Storage and Distribution Pumps

Storage and Distribution Pumps

Ensuring a consistent flow and safeguarding the quality of biodiesel during storage and distribution requires specific types of pumps. These pumps are essential for various stages, from transferring biodiesel to storage tanks, maintaining circulation within storage to prevent settling, and finally, distributing the biodiesel to various outlets or transportation means.

Storage Pumps

Role: To transfer biodiesel from production facilities to storage tanks and, in some cases, to maintain circulation within tanks.


  • Chemical Resistance: Biodiesel can be corrosive; thus, pumps should be constructed of materials like stainless steel that resist degradation.
  • Variable Speed: To allow control of flow rate based on storage requirements.
  • Self-Priming Capability: Essential for ensuring the pump can manage the intake of biodiesel efficiently.

Distribution Pumps

Role: To transfer biodiesel from storage tanks to transportation vehicles or direct distribution channels.


  • High Flow Rate: For efficient filling during distribution.
  • Positive Displacement: Ensures consistent flow, especially important when biodiesel is metered during distribution.
  • Sealing Systems: To prevent leaks and ensure safety, especially if biodiesel is being pumped under pressure.

General Considerations for Both Types of Pumps

  • Material Compatibility: Given the varying compositions of biodiesel, especially with different feedstocks, pump materials must be compatible to prevent corrosion and wear.
  • Temperature Sensitivity: Some biodiesel variants can become viscous at lower temperatures. Pumps should be able to handle varying viscosities or be equipped with heating systems.
  • Maintenance Accessibility: Pumps should be easy to maintain, with readily available parts and straightforward disassembly.
  • Safety Features: Incorporation of safety valves, leak detection systems, and emergency shut-off mechanisms is essential.

Common Types of Pumps Used in Biodiesel Storage & Distribution

  • Centrifugal Pumps: Used for high flow rate requirements. They are efficient and can handle large volumes but might face challenges with highly viscous biodiesel.
  • Gear Pumps: A type of positive displacement pump, they offer consistent flow and are particularly useful for biodiesel distribution.
  • Diaphragm Pumps: Especially useful for biodiesel variants that might have entrained air or are prone to frothing. They can handle such challenges without cavitation.
  • Screw Pumps: Another type of positive displacement pump suitable for biodiesel, they offer smooth flow and can handle varying viscosities effectively.


Selecting the right pump for biodiesel storage and distribution is pivotal to maintain the quality of the biodiesel and ensure efficient operations. By understanding the specific needs of the biodiesel in question and the requirements of the storage and distribution system, operators can ensure a consistent, high-quality supply chain.