Indian Start up Develops Specialised Robots to Clean Petrochemical Tanks

Beta Tank Robotics Pvt. Ltd., a Bengaluru based start-up, has developed specialised robots to clean petrochemical tanks.

Operators of petrochemical tankages traditionally employ manual resources for tank de-mucking. This exposes the maintenance personnel to tremendous safety risks due to presence of toxic gases. Use of Robotics enables eliminate this human risk.

L – Hon’ble Minister of MOPNG Shri Hardeep S. Puri with award winners at the IEW, including MD of Beta Tank Robotics, R – The Crude oil tank cleaning robot developed by Beta

The start up is headed by DC Sekhar, a former Merchant Navy oil tanker captain himself, with extensive experience in cleaning ships oil tanks.

This class of robots is powered and controlled by hydraulics. The operator manoeuvres the Robot while sitting on a control panel placed outside the tank, and monitoring the robot through a CCTV camera.

As per DC Sekhar, few features made this technology stand out among its contemporaries around the world, developing the first generation robotic solutions for Petrochemical tanks.

Firstly, this Robot has been made very compact, to crawl under the heating coils that is normally found in such tanks.

Secondly, this robot has a small length of suction and uses a powerful pump on the robot itself, to pump out viscous sludge from the tank. Models using pumps outside the tank to ‘suck‘ viscous medium over long pipe lengths are very inefficient.

DC Sekhar shared his bullish outlook for the future, as many oil companies have contacted this start up with various needs for robotic cleaning solutions. These range from cleaning small chemical tanks with small tank openings, to cleaning sludge deposits inside large pipelines. Sekhar is very confident of addressing each of these requirements.

Currently the company has two product lines – one to clean black oil storage tank bottom sludge, and secondly water washing the insides of retail outlet underground tanks.

Sekhar shared that he himself has worked inside merchant ship’s oil tanks extensively, as an officer and later as Captain of such large tanker ships. He decided to develop robotic solutions for this application while working inside these tanks almost three decades ago. He could fulfil his dream only now, thanks to the support extended by M/s Oil India Ltd.

This start up is supported by Oil PSU M/s Oil India Ltd under its ‘SNEH‘ program and was adjudged as the Best Start Up in the recently concluded India Energy Week 2023 at Bengaluru.