Brothers Industrial Projects

Bitumen Spill Clean-up

This particular job took place at a well pad site for a SAGD operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

A fitting had ruptured for a short period of time but long enough to put a coating of bitumen on all the surrounding equipment including piping, insulation blankets, valves, structural steel, etc. After approximately a week working in minus 30 degree weather, our crew was able to bring the facility back to a new condition.

Dry ice blasting is by far the most effective way to remove bitumen. We have a work trailer specifically stocked for bitumen clean-up and ready to go at all times. It includes everything we need to effectively remove and recover bitumen.

See Applications > Bitumen > Bitumen/Heavy Oil page for videos.

Fin-Fan Cooler

This particular cooler, prior to us cleaning it, was cleaned by another company using a different method only two weeks earlier. The other method was a chemical wash which in the past has been the most common way to clean a fin-fan cooler despite its minimal results.

Due to the results from the chemical wash, the customer decided to try dry ice blasting. When we arrived on location the previous cleaning wasn't apparent. The cooler was heavily packed with poplar fuzz and other contaminants. Upon completion of dry ice blasting, there was a drastic decrease in the outlet temperature. As this was a propane condenser, it enabled the refrigeration package to run at a much lower discharge pressure, thus increasing plant efficiency.

The benefits were:

1) No secondary contaminant to be contained and or removed.
2) Increased plant efficiency during high ambient temperature conditions.
3) Major cost savings due to less power consumption with less pitch to fan and or less fans running in cooler.
4) No water-proofing of motors, bearings and/or instrumentation.

Economizer Tube Bundle

This economizer tube bundle on a northern Alberta once through steam generator (OTSG) had a tube leak that fouled off the entire bundle. The tube fins were completely full of debris. Over time and exposure to extreme temperatures, the substrate on the fins hardened to appear as concrete. This piece of equipment was operating at low efficiency but after removing the debris, the gains in efficiency quickly covered the costs of having this generator cleaned.

Bitumen Removal

These valves are located in an oil sands upgrading facility and are an excellent example of just how effective dry ice blasting is when it comes to bitumen removal. Valves like these can be very difficult for maintenance to service and for them to remove and replace. Dry ice blasting cleaned this equipment effortlessly to save time and reduce costs for maintenance operations.

This particular piece of equipment had been subjected to a northern Alberta oil-sands tailings pond and was covered with bitumen which made it nearly impossible to operate. For six shifts, three men worked in extreme weather conditions to bring this piece of equipment "back to life."

Industrial Paint Booth

Dry ice blasting worked great in removing hundreds of coats of paint from this scissor-lift and from the industrial paint booth we were cleaning. The process took three men a full day to complete. With the low temperature and expansion due to sublimation of the dry ice, the paint “popped” off of the steel.