Recommended materials for storage tanks include aluminum, steel, polyethylene, polypropylene, and Teflon, but not concrete-lined storage tanks. If possible, the storage tank should not include any copper, brass, lead, tin, zinc, or rubber fittings if possible. (Practically speaking, brass ball valves are used by many with no major ill effect).
Most of the standard storage and handling procedures used for petroleum diesel also apply to biodiesel.
- Since biodiesel is an organic liquid, the use of an algaecide or fungicide additive is recommended whenever the fuel is stored during warm weather.
- B100 has a tendency to gel during cold weather as indicated by its higher cloud point and pour point temperatures than petrodiesel. Additives are available to prevent gelling, but gelling is generally not a problem for blends of B20 or lower.
- Storage time for both petrodiesel and biodiesel should be limited to six months for best performance.
All on-farm fuel storage tanks (above ground and underground) in excess of 1,100 gallons are regulated by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The regulation requirements include:
- registering initially and then paying an annual registration fee
- using a department-certified installer to install, modify and close tanks
- meeting the technical requirements for tank construction and operation
- monitoring leak detection
- reporting any confirmed release to appropriate DEP regional office
The above regulation requirements apply to underground storage tanks in excess of just 110 gallons if the tanks contain motor fuels used in combination with other business activities, such as fueling school buses, commercial trucking and excavation equipment. Above-ground storage tanks in excess of 1,100 gallons storing motor oil, lubricating oil, and hydraulic fluid must also meet regulation requirements. On-farm fuel storage tanks that are not regulated include those tanks storing heating oil used on the premises where stored and propane tanks.
You may also be subject to specific on-farm fuel storage requirements from your local municipality, so it is important to check the local regulations and ordinances. Check with your insurance carrier as well to determine if there are any fuel storage requirements or restrictions specified in your property insurance policies.