How to Use Bulk Transfer Pumps for Chemicals

Every day, bulk transfer pumps play a key role in myriad applications that help keep operations flowing across multiple industries. If your systems involve chemical transfers, it’s likely that bulk transfer pumps are used at some point in those processes. If this is the case, it is essential to understand how best to use bulk transfer pumps for chemicals. This requires three fundamental steps.

1. Follow Best Practices

There are three essential best practices for the use of bulk transfer pumps. The first is to make safety a priority. For the safe transfer of chemicals with bulk transfer pumps, follow these safety protocols.

Safe Pump Installation Considerations

Often, the chemicals in bulk transfer pump applications are corrosive, toxic, or flammable and can be hazardous if not handled appropriately. All equipment that comes in contact with the fluid for the bulk transfer system MUST be compatible with the liquid being transferred. Typical equipment includes bulk storage tanks, day or process tanks, piping systems, secondary containment, and venting/ventilation systems. For proper installation, document that all equipment complies with “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices” (RAGAGEP). Additionally, conduct periodic inspections, testing, and maintenance of the system in accordance with the component manufacturer recommendations.

Process Hazard Analysis

Identify and analyze potential hazards, including:

  • Incompatible materials (oxidizers and flammables)
  • Tank location hazards (vehicle impact concerns, proximity to occupied buildings, ignition hazards)
  • Toxic hazards (discharge location for exhaust ventilation and pressure relief valves)
  • Temperature hazards (stability of materials in bulk storage location)

Pump Operating Procedures and Training

Develop and implement written procedures that cover standard bulk transfer operations as well as atypical situations such as startup and emergency shutdown. Provide initial training to every employee involved in the bulk transfer process and also provide periodic refresher training.

2. Choose the Right Pump

Several factors are important to consider as you choose bulk transfer pumps for various applications. Because not all applications have the same needs, a variety of bulk transfer pumps are available. Each offers specific advantages that make it more suitable for some operations than others.

For example, bulk transfer pumps are ideal for emptying a railcar or tanker truck. They are also used for transferring large quantities from storage tanks to smaller day tanks and for transferring chemicals to process tanks.

Again, each of these applications has unique needs that should be considered as you choose bulk transfer pumps. Parameters that are crucial to this process include:

  • Head and flow requirements
  • Chemicals involved
  • Fluid temperature
  • Specific gravity and viscosity
  • Flooded suction or lift application
  • Tank size
  • Location (indoors or outdoors)

Choosing quality bulk transfer pumps is also key to the prevention of safety incidents. Quality pumps offer better reliability, and many feature sealless technology that eliminates the danger of leaks due to failed seals. Quality bulk transfer pumps are built to withstand harsh chemical environments and can be constructed to run dry without incident. They offer durable construction of the best materials available, such as neodymium magnets and highly corrosion-resistant wetted materials that enable dependable, leak-free operation.

One helpful tool in this pump specification process is an online pump selector. This allows users to input parameters that will narrow the search to appropriate pumps. As facility operators utilize such tools to search for pumps, the third step for using bulk transfer pumps comes into play.

3. Partner with a Proven Manufacturer

Not all pumps are built to last. When choosing bulk transfer pumps for chemicals, partner with a proven manufacturer that has demonstrated product durability. Look for quality construction designed to endure harsh chemical exposure. Find a company that stands behind their pumps, offering top service and warranties.

All of these qualities can be found in a partnership with Finish Thompson.

As a global industry leader, Finish Thompson offers a complete line of reliable bulk transfer pumps to meet the needs of virtually every application. Finish Thompson’s innovative pump solutions for chemical transfers include the following mag drive centrifugal pumps:

Finish Thompson Bulk Transfer Pumps

The DB Series – Flooded Suction Design Mag Drive Pump Series

  • High efficiency
  • No seals, so there are no leaks
  • Hours of run-dry capability
  • Strongest neodymium magnets
  • Rugged construction

Finish Thompson DB Series Mag Drive Pump

The SP Series – Self Priming Mag Drive Pump Series

  • Run-dry capability
  • Lightning-fast priming
  • No seals, so there are no leaks
  • Powerful deep vacuum, capable of lifting fluid from as deep as 25 ft. (7.6 meters)
  • Corrosion-resistant materials handle the most difficult applications

Finish Thompson SP Series Mag Drive Pump

The UltraChem® Series – ANSI Dimensional Mag Drive Pump Series

  • ETFE lhousing lining and internal components for superior corrosion resistance
  • Tough ductile iron construction
  • Sealless design for leak-free performance
  • ANSI dimensional for easy installation
  • Large assortment of sizes

Finish Thompson UC Series Mag Drive Pump

About Finish Thompson

Finish Thompson Inc. designs and manufactures pumps for the safe transfer of a wide variety of corrosive liquids. Products include sealless mag-drive centrifugal pumps with run-dry capability, mechanically sealed pumps, drum and barrel pumps, vertical mag-drive pumps, multi-stage pumps and FTI Air line of air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps. For durable solutions for your applications, contact Finish Thompson Inc.

Bulk transfer pumps applications

Bulk transfer pump applications include(top, left to right) railcar unloading, bulk storage to day tank, and (bottom) bulk storage to process.