central Europe was intended to be used for a bulk storage of ethanol. Wolftank Austria decided to apply the system Epoflex® 6N, which is resistant to 100 % bio-ethanol and approved as tank lining system for ethanol tanks by Germany’s national technical approval, DIBt.
The customer specified application of a 2-layer laminate system which is covered by a final Epoflex® 6N layer and an antistatic top layer. A wet- on-wet laminate application made the project very challenging. As attested by the German TÜV, this lining system exhibits structural properties and actually acts as a double floor lining (steel floor plus fiberglass floor).
The customer’s expectation was not to have any tank openings due to floor inspection for a period of 15-20 years. This was a basic requirement in the design of the layer system.

The solution / timing

The Epoflex® 6N lining system comprises the following:

  • Epoflex® 6N lamination resin + bi-woven fibreglass fabric
  • Epoflex® 6N resin
  • Adapox® L conductive resin

Wolftank Austria recommends a clean subsurface for a proper long-lasting coating system. Therefore, Wolftank technicians sand-blasted the surface in order to achieve the proper adhesion (SA 3).
After the surface preparation, the team levelled the welding joints at the bottom of the tank with mortar (Epoflex® Klebmoertel N). The objective of this step was to get a smooth and even surface. Using the same material, the team created a corner radius between shell and annular ring.

The application of the laminate layer started the next day. This reinforcement consisted of the application of two layers, wet on wet, since the final, dried layer thickness of the lamination must reach 2,6 mm. This was the most challenging part of the implementation of the lining system since obtaining the appropriate amount of resin was very difficult. Too much resin would result in the second sheet of fibreglass floating on the first one; not enough resin would result in inadequate thickness. Subsequently, technicians applied Epoflex® 6N on the cured and sanded subsurface with an airless spraying machine. As the top layer, the team rolled the conductive layer on quite thinly.

The whole application lasted a period of 20 days leading to a minimum downtime related to the upgrade to a new storage media. It is not necessary to apply hot works and hydraulic testing after this installation. This resulted in a significant cost saving.

Floor lining bio-ethanol storage: successfully applied conductive layer.

The outcome

Wolftank Austria team completed the project on time and fully according to the customer’s required standards (quality and safety). Since ethanol storage is increasing in Europe and other countries, this application is a great Wolftank Austria reference for future projects.

With more than 20 years of expected lifetime extension of the lining system, none additional floor maintenance is a major benefit. In addition, the low installation down time is a huge benefit too. In addition, due to the long-term chemical resistance of the Epoflex lining, no significant maintenance cost is necessary. This type of lining is not subject to corrosive deterioration.

To also learn about Wolftank Austria’s solution for methanol storage, please click here.

About Wolftank Group

Wolftank-Adisa Holding AG is the parent company of an international group of companies focusing on the turnkey construction of modular hydrogen and LNG refuelling facilities, environmental protection services for polluted soils, facilities and waters, refurbishment and monitoring of (large) tank facilities as well as full-service engineering services for fuel supply facilities. The company is active worldwide and has various patented application technologies.

Note: All requirements of the Austrian Stock Exchange Act regarding the requirement of a formal admission of financial instruments for trading and issuer obligations on a regulated market for financial instruments traded on the Third Market do not apply, but in particular the requirements set out in Art. 17 (Publication of Insiders, Contract participation “direct market plus” | December 2018), Art. 18 (Insider Lists) and Art. 19 (Directors dealing) of the Market Abuse Ordinance (VO (EU) No. 596/2014) in connection with the obligations laid down in the respective national legal rules pursuant to the Stock Exchange Act and the prohibitions of Art. 14 (Insider Trading) and Art. 15 (Market Manipulation) of the Market Abuse Ordinance (VO (EU) No. 596/2014) in connection with the respective national legal rules pursuant to the Stock Exchange Act do apply.

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