Biodiesel Safety

Biodiesel Safety Tips

Top 10 Safety Tips

Over the years there have been a number of biodiesel processing related accidents and fires, even some serious injuries and a couple of deaths. Making biodiesel is inherently dangerous, you are working with toxic flammable liquids and strong caustics to make fuel. Here are 10 basic safety tips that can help reduce your exposure to accidents and fires.

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Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion is one of the leading causes of fires in homebrewing operations according to fire investigators. Oily rags will burst into flames without an apparent ignition source if the conditions are right. Unfortunately the right conditions are fairly easy to replicate. Just pile up some oily rags.

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GFCI Electrical Protection for Biodiesel Processors

GFCI Protection for Biodiesel Processing Equipment

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. It's pretty much required by code any place water and electricity are in the same room. Kitchens and bathrooms often have GFCI outlets. You can spot them by the reset button. They are designed to shut down the power to the outlet if there is a grounding fault.

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msds

MSDS for Biodiesel

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains information on the potential health effects of exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, and on safe working procedures users should adhere to when handling chemical products. Download your own MSDS for the chemicals you use to make biodiesel.

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Automatic Fire Extinguishers

Automatic Fire Extinguishers

Back in the bad old days we used drills and paint stirrers to mix biodiesel. It was a cheap easy way to mix both biodiesel and methoxide. The problem is that it's excessively dangerous. Methanol at any temperature and hot biodiesel being processed give off methanol fumes.

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Fireman's Perspective

Fireman's Perspective

Dave has over 15 years as a firefighter-paramedic, HazMat Specialist, and Fire Inspector. This is his perspective on dealing with the local authorities.

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Biodiesel and Drills

Biodiesel and Drills

Back in the bad old days we used drills and paint stirrers to mix biodiesel. It was a cheap easy way to mix both biodiesel and methoxide. The problem is that it's excessively dangerous. Methanol at any temperature and hot biodiesel being processed give off methanol fumes.

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labels

Labeling Biodiesel Chemicals

There are two types of labels that are found on chemicals, "Hazmat Placards" and "Health and Safety Labels". These standarized labels help us to quickly identify hazardous materials quickly. They are required to transport chemicals over public roads and a good idea for chemicals being stored on your property.

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Making Biodiesel in Blenders

Blender Biodiesel

You see it all over the internet, in videos and websites, people making small batches of biodiesel in a food processing blender. The practice goes back to the beginning of homebrew biodiesel. It’s dangerous, starts fires, and it's time for it to stop.

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Closed Head Drum Processors

Closed Head Drum Processors

Drums with lids that cannot be removed are called Closed Head Drums or Tight Head Drums. They have one 2″ opening and one 3/4″ opening in the top. Unmodified Closed Head Drums are not suitable for use as a biodiesel processor. They will come apart violently under too much pressure.

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