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1. a large tank for storing coal gas or natural gas prior to distribution to users
2. any vessel for storing or measuring a gas
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a stationary steel structure for receiving, storing, and supplying gases to gas-distribution pipelines or installations for gas processing and utilization. There are two types of gasholders: variable-volume (wet) and constant-volume (dry).

A variable-volume gasholder consists of a water-filled vertical cylindrical tank (reservoir) and a bell (a vertical cylindrical bottomless tank). The tank is equipped with a spherical roof at the top. A gas pipe is brought in under the bell through the bottom of the reservoir. The bell rises when the inside space of the gasholder is filled with gas; when gas is taken out, the bell descends. In the USSR wet gasholders are constructed in capacities ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 cu m. The large amounts of metal used, the moistening of the gas, the changing pressure conditions, and the difficulty of winter operation are the chief disadvantages of wet gasholders. These drawbacks are to a large extent absent in the so-called dry, or piston, gasholders, which consist of a stationary shell with a piston. As in the wet gasholder, the piston rises during filling with gas and descends when the gas is discharged. In the USSR dry gasholders are built in capacities ranging up to 100,000 cu m. The disadvantages of piston gasholders lie in the complexity of installation and the difficulty of providing a hermetic seal between the shell and the piston.

The constant-volume (high-pressure) gasholders used in the USSR are spherical tanks, or cylindrical tanks with spherical bottoms, designed for pressures ranging up to 1.8 meganewtons per sq m, or 18 kilograms-force per sq cm. Constant-volume gasholders are used for supplying gas to low-pressure gas pipelines. Constant-volume gasholders are located aboveground, mounted on supports, and connected in banks with capacities of 20,000 to 30,000 cu m. It is virtually possible to cover the daily irregularities of gas supply by the use of constant-volume gasholders or by gas supplied from underground gas-storage reservoirs. Wet and dry low-pressure gasholders are used in the USSR only in rare cases (for example, the Kaliningrad Coke Oven Gas Plant). Low-pressure gasholders are common in the countries of Western Europe, where artificial gas is used for the gas supply. Both constant-volume and dry low-pressure gasholders are used in the USA.


Verevkin, S. I., and V. A. Korchagin. Gazgol’dery.Moscow, 1966.
Pravila ustroistva i bezopasnoi ekspluatatsii sosudov, rabotaiushchikh pod davleniem, 6th ed. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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