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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:12:52 AM EST
Hi Guys...

I have a question for the forum. Will the typical large blue plastic "55 gallon" drum react with gasoline over a longer term?

Yes. I know all about stabilizers, the effects of ethanol, short life span of stored gasoline, why I need to buy diesel and the safety hazards. Setting those issues aside I have a source for large blue closed end, double bung food grade 55 gallon barrels and have wondered if gasoline would in some way react with or other wise degrade the integrity of the barrel. I would be rotating stocks on a regular basis, and could store more in a smaller volume of space (11 x 5 gallon cans take a lot of floor space). My only concern is some sort of degradation of the plastic. Replies from other who have used them and /or hive mind chemists would be appreciated!

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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:42:26 AM EST
In for the answers.
I know folks who do it, but I'm still not sure.
I have checked some manufacturer's websites and appears SOME are good for petroleum based products.

One of my brothers keeps diesel in a 330 gallon tote w/ no issues, but it gets turned over pretty often.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:46:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2012 4:56:54 AM EST by turb06le240]
Needs to be properly vented but it will hold it.. Way better off with steel drums though, thats what I use... And I have a 2" pipe going through the roof of my lean to that vents it out.. I have it standing 24"s off the ground, and I welded a 1" bung to the bottom where I have the hose to gravity feed, if the barrel is 3/4's full it shoots out of there pretty good, no need for a pump.. But have a 90 gallon tank on my truck with a pump, that I fill the drum with, how are you going to fill the drum? 5ga at a time?...
No matter what it takes up the same space.. Simply get your self a shelf that holds 6 7.5 gal buckets, it will take up less space, and be much easier to work with... Or stack them... I need the barrel because I use it to empty my truck tank when I dont want to drive around with fuel in there... And I use it for the equipment at the office, so if someone is there and needs gas for a machine they can easily get 5 gallons... But it goeas fast, and in the winter months, I drain it down so it doesnt go bad..
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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:49:37 AM EST
I saw a post somewhere (think it was on tractorbynet) where the poster was storing diesel in plastic barrels. Seemed to work ok from what he was saying.

I would be hesitant to store gasoline but if it worked, you wouldn't have to worry about sparks (metal on metal) causing a fire.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:57:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2012 4:58:44 AM EST by TaylorWSO]
I did a lot of research on it (plastic composition/etc) when I was storing gas in MWCs

It depends on the plastic, gas will eventually eat up H/LDPE barrels. Diesel usually doesn't not.

Gas has shit in it that will break the poly hydro chains. It will work for a little while but steel is so much better
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Posted: 2/5/2012 5:10:09 AM EST
Isn't venting gas cans the reason the fuel goes bad? So ideally you want something that will hold the pressures of it expanding and not vent.

I had gas MFCs in a Texas garage and after 3 years they were half empty. Obviously not the ideal storage method.

I have a few of the old Blitz 5 gallon cans they used to sell at Walmart for $5 back in the day before the no spill nozzles. Now I'd only use those for temporary transport of fuel.

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Posted: 2/5/2012 8:48:08 AM EST
I found some answers. Apparently about 20-30% of cars on the road today are using High Density polyethylene plastic tanks. This is the same plastic in water barrels. There is an issue, but it is an environmental one: HDPE is fairly permeable. A small percentage of chemicals compounds in the gasoline sort of evaporate through the barrel walls. It isn't much, but it happens. The HDPE gas tanks are layered, sort of like using a vapor barrier in the wall of a house. There is ZERO mention of any issues pertaining to gas/HDPE 'dissolving' or reacting.

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Posted: 2/5/2012 9:39:48 AM EST
I recently researched some plastic drums I had for storing/transporting diesel and gas. The manufactures website said that it was only approved for diesel
due to sparking/grounding concerns. I would suggest going directly to the manufactures website for the drums you are looking at and see what they say.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 10:00:12 AM EST
Long term storage of petroleum is done in STEEL barrels.
(Please note the dot @ end of that sentence)
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Posted: 2/5/2012 12:52:14 PM EST
I think poly would hold fuel a long time [considering I've stored fuel in the same small household gas cans for 15 yrs], but I wouldn't store any significant qtys of fuel in plastic [other than Scepter cans] if I had other options.

The plastic can's aren't robust enough my gut feelings suggest, but you could probably get away w/ it -until it didn't work. I'm not willing to take that chance.

Sometimes you have to follow your instincts.



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Posted: 2/5/2012 1:55:57 PM EST
I use steel barrels or tanks for gas. I want to be sure that as much as I can I don't have moisture issues.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 3:50:37 PM EST
What pump are you guys using in your STEEL drums.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 3:52:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2012 3:58:58 PM EST by fundummy]
I'm using steel, and may switch to poly.
The reason is because the steel drums are thin steel, subject to corrosion.
Also, I've had steel drums shrink ( with cooling ) creating a vacuum - pulling a dent in the side of the drum.

It's humid as hell here near HOU. I had a brand new ( full ) 5 gallon can of kerosene in a covered trailer.
Within 2.5 years, condensation dripped to the bottom of the can, and eventually rusted the sidewall of the can, at the bottom seam.
I occasionally smelled K1 for about 5 months before I realized that I had a leak. By this time about 2.5 gallons had leaked out.

If you are going to use steel, I suggest that you at least coat the sidewall of the can at the bottom seam with roof tar coating.

Those of you that are venting drums are pulling moisture into the ethanol in your fuel.

ETA:
Originally Posted By frozenny:

I have a question for the forum. Will the typical large blue plastic "55 gallon" drum react with gasoline over a longer term?

Fro

I " don't think so "... it's made of the same plastic 5 gallon cans are made of, just different dye for colors.
Either way, it would not be a bad idea to moderately thump the sides ( when empty ) when you rotate fuel.
Look for cracks and crazing. Keep an eye on those white bung washers too.

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Posted: 2/5/2012 3:59:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By fundummy:
I'm using steel, and may switch to poly.
The reason is because the steel drums are thin steel, subject to corrosion.
Also, I've had steel drums shrink ( with cooling ) creating a vacuum - pulling a dent in the side of the drum.

It's humid as hell here near HOU. I had a brand new ( full ) 5 gallon can of kerosene in a covered trailer.
Within 2.5 years, condensation dripped to the bottom of the can, and eventually rusted the sidewall of the can, at the bottom seam.
I occasionally smelled K1 for about 5 months before I realized that I had a leak. By this time about 2.5 gallons had leaked out.

If you are going to use steel, I suggest that you at least coat the sidewall of the can at the bottom seam with roof tar coating.

Those of you that are venting drums are pulling moisture into the ethanol in your fuel.




Venting drums is a BIG mistake because they are loosing valuable fractions of the fuel. No amt of Stabil will replace them.

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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:13:28 PM EST
They mix ethanol here, hopefully they don't do it where you are.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 4:34:07 PM EST
Froz, you have been here long enough to remember Shibumiseeker. Look up some of his posts in the archives
Asking for opinions on the internet and then getting upset for getting them is like stirring up a hornets' nest and then getting pissed because you got stung.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 5:52:49 PM EST
My understanding is that you might not want to store the plastic drums outside where the wind can blow around them since the wind blowing against the plastic will build up a static charge on the outer skin. It is possible, though not likely, that there could be a static discharge in that instance. Since plastic is used for smaller gas cans (I have several) I don't see it as a problem IF they're kept stored away from sunlight (breaks down plastics even with UV inhibitor) and temperature extremes. I would guess that the rules for how much fuel vs. how much vapor space (and thus how much condensation you could get) would be about the same, just more of it.

The signs at the gas station always remind folks to fill the gas cans on the ground, not in their vehicle. Seems like good advice.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 8:22:27 PM EST
I like the Idea of storing in Blue plastic, because I feel like I have better access to them OVER steel barrels. I guess my question is how do you fill them? 5 Gallons at a time or what? I am really looking at not storing gas but diesel.. I have seen different options but again to get any large type storage I have always been looking for a more economical way to deal with fuel.. Is this possible?? I do not mean to hi-jack this thread. Please school me.. I have read and re-read gas can oracal many times..

THANKS
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Posted: 2/5/2012 10:00:26 PM EST
I will repeat:
The only viable long term storage for petroleum fuel is in STEEL DRUMS. If you live near the ocean, or in extreme humidity, put 5 or 6 coats of paint around the op and bottom seam of each drum.
.
During the year 2009, I opened and used diesel stored since 1989. no problems.
I have recently used 5 year old gasoline, stored in tightly sealed STEEL barrels, without issue.
.
Store your fuel in painted steel 55 gallon barrels, tightly sealed with new o-rings ( teflon, if possible).
leave them covered, and in the shade, rotate stock when possible.
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Posted: 2/5/2012 10:49:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2012 10:50:43 PM EST by EXPY37]
Originally Posted By Fullpower:
I will repeat:
The only viable long term storage for petroleum fuel is in STEEL DRUMS. If you live near the ocean, or in extreme humidity, put 5 or 6 coats of paint around the op and bottom seam of each drum.
.
During the year 2009, I opened and used diesel stored since 1989. no problems.
I have recently used 5 year old gasoline, stored in tightly sealed STEEL barrels, without issue.
.
Store your fuel in painted steel 55 gallon barrels, tightly sealed with new o-rings ( teflon, if possible).
leave them covered, and in the shade, rotate stock when possible.


Give up, your recommendations are falling on mostly deaf ears. At least that's been my experience.



Especially in the Crazy Glue threads.





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Posted: 2/6/2012 4:16:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2012 4:30:03 PM EST by CTRob65]
Originally Posted By Fullpower:
I will repeat:
The only viable long term storage for petroleum fuel is in STEEL DRUMS. If you live near the ocean, or in extreme humidity, put 5 or 6 coats of paint around the op and bottom seam of each drum.
.
During the year 2009, I opened and used diesel stored since 1989. no problems.
I have recently used 5 year old gasoline, stored in tightly sealed STEEL barrels, without issue.
.
Store your fuel in painted steel 55 gallon barrels, tightly sealed with new o-rings ( teflon, if possible).
leave them covered, and in the shade, rotate stock when possible.


Fullpower,

Thank you for this valued experience. I have been thinking about moving to larger containers and will not go the plastic route. I do have a few questions about your last post.

Do they use ethanol up there?
Did you use any treatment such as PRI-G?

I have seen a couple different styles of barrels. Some with the two bungs and some with a removable top held on by a ring. Are you using the two bung barrels?

Do you keep the barrels standing up off the ground?
Do you use a pump or just siphon it out?

Finally, if all I can find is an old barrel without a painted interior do you think it would be okay for a decade or so provided I use a fine mesh screen on transfer?
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Posted: 2/6/2012 10:13:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2012 10:17:06 PM EST by Ryan_Ruck]
Saw this thread and thought I'd chime in with some real world, first hand experience.

For the last 2.5 years I've had gas stored in some white, food grade, closed head barrels. In their previous life they stored soda pop syrup. When I first got them I cleaned them out thoroughly with water and put a running hair drier in one of the bung openings for a couple hours while leaving the other open to dry them out completely.

I had originally bought them for storing water but after looking them over I found they were HDPE, same as the ubiquitous Blitz cans, and figured being they were HDPE should be able to be used to store fuel.

I use the double dose of Sta-Bil (easier to find than PRI-G) in them and have found that keeping them filled near to the brim minimizes the swelling and shrinking with temperature changes. There is no venting, they are air tight. The one time I have rotated the fuel in them after 2 years of storage, I emptied roughly half out of each drum and burned the fuel in a car no problem. I then filled them back up with fresh fuel and retreated them for another two years. Each drum is labeled with treatment date. I keep the drums stored in a shed (well away from the house) out of the sun. It gets a bit warm in there in the summer but with having the drums topped off, the heat doesn't seem to affect them too much.

At first I was a little hesitant to store the gas in them since, as this thread shows, most people prefer to use steel drums. I also wasn't sure if the gaskets they came with would hold up to use with fuel. But with going on 2.5 years with absolutely zero issues and no signs of weakened integrity of the drums I am very confident in their use to store fuel. When I opened the drums up 6 months ago I checked the gaskets for any cracking or other issues but didn't find anything wrong with them. No leaks at all. If you don't worry about keeping gas in Blitz cans, I wouldn't worry about HDPE closed head barrels.

That's my experience with them.
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Posted: 2/6/2012 11:25:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ryan_Ruck:
Saw this thread and thought I'd chime in with some real world, first hand experience.

For the last 2.5 years I've had gas stored in some white, food grade, closed head barrels. In their previous life they stored soda pop syrup. When I first got them I cleaned them out thoroughly with water and put a running hair drier in one of the bung openings for a couple hours while leaving the other open to dry them out completely.

I had originally bought them for storing water but after looking them over I found they were HDPE, same as the ubiquitous Blitz cans, and figured being they were HDPE should be able to be used to store fuel.

I use the double dose of Sta-Bil (easier to find than PRI-G) in them and have found that keeping them filled near to the brim minimizes the swelling and shrinking with temperature changes. There is no venting, they are air tight. The one time I have rotated the fuel in them after 2 years of storage, I emptied roughly half out of each drum and burned the fuel in a car no problem. I then filled them back up with fresh fuel and retreated them for another two years. Each drum is labeled with treatment date. I keep the drums stored in a shed (well away from the house) out of the sun. It gets a bit warm in there in the summer but with having the drums topped off, the heat doesn't seem to affect them too much.

At first I was a little hesitant to store the gas in them since, as this thread shows, most people prefer to use steel drums. I also wasn't sure if the gaskets they came with would hold up to use with fuel. But with going on 2.5 years with absolutely zero issues and no signs of weakened integrity of the drums I am very confident in their use to store fuel. When I opened the drums up 6 months ago I checked the gaskets for any cracking or other issues but didn't find anything wrong with them. No leaks at all. If you don't worry about keeping gas in Blitz cans, I wouldn't worry about HDPE closed head barrels.

That's my experience with them.



I'd suggest you reconsider filling them to near the brim due to thermal [mechanical] expansion.

If they get exposed to high temps, the plastic will likely stretch [water frozen in poly tanks seems to stretch them without issue] but something might give and gas is not as safe as water to have on the floor.

There is really no reason I can think of to fill them that full.

Or to treat the fuel in them with Stabil.





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Posted: 2/7/2012 8:19:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2012 8:20:01 AM EST by Fullpower]
Look in the yellow pages; FUEL service.
The guys that sell and deliver heating oil, aviation fuel, and fill up the tanks at 'gas stations'
They will sell freshly drained lube-oil or hydraulic oil drums, clean fresh, painted, all the new drums come with two bungs, teflon orings.
Normal sell price is 25 bucks around here, if you offer to buy them FILLED with gasoline or diesel, they will usually give the drum to you free.
If you are nice about it, they will even run a gallon or two of gasoiline in and rinse the drum, if it is Diesel you are better off leaving any residual OIL in the drum.
fill them up, store them on a wooden pallet, covered, and in the shade.
I like to PAINT the upper and lower seam on my storage drums, as a rust prevention.
Diesel is good for at least 20 years,in my direct experience,and possibly much longer.
Gasoline, depends a lot on the formulation, ambient temperature, and what the intended use is, ie
high ambient temperatures, long storage of winter grade gasoline, used in a modern fuel injected automobile could be troublesome.
Gasoline stored in tight steel drums, out of the sun, in a cold climate is usable in a carbureted generator set after 6 years.
The old, lower octane ( 80/87) Aviation gasoline, in sealed barrels has been (rumored) to store for decades.
.
. I will say again.
Due to porosity, HDPE is entirely UNSUITABLE for long term storage of gasoline.
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Posted: 2/7/2012 8:28:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
I'd suggest you reconsider filling them to near the brim due to thermal [mechanical] expansion.

If they get exposed to high temps, the plastic will likely stretch [water frozen in poly tanks seems to stretch them without issue] but something might give and gas is not as safe as water to have on the floor.

There is really no reason I can think of to fill them that full.

Or to treat the fuel in them with Stabil.

Sorry, I should have been more clear by what I meant in filling them to the top but it was getting late.

When I fill them to the top, it is to the bottom of the bung openings. There is still usually about an inch to inch and a half of space above that as the top of the drum is domed slightly. I don't know what the expansion rates are of gasoline versus water but this space seems to be sufficient.

As for the reason of filling them that full, when I first filled the drums I did a comparison with two of them having read dissenting opinions on whether to leave a bit of space or not. I had one drum where I left it 2 inches below the bung opening and another I filled right to the bottom of it just to see how they each did. My experience was that the drum with the greater space actually swelled more than the drum with less, with the bottom and top of the drum bowing significantly. I'm not sure why this was exactly but I suspect it has to do with the amount of space in the drum for the fuel to vaporize. I know the drum with more space definitely had way more vapor come out of it when opening. Like I said, I don't know the scientific ins and outs of it but that's just what my experience was.

As for the Sta-Bil, yeah, I know it probably isn't needed but since it cost over $150 to fill each of the drums I figured a couple bucks worth of Sta-Bil was cheap insurance.
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Posted: 2/7/2012 8:57:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By Fullpower:
Look in the yellow pages; FUEL service.
The guys that sell and deliver heating oil, aviation fuel, and fill up the tanks at 'gas stations'
They will sell freshly drained lube-oil or hydraulic oil drums, clean fresh, painted, all the new drums come with two bungs, teflon orings.
Normal sell price is 25 bucks around here, if you offer to buy them FILLED with gasoline or diesel, they will usually give the drum to you free.
If you are nice about it, they will even run a gallon or two of gasoiline in and rinse the drum, if it is Diesel you are better off leaving any residual OIL in the drum.
fill them up, store them on a wooden pallet, covered, and in the shade.
I like to PAINT the upper and lower seam on my storage drums, as a rust prevention.
Diesel is good for at least 20 years,in my direct experience,and possibly much longer.
Gasoline, depends a lot on the formulation, ambient temperature, and what the intended use is, ie
high ambient temperatures, long storage of winter grade gasoline, used in a modern fuel injected automobile could be troublesome.
Gasoline stored in tight steel drums, out of the sun, in a cold climate is usable in a carbureted generator set after 6 years.
The old, lower octane ( 80/87) Aviation gasoline, in sealed barrels has been (rumored) to store for decades.
.
. I will say again.
Due to porosity, HDPE is entirely UNSUITABLE for long term storage of gasoline.

Fullpower,
I'm guessing that based on your post content and posted location that you're in the petroleum industry so I will defer to your knowledge on the subject for I am just a simple IT field service tech.

Not trying to start an argument but I did have some genuine questions regarding what you've posted.

When you say HDPE is unsuitable for long term storage of gasoline, how long term are you talking? Are you talking about completely untouched/unopened storage?

What exactly makes HDPE drums unsuitable for gasoline storage? Is it simply the porosity or the durability? The OP made an interesting point about automobile fuel tanks being poly and I know that poly has been used as fuel tanks on cars for quite a long time with some cars having 20-30 year old poly tanks. Since I partially rotate my fuel every 2 years (just to play it safe) is the downside of the porosity of HDPE negated?

As I said, not trying to be argumentative but am just curious. Thanks!
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Posted: 3/2/2012 1:49:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By frozenny:
Hi Guys...

I have a question for the forum. Will the typical large blue plastic "55 gallon" drum react with gasoline over a longer term?

Yes. I know all about stabilizers, the effects of ethanol, short life span of stored gasoline, why I need to buy diesel and the safety hazards. Setting those issues aside I have a source for large blue closed end, double bung food grade 55 gallon barrels and have wondered if gasoline would in some way react with or other wise degrade the integrity of the barrel. I would be rotating stocks on a regular basis, and could store more in a smaller volume of space (11 x 5 gallon cans take a lot of floor space). My only concern is some sort of degradation of the plastic. Replies from other who have used them and /or hive mind chemists would be appreciated!

Fro


Fro did you go with the HDPE barrels?
I'm in the process of rotating and am going from steel to blue HDPE.

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Posted: 3/2/2012 2:36:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/2/2012 2:39:39 PM EST by EXPY37]
Originally Posted By Ryan_Ruck:
Originally Posted By Fullpower:
Look in the yellow pages; FUEL service.
The guys that sell and deliver heating oil, aviation fuel, and fill up the tanks at 'gas stations'
They will sell freshly drained lube-oil or hydraulic oil drums, clean fresh, painted, all the new drums come with two bungs, teflon orings.
Normal sell price is 25 bucks around here, if you offer to buy them FILLED with gasoline or diesel, they will usually give the drum to you free.
If you are nice about it, they will even run a gallon or two of gasoiline in and rinse the drum, if it is Diesel you are better off leaving any residual OIL in the drum.
fill them up, store them on a wooden pallet, covered, and in the shade.
I like to PAINT the upper and lower seam on my storage drums, as a rust prevention.
Diesel is good for at least 20 years,in my direct experience,and possibly much longer.
Gasoline, depends a lot on the formulation, ambient temperature, and what the intended use is, ie
high ambient temperatures, long storage of winter grade gasoline, used in a modern fuel injected automobile could be troublesome.
Gasoline stored in tight steel drums, out of the sun, in a cold climate is usable in a carbureted generator set after 6 years.
The old, lower octane ( 80/87) Aviation gasoline, in sealed barrels has been (rumored) to store for decades.
.
. I will say again.
Due to porosity, HDPE is entirely UNSUITABLE for long term storage of gasoline.

Fullpower,
I'm guessing that based on your post content and posted location that you're in the petroleum industry so I will defer to your knowledge on the subject for I am just a simple IT field service tech.

Not trying to start an argument but I did have some genuine questions regarding what you've posted.

When you say HDPE is unsuitable for long term storage of gasoline, how long term are you talking? Are you talking about completely untouched/unopened storage?

What exactly makes HDPE drums unsuitable for gasoline storage? Is it simply the porosity or the durability? The OP made an interesting point about automobile fuel tanks being poly and I know that poly has been used as fuel tanks on cars for quite a long time with some cars having 20-30 year old poly tanks. Since I partially rotate my fuel every 2 years (just to play it safe) is the downside of the porosity of HDPE negated?

As I said, not trying to be argumentative but am just curious. Thanks!



I'd like to know too...

I see a lot of plastic fuel tanks...

Do they make plastic tanks for burial? What do they make them from?

That said, I don't like to store fuel in plastic except in the heavy walled Scepter cans. But I can't articulate a rational reason why, it's more of a gut feeling that I long ago learned to trust.

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