I was about to start making bio again and noticed an old "Dr. Pepper" sample sitting on my bench. I had mixed it some time ago and left it there. I noticed that it had settled out pretty good over time. The bio on top was visually clear.
On a larger scale, what danger is there in the build up of larger quantities of settled bio? Using a 55 gal drum, would it require a vent tube going down through the bung into the lower regions of the barrel to vent out any settling dangerous/explosive fumes?
You will need a vent on the drum. The vent is to relieve pressure and prevent vacuum, not so much to exhaust vapors. When moving liquids out of a drum, there must be a vent or the drum will collapse. When moving liquids into a drum, you must vent or the buildup in pressure will rip the drum apart at the seams.
If you have an electric heating element inside the drum, you have the possibility of igniting the vapors inside. In that case, a closed head drum is too dangerous. Use an open head drum do not clamp the lid on the drum. The lid needs to be loose fitting so that if there is a fire inside the drum, the lid will just pop up a few inches. If a lid is clamped or bolted in place and an electric element inside ignites the vapors, the drum will rip apart, unrolling the beads, launching the lid like a razor edged Frisbee of death. No vent short of a loosely fitting lid will prevent it. Again, that's only if you have an electric heating element mounted inside the drum. If not, you just need a vent to move fluids in and out of the drum.
When Hot liquids cool inside a drum, it can cause the drum to collapse. There is a youtube video showing a drum collapsing after sealing a block of dry ice inside. The dry ice cooled the air enough to create a vacuum that collapsed the drum.
So yes you need a vent on your drum.
Great points you made, thanks for taking the time. Maybe I'm being to critical but just to be sure. All I would need would be to leave the bung cap off for pressure reasons? My concern would be the methanol, soaps, additional glycerol settling out over time. There is no danger of bio sitting over this mixture?
Do you vent your methanol drum to the outside or do you keep it sealed? I keep mine sealed and have never had an explosion in my methanol drum or a collapsed methanol drum.
There will be no dangerous explosive fumes in the lower regions of the drum. If you put a vent tube down into the biodiesel, any increase in pressure inside the drum will cause the biodiesel to rise out of the vent tube.
You want to minimize air contact with your biodiesel. I store my biodiesel and WVO in full, sealed 5 gallon and 55 gallon metal drums containing minimal air. None have collapsed or explodes. They do not even usually pop during the day as the temperature changes. Liquids expand and contract much less than gasses with a change in temperature.
Sealing a block of Dry Ice at -109 degrees in an empty drum at room temperature is not relevant to what will happen to a drum full of biodiesel that is going through normal temperature cycles experienced in the real world.
you want more than just an open bung. You want a long skinny passage for the air to vent through. It is best if it is tied back into the vent of another drum or such. The reason is to prevent diffusion of the methanol vapors through the vent. With a long skinny passage, only the pressure gets balanced. The chemicals stay where you put them.
I'm not aware of any special dangers of long term settling, other than the fact that it is a whole lot of flammable material that most certainly will amplify the damages of any fire close enough to heat it up. I would not want this settling drum or any drum or tote of wvo, biodiesel, methanol, or glycerin in my home or in any structure containing anything I valued.
Has infopop made the complete transformation into thunderdome?
I can only assume that you are not implying that you can pump an unvented sealed drum full of incompressible liquid without any problems.
Have you pumped 140F bio + glycerin into a room temperature drum for settling? I don't know if that is what artesp had in mind, but I couldn't rule it out. In that case I would want a vent.
Settling is a step early on in the processing. I would whole heatedly agree that finished biodiesel and wvo should be stored in full sealed drums. Your right about what you said. A full drum going through the normal temperature day/night temperature changes does not need a vent.
Wow Rick, all I see is the question "On a larger scale, what danger is there in the build up of larger quantities of settled bio? Using a 55 gal drum, would it require a vent tube going down through the bung into the lower regions of the barrel to vent out any settling dangerous/explosive fumes?
No mention of pumping 140deg glycerine. No mention of pumping biodiesel in and out of the drum. No mention of pumping anywhere. No mention of temperature anywhere.
Settling is the last step a lot of people do and it can go on for months or years. I always do it in a sealed drum, no vents allowed.
I am glad to see that you agree that my answer to artesp's actual question was correct.
If he would like to ask another question about pumping biodiesel or glycerine I will be happy to help him if I can.
the temps from normal processing are not a problem for a drum to handle. hot into a cold drum of cold into a hot drum.
sorry Rick I disagree with you about the use of drums for storage.
Rick you are correct to transfer fluids into or out of a drum there must be a vent.
since I have started recovering methanol I have always stored the glycerin in the 55 gallon drum. actually 2. most times they are not full but I have dumped 160F glycerin in the winter into the drum..then sealed..no collapse so far. if the drum isn't rusty there should be no issue storing WVO, BIO, methanol, glycerin( with or without methanol). its what the drums are designed for..
now for dropping a block of dry ice into a drum and sealing..is there a new biodiesel process that uses dry-ice? drums will collapse around 7inches of vacuum. anyone know the bursting pressure?
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My dedicated settling tank is a drum; it is ALWAYS vented 24/7.The vent from it meets up with my main vent which goes outside through the ceiling to the attic and then through the wall to the outside.
For long term storage or short term settling you want your drums sealed tight, my chemical supplier has thousands of drums of everything from Alcohol to Zylene in 55 gallon drums with not one single vent tube in sight, on a side note, I don't know how those people work in that place, every time I go there I'm nervous the entire time, 13,000 gallon tankers of methanol unloading, one little spark.......
I've been to a chem wharehouse where they make you turn off your cel phone before crossing the threshold. All kinds of HazMat markings as far as the eye can see; I always get a feeling of relief when I leave there too.
Agree on long term storage.
I see everyone agrees that drums in storage should be sealed.
It's my personal opinion and preference to vent settling biodiesel/glycerin drums. Get over it.
[Rodney King]Differences in opinion are the spice of life, but they don't need to be an excuse to drag someone outa their tuck and beat them half dead.[/Rodney King]
Don't be concerned, if the methanol does not evaporate [it won't settle out] then the soaps and glycerol won't settle out, and you want that to happen.
i dont know what the busting point is but i do know how much methonal fume it takes to lauch them 25 feet in the air and make them cone bottomed and topped and thats when you think their empty after three days up side down they are not. seems held up good thow
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Duh, forgot about that one. I guess I should worry more about the sealed 55 gallon drum of methanol sitting in my garage.
So if it sits for some time, days, weeks etc. it will take less washings thus reducing water use right?
If you use a dedicated settling tank with a standpipe, you can definetly see an improvement in washings. Settle at least overnight or more if you have th etime and then transfer the biodiesel from the SP to the wash tank. Hot water is better than cold; hard water better than soft (in my experience)
With a good water wash system and good water that is heated water washing is faster than resin purification, although with resin/wood chip/sawdust you don't have a waste stream and are independant of water supply.
Geez legal making posts at 4:39am!
If your worried about water consumption I strongly suggest you do the 5% prewash. From my experience with highly converted fuel and overnight settling of the 5% prewash, you can go straight in to bubble washing... be careful though.. being to rushy has bitten me in the backside!
If you did want to do extended settling.. 5% prewash would be a great way to start this off. You knock out a lot of methanol allowing the contaminants to settle out easier and you can get the soaps right down.
How high would the standpipe need to be? The bio would be AFTER the removal of the glycerol so that's not taken into account.
Great info Eagle. I did that process at the end of last year and was happy with it. I tend to over do things so I was washing more than I needed to I think. With a settling tank I hope to cut that down to half the washes. I would get hot water from the nearby tub in the bathroom and we have hard water here.
I was also doing the 5% pre-wash. My concern was after introducing the water, is the inline Harbor Freight pump too vigorous? Will it create an emulsion as it circulates another 5 10 minutes? I have never had any problems but always to it with my fingers crossed.
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