Tank cleaning is not as simple as you might think

June 19, 2014
Tank and tote cleaning, when done properly, can save massive amounts of time and water.

Chemical processors often view cleaning of tanks and totes as a necessary but costly and headache-ridden burden. Tank cleaning requires a significant amount of resources to ensure a quality, uncontaminated next batch. In addition, inefficient tank cleaning when your clean-in-place (CIP) device isn’t working properly, cleaning well enough, or is out for maintenance or repair can cause production to come to a halt. Yet, despite the adverse effect on the bottom line, many manufacturers continue to rely on outdated procedures for cleaning, missing the opportunity for substantial cost reductions and revenue recovery through CIP optimization.

Understanding how to optimize a cleaning process requires a grasp of the basics of cleaning. Herbert Sinner, a former chemical engineer for Henkel, first summarized the basic principles of cleaning in 1959. His summary, now referred to as the “Sinner’s Circle,” describes the four factors that can be manipulated in any cleaning scenario: temperature, chemical action, time and mechanical force.

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