What Is the Difference Between Pressure Vessel and Storage Tank?

Pressure vessels and storage tanks are often used in various industries and enable easy and safe operation. Whether for oil, gasoline, water, or chemicals, these containers provide a safe environment for storage and handling. But, what is the difference between pressure vessel and storage tank?

Although many people get confused by these terms, we will help you with the defining features and their functions.

What is a Pressure Vessel?

Generally speaking, a pressure vessel is a container designed to hold liquids or gasses at a pressure significantly different from the ambient pressure. Specifically, the pressure of such vessels is more than 15 pounds per square inch (PSI). In such cases, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides guidance on the fabrication and operation of these pressurized tanks. In addition, these containers come in various sizes and shapes and are constructed to withstand the pressure generated by the contents of the container.

What is a Pressure Vessel?
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Types of pressure vessels

There are several types of pressure vessels. They are designed according to the purpose and specific use. Some of the most common types of pressure vessels include:

  • Separators – separate the incoming liquid mixture into individual components. This type of pressure vessel is used in the oil and gas industry.
  • Reactors – these pressure vessels contain chemical reactions under controlled conditions. They are mostly used in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
  • Heat exchangers –  these vessels allow heat to be transferred between two fluids. They are often used in the power generation and chemical industries.
  • Boilers – used to produce electricity, steam for heating, and other industrial processes.

However, there exists a variety of pressure vessels beyond these. These include air tanks designed to hold compressed air or other gasses, hydro-pneumatic tanks used for pressurized water or other fluids, and chemical processing tanks maintaining chemicals at stable states or temperatures pre or post-processing, among others.

What is a Storage Tank?

A storage tank is essentially a container used to store liquids or gases. The function of these vessels is to store the contents to protect them from external influences when they are not ready for use. These storage vessels are made of many materials, such as steel or plastic, offering short or long-term solutions for many industries.

If you need high-quality material, we recommend stainless steel tanks. From chemical storage tanks to water treatment vessels, our team at Savannah Tank is ready to listen and meet your requirements.

What is a Storage Tank?
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Types of Storage Tanks

There are several types of storage tanks that are divided according to their use in industry and according to their purpose. Below, we summarize some of them:

  • Underground tanks– these are tanks that are installed underground. They are used mostly to store fuels to reduce the risk of fires.
  • Above ground tanks– these tanks are installed above ground and store oil and petrochemical products.
  • Gas and oil tanks– specially designed tanks that store natural gas, crude oil and their derivatives.
  • Chemical storage tanks– such tanks are used in the chemical industry and serve to store various chemicals.

What Is the Difference Between Pressure Vessel and Storage Tank

So, what is the difference between pressure vessel and storage tank? The difference between storage tank and pressure vessel refers to functionality, design and purpose. Storage tanks are mainly used to hold contents at or very near atmospheric pressure.

On the other hand, pressure vessels are sealed containers that can hold gasses, liquids, or vapors at pressures that are significantly different from the atmosphere. In addition, pressure vessels are subject to safety standards and strict regulations that they must adhere to.


Pressure vessels and storage tanks can be found in various industries and play a vital role in maintaining the safety and efficiency of processes in such industrial processes. Therefore, if you want to provide your employees with a safe and quality working environment, feel free to contact us. If your organization needs pressure vessels or reactors, our Savannah Tank team is ready to help.

We hope this has helped you discover what is the difference between pressure vessel and storage tank.

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David Onachilla

David is the owner of Savannah Tank and brings a wealth of knowledge in the tank manufacturing industry to our readers.

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