7 Types of Industrial Storage Tanks Explained
Industrial storage tanks are containers used for storage of gas, oil, water, and petrochemical products, employed for industrial uses. Industrial storage tanks come in different sizes and shapes.
They can be underground, horizontal, and vertical, and be made from concrete, stone, fiberglass, steel or plastic.
Industrial storage tanks can be categorized into several types based on the substance they hold and some other factors.
1. Industrial Fuel Storage Tanks
Industrial fuel storage tanks, known as petroleum tanks also, can store various fluids. In general, they are used for storing non-organic and organic liquids. They can also hold vapor as well as different flammable fluids. Fuel storage tanks are manufactured in various designs and sizes. They are designed to store a variety of fuels, vapor, and industrial liquids.
Types of Industrial Fuel Storage Tanks
There are two main types of fuel storage tanks – Aboveground tanks and Underground tanks.
Aboveground Fuel Tanks
Aboveground fuel tanks (AST) are quite popular because of their lower long-term maintenance and upfront costs. These tanks are more cost-effective to install compared to underground tanks since you don’t need to spend for backfilling, deep excavation, and pavement of more involved piping.
Aboveground fuel tanks offer greater ease of maintenance compared to the below ground tanks. You can check them easily for leaks and access for repairs. This is the reason aboveground fuel storage tanks are preferred for storing fuels and chemicals.
Underground Storage Tanks
In Underground storage tank (UST), at least 10% of the tank’s stored volume is buried underground. Such tanks that are used for storing hazardous materials or fuels are regulated, and must have registration with the EPA.
These tanks are suitable for people wanting to maximize the space and/or value of their property. Underground storage tanks can be put beneath lawns and driveways, where they are not visible. Arguably, these types of tanks are safer as the chance of explosion is very little. However, the chance of leaks as well as that of generating pollution is increased in case of these tanks as they cannot be inspected often.
2. Industrial Chemical Storage Tanks
Industrial chemical storage tanks are employed for storing fertilizers, propane, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products (gasoline, diesel), crude oil, and other chemicals. Industrial chemical storage tanks are available in various shapes and sizes. These storage tanks are used for mixing, processing, static storage, and transport of finished chemical products as well as raw materials.
Types of Industrial Chemical Storage Tanks
There are three chief types of industrial chemical storage tanks available –
? Stainless steel tanks
? Polyethylene tanks,
? Fiberglass (FRP) tanks
Stainless steel storage tanks are effective and durable; however, they are not suitable for many acids as well as are the most expensive option.
Fiberglass tanks are suitable for some applications. However, they have seams that may leak, need increased maintenance, more prone to human error as they are handcrafted, and are susceptible to certain chemicals such as hydrofluorosilicic acid – a chemical which etches glass (FRP’s structural component).
Polyethylene storage tanks come in cross-linked as well as linear polyethylene, and make the most versatile industrial storage tanks in the market.
Consider the Chemical to be Stored
When planning an industrial chemical storage tank unit, the most important factor to consider first is the chemical to be stored. It’s wrong to believe that if a storage tank can hold water, it can hold a chemical too. While a water storage tank might hold a chemical for some time, remember that the tank has not been designed specifically to store the chemical. Several factors may degrade the tank, causing leaks and leading to other hazards.
Fortunately, polyethylene industrial storage tanks can handle any chemical type that you want to store. Polyethylene chemical storage tanks are affordable, sturdy, and strong. Polyethylene storage tanks are made in a mold that rules out the likelihood of human error. Moreover, these tanks are available in various options which help in protecting your storage environment, the chemical, and your employees.
The chief types of polyethylene materials used for chemical storage tanks are – Linear Polyethylene and Cross-linked Polyethylene (XLPE).
Safety Concerns for Chemical Tanks
A failed or damaged chemical tank can lead to serious property damage and environmental contamination. If chemical storage tanks spill or leak, the chemicals stored may flow into streams and lakes, contaminate groundwater and drinking water, or catch fire. Chemical fire can lead to contamination of water and soil as well as pose threats to human health.
Failure of chemical storage tanks may occur due to deterioration or corrosion, construction flaws, poor maintenance, spills during transfers, overfills, and lack of or improper containment for leaks.
3. Industrial Oil Storage Tanks
Oil storage tanks are reservoirs or containers that hold oil temporarily during the different phases of processing into oil products of various types, or before it’s consumed or used. The materials and structure of industrial oil storage tanks are based on their application as well as the safety, environmental, and legal requirements of other kinds in the storage area.
Oil storage tanks in different sizes, shapes, materials, and types are employed from crude oil’s initial production to the distribution and refining of different petroleum oil products.
Modern industrial oil storage tanks come in the materials – carbon steel, stainless steel, reinforced concrete, and plastic. They are also carved on rock salt deposits that are mostly impermeable, for underground storage of oil. Various oil storage tank types have been built over time.
Types of Industrial Oil Storage Tanks
Floating Roof Tank
As the name suggests, the floating roof tank consists of a floating roof which falls or rises according to the level of oil in the tank. To prevent the build-up of vapor inside the tank, the floating roof in this type of tanks has been incorporated as a safety feature.
Fixed Roof Tank
In the fixed roof tank, the oil stored is not exposed. This tank type is employed for holding oil products in lower volumes than in case of tanks having floating roofs.