Petroleum and crude oil tanks cleaning is a tough job, one that doesn’t typically conjure up images of eco-friendly choices (Source: Tank Cleaning by E&B Green Solutions). Fortunately, eco-friendly alternatives to harsh solvents do exist. Not only are new products available made from plant-based materials, these products are designed to encourage the natural degradation of oil and petroleum by microbes. These products go by various names and are available from various manufacturers. Collectively, they’re referred to as “bioremediation” products.

According to Crude Oil Spills in the Environment, Effects and Some Innovative Clean-up Biotechnologies, a review paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research, biodegradation by microbes is a primary mechanism used to remove petroleum hydrocarbons from polluted environments. Bioremediation attempts to accelerate this process. Products such as surface finishing agents and dispersants are used to breakup oil and grease into small droplets that have a larger surface area for microbes to consume.

Cleaning petroleum and crude oil tanks with environmentally friendly cleaners designed specifically for the job at hand is a choice that you can feel good about on several levels. For example, eco-friendly storage tank cleaners such as G-Clean Storage Tank Cleaner from E&B Green Solutions can encapsulate harmful volatile organic compounds and clean tanks effectively without harming the environment or the people charged with cleaning the tanks. This particular cleaner, which is made from plant-based materials and is biodegradable, is not reactive or flammable, either. It creates a suspension of nano-sized particles that have a high surface area-to-volume ratio which allows them to penetrate and break down large petroleum particles. The resulting solution readily rinses off of tanks, leaving behind clean surfaces that can easily be inspected and tested.

Before the advent of bioremediation, industries resorted to the standard method of waste hauling and disposal practices that did not take into consideration the harmful effects of pollution emissions that comes from it. As more consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, there has been a huge influx of entrepreneurial interest for  bioremediation products. Although, the use of bioremediation is still in its adolescent stage, there is great optimism for new discovery and innovation stemming from plant-based materials that can naturally degrade harsh solvents.

Eco-friendly crude oil tank cleaners do exist, and they work quickly without harming the environment or people using them. Environmentally conscious consumers should look towards these green alternatives to harsh solvents for their tough petroleum and crude oil tanks cleaning.

Blain Johnson is an acclaimed Environmental Scientist and having been researching for eco-friendly tank cleaning solutions. You can find more about him on his Google+.

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