Chemical Storage Tank Expansion: When and How to Scale Up

Chemical Storage Tank Expansion When and How to Scale Up

Chemical storage is a critical aspect of various industries. It is essential to ensure that your facility utilizes safe and secure containment of hazardous substances. 

Polyethylene chemical storage tanks continue to gain popularity due to their durability, resistance to corrosion, and cost-effectiveness. However, as your business grows and your storage needs increase, it’s necessary to consider when and how to scale up your plastic chemical storage tank capacity. 

In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider and the best practices for expanding your plastic chemical storage capabilities.

Assessing the Need for Expansion

The first step in determining whether to scale up your plastic chemical storage tank capacity is to assess your storage needs. Look for signs such as insufficient space, frequent stockouts, or the potential for future growth. 

If you’re using drums or intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) now, think about whether mini-bulk or bulk deliveries make sense for your needs. Additionally, consider factors like the types of chemicals you handle, their quantities, and any regulatory requirements that may impact your storage capacity.

Options for Expanding Your Chemical Storage

Often, facilities start out using drums for storing chemicals. As their needs increase, they eventually move up to 300 gallon intermediate bulk containers. IBCs tend to be inexpensive one-time use totes that are disposed of when you’re done using them. 

After the IBC, you might expand to a mini-bulk or a bulk chemical storage tank. Mini bulk containers are typically owned by the chemical company — they let you use the tanks free of charge and you sign a contract for a couple years, and the chemical company refills the tanks whenever you need to order more chemicals. Mini-bulk containers can be as large as 3,000 gallons. 

Bulk tanks are larger than 3,000 gallons. In most cases, you own the tanks. In bulk storage, multiple tanks are often located outdoors, with a day tank that’s kept indoors for daily use. Bulk deliveries let you receive a full truck load of chemical at the same freight costs as a mini-bulk delivery. 

Review the compatibility of our tanks, fitting, and gaskets with over 100 different chemicals

Engage with Experts

A common mistake is to scale up too quickly. We’ve seen customers order tanks that are larger (and more expensive) than they need. Talk to your chemical supplier about their recommendations for the right next step up that makes sense for you.

Experts in chemical storage tank systems can provide valuable insights into the expansion process — whether you engage with engineers, chemical suppliers, manufacturers, or regulatory advisors. These professionals can assess your current setup, analyze your needs, and recommend appropriate solutions for scaling up.

When engaging with an expert, it will be helpful to know your daily use of each chemical, especially if you’re using IBCs for chemical storage.

Evaluating Storage Options

When expanding your chemical storage capacity, it’s important to evaluate the size, capacity, and configuration options that will meet your specific requirements. Crosslinked polyethylene chemical storage tanks come in various sizes, materials, and configurations. 

Consider factors such as: 

Poly Processing has several different tank configurations to meet the needs of a growing company.

See How XLPE Compares to Other Tank Materials

Designing the Expansion Plan

Once the need for expansion and the suitable storage options are identified, it’s time to develop a comprehensive expansion plan. Work closely with engineers and designers to create a layout that optimizes storage capacity, safety measures, and operational efficiency. 

Consider factors like accessibility, ventilation, and secondary containment when designing the layout. Talk to a tank specialist from Poly Processing Company who can help specify the right tank for your needs.

Download Our SAFE-Tank Guide

Compliance with Regulations

Ensure that your expansion plan aligns with local, state, and national regulations related to chemical storage. It’s critical to comply with safety standards, permits, and environmental regulations to avoid penalties or compromise worker safety. Engage with regulatory experts to ensure that your expansion plan adheres to all relevant regulations.

Installing and Testing

Installation of storage tanks should be carried out by experienced professionals, following proper guidelines and safety protocols. After installation, perform thorough testing to ensure the tanks are functioning as intended. Conduct leak tests for at least 24 hours with water and monitor the tanks for any signs of structural issues or leakage.

Download The Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual

Training and Safety Protocols

When implementing your expanded chemical storage capacity, it is essential to train your employees on proper handling, storage, and emergency protocols. Emphasize safety measures and make sure that all staff members understand the potential hazards associated with the chemicals being stored. 

Review and update safety protocols on a regular basis to maintain a safe work environment.

Monitoring and Maintenance

After the successful implementation of the expanded storage system, establish a routine monitoring and maintenance schedule. Regular inspections, leak detection, and preventive maintenance will help identify and address potential issues before they develop into major concerns. 

Ensure you also have a contingency plan in place to handle emergencies effectively and safely.

Start a Successful Chemical Storage Expansion Project

As your business grows, scaling up your plastic chemical storage tank capacity is crucial to ensure the safe and effective containment of hazardous substances. By carefully assessing your needs, consulting with experts, and following best practices, you can successfully expand your storage capabilities while complying with regulations and prioritizing safety. 

Remember, when it comes to chemical storage, meticulous planning and ongoing maintenance are key.

Get started with your chemical storage expansion — talk to a Poly Processing chemical storage tank expert today.

Ensure you have all the information needed to build a safe, reliable chemical storage system