How to Select a Polyethylene Chemical Storage Tank Based on Shape

By February 19, 2021February 22nd, 2021Tanks

When choosing a polyethylene chemical storage tank, there are several key factors to consider; the application, desired capacity, purpose (mixing or storing), double-wall or single-wall, and where it will be located, just to name a few. But there is another consideration in purchasing a tank that might not get the full deliberation it deserves; Its shape.

The different tank shapes are generally rectangle/square, cylindrical and conical, and all offer some pros and cons depending upon your application. Peabody Engineering’s Gemini Dual Containment® tanks are available in both square and cylindrical shapes. 

Below are some general guidelines in selecting the right tank for your application. 


Cylindrical tanks are the most commonly used tanks in a wide variety of industries including agricultural, water storage, chemical, and water treatment applications.  


  • Cost-effective choice for bulk storage.
  • Excellent hoop strength with no stress points.


  • More difficult to install fittings and piping manifolds due to the curved sidewall
  • More wasted space in an environment with corners.

Square or Rectangular

Square or rectangular tanks are more popular in some applications than cylindrical tanks but can be used in an array of industries and applications that one may not consider at first glance.


  • Allows for maximum use of space with a compact footprint as compared to cylindrical tanks.
  • Flat sides allow for ease in plumbing and piping design.
  • Less expensive to ship and transport than cylindrical tanks.


  • Increased sidewall head pressure from the liquid being stored on large flat surfaces.
  • Limited size range available.
  • Generally more costly than cylindrical tanks.

Peabody Cone BottomCone bottom

Cone bottom tanks are well-suited in applications where 100% drainage of the tank is necessary like the food, cosmetics, or pharmaceutical industries.


  • Easier to drain and clean between batches.
  • Reduces sediment collection at the bottom.
  • Ideal for mixing applications.


  • Requires a stand and hardware.
  • More costly than other tank configurations.
  • Reduced volume per cubic foot due to cone configuration.

All three styles of tanks have their advantages, the choice you make all depends upon your specific application, and what your budget for the project will be.

Our ProChem® tanks offer all three styles in single wall configurations. 

Our Gemini Dual Containment® cylindrical tanks range in sizes from 15 gallons to 500 gallons.

Our Gemini Dual Containment® square tanks are available in sizes 5 gallons to 175 gallons and allow for a larger capacity in limited spaces — 22% more capacity than cylindrical tanks of the same size.

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