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Technical & Practical

November 1, 2010

Predict and Prevent Air Entrainment in Draining Tanks

The proper use of vortex breakers at tank outlets can prevent entrained vapors from flowing downstream

Steve G. Rochelle and Marvin T. Briscoe, Jr. Eastman Chemical Co.

When tanks are draining, the potential may exist for a swirling vortex to form leading from the liquid surface to any of the bottom-exit or side-exit nozzles connected to downstream piping. One important aspect of the vortex is whether it will entrain air or other gases into the discharge flow. Such vapor entrainment can lead to a host of problems, ranging from vacuum collapse of the supply tank, to over-pressurization of the receiving tank, to a disruption of the vapor seal between the tanks....

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