Oil extraction


Clark Propst
 

I have a couple photos of trailers with boilers and (gas?) engine operated pumps for siphoning heavy oil from tank cars.

Can anyone tell me more about the components and operation of these extraction trailers?

Clark Propst


Tom Birkett <tnbirke@...>
 

These have been used for sulfur unloading also. Because sulfur is so
heavy, cars were easily overloaded and before the railroad would move
them, the load must be reduced.

The system is pretty simple: the cars, no matter the product, were
equipped with steam coils either inside the car (sometimes insulated,
sometimes not, made from 2" pipe affixed to the floor and sometimes part
way up the sides) or exterior (u-shaped weldments always with
insulation). The boiler on the trailer would be fired up and steam
conducted to the coils until the product was hot enough to pump. Sadly,
this sometimes took several days.

When the product was hot enough to pump it was pumped off into whatever
vessel the receiver had.

Usually liquids are not siphoned from tank cars: either the bottom
outlet is used or if top unloading is preferred, either air or an inert
gas (N2, or CO2) is introduced into the top of the car with the manway
sealed which forces the liquid up and out through the eduction pipe
which reaches to within 1" of the bottom of the car. This does not take
an inordinate amount of pressure if the product is hot enough to flow.

Tom, Bartlesville


Subject: [STMFC] Oil extraction




I have a couple photos of trailers with boilers and (gas?) engine
operated pumps for siphoning heavy oil from tank cars.

Can anyone tell me more about the components and operation of these
extraction trailers?

Clark Propst


Clark Propst
 

Thanks Tom.

In the photos I have there is the steam line attached under the tank car and a hose into the dome. The dome hose goes to the front of the trailer. Another hose comes from the front to the waiting truck. Pump in-between?

How's the air introduced?

Clark Propst


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, cepropst@... wrote:

Thanks Tom.

In the photos I have there is the steam line attached under the tank car and a hose into the dome. The dome hose goes to the front of the trailer. Another hose comes from the front to the waiting truck. Pump in-between?

How's the air introduced?

Clark, I supervised loading an expensive chemical into a tank car. There
was no seal at the dome; you could look inside with a flashlight (my job was to do that to make sure the tank didn't overflow).

If steam is intoduced into the tank in the small outlet it will bubble up and heat the oil, lowering the viscosity which would make the oil easier to pump out.

If it was a closed system (and I don't think it was) steam would displace the oil. The more oil gone the more steam which would heat the remaining oil faster. As the steam condensed it would be replaced by more steam.

The oil was crude, right?

Did steam locos burn crude?

Ed Mines


Tom Birkett <tnbirke@...>
 

Steam engines burned No. 6 fuel oil, also called "Bunker C." The other
constituants of crude oil make it too valuable to burn, although at one
time some may have neen consumed that way. As comparison: Diesel fuel is
either No. 1 or No. 2 so No. 6 is really heavy, but not yet to asphalt.

Tom









--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> ,
cepropst@... wrote:

Thanks Tom.

In the photos I have there is the steam line attached under the tank
car and a hose into the dome. The dome hose goes to the front of the
trailer. Another hose comes from the front to the waiting truck. Pump
in-between?

How's the air introduced?
Clark, I supervised loading an expensive chemical into a tank car. There
was no seal at the dome; you could look inside with a flashlight (my job
was to do that to make sure the tank didn't overflow).

If steam is intoduced into the tank in the small outlet it will bubble
up and heat the oil, lowering the viscosity which would make the oil
easier to pump out.

If it was a closed system (and I don't think it was) steam would
displace the oil. The more oil gone the more steam which would heat the
remaining oil faster. As the steam condensed it would be replaced by
more steam.

The oil was crude, right?

Did steam locos burn crude?

Ed Mines


Benjamin Hom
 

Ed Mines asked:
"Did steam locos burn crude?"

No.  While Bunker C appears to be crude oil at first look, it is actually the
heavier residue left behind after lighter fuels (gasoline, kerosene, diesel
fuel) have been distilled away.


Ben Hom


Clark Propst
 

Ed the cars I'm talking about, I believe, were carrying asphalt. The steam went into the car's internal heating coils.

Clark Propst


The oil was crude, right?

Did steam locos burn crude?

Ed Mines


Cyril Durrenberger
 

Actually during the early years of oil burning, many oil fired engines did burn crude oil.

The bunker C (aka residual or #6 fuel oil) usually has to be heated for it to flow.

Cyril Durrenberger

--- On Sun, 2/6/11, Benjamin Hom <b.hom@att.net> wrote:

From: Benjamin Hom <b.hom@att.net>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Oil extraction
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011, 12:28 PM







 









Ed Mines asked:

"Did steam locos burn crude?"



No.  While Bunker C appears to be crude oil at first look, it is actually the

heavier residue left behind after lighter fuels (gasoline, kerosene, diesel

fuel) have been distilled away.



Ben Hom




















[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Ed Mines wrote:
Did steam locos burn crude?
Actually it's interesting to see the early history of SP and Santa Fe locomotive fuels. Both railroads did burn crude oil for a few years. But there are many components in crude far more valuable than the value of locomotive fuel, and little by little, lower and lower fractions became assigned as locomotive fuel. By 1910 there was already a "locomotive fuel" category, not yet as low as Bunker C but already a remainder fraction.
For those who don't know, the terminology of Bunkers A, B and C came from fuels for ships. Obviously C was the bottom of the list, a very viscous material that could not naturally flow freely except on the hottest days. Steam locomotives used steam connections and piping in the tender to preheat the oil for flow to the firebox.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Douglas Harding
 

Clark are you referring to the photos of UTLX 56816 being unloaded on the
M&StL at Marietta MN in June 1954? The photo shows two tank cars next to a
grain elevator, and the Pacific Grain Co coal sheds in the distance, with
hoses connected to a trailer, then to a tank truck next to the trailer. If
so, the photos were taken by Vern Wigfield, and show the transfer of oil
used to control dust on gravel roads. Not sure about 1954, but in later
years road oil was often used motor oil. Not a consistency that would need
steam to make it flow.



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Clark Propst
 

Yes Doug, That's one of the two photos I have. I've talked to Vern, but he doesn't know any more than I do about the trailer used to siphon the oil from the car.

I'd like to know who made those trailers. Then maybe I could get more info?

Thanks, Clark Propst


Jim Sabol
 

I can only admire the ingenuity in engineering methods of heating and otherwise preparing the contents of a tank car for pressurized pumping of the material up and out of the dome. But why not let if flow by gravity and added pressure and/or heating if needed out of the bottom valve?. Why fight gravity at all, ingenious or not? Thank you in advance for informing me. Jim here.


gettheredesigns <rick@...>
 

Seems to me that if they used the bottom outlet, they would have to open the dome anyway to let air in as the tank emptied. And unless the tank was up on a trestle or was draining into an underground tank, they'd still have to pump it. So why mess with uncapping the bottom outlet, hooking up a hose, and opening the valve, when it could all be done through the dome?
Peace, Rick Aylsworth

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Sabol" <jimsabol@...> wrote:

I can only admire the ingenuity in engineering methods of heating and otherwise preparing the contents of a tank car for pressurized pumping of the material up and out of the dome. But why not let if flow by gravity and added pressure and/or heating if needed out of the bottom valve?. Why fight gravity at all, ingenious or not? Thank you in advance for informing me. Jim here.



Jeff Coleman
 

The advantage of using the bottom outlet is to empty the tank. If you use the eduction pipe for off loading then there will be at least a couple of inches of product left in the tank as most eduction pipes are 2-21/2 inches off the bottom. The eduction pipe cannot go to the bottom of the tank as the diameter of the tank shell changes when the car is loaded and the pipe will make contact with the shell which in turn requires repair to the tank and or to the eduction pipe.

Jeff Coleman

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "gettheredesigns" <rick@...> wrote:

Seems to me that if they used the bottom outlet, they would have to open the dome anyway to let air in as the tank emptied. And unless the tank was up on a trestle or was draining into an underground tank, they'd still have to pump it. So why mess with uncapping the bottom outlet, hooking up a hose, and opening the valve, when it could all be done through the dome?
Peace, Rick Aylsworth

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Sabol" <jimsabol@> wrote:

I can only admire the ingenuity in engineering methods of heating and otherwise preparing the contents of a tank car for pressurized pumping of the material up and out of the dome. But why not let if flow by gravity and added pressure and/or heating if needed out of the bottom valve?. Why fight gravity at all, ingenious or not? Thank you in advance for informing me. Jim here.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tom Birkett <tnbirke@...>
 

Jim

There are customers who want to unload out the top of the car for
(perceived) safety reasons. If they have a rack to use during unloading,
they don't have to be under the car at all, except for steam
connections, if used.If a cap on the bottom is cross threaded and won't
come off, ("I already put and 8' cheater pipe on my 36" pipe wrench and
pulled on it with a fork lift:) the top unloading option is pretty
handy. Bottom outlet valves are notorious for being trouble. If the line
that is being unloaded into is low enough and all the connections are
good and tight the car will siphon out the top after the flow is
started.

If the vapor pressure on the car is high enough sometimes no addition
pressure is required.

Usually the eduction line is specified as being 1" off the bottom of the
car.

The dome can stay closed if the car is equipped with a vacuum relief
valve, which is basically a big check valve, but I am not sure when they
came into general use.

Tom


Subject: [STMFC] Re: Oil extraction




I can only admire the ingenuity in engineering methods of heating and
otherwise preparing the contents of a tank car for pressurized pumping
of the material up and out of the dome. But why not let if flow by
gravity and added pressure and/or heating if needed out of the bottom
valve?. Why fight gravity at all, ingenious or not? Thank you in advance
for informing me. Jim here.


Clark Propst
 

Another question I have is even with tank cars of gasoline did they need to prime the line from the tank car to the pump? I was told they used gear pumps that didn't need primimg.
Clark Propst


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Birkett" <tnbirke@...> wrote:


Usually the eduction line is specified as being 1" off the bottom of the
car.

The dome can stay closed if the car is equipped with a vacuum relief
valve, which is basically a big check valve, but I am not sure when they
came into general use.

Tom
Tom, your information is very factual, and undoubtedly entirely correct for the current era, but it seems that most, if not all, oil unloading cranes used at the small bulk plants during the steam era had their own suction line arranged to drop into the tank through the manway, whereupon the material was pumped out.

Dennis


Benjamin Hom
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:
"Tom, your information is very factual, and undoubtedly entirely correct for the

current era, but it seems that most, if not all, oil unloading cranes used at
the small bulk plants during the steam era had their own suction line arranged
to drop into the tank through the manway, whereupon the material was pumped
out."

At any rate, when it comes to a shipment of oil, I'd rather unload through the
top instead of using the bottom connection.  Unloading through the bottom
connection means you'll end up with the water and sediment that has collected in
the bottom of the tank.


Ben Hom


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rick Aylsworth wrote:
Seems to me that if they used the bottom outlet, they would have to open the dome anyway to let air in as the tank emptied. And unless the tank was up on a trestle or was draining into an underground tank, they'd still have to pump it. So why mess with uncapping the bottom outlet, hooking up a hose, and opening the valve, when it could all be done through the dome?
Rick, the tank doesn't just drain when you open the bottom outlet pipe. There is a valve inside the tank which has to be opened. The handwheel to operate that valve is up in the dome, so you have to open the dome to open the valve anyway.
I don't see why it's a lot of work to hook up a hose to the bottom outlet. We're talking minutes, and no pump is required.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Dave Nelson
 

Years ago I had occasion to be working on the tender of an old SP tender and by some means I don't recall managed to get some Bunker-C out of the fuel tank (I have a very vague recollection we were recovering the locomotive whistle that, for some unknown reason, had been stored in the fuel). The Bunker-C had the consistency of tar but when we heated it up it was as fluid (or moreso) as crankcase oil.

Dave Nelson

-----Original Message-----
The bunker C (aka residual or #6 fuel oil) usually has to be heated for it to flow.

Cyril Durrenberger