Fuel tank corrosion is a serious issue that needs to be monitored. Basic electronics come into play in regard to oxidation and corrosion of metal storage tanks.
In a material that is an electrical conductor, the flow of electrons will always go between two points. (Positive and Negative) The positive point is called the anode and the negative point is called the cathode.
The positive point or Anode has a role in producing oxidation or corrosion in metal parts. Fuel tank corrosion is a serious problem that requires constant monitoring. Monitoring electrical energy near a metal storage tank is important so that oxidation will not occur in the tank which would lead to leakage.
A sacrificial anode is placed near the tank. This anode absorbs the electrical energy that would have gone to the tank. The anode will oxidize instead of the tank to slow or stop fuel tank corrosion. Sacrificed anodes are replaced as they rust.
Why is it important to stop fuel tank corrosion?
Fuel tank corrosion left unchecked can eat at the walls of a steel tank. Eventually, those walls start to leak, and then there is a possible environmental disaster as the product starts to seep into the soil, the groundwater and possibly the aquifer itself. Having a corrosion eradication plan in place is better than collecting large amounts of fines from a governmental agency like the EPA.
There are other ways of combatting fuel tank corrosion. Keeping the paint on the tank fresh is good as well as adding stainless steel fittings in place of ones that have oxidized. There is also a fiberglass option and new chemicals for coating a tank that can slow or even stop the progression of oxidation.
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