These are vessels used to hold liquids, gasses or other mediums for short-term or long-term periods. This can be before, during use or for later distribution. The medium can be petroleum, diesel, alcohol, water, gasoline, liquefied gas, etc. The containers are either
• Above the ground storage tanks (AST)
• Or underground storage tanks (UST).
For a large quantity of fuel storage; there are federal regulations in place that have to be followed. These laws are under the Federal Facilities, Environmental Stewardship & Compliance Assistance Center.
For home use, fuels should be handled like any other hazardous material like pesticides and other flammable or dangerous materials.
• They should be stored in clearly labeled containers.
• Should be kept aware and out of reach for children.
• A fire extinguisher should be available and within reach in case of an emergency.
• Fuels should be stored in minimal quantities and when necessary to avoid accident getting out of control.
• It is also advisable to store fuel and other hazardous materials away from the house preferable in the barn where possible or the garage.
HDPE (high density polythene) plastics are suitable for short term storage of fuel and in small quantity, especially for home use, according to Alliance Truck and Tank. The containers made from HDPE are corrosion resistant and commonly recycled.
Factor to consider when determining the storage tank you need.
1. Government regulations
The law helps in safeguarding the environment, to manage disasters and to control spillage. This law is under 40CFR112; this regulates and gives guidelines on storage of fuels. Bulk storage containers are tanks with over 55gal and are commonly referred to as AST (Above ground Storage Tanks). They are defined as any tanks above ground, bunkered, underground or partially buried. All this should be compatible with temperature, pressure, environmental and fire regulations according to the government regulation.
In humid areas and coastal regions, water tends to collect on tanks; this can contaminate the fuel stored inside through oxidization. Fuel like diesel reacts with oxygen in the air to form fine sediment and gum which in turn when used on vehicles or machinery can block the fuel filters and lead to fuel starvation to the engine. In turn, the engine might cease. These leads to high maintenance cost for the engines because frequent changes of the filters. The sediment also doesn’t burn well and the soot deposits on the injectors. Other fuels such as gasoline react with oxygen too, leading to substandard quality in the fuel. Measures to prevent this include
• Fill tanks to the full; half-filled tanks brings about corrosion especially on the empty part because water and air collect there
• Well defined low point; cone down bottom design is preferred because water collect at the bottom and thus it is easier to drain.
3. Storage Tank Size and Placement.
The cubic capacity of the storage tank is also a factor to consider while choosing a storage tank. The law regulates the bulk storage containers. On the hand the design of the tank is significantly influenced by the size and the volume it is anticipated to hold. Space restriction also plays a part. While for small spaces a slim and tall tank might be a good option a wide and shorter might be considered for a large space area.
4. Materials used in the construction of the tanks.
The conventional materials used for the construction of storage tanks are mainly concrete and steel. Other materials are becoming popular due to availability and favorable cost. The stored content is also a factor; most fuel reacts with copper and its alloys. Therefore, they would be a bad choice for building material since they would contaminate the medium. On the other hand, water can be stored in most containers made of different material. Other popular materials are;
• Glass-reinforced plastic.