Cryogenic LNG Storage Tanks

In an era where the transition to cleaner energy sources is imperative, the significance of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and a sustainable future cannot be overstated. These tanks, designed to store LNG at the cryogenic temperature of -162°C, represent a fusion of material science, precision engineering, and adherence to rigorous safety standards. In this context, CASC’s role goes beyond manufacturing; it is a gatekeeper of the safe passage of LNG from producers to consumers worldwide.

Key Takeaways

  • Cryogenic LNG storage tanks maintain LNG at extremely low temperatures to reduce volume and facilitate storage and transportation.
  • Different types of cryogenic LNG storage tanks include single containment tanks, double containment tanks, and full containment tanks, each offering different levels of protection.
  • Design and construction of cryogenic LNG storage tanks utilize advanced materials, efficient insulation systems, and safety features such as pressure relief valves and gauging systems.
  • Cryogenic LNG storage tanks play a crucial role in the LNG supply chain, maximizing efficiency, enhancing safety, and contributing to environmental considerations.

Basics of Cryogenic LNG Storage

Cryogenic storage is an essential process for maintaining the integrity of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by ensuring it remains in its liquid state at -162°C (-260°F). This ultra-low temperature is crucial for reducing the volume of the gas to 1/600th of its original state, facilitating economical storage and transportation. Advanced LNG storage techniques leverage the properties of cryogenic materials that can withstand extreme cold without becoming brittle or losing strength.

The cryogenic temperature effects on LNG require precise engineering controls to manage thermal contraction and ensure the complete safety of the storage system. The design of cryogenic LNG storage tanks involves a combination of materials like stainless steel and aluminum alloys, which have favorable thermal expansion coefficients and excellent durability in cryogenic conditions. Efficient insulation systems, typically comprising a vacuum jacket with multilayer insulation, are integral to minimizing heat transfer and maintaining the necessary low temperatures.

The cryogenic liquid storage tank is a special tank used for the storage of LNG. It is a kind of special equipment that has great significance to public security. To achieve the desired effect in thermal insulation, the tank’s thermal insulation structure adopts high-vacuum multilayer insulation or vacuum powder insulation. The storage tank consists of an inner vessel and shell. The inner vessel is mainly made of austenitic stainless steel S30408 which has outstanding cryogenic performance, and the outer shell adopts Q345R steel plate which is specially made for pressure vessels; The vacuum layer between the inner and outer wall is filled with dried expanded perlite (pearlite) or the inner vessel is covered with heat insulation composite paper, and the vacuum layer is also made for degreasing, rust removal, rinsing, and drying treatment strictly by related standards, which guarantees the vacuum degree in the interlayer when the tank is sealed.

LNG is an abbreviation for liquefied natural gas. The main ingredient is methane. LNG is colorless, odorless, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. Its volume is about 1/625 of the volume of gaseous natural gas. The weight of LNG is only about 45% of the same volume of water. The calorific value is 52MMBtu/t (1MMBtu=2.52). ×10^8cal).

Formation: The natural gas produced by the gas field is first purified and then liquefied by ultra-low temperature (-162 ° C) atmospheric pressure to form liquefied natural gas. The critical temperature between LNG gas and liquid under normal pressure is -162 °C. The most commonly used standard in LNG manufacturing is the American Petroleum Institute (API) 620.

The Six Advantages of LNG

1) LNG volume is 624 times smaller than natural gas of the same quality, so it is convenient to transport LNG to places where there is no natural gas.

2) LNG has high storage efficiency and a small footprint. In the province of investment, 10m3LNG storage capacity can provide 10,000 households with one-day living gas.

3) As a high-quality vehicle fuel, LNG has a high octane number, good antiknock performance, and long engine life compared with gasoline. Fuel costs are low. Good environmental performance and other advantages. It can reduce HC in gasoline vehicle exhaust by 72%, NOx by 39%, CO by 90%, and SOx and Pb to zero.

4) The latent heat of LNG vaporization is high, and the cooling capacity in the liquefaction process can be recycled.

5) Since the density of LNG vaporization is very low, only about half of the air, a slight leak immediately spreads out without causing an explosion.

6) Because the LNG component is purer, burns completely, and produces carbon dioxide and water after combustion, it is a good clean fuel, which is conducive to protecting the environment and reducing urban pollution.

The Application of LNG

1) It is safe, convenient, fast, and less polluting for use as a clean fuel for urban residents.

2) Use as a substitute for automotive fuel. LNG is used as fuel for automobile engines. The engine only needs to be properly changed. The operation is not only safe and reliable but also low noise and low pollution. Especially in today’s increasingly strict emission regulations, the exhaust gas is improved in vehicles with LNG as fuel. According to the data report, compared with compressed natural gas (CNG), LNG vehicle fuel cost is 20% lower and 2/3 lighter than medium and medium-duty vehicles under the same stroke and running time conditions. The cost of a combustion system unit is also at least 2/3 lower. It can be shown that liquefying natural gas and storing it in liquid form is the most cost-effective way to promote its use in transportation fuels.

3) As a cold source for the production of fast-cooling foods, as well as low-temperature pulverization of plastics and rubber, it can also be used for seawater desalination and cable cooling.

4) As an industrial gas fuel, it is used in glass bulb factories, glass factories, and other industries.

Types of Cryogenic LNG Storage Tanks

Understanding the complexities of maintaining LNG at cryogenic temperatures leads us to explore the various designs of cryogenic LNG storage tanks, including single containment, double containment, and full containment options, each tailored to meet specific safety and operational requirements. Single containment tanks feature a single barrier to contain the LNG, and they require a secondary external containment system in the event of a leak. Double containment tanks offer an additional layer of protection, with an outer tank capable of holding the liquid in case the inner tank fails.

Full containment tanks are the most robust, integrating both an inner and outer tank with an annular space between them filled with insulation to address both safety and thermal efficiency. The choice between horizontal vs vertical tank orientation often depends on the site-specific considerations and capacity requirements. Meanwhile, the decision between above-ground vs in-ground storage solutions is influenced by factors such as environmental impact, land availability, and seismic activity.

CASC’s cryogenic LNG storage tanks are engineered with precision to ensure the safe and efficient storage of LNG, meeting stringent industry standards and catering to the diverse needs of the global LNG supply chain. Each design reflects technical expertise, incorporating industry-specific detail-oriented features for optimal performance.

Cryogenic LNG storage tanks are designed to store liquefied natural gas at extremely low temperatures, around -162°C (-260°F). While “20ft,” “40ft,” and “45ft” typically refer to the standard lengths of ISO shipping containers, in the context of cryogenic LNG storage, these dimensions may be used to describe the length of large, horizontal cylindrical tanks that can be transported by various means, including on flatbed trailers or specialized vehicles.

Here are the general details for cryogenic LNG storage tanks with approximate lengths of 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft:

20ft Cryogenic LNG Storage Tank

Length: Around 20 feet (6.1 meters)

Diameter: Varies, but is typically sized for optimal transport and may range from 8 to 10 feet (2.44 to 3.05 meters)

Capacity: Roughly 20,000 to 26,000 liters (5,300 to 6,900 gallons), depending on the diameter and exact length

Material: Usually constructed from stainless steel or 9% nickel steel, which can withstand the cryogenic temperatures of LNG

Insulation: High-performance insulation materials, such as vacuum insulation or multilayer insulation (MLI), are used to minimize heat ingress

Pressure Rating: Designed to operate at the pressures required for LNG, typically ranging from 4 to 8 bar (58 to 116 psi)

Use: Suitable for smaller-scale LNG needs, such as satellite storage, peak-shaving facilities, or as fuel tanks for LNG-powered vehicles

40ft Cryogenic LNG Storage Tank

Length: Around 40 feet (12.2 meters)

Diameter: Sized for transport efficiency, potentially larger than a 20ft tank

Capacity: Approximately 43,500 to 47,000 liters (11,500 to 12,400 gallons), but this can vary based on the tank’s design

Material: Similar to the 20ft tank, using materials suitable for cryogenic service

Insulation: Equipped with advanced insulation to maintain LNG at cryogenic temperatures

Pressure Rating: Comparable to the 20ft tank, designed for the safe storage and handling of LNG

Use: Ideal for larger volume transport, often used in maritime, rail, or road transportation and for medium-scale storage applications

45ft Cryogenic LNG Storage Tank

Length: Around 45 feet (13.7 meters)

Diameter: May have a larger diameter to maximize capacity within transport constraints

Capacity: Slightly higher than a 40ft tank, offering additional volume for storage and transport

Material: Constructed with cryogenic-compatible materials

Insulation: High-quality insulation systems to ensure thermal performance over long periods

Pressure Rating: Engineered to maintain the structural integrity and safety of the stored LNG

Use: Provides maximum capacity within standard transport regulations, suitable for high-volume transportation and storage needs

Additional Considerations for Cryogenic LNG Storage Tanks

Safety Features: Safety is paramount for cryogenic tanks. They are equipped with pressure relief devices, burst disks, and emergency shutoff valves to manage the risks associated with storing and transporting LNG.

Transportation: These tanks are typically mounted on trailers or chassis for easy transportation. The design must comply with transportation regulations, which may vary by region.

Certifications: Tanks must be certified for cryogenic use and comply with applicable standards and regulations, such as those from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), or other international standards.

Handling and Operations: Specialized equipment and trained personnel are required for filling, discharging, and handling cryogenic LNG storage tanks due to the low temperatures and hazards associated with LNG.

Cost: The cost of cryogenic LNG storage tanks is influenced by their size, materials, insulation technology, and safety features. Larger tanks are generally more cost-effective in terms of volume but may have higher transportation costs.

Design and Construction Features

The construction of cryogenic LNG storage tanks utilizes advanced materials specifically engineered to withstand the extremely low temperatures characteristic of LNG storage. Materials selection is pivotal in this process, with a focus on metals that retain their structural integrity and toughness at temperatures as low as -162 degrees Celsius. Austenitic stainless steel, nickel alloys, and aluminum are commonly used due to their excellent cryogenic properties and low thermal conductivity.

In the design of these tanks, thermal insulation is a critical feature to minimize heat ingress and ensure the LNG remains in its liquid state. Multilayer insulation systems, often comprising a combination of foam and reflective materials, are installed to achieve this. The insulation also plays a role in the safety systems of the tanks, contributing to the control of boil-off gas and maintaining operational pressures within design limits.

To facilitate long-term tank maintenance, robust engineering controls are integrated. These include highly reliable pressure relief valves, which are essential for preventing overpressure situations, and sophisticated gauging systems to monitor LNG levels and tank integrity. The design ensures that maintenance activities can be conducted with minimal impact on the storage tank’s operation, thus upholding the uninterrupted supply of LNG in the supply chain.

Safety and Compliance Standards

Adherence to stringent safety standards and regulatory compliance is paramount in the fabrication and operation of cryogenic LNG storage tanks. Manufacturers like CASC must implement a robust set of protocols to ensure these vessels meet the rigorous demands of storing LNG at cryogenic temperatures, typically -162°C. Preventing leaks is crucial, as any breach can lead to significant safety hazards and environmental damage. To this end, state-of-the-art materials and welding techniques are employed to maintain the integrity of the tank structure.

Controlling boil-off gas (BOG) is another essential aspect of safe LNG storage. Efficient insulation systems and BOG recondensation processes are integrated to minimize the evaporation of stored LNG. This not only preserves the stored fuel but also mitigates the risk of pressure build-up within the containers.

Risk mitigation strategies encompass a comprehensive range of practices, including regular inspections, rigorous testing of materials, and the application of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods during tank fabrication. This ensures early detection of potential issues, facilitating prompt corrective action. Moreover, thorough maintenance programs are established by international standards and best practices, reinforcing the reliability and safety of cryogenic LNG storage systems.

The Importance of Cryogenic LNG Storage Tanks

Cryogenic LNG storage tanks are pivotal in the LNG supply chain, providing the necessary infrastructure for the secure and efficient storage and transportation of liquefied natural gas at temperatures as low as -162°C. These tanks are designed with state-of-the-art materials and insulation techniques to maintain the extremely low temperatures required to keep LNG in its liquid state, thus ensuring its high energy density is preserved for end-use. The integrity of these storage solutions directly influences the reliability of the entire LNG distribution network.

The advantages of utilizing cryogenic LNG storage tanks by industry leaders like CASC include:

  • Maximized Efficiency: Superior insulation reduces boil-off gas and maintains LNG at optimal conditions for transport and usage.
  • Enhanced Safety: Engineered with robust materials and safety mechanisms to prevent leaks and withstand harsh conditions.
  • Long-term Reliability: Constructed to perform consistently over extended periods, minimizing maintenance needs and operational disruptions.
  • Environmental Considerations: Facilitates the reduction of emissions by enabling the use of a cleaner fuel alternative with secure containment.

In the technical realm of LNG storage and distribution, the expertise demonstrated by CASC in manufacturing cryogenic LNG storage tanks is fundamental to advancing the energy sector’s efficiency, reliability, and commitment to safety and environmental stewardship.

CASC‘s Product Range and Features

Reflecting on the critical importance of cryogenic LNG storage tanks in the energy sector, CASC’s diverse product line stands out for its innovative design features and adaptability to meet specialized client needs. They manufacture a variety of tank types, including 20ft, 40ft, and 45 ft tanks below, each engineered to provide secure and efficient storage for liquefied natural gas at cryogenic temperatures.

Moreover, CASC offers extensive customization options, allowing clients to tailor the storage solutions to their specific project requirements. Whether it’s adjusting capacity, and dimensions, or integrating specialized safety systems, CASC’s approach is to collaborate closely with clients to ensure the delivery of a product that aligns precisely with their operational needs.

Manufacturing Excellence and Quality Control

CASC’s commitment to manufacturing excellence is exemplified by its rigorous quality control processes, which are integral to the fabrication of its highly reliable cryogenic LNG storage tanks. The company adheres to a systematic approach to ensure that each tank meets the stringent requirements necessary for safely storing liquefied natural gas at cryogenic temperatures.

The manufacturing processes at CASC are meticulously planned and executed, with a focus on quality assurance from the initial design phase through to the final inspection. To maintain the highest standards of product integrity, CASC employs a comprehensive suite of testing protocols that cover a wide range of scenarios and potential stressors.

Key elements of CASC’s quality control include:

  • Material Selection and Inspection: Ensuring that all materials meet the necessary cryogenic specifications and standards.
  • Welding Quality Control: Applying advanced welding techniques and rigorous inspection to ensure seam integrity.
  • Non-Destructive Testing (NDT): Utilizing methods such as radiography and ultrasonic testing to detect any internal flaws.
  • Performance Evaluation: Conducting hydrostatic and pneumatic tests to assess structural strength and leak tightness.

Innovations and Future Directions

In the pursuit of enhancing LNG storage efficiency and safety, CASC has embraced cutting-edge innovations and developed advanced solutions tailored to the evolving demands of the industry. Recognizing the critical importance of responding to future technologies, CASC has invested in research and development to integrate the latest materials and design philosophies into their cryogenic LNG storage tanks. These advancements are not only aimed at improving the durability and performance of storage systems but also at aligning with burgeoning sustainability initiatives.

As industry trends shift towards lower carbon footprints, CASC’s innovations include the implementation of enhanced insulation methods to reduce boil-off gas and the integration of renewable energy sources for auxiliary power needs. Moreover, CASC is at the forefront of developing modular and scalable storage solutions that provide flexibility for expansion and adaptability to diverse operational contexts.

Looking ahead, CASC is positioning itself to be an influential force in shaping the future of cryogenic LNG storage. By proactively adapting to the dynamic landscape of energy storage and continuing to prioritize safety and environmental responsibility, CASC is contributing to a more sustainable and efficient LNG industry.


The technical expertise and detail-oriented approach of CASC ensure that every storage solution is engineered to the highest standards, with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and efficiency. The industry-specific knowledge that CASC brings to each project translates into tangible advantages for clients, including:

  • Enhanced operational safety and longevity of storage solutions
  • Access to cutting-edge cryogenic technology and innovative design
  • Tailored customer service and support throughout project lifecycles
  • Strategic partnerships with industry leaders to augment service offerings

The benefits of working with CASC are multifaceted and underscored by the positive customer testimonials and robust industry partnerships that the company has cultivated over the years.

Now is the time to act. Please visit CASC’s website to explore their storage range, understand their manufacturing capabilities, and contact the sales team below.

FAQ about Cryogenic LNG Storage Tank

What is a cryogenic LNG storage tank?

A cryogenic LNG storage tank is a specialized container designed to store liquefied natural gas at extremely low temperatures, typically around -162°C (-260°F). These tanks are insulated to maintain the low temperature required to keep the gas in a liquid state.

Why does LNG need to be stored at cryogenic temperatures?

LNG is stored at cryogenic temperatures to reduce its volume and facilitate easier and more cost-effective storage and transportation. At these low temperatures, LNG occupies 600 times less space than in its gaseous state.

What are the types of cryogenic LNG storage tanks?

The main types of cryogenic LNG storage tanks are single-containment, double-containment, and full-containment tanks. Each type offers different levels of safety and protection against potential leaks or ruptures. There are 20ft, 40ft and 45ft cryogenic LNG storage tanks in the marekt.

How are cryogenic LNG storage tanks insulated?

Cryogenic LNG storage tanks are insulated with materials that can withstand low temperatures, such as perlite, polyurethane foam, or vacuum-insulated panels. This insulation minimizes heat transfer and helps maintain the LNG in a liquid state.

What safety features are common in cryogenic LNG storage tanks?

Safety features include pressure relief valves, gas detectors, emergency shutdown systems, and spill containment areas. These features help prevent overpressure, detect leaks, and provide measures to deal with emergencies.

How long can LNG be stored in a cryogenic tank?

LNG can be stored in a cryogenic tank for several months or even years, depending on the tank’s design and the operating conditions. Proper maintenance and monitoring are crucial to ensure long-term storage.

Can cryogenic LNG storage tanks be used for other cryogenic liquids?

While some design principles are similar, tanks are usually specifically designed for a particular cryogenic liquid due to differences in temperature requirements and chemical properties. However, some tanks may be adaptable for storing other cryogenic substances with similar storage requirements.

What materials are used to construct cryogenic LNG storage tanks?

Materials used include stainless steel and nine percent nickel steel, which remain ductile and tough at cryogenic temperatures, ensuring the structural integrity of the tank.

Are there environmental concerns associated with cryogenic LNG storage tanks?

Cryogenic LNG storage tanks are designed to minimize environmental impact, with features to prevent leaks and reduce the risk of gas emissions. The industry is subject to strict regulations to ensure environmental protection.

How are cryogenic LNG storage tanks transported?

Large cryogenic LNG storage tanks are typically constructed on-site due to their size. Smaller tanks may be transported by specialized heavy haulage equipment, while modular components can be shipped and assembled at the final location.

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About CASC

CASC has gained the licenses of ASME(U, U2) for the designing, manufacturing, installation, and testing of A1, A2, and A3, pressure vessels and pipelines under the ISO9001: 2008. The company can provide non-standard chemical equipment like heat exchangers, towers, reaction vessels, non-ferrous metal-made vessels, high-pressure fatigue equipment, and various storage vessels.