There are a number of different types of storage tanks for different purposes. However, before we jump to the meaning and purpose of an Industrial storage tank, let us get some knowledge about a Biodiesel plant. A Biodiesel plant is typically a manufacturing unit for producing Biodiesel meant to be used in standard diesel engines (remember, it is not used for converted diesel engines). RMF-SLC made Biodiesel is a mono-alkyl ester made from vegetable oil or animal fat-based diesel fuel by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol producing fatty acid ester.
A biodiesel plant is consists of six equipments. They are:
1. Storage tanks
3. Packed distillation tower
4. Heat exchanger
5. Hydro cyclone
6. Extraction column
Industrial storage tanks used in Biodiesel plant are utilized for receiving the raw product, storage of final product and storage of waste product. They are of different measurements i.e. their size and volume they can hold entirely depends on the requirement of the Biodiesel plant. The construction and design of an industrial storage tank largely includes steel and concrete. However, it is not limited to just steel and concrete tanks; glass-reinforced plastic, thermoplastic and polyethylene tanks are also gaining popularity these days.
The make and design of industrial storage tanks strictly adhere to and follow the specifications laid down by the authorities. The specification largely includes standards for wall thickness, testing procedures, design criteria of final product, quality control measures, and fabrication. Adhering to these specifications is vital to avoid mishaps and tank failures leading to dire consequences. A biodiesel plant employs the following industrial storage tanks:
1. Raw material storage tank: A raw material storage tank is designed to store the raw product for manufacturing the biodiesel fuel pre-production. This type of storage tanks are further of different kinds depending upon the storage volume, quality, and production preferences. They are designed with a 70% fill capacity. Stainless steel is chosen as the material to design this type of storage tank as the stored chemical largely consists of corrosive material.
2. Feedstock and finished product storage tanks: As the name suggests this type of storage tank is designed to store the finished product. To be more precise a feedstock and finished product storage tank is constructed to hold the final product i.e. biodiesel. The design of a finished product storage tank involves use of stainless steel. It can be single walled or double walled with horizontal or vertical tank mounting depending upon the specifications and requirements.
3. Methanol storage tanks: A methanol storage tank (waste storage tank) is designed to hold one batch of pre-treatment waste and two batches of post-treatment waste. The distillate is recycled back to methanol storage tank.
The above-mentioned industrial storage tanks form an important part of the Biodiesel plant-manufacturing unit. Nowadays, the production of Biodiesel instead of petroleum-based fuels is on rise. It is due to the biodegradable properties of the Biodiesel. It is also a renewable source of energy and very cost effective, as the raw materials used are readily available and easy to store. It causes less pollution as compared to the petroleum-based fuels. The industrial storage tanks utilized in manufacturing of Biodiesel are usually made up of stainless steel. It is very economical and easy to handle.