Chemical Storage Tank – The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Choosing a suitable chemical storage tank can be an overwhelming process.

In this guide, you are going to learn everything to consider when buying chemical storage tank such as quality standards, capacity, function, material type, and safety features, among other vital aspects.

Keep reading to be an expert in chemical storage tank.

Table of contents hide

1. What is a Chemical Storage Tank?

Chemical tank

Chemical tank

This is a vessel designed in a way that you can use it to store, mix, process, or transport chemicals.

You can find this type of vessel in manufacturing plants, shipping areas, vehicle servicing, and pharmaceutical companies.

They utilize them in the reservation of propane, liquefied natural gas, fertilizers, petroleum products, crude oil, and other caustic chemicals.

Its design comes in different shapes and sizes.

The engineering of this tank is primarily specific to the type of chemical it is meant to contain.

This is because different chemicals have varying corrosion potential with certain materials.

These types of vessels are indispensable, especially where the chemicals in use are hazardous and detrimental.

2. Can you use IBC Tank to Store Chemicals?

Yes, you can use Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) tanks to store chemicals.

Though not all of these types of tanks are suitable for storing chemicals.

You have to specifically design them and use the right material to match the standard of chemical storage.

Because different chemicals have varying damaging abilities on storage tanks, it’s important that you consider IBC tank for storing chemicals.

There are diverse materials used to manufacture these tanks according to their requirements of the application.

They include;

  • Plastic – Preferably high-density polyethylene.
  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Composite – galvanized steel and plastic

The application of IBC tote engineering during fabrication integrates IBCs with pallet bases.

This design characteristic assures you of their mobility.

You can use either forklift or pallet jack channels to shift their position.

It also becomes possible to stack them up to their designed weight limit and utilize space efficiently.

Using these tanks in the storage of chemicals can be highly reliable.

With the right considerations of purpose, design, and engineering, they can hold even the most perilous chemicals.

3. What are the available Types of Chemical Storage Tanks?

The available types of chemical storage tanks are;

3.1 Stainless Steel Tanks

These vessels are made of special types of steel that don’t rust or discolor.

Also, they last long over different environmental conditions.

They may also not be suitable for many acids and are quite expensive.

Some types of stainless-steel chemical storage tanks you can find in the current market are;

  • 316 steel tanks
  • 304 steel tanks
  • Carbon steel tanks
  • Nickel alloy steel tanks

3.2 Fiberglass (FRP) Tanks

These types of storage tanks utilize Fiberglass as their primary fabrication material.

They are quite anti-aging making them last longer and you can use them for storing petroleum products.

On the other hand, for highly corrosive chemicals, these tanks would not be the best choice.

Being handcrafted, makes them require special fabrication, and repairing them when damaged becomes unfeasible.

3.3 Polyethylene Tanks

These vessels are an all-round chemical storage choice available in the market.

Customizing them is easier because of their flexible material.

You can source them in either linear or cross-linked polyethylene.

4. What are the Benefits of Plastic Chemical Storage Tanks?

Chemical storage tanks made of plastic provide a robust solution for storing chemicals.

Some of their benefits are;

Chemical storage tank

Chemical storage tank

4.1 High-level Resistance to Corrosion

They withstand extreme chemical corrosions.

Plastics such as Polyethylene and Polypropylene are inert to highly acidic and highly alkaline chemicals.

This gives you a solution for storing chemicals over a long period.

4.2 Lighter Weight

These tanks weigh less compared to other chemical storage tanks.

This makes them more efficient when you choose to use them in transportation, handling, and positioning.

4.3 Lower Cost

The polyethylene material used to fabricate these tanks are less expensive to buy and deliver.

4.4 Broad Diversity

Depending on the nature of the chemical you want to store, there are solutions that these vessels offer.

For instance, polyethylene may be incompatible with corrosive chemicals but polypropylene or Kynar may work as a substitute material.

You can also fabricate these tanks into different shapes and sizes such as round, cubed, and slimline.

4.5 Strong and Long-lasting

A fabrication process known as rotomolding makes these vessels strong.

The rotomolding process involves melting the plastic onto a mold.

You further heat the mold while rotating it in an oven.

The melted plastic disperses and sticks to the walls of the mold.

This process yields a more durable and compact end product.

4.6 Faster Fabrication

The manufacturing process of this tank is shorter.

You can also do the fixtures and fittings at a fast pace.

4.7 Easy to Install

These vessels require less preparation before installation is done.

With a good flat surface that doesn’t contain sharp objects, they are good to go.

5. Which are the Recommended Quality Certifications for Chemical Storage Tank Manufacturer?

Some of the main standard specifications include:


The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) are responsible for developing these standards.

The tests relate to water treatment and range from primary water tests to chemical certification.

You test a liquid before and after its exposer to a piece of equipment.

By doing this, you can ascertain any substance that is leaching from the equipment to the liquid.

5.2 ISO 9001

This is a set of standards that ensures manufacturers meet customers’ and stakeholders’ needs.

These set standards ensure that manufacturers meet the quality requirements of a product.

5.3 ISO 3834-2

Involves the quality standard requirements for welding metallic materials at the workshops and field installation sites.

5.4 API 653

Consists of a set of standards developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

It addresses inspection, repair, alteration, and reconstruction requirements of steel aboveground storage tanks used in petroleum and chemical industries.

5.5 ASTM D 1998

Comprises of regulations set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

This specific category addresses manufacturers of polyethylene chemical storage tanks.

5.6 UL-142

Producers of steel aboveground vessels for storing flammable and combustible liquids follow these guidelines by Underwriters Laboratories.

5.7 UL-58

Manufacturers adhere to these certification standards during the construction of underground storage tanks for flammable and combustible liquids.

6. How do Chemicals Impact Storage Solutions?

Before fabricating your chemical storage tank, there are several questions that you need to address.

The most vital and key question is what type of chemical are you planning to store?

This will ultimately impact your storage solution.

Overlooking the chemical and its concentration levels will lead to a big failure of your installed vessel.

The reaction of the chemical and the wall of the tank leads to corrosion making the walls weak.

They can also get permeable and expel chemical fumes that are hazardous to the environment.

Certain types of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide are highly volatile.

This necessitates a keen detail not only on the material being used but also on the fittings and connections.

Lack of adherence to these precautions might cause a disastrous explosion or exposure of the chemical to your workers.

Petroleum products are also highly flammable.

They can pose a great risk if you don’t select the right storage equipment and keeping good maintenance.

7. What should you Consider when buying Chemical Storage Tank?

To source this storage tank, you have to consider the following:

Chemical storage tank

Chemical storage tank

  • The chemical you intend to store. This presupposes the chemical type and concentration levels.
  • The material of the tank. Having identified the chemical, material selection should follow. The material should be resistant to corrosions when storing corrosive chemicals.
  • Your budget. You should consider how much you are willing to spend.
  • The volume of the chemical. This will help you determine the size and shape of the tank.
  • Consider the location of the storage vessel (underground or aboveground).
  • Expansion plans. You should consider your plans for growing and expanding the capacity of the storage tank or facility.
  • Mobility of the tank. Some chemical vessels are permanent and would give you a difficult time when shifting. Others such as IBC tanks can be easy for you to transport and stack while containing the chemicals.
  • You have to make sure all the fixtures and the fittings are compatible.

8. What is the Best Chemical Storage Tank Material?

Choosing the best material will depend on the type of chemical that you wish to store.

There is no one-size-fits-all material.

Some of the top and sought-after materials to use when fabricating your vessel include;

8.1 Stainless Steel

Tanks that utilize this material are applicable for high temperature, high pressure, and high-volume storage purposes.

This material is universally available in the market and it is also durable.

However, they are comparatively expensive and heavy when you compare them with other materials.

They will also require you to use an inner coating when storing acids.

This elongates their production period.

8.2 Fiberglass-reinforced Plastic

This material is also known as (FRP).

It incorporates the use of modern composite materials such as resin and fiberglass during fabrication.

The end product is strong and has a lightweight.

Manufacturers use gel coat and UV exhibitors to coat the exterior of the tank as substitutes for paint or sandblast.

FRP is also an expensive material as it is handcrafted.

It contains weak points because of the seams during fabrication.

Therefore, you have to adhere to its demand for constant maintenance and special handling.

8.3 Linear Polyethylene

Processing of this material is done by heating a thermoplastic resin to come up with a fluid plastic.

You further harden and treat the fluid plastic to form a linear high-density polyethylene (HDPE) surface.

This material is cheaper when you compare it with other materials.

They are a good option when you are storing non-corrosive and low corrosive chemicals.

They are also lightweight making them portable.

Some drawbacks of using this material are that they cannot store highly corrosive chemicals and they also fracture easily.

8.4 Cross-Linked Polyethylene

This is a high-density polyethylene fabricated by introducing a catalyst to the thermoplastic resin converting it into a thermoset.

The plastic end product is stronger, more durable, and resistant to heat.

These properties make cross-linked polyethylene more chemical resistant.

9. What are the Available Chemical Storage Tank Design Options?

Some of the available designs in the market are;

9.1 Vertical Tanks

This is an erect vessel design.

They are made in several shapes such as cylindrical or rectangular with varying top and bottom designs.

Vertical chemical storage tank

Vertical chemical storage tank

9.2 Horizontal Tanks

This tank design lies parallel with the floor.

You can also refer them as leg tanks because they have molded-in legs to support the tank.

Vertical chemical storage tank

Vertical chemical storage tank

9.3 Cone-bottom Tanks

They are ideal for use where fast and complete drainage of material from the tank is required.

9.4 Full-drain Tank

This design ensures the total drain of the tank by fitting a ridge at the bottom of the tank.

9.5 Sloped-bottom Tank

This vessel concept has the floor of the tank sloped towards the sidewall to facilitate complete emptying of the tank.

9.6 Double-wall Tank

This tank design provides an outer containment wall for the primary storage tank.

The outer containment works as a protective barrier in the event of a spillage.

9.7 Open-top Tank

This vessel lacks a permanent lid at the top.

You can as well hinge the lid at the top depending on the requirement.

Also, this tank design is mainly used for mixing or dipping chemical materials.

9.8 Custom Molded Tanks

They are tanks uniquely fabricated to suit your personal needs.

10. Where do you use Chemical Storage Tank?

These tanks are generally used in industries that handle chemicals.

For instance,

  • Oil refineries
  • Petrochemical industries
  • Agrochemical industries
  • Pharmaceutical industries
  • Textile industries
  • Pulp and paper industries
  • Food and beverage industries
  • Vehicle assembly and maintenance industries
  • Shipping areas

11. How does Chemical Storage Tank Prevent Pollution?

Designing vessels that are pollution free is an important design feature.

These tanks help in avoiding environmental contamination in the following ways;

  • Using the right resistant and strong material that is compatible with the chemical you purpose to store.
  • Secure sealing to avoid any kind of spillage of chemicals.
  • Using double walls to prevent the spillage of chemicals when the primary tank rapturing occurs.
  • Installing flexible piping that can handle vibrations.
  • Fitting leak detection systems within the chemical storage tank.
  • Application of IBC tote engineering when fabricating IBCs to integrate IBCs with pallet bases for effective handling.
  • By labeling the tanks clearly.
  • Using vents to control pressure in the vessels. This avoids tank failure that may cause pollution.

12. What is the Storage Capacity of Chemical Storage Tanks?

Such vessels are available in a broad range of capacity.

Manufacturers can customize for you the right size that meets your needs.

You can get a bespoke solution from many varieties that respond to your specification, features, and budget.

Chemical storage tank

Chemical storage tank

13. What are the Quality Standards for Chemical Storage Tank?

Quality aspects that relate to these tanks include;

  • Non-corrosive
  • Stress-free
  • Anti-rust
  • Strong walls
  • Durable
  • Thermal insulation
  • UV-stable
  • Flexible fittings

14. What are the Benefits of Industrial Chemical Storage Tanks?

These tanks have a range of benefits that ultimately provide solutions for your storage needs.

Some of their benefits include;

Extensive variety: They are available in several design options giving you a broad spectrum to choose from.

Considerable storage volume: These vessels have a large storage capacity that can meet your regular industrial needs.

Flexibility: Broad versatility to users is a guarantee when opting for such tanks. Manufacturers customize them for you to fit your needs.

Portability: You can easily and freely shift them from one position to another depending on their design. Movable tanks such as IBCs are a good option for portability purposes.

15. What Types of Chemicals can you store in Tanks?

You can store chemicals that are of great concern in their different states of solid, liquid, or gas using these vessels.

They are however specific to the type of chemical and the concentration level that you may plan to store.

These chemicals include:

  • Crude oil
  • Petroleum products such as diesel and gasoline
  • Fertilizers
  • Agrochemicals
  • Propane
  • Liquified natural gas
  • Petrochemicals

 16. Is there Recommended Wall Thickness for Chemical Storage Tank?

Yes, there is, and each tank should have a considerable thickness depending on its geometry.

This is because wall thickness is an important factor for manufacturers to consider when fabricating these vessels.

Some of the factors that may affect the thickness of your tank’s wall are;

  • The chemical you require to store.
  • The operating temperature of the chemical.
  • The tank’s measurement

The type of chemical for storage and the operating temperature determines its relative density.

This further influences the specific gravity rating of your tank.

The higher the specific gravity rating, the thicker the tank wall should be.

Chemicals that are dense and warm have a high relative density unlike light and cooler chemicals.

For dense and warm chemicals, you will, therefore, require a thicker tank.

With light and cooler ones, you can have a tank with thinner walls.

As for tank measurement, tall and narrow-base diameter tanks require thicker walls.

This is due to increased pressure on the bottom wall of the tank. Shorter and broad-base diameter tanks would require thinner tank walls.

17. How are Chemical Storage Tanks different from the Normal Storage Tanks?

These two tanks have characteristics that differ in several ways.

For example,

  • Chemical vessels are dependent on the chemical type and its concentration level to determine their fabrication material. On the other hand, normal tanks can be fabricated for any ordinary storage purpose.
  • Chemical storage entails storing, mixing, or transportation of chemicals with great concern. On the contrary, ordinary vessels can be used even for domestic purposes such as water harvesting.
  • You need to adhere to stringent regulations and safety standards when handling stored chemicals in vessels compared to ordinary storage.
  • Chemical storage tanks need seclusion from the general public while normal vessels can be installed in public places.

18. Can you Store Flammable Products in Chemical Storage Tank?

Yes, this form of storage is possible in chemical tanks.

Manufacturers can design and fabricate them to meet the necessary safety requirements such as the right materials and airtight fittings.

You should strictly adhere to the utmost care and safety when handling these vessels because flammable products are highly hazardous.

19. What is the Function of Chemical Storage Tank?

The purpose of this type of vessel is to store, process, mix, and or transport chemical raw materials and products.

Their design is specific for storing chemicals of great concern.

Before buying a chemical storage tank you should be able to identify what type of chemical you plan to store.

20. Is there a Maximum Pressure Rating for Chemical Storage Tank?

The maximum pressure rating for these tanks would depend on their material and design.

During fabrication, you as the engineer can build them up to address the pressure likely to pile up during storage.

Some regulations may also address the pressure standards of certain materials.

For polyethylene vertical storage tanks, ASTM D 1998 recommends a standard of 10 inches of water column.

Having a conversation with your manufacturer to advise you on the maximum pressure rating for your tank is important. Especially for custom-made tanks.

21. How does Vertical Chemical Storage Tank compare to Horizontal Chemical Storage Tank?

Vertical tanks are upright and free-standing making them more stable.

You can also fit them in a small amount of space.

They pump their contents using gravity making them energy efficient.

Comparatively, horizontal tanks require a base for support making them occupy more space.

If there are height restrictions, they can be a better option.

They also offer ease during transportation as you can mount them on trucks or trailers.

22. What are the Smart Containment Solutions for Chemical Storage Tank?

This means keeping safety as the main priority when fabricating chemical vessels.

Safety is paramount when it comes to the handling of such tanks.

Without safety standards adherence, these tanks can cause heavy losses due to chemical leaks and spills.

This affects business operations, causes environmental pollution, and exposes humans to health hazards.

Applying this solution saves on costs of maintenance and addresses safety concerns meticulously.

Some of the smart containment solutions you can use include the following:

  • Double-wall tanks.
  • Double-wall piping.
  • Containment basin to collect chemicals that may spill from a leaking fixture.
  • Flexible bellow transition fittings.

23. Do Chemical Storage Tanks have Warranty?

Manufacturers offer warranties to purchasers of these tanks.

Though not all will offer you the same type of warranty.

Some will offer you an extended warranty while others can offer a prorated warranty.

Some deliberations to make when selecting a warranty include;

  • The servicing of the warranty.
  • Whether the manufacturer will come to the field and repair the tank.
  • The responsible party for handling the repairs.
  • The response duration your manufacturer will offer.

24. Are there Disadvantages of using Chemical Storage Tanks?

There are shortcomings associated with using these chemical storage vessels.

They include;

  • High maintenance costs due to routine inspection.
  • The high cost of materials and installation.
  • Repairing is difficult for materials such as fiberglass.
  • Expensive environmental consequences in case of spillage.
  • High risks of fire and property damage in case of chemical leakage.
  • Not all tanks are portable making expansion or transportation a challenge.
  • Limited durability depending on the material.

25. What are the Safety Features of Chemical Storage Tanks?

Safety features help to preserve the integrity of these tanks and prevent potential risks.

Some of these features are;

  • Double walls to prevent spillage in situations where there is damage to the inner wall.
  • Fire-protection systems such as fire loops and fire monitors.
  • Clear labeling of the equipment with signs and warnings.
  • Enough spacing between tanks.
  • Constant monitoring and inspection.
  • Automatic valves to prevent chemical loss during an emergency.
  • Use of pressure relief devices to regulate vessel pressure.
  • Fire-proof insulation.

26. Are there Risks Associated with using Chemical Storage Tanks?

Several risks can occur when using these types of vessels.

These may include chemical spills, leaks, and overfills.

They can cause tremendous damage to the environment and property near the plant.

Human lives too are at risk when these vessels fail.

Leaking of harmful fumes can get to employees and nearby communities posing health and physical hazard.

27. How much does Chemical Storage Tank Cost?

Chemical storage tank

Chemical storage tank

The costs of such vessels are dependent on some factors.

You will have to consider the following;

  • The material choice to fabricate the tank. Different materials have different prices.
  • The capacity of your tank. The larger the capacity, the higher the tank is likely to cost.
  • The number of units that you require.
  • The shape of the tank.
  • The number and type of fixtures and fittings.
  • The lead time. An urgent delivery would require speed production which will end up being costly.
  • The origin of the manufacturer.
  • Transport cost.
  • Installation mode. (Over-ground or below ground)

28. How do you Test the Quality of Chemical Storage Tank?

You can examine the quality of these vessels by performing several inspection tests.

These tests help you determine the tank’s wall condition, detect leakages, and also confirm painting and coating works.

You can conduct a quality test through observation or the use of mobile equipment.

Using a checklist also comes in handy when performing this exercise.

You should look out for cracks, the strength of fitting areas, vents for pressure control, and the secondary containment condition.

29. What are the Benefits of Double Wall Chemical Storage Tank?

Vessels with this feature are better for you when storing chemical because of the following reasons:

  • They protect against tank failure.
  • In the event of inner wall damage, the secondary wall saves the chemical from spillage.
  • They prevent debris and rainwater from entering the primary tank.
  • Increases the durability of the chemical storage tank.
  • It allows room for expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature while protecting the inner tank.
  • It is easier to maintain thus saving on costs.

30. How are Chemicals Classified for Storage in Tanks?

You can classify chemicals according to their hazard levels.

Below is a list that ranks chemicals from the most hazardous to the least hazardous;

Group 1: Flammables

Group 2: Volatile Poisons

Group 3: Oxidizing Acids

Group 4: Organic and Mineral Acids

Group 5: Liquid Bases

Group 6: Liquid Oxidizers

Group 7: Non-Volatile Poisons

Group 8: Metal Hydrides

Group 9: Dry Solids

31. How do you Estimate Emissions from Heated Tank?

You can conduct calculation of emissions from heated tanks in the following ways;

  • By applying the AP-42 Chapter 7 procedure.
  • You can also use the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Method D2879.
  • In addition to these, you can do this by finding out the temperature of the chemical stored in your tank.
  • By using a tank emission software that provides functionality for all types of tanks.

32. Do Chemical Tanks need Secondary Containment?

Yes, they do. It is more essential in cases where you are storing hazardous chemicals.

This is because such a containment protects the inner tank.

It will save you from losing your chemical to spillages when the inner tank fails.

This will also help you prevent costly environmental pollution and protect the workers operating the tank.

33. Is there a difference between Chemical Storage Tanks and Chemical Mixing Tank?

There are no major differences between these two types of tanks.

Apart from its use of storing chemicals, you can also utilize chemical storage tanks in the mixing of chemicals.

Chemical mixing tanks are still chemical storage tanks only that they have a mixing system.

This mixing system can either be a mechanical mixer or a pump.

34. Do Chemical Storage Tanks require Color Coding?

Yes, these tanks require color-coding, especially where you have several of them at a common area.

This will help you to easily identify which storage vessel has what chemical.

Color coding is a safety precaution for handling chemicals and can be helpful when dealing with them in storage tanks.

35. What Symbols or Warning Signs should be on Chemical Storage Tank?

Chemical safety symbols and signs quickly warn worksite staff and visitors that hazards exist in the workplace.

Some of the warning signs and symbols that you can use include;

  • General danger!
  • Corrosive material
  • Oxidant material
  • Do not extinguish with water.
  • Corrosive material.
  • Eye protection must be worn.
  • Safety boots must be worn.
  • Safety gloves must be worn.
  • No access to unauthorized persons.

Depending on your specific needs, FilSon Filters designs and manufactures high quality chemical storage tanks.

Contact us today for the best prices on chemical storage tanks.

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