Can you store gasoline in an IBC tote?

There’s no need to stress the fact gasoline can be quite dangerous. The consequences of improper gasoline storage are devastating. That’s why this liquid needs to be handled with great care.

It’s safe to assume your dedication to safety brought you here. You couldn’t have found a better place! In the article below, you’ll find out if it’s alright to store gasoline in an IBC tote.

Yes, it’s possible to store gasoline inside a rigid (caged) IBC tote. The only thing you have to think about is how long will it stay in storage. Dependent on the type of gasoline, it can lay low for three months to three years. If it goes bad, dispose of it in a manner proposed by your local government.

Table of Contents

What is an IBC tote?

Alright, let’s start off with the basics. Wondering what exactly is an IBC tote (or where to find it)? Sounds kind of industrial-ish, doesn’t it? Well, you’re absolutely right – it does!

The acronym IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container. People use these reusable containers to store bulk liquids, semi-solids, pastes, or solids. They’re easy to transport since you can stack them one on top of the other. In most cases, a palette is attached to the bottom of an IBC tote.

What’s usually stored inside an IBC tote?

Okay, let’s take a look at what can you usually find inside an IBC tote. Here are its most common contents:

  • Chemicals.
  • Liquids.
  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Grains.
  • Sand.
  • Food ingredients (spices, powders).

Different types of IBC totes

There are two main types of IBC totes: rigid and flexible.

Rigid IBC tanks are, as their name suggests, solid and sturdy. They have a rigid metal frame that ensures protection. Also, it makes them easier to move around.

Flexible IBC tanks are not as sturdy as their rigid bros. Who would’ve thought? Anyway, they can be folded away and stored. Also, they’re usually more affordable than rigid IBC totes. You can sum up their traits by using these four words: less protection, more freedom.

What are IBC totes made of?

Well, it depends on the type we’re talking about. It also depends on whether or not the IBC tote is reusable.

Rigid IBC totes are usually made of high-density polyethylene (also known as HDPE). In some cases, rigid IBC containers are made of aluminum or galvanized iron. The outer cage is made out of iron or galvanized tubular steel.

Flexible (or foldable) IBC totes, of course, don’t possess a rigid cage. They’re made of various materials, most common being woven polypropylene or polyethylene.

Benefits of IBC totes

Now that we’ve seen some basic information concerning IBC totes, let’s see what they’re good for. Here are some benefits of IBC totes:

  • They’re easy to ship, transport and store. Cube-shaped rigid IBC totes have standardized dimensions (48×40 in). That’s also a standard pallet size in North America and some other countries.
  • Also, they’re pretty cost-effective. You can ship bulk liquids that will later go into smaller containers for end-users. In other words: they enable you to employ efficient shipping strategies.
  • IBC totes are reusable. The inside of the container can be washed out and used again. Although, there are exceptions. When shipping food, it’s best you use a new one.
  • They’re made to last. The materials we use to make IBC totes are very durable. Also, they’re designed to withstand different types of weather conditions.
  • IBC totes help companies reduce waste. Their easy-to-clean and easy-to-drain design ensures not one drop of content is wasted.

That’s about it when it comes to the traits and benefits of IBC totes. Now let’s see are these containers suitable for storing gasoline. But first – something of a warning.

Why’s it so important to properly store gasoline?

Since this is something most of us already know, we’ll try to be quick.

By improperly storing gasoline you risk all kinds of disasters. That might be too much of a warning, but it’s still very appropriate here. Gasoline is flammable and can be ignited by a tiny spark. You really don’t want to potentially endanger the lives of your loved ones and yourself.

Let’s see what can you safely store gasoline. Then we’ll move on to see if IBC containers are up to the task.

How to store gasoline properly?

Here are some pieces of advice:

  • Gasoline containers must be tightly closed. Also, handle them carefully to avoid spilling.
  • Store gasoline in a building separate from the one you’re living in. For example: store it in the shed. Also, keep it out of children’s reach.
  • Absorb minor spills using rags, paper, or sawdust. Collect larger spills and see with your local government where you can dispose of them. Never should you throw spilled gasoline into the garbage, or flush it down the toilet.
  • Keep it in a cool place, away from direct sun or heaters. Don’t smoke anywhere near your gasoline container.
  • For more info, check your local and state regulations on gasoline storage.

A gasoline spill on the grounds. Gasoline storage is an important safety issue.

Can you store gasoline in an IBC tote?

And now! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! We’ll answer the question proposed by this article: Is it alright to store gasoline in an IBC tote?

We already know IBC totes are one of the safest ways to transport liquids. So, is gasoline one of them?

Aren’t gas tanks also made from HDPE?

That’s right. Gas tanks are usually made from the same fabric as rigid (caged) IBC totes. Does that mean it’s alright to store gas inside the latter? Well, it depends.

It’s not a yes or no kind of answer. Okay, it’s a yes, but sometimes no kind of answer. We’ll elaborate on that.

You can store gasoline in an IBC tote, but there’s a catch

Yes, it’s possible to store gasoline in an IBC tote. But, it should stay there for too long. That also goes for gas tanks or other plastic containers used for storing gasoline.

Spoiled gasoline can damage both your health and the machine you’re running on it. Okay, and how much can gasoline stay inside an IBC tote before it spoils? It depends on the type.

Ethanol-blended gas

According to some statistics, this one is the most popular gas in the US. It usually has a three-months of so-called shelf life. That’s caused by the speed at which ethanol oxidizes.

Pure gasoline

This one has a longer shelf life. Why? Because it doesn’t contain ethanol. Also, pure gas is hydrophobic. That means it cannot be affected by water or humidity. Pure gasoline can stay inside your IBC tank for about six months before it goes bad.

Fuel-stabilized gasoline

With petroleum-based fuel stabilizers, you can enhance the durability of your stored gasoline. Those additives will increase the storage period to about one to three years.

How to recognize if gasoline’s gone bad

In order to differentiate fresh and spoiled gasoline, you’ll need to compare the two. Pour a portion of each into two cups. Do you notice stored gasoline being a bit darker than its rival? Or does it smell kind of sour? If so, it probably hasn’t gone bad, it’s just old.

On the other hand, if you notice stored gasoline turned milk chocolate-brown… That’s a warning sign. The same goes if you see separate layers of ethanol and gas in a cup filled with ethanol-blended type.

For more tips on recognizing bad gasoline, visit this page.

Dispose of old gasoline the right way

Let’s say you’ve noticed gasoline’s gone bad. As we’ve mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t try any tricks here. Contact your local government to see what are the legal ways to get rid of spoiled gasoline.

Throwing it out in the garbage or spilling it into the sewer system are absolute no-no’s.

Can you store gasoline in an IBC tote? – a quick resume

Since we’re nearing the end of the article, let’s mention some of the key points. We’ll probably skip some parts, and stick to the most important info. Of course, it all comes down to safety.

Here are some tips on storing your gasoline safely:

  • Gasoline containers need to be tightly closed, so you avoid spilling. We know a tiny spark can create a big mess.
  • Store your gasoline in a building separated from your living space.
  • Absorb minor spills using household items such as rags or paper. You’ll need to collect larger spills and dispose of them in the correct manner.
  • Keep your containers out of the path of the direct sun.
  • Don’t forget to check your local and state regulations concerning gasoline storage.

Okay, those were the general safety tips when storing gasoline. What about IBC totes? Are they good for gasoline storage?

Yes, it’s possible to use them as gasoline containers. Pay attention to their so-called shelf life. It depends solely on the type of gasoline you’re planning to store.

If you notice gasoline’s gone bad, get rid of it using a method proposed by the local government.

Famous last words

That’s about it, folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed this one! For more info on gasoline-related topics, visit our home page.