A Little History and A Lot of Photos of Monolithic Dome Storages


David B. SouthPublished Monolithic Dome Bulk Storage

Image: Potato Storage — Monolithic constructed this potato storage, with a diameter of 130’ and 88,000 CWT, in Homer, Idaho. Once Monolithic completed the first potato storage in Shelly, Idaho many others followed.

Around the world

Monolithic Dome bulk storages have been constructed around the world to store chemicals, fertilizers, cement, sand, salt, feed, grains, aggregates, carbon, chips, seeds, peanuts, coke, blasting powder – and the list goes on. The benefits of utilizing Monolithic Dome construction technology for bulk storage are defined and described in “Anatomy of a Bulk Storage.”

An interesting story

It’s about a Monolithic Dome bulk storage in Chandler, Oklahoma. We didn’t have it quite finished when a salesman, representing a fertilizer company, saw what we were doing and reported it back to his bosses in Catoosa, Oklahoma, at the OK Grain Company.

OK Grain Company monitored the progress of the dome and, after it was completed, ordered a dome for their river front facility.

Before we got mobilized to get there, they decided they needed two. By the time we had the second one under construction, they needed four more. So we wound up building six on that river front.

Tugboat captains visiting Catoosa began reporting what they saw, and it wasn’t long before we were building on the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Tom Big B, the Columbia and many other major rivers. This was a period during the eighties when fertilizer use was expanding tremendously over the United States.

More storages

The construction of these large fertilizer storage facilities led to other bulk storages – especially cement.

Bulk materials create tremendous bursting pressure in a storage. This huge amount of pressure can be best contained in a circle. Rebar used in the construction of the dome acts like hoops on a barrel. The bigger the building, the more hoops.

Monolithic Domes also have another advantage: materials that settle fall away from the dome, rather than pushing the side walls down, as is the case in a silo. This may not seem like much, but it changes the foundation dramatically.

A silo may need a foundation ten to twelve feet thick, but the Monolithic Dome will only need one or two feet. That’s a tremendous cost difference.

 

 

Originally published June 29, 2005

Image: Fertilizer Blend Plant — This first 75’ diameter Monolithic Dome, constructed for Lincoln County Farm Service in Chandler, Oklahoma was designed as a fertilizer blend plant. Before its completion, a  fertilizer salesman who saw it told the bosses of his plant in Catoosa, Oklahoma about it. Catoosa decided it needed domes on the Arkansas River. Then tug boat captains began talking about the Catoosa domes as they stopped at other storage facilities. During the next ten years, Monolithic fertilizer storages were built on all major rivers.

Fertilizer Blend Plant — This first 75’ diameter Monolithic Dome, constructed for Lincoln County Farm Service in Chandler, Oklahoma was designed as a fertilizer blend plant. Before its completion, a fertilizer salesman who saw it told the bosses of his plant in Catoosa, Oklahoma about it. Catoosa decided it needed domes on the Arkansas River. Then tug boat captains began talking about the Catoosa domes as they stopped at other storage facilities. During the next ten years, Monolithic fertilizer storages were built on all major rivers.

 

Image: Apple Storage — In Stockton, California the California Ammonia Co. (CALAMCO) had Monolithic Domes, with diameters of 230’, heights of 115’ and the capacity to hold 600 semi-truck loads of apples, built and designed with a controlled atmosphere. Their oxygen is removed and replaced with nitrogen so that the apples “sleep” until they’re shipped.
Apple Storage — In Stockton, California the California Ammonia Co. (CALAMCO) had Monolithic Domes, with diameters of 230’, heights of 115’ and the capacity to hold 600 semi-truck loads of apples, built and designed with a controlled atmosphere. Their oxygen is removed and replaced with nitrogen so that the apples “sleep” until they’re shipped.

Image: Potato Storage — Monolithic constructed this potato storage, with a diameter of 130’ and 88,000 CWT, in Homer, Idaho. Once Monolithic completed the first potato storage in Shelly, Idaho many others followed.
Potato Storage — Monolithic constructed this potato storage, with a diameter of 130’ and 88,000 CWT, in Homer, Idaho. Once Monolithic completed the first potato storage in Shelly, Idaho many others followed.

Image: Bauxite Storages — Kaiser Bauxite had two 90’ diameter and one 75’ diameter Monolithic Domes built in Mexico and in Missouri for the storage of bauxite, a product imported from China for the production of aluminum.
Bauxite Storages — Kaiser Bauxite had two 90’ diameter and one 75’ diameter Monolithic Domes built in Mexico and in Missouri for the storage of bauxite, a product imported from China for the production of aluminum.

Image: Cement Clinker Storage — This massive structure covers a total surface area of 81,681 square feet. It measures 200’ in diameter and 130’ in total height that includes a 30’ stemwall. Crews placed as many as 240 yards of shotcrete per day constructing this huge building in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Cement Clinker Storage — This massive structure covers a total surface area of 81,681 square feet. It measures 200’ in diameter and 130’ in total height that includes a 30’ stemwall. Crews placed as many as 240 yards of shotcrete per day constructing this huge building in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Image: Fertilizer Storages — Built for Equalizer, Inc. in Port of Victoria, Texas, these two Monolithic Domes measure 130′ × 70′. In 2004 a major hurricane nearly destroyed the plant, did some damage to the conveyors but did not hurt the domes.
Fertilizer Storages — Built for Equalizer, Inc. in Port of Victoria, Texas, these two Monolithic Domes measure 130′ × 70′. In 2004 a major hurricane nearly destroyed the plant, did some damage to the conveyors but did not hurt the domes.

Image: Borax Storages — In Boron, California US Borax mines more than 80 different minerals. The company had two Monolithic Domes, 150′ × 79′, constructed for borax storage.
Borax Storages — In Boron, California US Borax mines more than 80 different minerals. The company had two Monolithic Domes, 150′ × 79′, constructed for borax storage.

Image: Carbon Storage — Great Lakes Carbon Storage has a Monolithic Dome with a 120’ diameter and a metal cladding cover in Port Arthur, Texas. Located less than 300’ from the Gulf of Mexico, this dome has survived many hurricanes.
Carbon Storage — Great Lakes Carbon Storage has a Monolithic Dome with a 120’ diameter and a metal cladding cover in Port Arthur, Texas. Located less than 300’ from the Gulf of Mexico, this dome has survived many hurricanes.

Image: Ammonium Nitrate Storage — At the Peabody Coal plant in Kenova, West Virginia, this Monolithic Dome is the largest ammonium nitrate (blasting powder) storage built since Texas City was blown off the map in the 1950s. Ammonium nitrate mixed with diesel fuel was used to break-up the rock over the coal seams of Kentucky.
Ammonium Nitrate Storage — At the Peabody Coal plant in Kenova, West Virginia, this Monolithic Dome is the largest ammonium nitrate (blasting powder) storage built since Texas City was blown off the map in the 1950s. Ammonium nitrate mixed with diesel fuel was used to break-up the rock over the coal seams of Kentucky.

Image: Dry Powder Cement Storage — This Lone Star Northwest Inc. storage is located prominently in downtown Portland, Oregon. It’s the ideal unit for containing cement in an attractive storage that doesn’t detract from the area, keeps dust confined and serves as a giant billboard advertising the company’s presence.
Dry Powder Cement Storage — This Lone Star Northwest Inc. storage is located prominently in downtown Portland, Oregon. It’s the ideal unit for containing cement in an attractive storage that doesn’t detract from the area, keeps dust confined and serves as a giant billboard advertising the company’s presence.

Image: Fertilizer Storages — The PCS Phosphate complex in Morehead City, North Carolina includes two 172′ × 85′ and one 132′ × 51′ domes. In 1996 Hurricane Bertha ravaged Morehead City, but did not succeed in damaging the Monolithic Domes.
Fertilizer Storages — The PCS Phosphate complex in Morehead City, North Carolina includes two 172′ × 85′ and one 132′ × 51′ domes. In 1996 Hurricane Bertha ravaged Morehead City, but did not succeed in damaging the Monolithic Domes.

Image: Coal and Limestone Storage — This Monolithic Dome, built for the containment of coal and limestone used in generating electricity, has a diameter of 260’.
Coal and Limestone Storage — This Monolithic Dome, built for the containment of coal and limestone used in generating electricity, has a diameter of 260’.

Image: Petroleum Coke Storage — In St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Hovensa Coker Storage, Bechtel Corp. has two 254′ × 127′ Monolithic Domes. With a capacity of 40,000 metric tons, they’re the world’s largest petroleum coke storages.  After this photo was taken, an equipment tower and conveyor system was set on top of the domes. The weight allowance was one million pounds.
Petroleum Coke Storage — In St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Hovensa Coker Storage, Bechtel Corp. has two 254′ × 127′ Monolithic Domes. With a capacity of 40,000 metric tons, they’re the world’s largest petroleum coke storages. After this photo was taken, an equipment tower and conveyor system was set on top of the domes. The weight allowance was one million pounds.

Image: Fly Ash Storage — This award winning fly ash storage for Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Power Plant in Washburn, North Dakota measures 220′ × 80’.
Fly Ash Storage — This award winning fly ash storage for Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Power Plant in Washburn, North Dakota measures 220′ × 80’.

Image: Food Storage — A 50’ diameter Monolithic Dome is used for storing dry pack food in Ambergris Caye, Belize. From Friday, Sept. 29 to Sunday, Oct 1, 2000 Keith, a Force 4 hurricane with winds up to 135 mph, raged over Ambergris Caye. Keith uprooted trees, flattened buildings, overturned aircraft and jettisoned boats onto rocks, but the dome survived beautifully.
Food Storage — A 50’ diameter Monolithic Dome is used for storing dry pack food in Ambergris Caye, Belize. From Friday, Sept. 29 to Sunday, Oct 1, 2000 Keith, a Force 4 hurricane with winds up to 135 mph, raged over Ambergris Caye. Keith uprooted trees, flattened buildings, overturned aircraft and jettisoned boats onto rocks, but the dome survived beautifully.

Image: Potash Storage — In Ogden, Utah, Great Salt Lake Mineral operates a 25,000 ton potash storage with a diameter of 160’. A second dome of similar size has now been built for additional storage.
Potash Storage — In Ogden, Utah, Great Salt Lake Mineral operates a 25,000 ton potash storage with a diameter of 160’. A second dome of similar size has now been built for additional storage.

Image: Iron Carbide Storage — Nucor Steel in Blytheville, Arkansas has a 145’ diameter dome for storing 45,000 tons of iron carbide.
Iron Carbide Storage — Nucor Steel in Blytheville, Arkansas has a 145’ diameter dome for storing 45,000 tons of iron carbide.

Image: Grain Storages in Iraq (Summer 1989) — Thirty Monolithic Domes capable of holding 10,000 metric tons of grain were constructed in the Middle East.
Grain Storages in Iraq (Summer 1989) — Thirty Monolithic Domes capable of holding 10,000 metric tons of grain were constructed in the Middle East.

Image: Ore Storage — Built in 1984 for J.R. Simplot Co. in Pocatello, Idaho, this Monolithic Dome, 182′ × 82′, stores 40,000 tons of raw phosphate ore. A train 8 miles long pulling 800 railcars could be unloaded into this dome that supports a 60,000 pound concrete pad and a 40,000 pound conveyor.
Ore Storage — Built in 1984 for J.R. Simplot Co. in Pocatello, Idaho, this Monolithic Dome, 182′ × 82′, stores 40,000 tons of raw phosphate ore. A train 8 miles long pulling 800 railcars could be unloaded into this dome that supports a 60,000 pound concrete pad and a 40,000 pound conveyor.

Image: Nickel Storage — In Montreal, Quebec, Bechtel Quebec Ltd, operates a Monolithic Dome, 164′ × 84′, that stores nickel concentrate.
Nickel Storage — In Montreal, Quebec, Bechtel Quebec Ltd, operates a Monolithic Dome, 164′ × 84′, that stores nickel concentrate.

Image: Salt Storage — The Colorado Department of Highways keeps its salt in Monolithic Domes. Many such domes have been built for salt storage. They can not only withstand the banging of front-end loaders, but when properly treated they resist the damaging effects of salt.
Salt Storage — The Colorado Department of Highways keeps its salt in Monolithic Domes. Many such domes have been built for salt storage. They can not only withstand the banging of front-end loaders, but when properly treated they resist the damaging effects of salt.

Image: Cullet Storage — Two 105’ diameter domes were built for Ford Motor Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the containment of cullet (broken glass). Furnaces that produce glass are much more efficient when broken glass is mixed with new materials to create new glass. So the plant actually makes broken glass, then holds it in the dome until needed for the manufacture of new glass.
Cullet Storage — Two 105’ diameter domes were built for Ford Motor Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the containment of cullet (broken glass). Furnaces that produce glass are much more efficient when broken glass is mixed with new materials to create new glass. So the plant actually makes broken glass, then holds it in the dome until needed for the manufacture of new glass.

Image: Coal Storage — Air Products and Chemicals Co. in Edensburg, PA uses Monolithic Domes for storing 25,000 tons of coal refuse.
Coal Storage — Air Products and Chemicals Co. in Edensburg, PA uses Monolithic Domes for storing 25,000 tons of coal refuse.

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