Today, the chemical industry’s worldwide revenue is over four trillion dollars, and the need for safe and efficient storage has never been greater. Throughout history, methods for handling and storing chemicals have changed tremendously. Learn how safety concerns, technology advancements, and environmental considerations have influenced how chemical storage has evolved over the years.
The Industrial Revolution: The Rise of Mass-Produced Chemicals
While people have made chemicals throughout history, the production of chemicals in large quantities started at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The global economy shifted to more efficient manufacturing processes during this time.
One significant development was the Leblanc process for producing sodium carbonate, called soda ash. Soda ash manufacturing facilities produced noxious emissions of hydrochloric acid gas, among other environmentally damaging byproducts.
The First Modern Air Pollution Legislation
Plants, animals, and people in the surrounding environment suffered from the emissions of the Leblanc process. The UK reacted by passing the first modern air pollution legislation. The Alkali Act 1863 controlled the discharge of hydrochloric acid gas into the air.
Storage Tanks: Advancing From Wood to Metal
Mass chemical production didn’t just lead to large quantities of waste. Modern manufacturing required better storage solutions, and industrial chemical storage tanks were invented as a response.
The first chemical containers were wooden storage containers, but riveted steel tanks were produced soon after. The next advancement in chemical storage evolution was stainless steel storage tanks and silos.
The Discovery of Polypropylene Plastic
In 1954, Italian chemist Guilio Natta first discovered polypropylene, a type of thermoplastic. Commercial production of polypropylene began in 1957, becoming a significant moment in the evolution of chemical storage.
Thermoplastics have many properties necessary for safe chemical storage. They have a low melting point and are moldable, flexible, durable, and resistant to chemicals. Metal containers have weld seams that can become susceptible to leaks, but thermoplastics have smooth walls without seams, making them an even more attractive storage solution.
Present-Day Storage Options
The most common materials for storage drums are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic or steel. The chemical drum may have an open top with a fully removable cover secured with a bolt, or a non-removable, closed top.
While chemical drums allow businesses to store larger volumes of liquid, they also necessitate advanced containment measures to avoid leaks and spills. Place drums in chemical storage lockers for efficient handling, safety, and superior organization.
Find Your Compliant Chemical Storage Container
Chemical storage containers are durable and come in various designs to fit your budget and meet your storage needs. They store chemicals in a secure and separate area, protecting workers and the environment from spills and other dangers.
American Hazmat Rentals is your go-to source for state-of-the-art hazmat containers. Our storage solutions meet compliance requirements for flammable, corrosive, toxic, and reactive chemicals. Shop with us today to rent a compliant hazmat container that improves your site’s safety and organization.