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What Is a Sulfuric Acid Tank?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A sulfuric acid tank is a container used to store sulfuric acid. This type of acid is extremely corrosive and toxic to both people and the environment. It is extremely important to keep sulfuric acid in a controlled environment that has been specially designed to house the chemical when it is not being used. Tanks used to house this type of acid must be made out of special materials that the acid cannot react with. The requirements for the thickness, composition, and size of a sulfuric acid tank will differ depending on the concentration of the acid and whether the acid will be diluted.

High density polyethylene is the most commonly used material in a sulfuric acid tank. This material is a readily available plastic that is made up of long strings of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Glass is also frequently used in the construction of such a tank.

Most of the time, a sulfuric acid tank is made from a number of layers of glass, polyethylene, or other material that won't react with the acid. Using a number of layers helps make these tanks safer because if the acid does manage to eat through one layer, it will be held in the tank by the next layer. A sulfuric acid tank is also usually built with thick walls for the same reason.

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Depending on how much sulfuric acid is needed, a sulfuric acid tank may be a small, portable vessel or a large vessel capable of holding thousands of gallons of the acid. Tanks are usually cylindrical and can be used in an upright position, one of the flat sides resting on the ground, or lengthwise, in which case, the tank rests on a series of supports that keep it from rolling. It is also possible to find rectangular tanks.

The most important thing that a sulfuric acid tank does is to keep the acid contained and to prevent water or any other substance from getting into it. Sulfuric acid reacts violently with water, producing a great deal of heat as the reactants combine. Though sulfuric acid is frequently diluted with water, this process must be carefully monitored so that the tank does not become too hot. An excess of heat can compromise the integrity of the vessel and lead to potentially dangerous leaks.

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