Tank farms at airports are facilities where especially petroleum products such as jet fuel can be stored and handled. Tank farms consist of a number of individual tanks, generally above ground, that are usually cylindrical.
Materials used in tank storage
Tanks can be made of different materials. The materials most commonly used in tank storage are steel, concrete in combination with plastic, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, nylon, and polyethylene. Oil is usually stored in vertical cylindrical tanks made of steel. The appropriate type of construction and materials for storing these products is defined by DIN standards. Beyond this, the respective federal state building regulations based on the Construction Products Act, and all applicable fire protection regulations must also be observed when constructing a tank terminal.
Access types in tank farms
As tank terminals are transshipment centers for raw materials and products, they have various options available for loading and unloading, as well as onward transport. The most common facilities are pipeline connections, rail cars and tank truck platforms.
Health, safety, security & environment at tank farms
Health, safety, security & environment (HSSE) is an especially important issue at tank terminals. Fire prevention in particular is an important aspect in the construction and operation of a tank farm, due to the high flammability and explosiveness of many of the stored products. This is one reason why tanks normally have to be equipped with water or foam connections. Another important safety aspect in tank storage is to prevent contamination of soil or drinking water in the event that a tank is damaged – which is why tanks are either executed as cup tanks or as conventional tanks in liquid-tight containment chambers. The volume of these containment chambers is designed in such a way – using earthworks or concrete and steel catch basins – that they must be able to hold the entire contents of the tank plus 10% additional capacity. In addition, the stored products are accurately classified and grouped into dangerous goods classes, so that quick and efficient action can be taken in acute situations. For this reason, the aim is to have the shortest possible pipeline paths between the tanks and the associated loading facilities when planning the spatial arrangement of the tanks.
Status: December 2015
All information subject to change. Errors and omissions excepted.