MTS clears solidified menthol from drainage system

MTS devised a clever solution to a problem created by solidified menthol at a major fragrance manufacturing plant in Ashford, Kent.

Givaudan is the world’s leading flavour and fragrance company, with a global reach and more than 11,000 employees. It has over 100 locations worldwide and more than 45 production sites, including the factory in Ashford.

Liquid menthol is used in the manufacture of toothpaste at the Ashford plant, which also produces fragrances.

MTS were called in after a tank delivering liquid menthol to the plant fractured, leaking the liquid into the drainage system where it instantly solidified. The hard, waxy substance completely blocked an 80 metre length of drainpipe on the Givaudan Ashford complex. The diameter of the pipe varied between 100mm and 375mm.

Attempts by several companies to clear the blockage using traditional jetting and cutting methods were unsuccessful.

MTS took samples of the menthol for testing and consulted Material Safety Data sheets for information before devising a solution using hot water and gravity.

The MTS system used an inline water heater known as a hot box to irrigate the drainpipe with water heated to 110 degrees. This melted the solidified menthol and allowed us to suck up the liquid using a sump pump.

We decanted the waste into bulk containers ready for disposal by Givaudan.

Previous efforts to remove the blockage had been costly and time consuming. Using the hot water irrigation system enabled us to complete around 60% of the task in just one working day.

Chris Henderson, MTS Sales Director said; “We were pleased to cut down on time and expense for our customer by taking a carefully planned approach to the problem. We enjoy a challenge and will always do our best to find a cost-effective and efficient solution.”

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