Labeling Biodiesel Chemicals
By Rick Da Tech
MSDS Sheets for every chemical found in your production area should be printed and kept on a clipboard or booklet in an easy to reach location in or near your production area. If you ask a Fireman, he would recommend keeping the MSDS Sheets for everything on hand along with a map showing where and how much hazardous is located on the property. There are two types of labels that are found on chemicals, "Hazmat Placards" and "Health and Safety Labels". These labels should be left on the container showing what was originally in the container until it has been washed out and filled with another chemical. For instance if you use a methanol drum to store biodiesel, you need to change from methanol to biodiesel labeling when you fill the drum with biodiesel.
Hazmat Placards are required by the DOT to be used when hazardous materials are transported. Section 14 of the MSDS sheet will provide you with a "Hazard Class" Each Hazard Class has it’s own placard or sign that must be displayed when transporting. Generally the maximum you can transport over the public roadways without placarding, is 1,000 pounds of hazardous materials. That limits you to two drums of methanol. If you need to transport a large enough quantity that placarding is required, it’s best to hire someone to do it for you. The driver will have a CDL with a hazardous materials rider and will have taken hazmat courses with the DOT. He will also have special insurance and bonding just for hazardous materials. The requirements vary slightly from state to state, but are based on Federal Guidelines.
NaOH and KOH
Health and Safety Labels
These labels are defined by NFPA. It consists of a diamond divided into four boxes, each box is a different color and represents a different hazard. The number found in the box indicates the relative degree of each hazard. 0 being no hazard and 4 being maximum hazard. You should put this label on every chemical container for which you have an MSDS Sheet. In Commercial and industrial zones these labels are required by the fire codes. If you get "inspected", having this labeling will make the inspection go a lot smoother.
blue = health hazard
Section 5 of the MSDS sheet will sometimes provide you with the proper number to write in each box. You don’t actually need the fancy labels. You can draw the boxes on the drum with chalk. Then fill in the numbers and write the chemical name beneath the boxes.