March 1, 2003
THE NEW ProKleen Washing Services tank wash facility that opened in 2001 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, was built with state-of-the-art precision in mind,

THE NEW ProKleen Washing Services tank wash facility that opened in 2001 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, was built with state-of-the-art precision in mind, says Jeff Coles, president.

Coles joined the ProKleen, owned by Gordon Pryce and Allen Wortsman, and was in charge of building the group's first tank wash in Concord, Ontario. Al Wortzman established Concord Transportation Inc in 1973 and partnered with Gordon Pryce to start Harmac Transportation Inc in 1983. Both carriers were sold in 1998, but the partners retained ownership of the ProKleen operation.

With the success of the ProKleen facility in Concord under their belt, they turned to the nine-acre Oakville site for its location near several major highways and petrochemical plants.

Equipment for the eight drive-through wash bays, four for chemical tank trailers and four for foodgrade, operates with a computerized system that controls water temperature and pressure, as well as automatically timing the cleaning cycles.

“With the automatic timer, operators can't cut the wash process,” Cole says. “The units also have four high-pressure pumps that maintain 1,500 psi.”

The facility cleans about 16 foodgrade and 60 chemical trailers per day, operating six days per week, 20-hours per day. In addition to tank trailer cleaning, the company provides IBC cleaning and storage and repairs.

Vat system

The vat-style wash system used in the facility was designed by Coles and his managers. Chemical and foodgrade operations have their own dedicated wash systems.

Each of the cleaning systems consists of a series of tanks: 1,000 gallons each for caustic and detergent and 18,000 gallons for fresh water.

For chemical cleaning, ProKleen uses blended caustic with surfactants and wetting agents. Hot diesel is used as a presolve. The foodgrade system has foodgrade caustic and detergent.

The tank wash(which is certified by Cargill, ADM, and Coca-Cola, and is Kosher approved) offers two basic foodgrade wash cycles. One is designed for tank trailers that haul sweeteners. It starts with a six-minute preflush at 200°F. That water is not reused. Then water used in an 18-minute sanitizer at 200°F is returned at 185°F to 190°F. A final rinse of 195°F to 200°F completes the wash.

The second, and typical, foodgrade cycle includes a four-minute preflush at 200°F, followed with detergent at 185°F for 15 minutes, and a four-minute rinse. All tanks are dried when the wash cycle is completed.

“We also wash and hand brush all tank trailer exteriors,” says Coles. “And we always take the valves apart and replace the stem packings. I've seen so many that have been washed and the stem packet hasn't been replaced, and the trailer is rejected.”

Control room

The equipment control room for the wash operation is located in a bay that separates the foodgrade section from the chemical cleaning area. The equipment bay is laced with pipes and houses a company-designed and company-built cleaning unit. It includes 10 cleaning solution vats with total capacity of 9,000 imperial gallons (10,809 US gallons). A separate caustic tank for foodgrade use can hold up to 2,500 imperial gallons (3,002 US gallons).

In addition, two hot-water sterilizing tanks handle the final 18-minute foodgrade rinse and hold 1,000 imperial gallons (1,201 US gallons) and 2,000 imperial gallons (2,402 US gallons), respectively. Another tank for hot water for foodgrade cleaning stores 6,500 imperial gallons (7,806 US gallons). For the hot water supply for the chemical bays, a tank holds 6,000 imperial gallons (7,206 US gallons).

All lines are stainless steel.

ProKleen uses Sellers 360 spinners in its operation. There are two boilers, a Volcano 120-horsepower, 13 psi, and a Thermogenics 200-horsepower, 110 psi. The GasMac dryer system includes a HEPPA filter.

Passivation service

A passivation system was installed after consulting with Bob Young of Lafayette Sani-Wash in Lafayette, Indiana. They developed a passivation system with a 30-gallon holding tank, three Sellers spinners, and a one-inch air diaphragm pump. The pump is rated at 49 gallons per minute. Line surge is prevented because of back pressure on the pump.

For the safety of its 12 cleaning operators, ProKleen built drop-down platforms surrounded by safety rails. The safety equipment available includes gas detectors, full-face breathing equipment, special coveralls for internal tank work, and a retrieval winch.

The cleaning platform also provides a space for a small office that encloses the system's control panel. Since the office can be locked, it also provides a place to house seals that are now a must to secure all tank trailer cargo.

“We keep a log of the seals,” says Coles. “It's very critical. The numbers on the seals can't be out of sequence.”

Another form ProKleen requires includes a hazard evaluation report and hot work permit. It is to be completed before any person enters a tank. Company policy also prohibits any employee from entering tanks or handling dangerous substances without written consent.

Wastewater treatment

In addition to the safety, and the procedures required for tank cleaning, ProKleen must meet the city of Oakville and Ontario province environmental requirements. For wastewater treatment, the company designed and built a system that has a 1,200-imperial-gallon (1,441 US gallons) tank for separating oils and adjusting ph. The remaining wastewater is pumped outside to an 8,000-imperial-gallon (9,608 US gallons) tank with a three-compartment separator.

Non-hazardous solids that are captured are placed in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) for disposal as agriculture fertilizer. Chemical solid waste is transported to Sarnia, Ontario, to a holding facility.

In a separate treatment, final rinse wastewater goes into another 6,000-imperial gallon (7,206 US gallons) tank where it is treated on site and released into the sewer. Pre-rinse wastewater is captured and hauled off site to a disposal facility.

Oakville has strict environmental protection laws, Coles says. Inspectors visit ProKleen everyday for a random sample and two times per month for 24 composite samples.

In addition to its cleaning services for tank trailers, tank containers, and IBCs, ProKleen offers maintenance services for trailers and tractors. “We like to think of it as one-stop-shopping,” he says.

The ProKleen facility in Oakville runs from 4 am until 11 pm six days per week.

Of the cleaning revenue, approximately 70 percent is generated by the chemical bays and 30 percent from foodgrade.

The addition of the Oakville facility gives ProKleen a firm presence in the Ontario area, and positions the company for future progress.