Hazardous Materials Containers: Part 3 - Fixed Facilities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the design and construction of shipping containers to help assure the safe transportation of hazardous materials. Specifications for fixed-facility containers, however, are quite different. There...


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Cryogenic tanks have narrow circumferences and are very tall. These are high-pressure tanks used to store cryogenic liquids, which are very cold. Cryogenics have boiling points of -130 to -452 degrees. Some tanks, particularly those found at cryogenic-production facilities, may each hold as much as 400,000 gallons. Types of materials found in cryogenic containers include natural gas, argon, nitrogen, chlorine and oxygen. They can be flammable, oxidizers or poisons.


Robert Burke, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is the fire marshal for the University of Maryland. He is a certified Hazardous Materials Specialist, and has served on state and county hazmat response teams. Burke is a veteran of over 18 years in the fire service, in career and volunteer fire departments, having attained the ranks of lieutenant and assistant chief, and served as deputy state fire marshal. He has an associate's degree in fire protection technology and a bachelor's degree in fire science, and is pursuing a master's degree in public administration. Burke is an adjunct instructor at the National Fire Academy. He is the author of the books Hazardous Materials Chemistry For Emergency Responders, published in 1997, and Counter-Terrorism For Emergency Responders, published in 1999. Burke can be reached on the Internet at robert.burke@worldnet.att.net. Parts 1 and 2 of this series focused on highway (February) and railroad (April) transportation containers.