CSE-Institut | CSE Center of Safety Excellence gGmbH


ZEBrA – Zero-Emission Breathing Application for Storage Tanks

CSE Institute: ZEBrA Project

Development of a zero-emission storage tank with construction and testing of a prototype.

dashboard Objectives

The aim of the ZEBrA research project is to develop storage tanks that do not release harmful emissions due to operation-related filling and emptying processes, temperature fluctuations during the course of the day and changes in weather and season. The first intermediate goal is the methodical development of a concept for zero-emission storage tanks, taking into account all relevant physical phenomena and practical implementation. The second intermediate goal is the detailed planning of a prototype on a pilot scale. The final goal is its construction, commissioning, testing and evaluation.

Inconspicuous storage tanks? Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions every year! It is high time to make storage tanks zero-emission as well. 
ZEBrA Project

Figure: Factors influencing emission losses from storage tanks.

dashboard MILESTONES


Elaboration of the state of the art on storage tanks


Zero-emission storage tank concept


Selection and detailed planning


Construction and testing of the prototype

dashboard Overview


Zero-emission storage tanks


Prevention of product losses


Protection of people and environment

dashboard  Motivation

Large-volume storage tanks for liquid media characterise the appearance of many sites in the chemical and petrochemical industry in large numbers. Due to their construction, the storage tanks are usually only designed for low overpressures and underpressures. Due to operating conditions, filling and emptying processes, temperature fluctuations during the course of the day, as well as weather and seasonal influences, sensitive deviations from the permissible internal pressure can occur. In order to prevent the storage tanks from collapsing or bursting, they are protected with breathing valves according to the current state of the art. Breathing valves ensure pressure equalisation from the inside – to ambient pressure – and thus prevent the build-up of impermissible or even critical pressure inside the storage tank.

To compensate overpressure, gases of the stored medium are emitted which can be harmful to humans and the environment. With underpressure, on the other hand, ambient air is drawn in, which can lead to contamination of the stored liquid. With ZEBrA, environmentally harmful emissions from storage tanks are prevented and, at the same time, product losses for operators are reduced to almost zero. In this way, environmental protection and economic operation are promoted in equal measure.


Publications coming soon.

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Cover photo source "Tube Geometry", RiIM project: Harald Hoyer from Schwerin, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cover photo source "Winstainforth", SafeDDT project, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons