There are many different kinds of chemicals, petroleum, liquids, and hazardous materials that are stored in storage tanks all over the United States. For example, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that there are 553,000 underground storage tanks (at least 10% of the volume is stored below ground level). 

Are you thinking about buying a storage tank to store biofuels, heating oil, or some other such material? Well, there are many different types of storage tanks you can choose from. Keep reading to find out more. 

1. Horizontal Tanks

Above-ground tanks are usually horizontal, and most of them are storage tanks. There are certain ways to ensure the structural integrity of a horizontal tank. One of them is to ensure that the length of the tank is not more than six times the diameter. 

They are also outfitted with gauge hatches, sampling wells, and pressure-vacuum vents. Also, to prevent corrosion, cathodic protection is conducted on underground horizontal tanks.

Remember that refined petroleum products include corrosion inhibitors. So if you are going to use your horizontal tanks to store petroleum, you don't need internal cathodic corrosion protection. 

2. Variable Vapor Space Tanks

If you are storing something that requires temperature and barometric pressure variations, then you will want expandable vapor reservoirs. These variable vapor space tanks can either be fixed roof tanks, lifter roof tanks or outfitted with flexible diaphragm tanks. 

The adjustable diaphragm tanks have flexible membranes, and that ensures that you will have increased capacity. It can either have a wet seal, that is, a trough filled with liquid. Or it can come with a dry seal - that is, a flexible coated cloth. 

3. Fixed-Roof Tanks

When budget is a concern, you will want to look at a fixed-roof storage tank as the first option. These are the least expensive of the tank designs available. They are also considered the bare minimum when it comes to storing liquids in tanks. 

These tanks are cylindrical steel in shape and have a permanently attached dome- or cone-shaped roof. Depending on how old your fixed roof tank is, it might have been glued or bolted together, which means that it's not vapor-tight. If you are searching for a vapor-tight option, consider purchasing the modern version of the fixed roof tank, as they are completely welded. 

These also come with gauge sample well, roof manholes, breather or pressure vacuum valves, and float gauges. 

4. External Floating Roof Tanks

These are similarly shaped to a fixed-roof tank - a cylindrical steel shell, but they have a roof that floats on the surface of the stored liquid. This floating roof rises or falls with the liquid level. 

The floating roofs are constructed from welded steel plates, and there are a wide variety of variations on these main kinds of floating decks. The great thing about this external floating roof design is that it limits vapor loss from the stored liquid. It also limits withdrawal loss (from the liquid on the tank walls) and standing storage loss. 

This is a good option for you if you are going to store liquids but want to minimize losses as much as possible. 

5. Internal Floating Roof Tanks

These come in two formats. There are tanks with a fixed roof that has internal vertical column supports and a fixed roof that is self-supporting, without any support columns. 

As with the external floating roof tanks, these have a fixed roof that covers the whole of the vessel's open plan space. But in the internal floating roof tanks, they do not float directly on top of the liquid surface but well above it and are supported by pontoons, which allow them to stay several inches above the liquid surface. 

6. Domed External Floating Roof Tanks

If you live in a windy neighborhood and worry about storing liquids or petroleum in a storage tank, then consider the domed external floating roof tank. The fixed roof in this type of tank serves as a vapor barrier but also serves to block the wind. 

The self-supporting aluminum dome roof is fastened and fluidly ventilated. These also contain heaven-duty decks and a fixed roof on top of the shell. 

7. LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Tanks

The previous types of storage tanks we spoke about are mostly used for storing liquids. But if you are thinking about storing LNG in your tanks, then you will need a particular kind of storage tank particularly meant for that purpose. These can store LNG at very low temperatures of about -162 degrees Celsius. 

They come with two cylinders, one which stores the LNG and the other which has insulating materials. The great thing about these tanks is that even though LNG is stored at very low temperatures, the pressure is maintained constant, and the temperature of the tank does not change. 

There are many rules and regulations in place by the EPA to ensure that storage tanks don't become hazardous to the life and environment surrounding them. You must follow these regulations; otherwise, you might end up paying enormous fines to the government. 

Shop these listings to ensure you purchase storage tanks that follow the safety regulations laid out by the EPA, no matter what you end up storing them, be it petroleum, natural gas, water, fuel, or whatever else. 

Storage Tanks - Store What You Want How You Want

Now that you are more aware of the different types of storage tanks on the market, you can purchase the perfect one for your needs. Don't forget to check out local bylaws on storage tanks before purchasing one.

Also, keep reading through the other related articles on our website so you can stay informed on various topics.