Diesel is classified as a hazardous material and therefore the vessels used to store the liquid must meet the strict standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Transport (DOT).
To understand which containers should be used to store hazardous materials, it’s important to know the definition and specifications of the different vessels.
A container is any vessel that has a capacity of less than 60 gallons.
A portable tank refers to any enclosed vessel that has a liquid capacity of less than 60 gallons and is not intended for use or installation in a fixed location.
A safety tank is any container with a capacity not exceeding 5 gallons and is equipped with a spring closing lid as well as a spout cover to lower the container’s internal pressure when exposed to fire.
A flammable cabinet is designed to limit the vessel’s internal temperature to not more than 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Such containers have a fire resistance of around 1 hour. It is also equipped with properly protected communicating openings with a fire resistance of at least one hour.
The lowest temperature at which diesel fuel can ignite is 200 degrees Fahrenheit and is therefore classified as a highly flammable substance. Thus, the two departments (OSHA and DOT) have enacted rules and regulations under which it can be transported and stored safely.
There are rules for consumer storage, containment of large quantities of the fuel and regulations on general storage. Consumers transporting or storing the liquid in portable fuel tanks must adhere to certain conditions. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), diesel must be stored or transported in cans made from specific materials.
The materials recommended for diesel fuel storage include Teflon, Steel, fluorinated polyethylene, aluminum and fluorinated polypropylene. Certain containers are also recommended including jerry cans. However, they should have a capacity of 10-20 liters. The container should also be shaped and have a spout. Containers made of brass, zinc, lead, tin and copper should be avoided.
Certain containers can be used for all types of containment whether industrial or domestic. The size of the containers determines their classification. These vessels include metal and plastic containers with a capacity not exceeding 60 gallons; safety cans less than five gallons, metal containers less than five gallons as well as OSHA-approved plastic and polyethylene containers.
The maximum container sizes fall under different classifications including Class IA, IB, IC, II and III. Such container sizes vary from one to 660 gallons depending on their material.