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Cargo Sampling on chemical Master&Chiefengineer

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Written by Capt Rajeev Jassal on May 10, 2016



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7 Medicines to Save Lives During

Medical Emergencies on Ships
3 September 2016

6 Mistakes Master and ship staff must

avoid on ships with dual load lines
12 November 2014

(http://myseatime.com/blogadm/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sampling- How confident are you about your

procedures-on-tanker.jpg) ODMCS ?
There is no doubt that bill of lading
(https://www.myseatime.com/blog/detail/bill-of-lading-what-it-is-and-what- when-required)
purpose-it-solves) is the most important aspect of commercial shipping. In 28 January 2015
my view the close second is the sampling of the cargo.

Cargo Sampling on chemical tankers:

Just as we need to be watchful for bill of ladings What when and How to do
(https://www.myseatime.com/blog/detail/a-practical-guide-for-masters-to- (https://www.myseatime.com/blog/detail/a-
sign-bill-of-ladings), we need to be equally concerned about sampling complete-guide-of-cargo-sampling-on-
procedures we adopt.
10 May 2016

As per Swedish club, cargo contamination

(https://www.swedishclub.com/loss-prevention/cargo/tanker/) is the Different types of bill of ladings
currentmajor issue for chemicaland producttankers. It would not be
wrong to say that it is most costly type of claim too. 29 January 2015

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About Capt Rajeev Jassal

Capt. Rajeev Jassal has sailed for over
18 years mainly on crude oil, product
and chemical tankers. He holds MBA in
shipping & Logistics degree from
(http://myseatime.com/blogadm/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Cargo- London. He has done extensive
claims.png) research on quantitatively measuring
Safety culture onboard and safety

The cost of cargo carried on board chemical tankers is sometimes more climate ashore which he believes is the
most important element for safer
than the value of ship itself. And as such if the cargo is off spec at We promise to not use your email for spam!
discharge port, it could be a disastrous situation.

If the cargo is off spec during loading, there are two main sources for it.
Contamination before the manifold valve and contamination after the
manifold valves.

Our job is to ensure is that there is no chance of contamination after the


There can bemany reason for cargo contamination

(https://www.swedishclub.com/loss-prevention/cargo/tanker/)after the
manifold. This may include but not limited to

1) remains of previous cargo in the cargo lines

2) not properly washed tanks

3) Cargo temperatures or nitrogen padding not maintained as instructed

But even when the contamination is on the shore side, the onus to prove
same is always on the ship.Valid samples is the only way to prove that the
contamination was not because of ship.

Now what do we mean by Valid samples ? Valid sample is a cargo sample


1) Has been taken from the correct location

2) represent the actual condition of thecargo on board and

3) Records are available for these samples

Lets discuss each of these

Sample locations

There are four samples a ship may haveto take depending upon the
nature of the cargo.

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Manifold sample

Shippers (https://www.myseatime.com/blog/detail/shipper-consignee-and-
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notify-party-explained) never allow ship staff to do shore tank sampling. As Wearesharingeverything
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samples are the nearest possible proof to show theContact (https://www.myseatime.com/contactus)
condition of the shore cargo. Master&Chiefengineer

As manifold is the first point for cargo to enter into the ship system, any Wearestilllearningandso
contamination after this is considered to be because of ship. This makes willyou...
the manifold sampling the most important one.

We takemanifold samplewith the manifold valve closed. The sampling

need to be witnessed by the shipper surveyor. What we need to check in
this sample depends upon the cleaning requirements of the tank for this Sendmelessonsonshipping
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For cargo requiringvisual inspection, we check this sample for any visual
impurities, water content and color of the cargo. If the cargo requires wall
wash sampling of tanks, apart from checking the sample visually,we need
to do the wall wash test of sample.

As a minimum we need to check the manifold sample for HC and Chloride


If the visual or wall wash test of the manifold sample fails, vessel must not
open the manifold valve. The cargo surveyor will most likely drain some
cargo into the drums. After draining, we need to take the manifold sample
again. We can only open the manifold valve when the sample looks OK.

The final manifold sample then need to be sealed in presence of cargo

surveyor. We need to put appropriate sticker on the manifold sample. The
sticker need to have all the information and must be signed by cargo

If cargo surveyor refuses to witness or sign manifold samples, we must

issue a letter of protest.

Some terminal may not allow the sampling with the closed manifold valve.
This may be because of terminal regulations or because of type of pump
they have. For example we cannot close the manifold valve if the shore
pump is of positive displacement type.

In this case we can take a running sample of manifold and then lodge a
protest to the terminal for not allowing manifold sample.

Pump Stack Samples

Pump stack sample is important while loading wall wash cargoes.We do

not want the cargo in the tank to fail because of dirty cargo lines. And even
in the event of cargo failure, we need to be sure that it was not because of
cargo lines.

To avoid this, we must take the sample from near to the point where cargo
enters into the tank. This drain is before the drop valve but the sample can
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enters into the tank. This drain is before the drop valve but the sample can
also be taken from the drain before the discharge valve.

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Again we need to check the pump stack sample in the same way we
checked manifold samples.

In case sample do not pass, we need to follow same procedure we

followed for manifold samples. That is we need to drain some cargo into
empty drums and draw the samples again.

We must only open the drop valve when the pump stack sample passes.

First foot Sample

First foot sample is taken for sensitive cargoes like methanol, Ethanol and
MEG etc. But why do we need first foot sample.

To understand the importance of first foot sample, lets assume that we are
loading into a tank.

The tank specifications are length 15 meters, width 15 meters and height 15
meters. The volume of this tank will be 3375 m3 (L x B x H).

If you calculate the total surface area of the tank and volume of the tanks,
you would find these values (I leave the maths up to you..)

Total surface area = 1325 m2

Volume of the tank = 3375 m3

Now Calculate surface area covered by 1 foot of the cargo and volume of 1
foot of cargo. You would find these values

Surface area covered by 1 foot of cargo = 425 m2

and volume of 1 foot of cargo = 74.2 m3

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Percentage of surface area covered by 1 foot of cargo = 32%


Percentage of cargo loaded at 1 foot = 2%

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you can see, Contact
with only2% cargo loaded, it can cover32% of the welearnedfromcadetto
tank area. Any contamination because of dirty tank surface should show up
in 1 foot of cargo. This avoids the bigger claims if cargo is damaged after
loading into the cargo tank. Wearestilllearningandso




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Also during tank cleaning all the impurities gravitate to the bottom. So the
upper part of tank is always better cleaned than lower part.

So it is afact that if first foot sample is pass, the final sample after loading
will pass.

After tank has one foot of cargo, cargo loading is stopped. Manifold valve,
drop valve and discharge valve are closed. We then start the pump and
collect the sample from the first available drain on the cargo line.

The sample is then sent for lab analysis. Only when Lab analysis passes,
further loading can be resumed.

In case first foot analysis fails, ship staff should proceed asfollowing

1) Inform owners / Charterers immediately,

2) Do re sampling of the first foot. Make sure that the sample bottle is
clean and there is no other source of contamination such as dirty hands.

3) If the second analysis also fails, call P&I representative after consulting
owners/ship managers.

This off specfirst foot cargo would then be required to unload. If there is
difference between the specs of manifold sample and first foot sample, the
owners has to bear the costs of the cargo as well as delays.
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owners has to bear the costs of the cargo as well as delays.
Failure of first foot is adifficultsituation for the ship staff to be in and the
only way
Blog to avoid it is by having a tank that is SeaQA
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to the required
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Final tank Sample

After completion of loading , a final sample from each tank will be taken by
the surveyor. If the cargo is loaded in more than one tank, shipper might
also require a composite sample. Composite sample is one combined Enteryournamehere...
sample withcargo sample from multiple tanks.
Discharge port samples
At discharge port, consignee surveyor will draw the sample from the ships
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tank. These samples will be sent for analysis.

If sampling from pump stack drain, cargo must be recirculated for few
minutes before sampling.

Vessel must not commence the cargo operation until the analysis has

If sample analysis fails, we must inform the owners/Charterers. At the same

time,we must request the surveyor to take the sample again. In this case,
recirculate the cargo for few more minutes before taking the samples.

If the sample fails again, local representative of the P&I club should be

It is important that vessel has the load port samples witnessed by the
attending cargo surveyor at the load port. These samples would be the
only defense vessel will have in case of off spec cargo at discharge port.

In all cases of cargo claims, you must not hand over any samples to
anyone without consultation with P&I surveyor.

There have been many instances where vessel did not have any cargo
samples from load port. And as such, owners had to pay a huge amount of
money for the cargo loss even when cargo did not damage on ship.

This is common when the shipper has loaded a cargo which has different
specification to what receiver was expecting. In this case,even when lab
analysis result will besame as load port, but receiver will fail the test.
Because they are testing with different values as reference. To avoid claims
in this situation, Load port samples are the only defense for owners.

Sampling procedures

It is not enough to take the required cargo samples before loading and
discharging. The samples are of no value if these do not represent the
actual cargo the vessel is loading.

For example, of what use thesamples will be if these were taken into a
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For example, of what use thesamples will be if these were taken into a
dirty sample bottle. Or into a bottle which had traces of water inside.

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to ensure that samples drawn are trueSeaQA (https://www.myseatime.com/knowledgebase)
representation of the cargo
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Each element of the sampling process must be clean to such an extent that
it does not contaminate the sample. For example, the sample bottle must
be clean, dry and free of moisture. One way to ensure that is by rinsing the Enteryournamehere...
clean sample bottle with small quantity of cargo itself.
Apart from the sample bottle, hands of the persons involvedcan
contaminate the sample. People involved in thesampling process must Sendmelessonsonshipping

wear clean latex gloves while sampling. We promise to not use your email for spam!

Sampling environment

Sampling must not be carried in rain anddusty environment. If vessel

cannot avoid that, we must ensure that no rain drop or dust goes into the

Sample bottle material

A glass sample bottle is best for chemical samples as other materials might
react with chemicals. Moreover glass bottles are transparent and so easy
to inspect the samples visually. Each Sample should be of minimum 500

Sampling methods

There are three methods we can take cargo samples.So lets see what
each method of sampling is

Open Sampling

Open sampling is done with tank dome open. Open sampling is very
common with cargoes such as palm oil. In this, a small container which is
tied with a rope is lowered into the tank from the tank dome to collect the

Restricted Sampling

Restricted sampling allows the sampling in closed environmentbut with

small exposure tocargo and its vapors.

There are different makes that provide restricted samplers. One of such is
MMC restricted sampler. This sampler is attached to the same vapour lock
from where ullages are taken.

The sampler has a bottle attached at the bottom. This bottle has a ball
which moves up when it touches the cargo and allows the bottle to fill with

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There is no exposure with the cargo or its vapours up to the point when
sampler is removed from the vapour lock. After that we need to transfer
theBlog (https://www.myseatime.com/blog)
sample SeaQAbottle.
from MMC sampler bottle to the sample (https://www.myseatime.com/knowledgebase)
This is done by
manual dumping of the sample.
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Closed Sampling LOGIN

There are number of closed samplers in the market. And each of these are
made in view of achieving one target which is no exposure to liquid
ofvapors while sampling. Enteryournamehere...

This is important while sampling toxic cargoes.One example of the closed Enteryouremailaddresshere...
sampler is this one from MMC.

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As we can see that we get the sample in the MMC sampling bottle just like
restricted sampling. The difference between restricted sampler and closed
sampler lies in how we transfer the sample into our sample bottle.

In MMC closed sampler,

1) after drawing the sample,we bringthe sampler tape in stowed position.

2) Close the vapor lock valve

3) Lower the tape so that sample bottle is resting on the vapourlock ball.
This will release the sample from the MMC sample bottle.
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4) Attach the bottle to collect the sample

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5) open sample transfer valve to collect the sample. The sample will flow Wearesharingeverything
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6) heave the sampler tape and open the vapour lock. This will release any LOGIN
left over of sample into the tank. Wearestilllearningandso
7) Close the vapour lock and remove the sampler and store it after
cleaning. Enteryournamehere...

For taking the samples of a cargo which react with air/moisture, we can
even purge the sampler. To purge, we can connect the nitrogen bottle
(supplied by maker) to the sampler transfer valve. After purging the
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sampler,we can lower the sampler to collect the sample.

How to know which sampling method to use for a cargo

IBC code chapter 17 does not specify the sampling methods for each
cargo. But the sampling method can be associated with gauging.As per
IBC code, there are three methods of gauging. These are open, controlled
or closed guaging.

We can easily correspond the gauging methods to the sampling methods.

So as per IBC code chapter 17, if a cargo has the open gauging mentioned,
we can do open sampling for this cargo. Same way, if a cargo has closed
gauging as per chapter 17, we need to do closed sampling for this cargo.

To know this, open chapter 17 of the IBC code and look for your cargo.
Now look under column J for the method of gauging required. O, R
and C represents open, restricted and closed respectively.


Personal protection during Sampling

Use of PPE during any operation on ships can never be over

emphasized.Each company has a PPE Matrix for each activity each crew
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emphasized.Each company has a PPE Matrix for each activity each crew
member must follow. (https://www.myseatime.com)

Additionally for Sampling on chemical tankers,SeaQA

Blog (https://www.myseatime.com/blog) we must wear full chemical
suit and SCBA when handling toxic cargoes. Wearesharingeverything
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IBC chapter 17 identifies if a cargo is toxic or not. To know if a cargo is toxic

or not, look at the column K of the chapter 17 cargo list. alphabet T
represents that the cargo is toxic. In all the cargoes with T in this column,
full chemical suit with SCBA must be worn during sampling.

Storing samples

We must label each sample with all the possible data and then store these
samples in designated compartment only.

Each sample should have at least following markings

1) Date of sample

2) Type of sample (Manifold, first foot, pump stack etc)

3) Sample content (Cargo).

4) port

5) Signatures

6) Sample should be sealed with a seal that has a number

It is companys responsibility to provide sample label sticker which can be

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It is companys responsibility to provide sample label sticker which can be
pasted on a glass bottle.(https://www.myseatime.com)

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IBC code section 16.5 highlights the requirements of stowage ofchemical

samples. These are the brief points on how the chemical sample need to
be stored

1) Vessel need to have a sample locker situated in the main cargo area (IBC

2) Sample locker tohave cells to keep the bottles and to avoid shifting in
the rolling (IBC

3) Sample locker to be of chemical resistant material. If there is any part of

the sample locker made of materials like wood, this need to be changed to
chemical resistant material. Cells made of stainless steel are the most
suited for this purpose. But if the vessel is only carrying certain products
such as palm oil, these cells can be of reinforced plastic.

4) Sample locker to have ventilation arrangement. The ventilation need not

be forced ventilation. But if the natural ventilation is used, there need to
be a flame screen on the natural vent.

5) Sample locker need to have Fire extingushing arrangements such as

sprinkler system.

5) Uncompatible samples should not be stowed close to each other. For

example Acids and caustic sample should have a vertical separationin the
sample locker.

6) Samples which are not required should be disposed and not kept

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Sample Disposal(https://www.myseatime.com)

As per IBC 16.5.4,

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So for how long we should keep the samples on board? Each company LOGIN

should have a sample disposal policy which outline procedures for cargo Wearestilllearningandso
sample disposal. This will also outline theperiod for whichvessel need to willyou...
keepthe sample on board.

The sample disposal policy reflects the time frame in which receivers
canmake acargo claim.

As per the industry practices, noclaim for cargo damage be made after six
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months of date of discharge. So most of the companys policy allows
sample disposal after six months from discharge date.

But this is not the case withtoxic cargo samples and samples of
polymerising cargoes. Most of the companies allow disposal of these
samples after discharge operation or maximum 1 month after discharge

Some companies have a procedure to seek permission from the claims

department before disposing any sample. In this case, ship staff need to
send a request for allowing to dispose a sample. In this request the exact
details of the sample (such as sample date, port and voyage number) need
to be sent.

Method of sample disposal

Again for disposal, we should follow companys sample disposal policy. But
there are usually three ways we can dispose asample

1) Disposal ashore

Vessel can land the samples ashore. Even though this is not a viable option
as no one accepts the ships cargo sample. But in any case, if possible we
can consider this sometimes in case to case basis.

2) Disposal in the tanks with similar cargoes

We can drain samples into cargo tanks carrying same product ifcargo is
not sensitive. For example, if the vessel is carrying palm oil in the tank, we
can drain palm oil samples into thiscargo tank.

3) Disposal during tank cleaning

The most appropriate method of disposal is during tank cleaning. The

samples which do not react with the cargo previously in the tank being
washed can be drained into the tank.

Cargo Sample logrecords

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It is important to maintain all the sampling activities. When was each

sample taken and when and howvessel disposed this sampleare the few
record. SeaQA (https://www.myseatime.com/knowledgebase)
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should provide sample log which we need to follow for welearnedfromcadetto
each sample taken and disposed.

Sample log will have the records each time Wearestilllearningandso

1) Ships sample is taken

2) Load port Surveyor gives sample for ship


3) Load port surveyor gives sample for passing to the receivers at

discharge port
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4) A sample is given to the receivers at discharge port

5) A sample is disposed by any means

Below sample log has all the elements a sample log need to have.



Ship staff have a moral responsibility towards profit making of the Ship
owners. Cargo claims are the biggest reason forprofit loss statement
imbalanceofship owners.

Though sometimes the claims are legitimate but many times they are not.
Cargo samples are the only way to prove if acargo off spec claim is
legitimate or not. This shows how important the sampling process is. But if
we follow the general guidelines for sampling, this could just be a routine

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abhishek May 13, 2016

Thanks I m doing my orals. Ques. By looking from outside how will u

differentiate betn 2 ships- One which is having DOA and one which isnt
having DOA. IS there any external marking.

Rajeev Jassal May 17, 2016

Well I have not been on bulk carriers but I don't think there is any
outside marking for this.

Sumanth Aug 3, 2016

Useful information. Can you throw some light on the closed sampling
arrangements at manifolds of a chemical tanker? Thank you.

Rajeev Jassal Aug 4, 2016

There are no closed sampling arrangements for manifold. For this

reason, generally manifold samples of toxic and corrosive cargoes
are not permitted.

Navin Paliwal Jan 21, 2017

Dear Capt Rajeev, i am so glad to see your blog up and running and indeed it
is very detailed and informative.

Rajeev Jassal Jan 22, 2017

Thank you Capt Navin..


Navin Jan 21, 2017

The first foot and final tank sample can be taken either by running the cargo
pump or by dip sampling method. Can you advise which one is the
recommended method and why?

Rajeev Jassal Jan 22, 2017

Both methods are widely used and nothing wrong with any one of
these. However using dip sampling with closed samplers requires a
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these. However using dip sampling with closed samplers requires a
lot of time as each time the sampler is lowered into a tank, it will
sample to fill just one bottle. Considering the number of
samples required these days, this method takes time. But this isn't
case with cargoes for which we
Blog (https://www.myseatime.com/blog) can do
SeaQA open sampling (such as
palm oil). The problem with sampling by pump is if the cargo valves Wearesharingeverything
are leaking, it will fill the manifold line with cargo. There
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instances where cargo sampling was carried out with no manifold Master&Chiefengineer
Blank and cargo spilled during sampling from the manifold because
of leaking valves. Sampling of pump is also not recommended with LOGIN
solidifying cargoes such as Palm Styrene (Carriage temperature 70 Wearestilllearningandso
C). This is because of obvious reason that if the cargo goes back in willyou...
the manifold line it will choke the manifold line.
Reply Enteryournamehere...

navin Jan 22, 2017 Enteryouremailaddresshere...

Thanks Capt Rajeev for your prompt reply. i have another point to
discuss here. recently i loaded a cargo in which water content as Sendmelessonsonshipping
per tank bottom sample was very close(but less than) to max
permitted. my concern is that by the time vessel arrives at disport We promise to not use your email for spam!

more water may settle at bottom and a bottom sample taken at

disport (whether by pump of dip) may indicate water content above
the permitted levels. what do you think can be done to safeguard
owners interests in this situation.

Rajeev Jassal Jan 22, 2017

In my opinion if we re-circulate the cargo before drawing the

sample (by pump or by dip), the water content issue should not
arise. We need to to make sure that we do not allow the water to
settle down at bottom before sampling.

Navin Paliwal Jan 26, 2017

thanks Capt Rajeev. 1. pls advise if pump stack samples are always taken and
analysed in case of WW cargoes like MEG/MEOH or does it vary from terminal
to terminal. 2. can you name some typical cargoes for which only amber
colored sample bottles should be used. What is the additional feature of amber
bottles over clear glass bottles?

Rajeev Jassal Jan 27, 2017

Terminal would in most of the cases not require pump stack

samples. For them if manifold sample passes, their responsibility
ceases. So usually it is Manifold samples, First foot and final
samples. There are few instances where owner and/or charterers
request pump stack samples. For example for cargoes that are Very
expensive (nobody want to take a chance and want to know at
each leg the quality of the cargo to minimise lose in case of sample
fails) or very sensitive cargoes that require stringent cleaning
requirement (more stringent than usual MEOH and MEG). One of
such cargo is food grade Ethanol (the one usually loaded is
industrial grade Ethanol). Since it is directly for the bottling and
consumption, the pump stack samples are taken and analysed to
ensure that quality of cargo entering the tank is OK. If it does not
pass, then usually we drain few drums of cargo at the pump stack
and check the sample again. This procedure is repeated and
sometime close of 10 drums of 200 litres are drained before pump
stack sample (in this case also called line sample) passes.

Rajeev Jassal Jan 27, 2017

Amber coloured bottles are used for cargoes that are affected by
heat and sunlight. Like all polymerising cargoes. One such example
is Styrene monomer. This is to avoid the sample heating up and
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is Styrene monomer. This is to avoid the sample heating up and
loosing its quality. There are some other cargoes that changes
color when under sunlight. The samples of these cargoes are also
taken in amber coloured sample bottles. I do not see it as a written
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best practices of the
trade. I am not sure of any other feature that these bottles may
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Rajeev Jassal Jan 27, 2017 Wearestilllearningandso

To add to this.. If the cargo is not affected by sunlight, clear view
glass bottles are preferred because we can see any visible
impurities in the cargo and the color of the cargo. For colourless Enteryournamehere...
cargoes such as MEG, MEOH this can give first indication if the
sample is clear or not. Enteryouremailaddresshere...
navin Jan 30, 2017 We promise to not use your email for spam!

thank you Capt Rajeev for your prompt and precise replies.

Joop Meijer Feb 1, 2017

Your subject about sampling is a good piece of works and give a lot of
information regarding the sampling methods. For me (Technical and distribution
EHS Advisor) was this subject more then welcome. At this moment I'm trying to
convinced my colleagues in the UK to step-over from open to closed sampling
of toxic haz material. Off course they are afraid for contamination and extra
time for sampling which could be resulted in waiting hours. Main question is, is
it common practice that the vessel leave the terminal without the result of
sample analysis ? Kind regards Joop Meijer

Rajeev Jassal Feb 1, 2017

Hi Joop, The Initial samples (manifold and first foot) are taken to
ensure that tanks are clean and cargo will not get contaminated
once loaded. These samples are sent to lab for analysis and only
after analysis passes, the cargo is loaded. But the final sample after
loading is for evidence of the quality of cargo loaded. Vessel need
not wait for the analysis of final sample. This is common in chemical
/Product trade. Hope it helps.

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