Home-brew fuel explodes
4 October 2008
Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY
"An Alice Springs man accidentally blew up his own shed while distilling vegetable oil to used as an alternative fuel for his car. The resident fell asleep and awoke to an `inferno'.
The shed, in Coolibah Crescent, Eastside, blew up at 5.30am on Thursday - sparking a blaze
Shocked neighbours said they heard a loud bang then a wheezing and hissing sound as other barrels heated up.
Emergency Services said the man started heating up the oil to use as diesel fuel at about 4.30am - and fell asleep soon after."
I guess he is no longer a jolly swagman.
Update from the Australian Biodiesel Forum
"As far as I can tell he had placed a 20 litre drum of solid oil with one of those steel lids with the band on it on his gas ring to melt down.
Unfortunately with no way to let the steam release the whole thing sort of turned into a pressure heater type affair and well the rest is history.
When it got to the pressure where the lid popped off it also was sort of hot, and the oil caught, as did a number of other objects in the shed."
Heating a sealed barrel of oil, good grief save us from the likes of him.
It appears to be a shed remote from the house or other valuable structures. Good placement for experiments. I use the same method - my shed is behind the barn, so a fire will be limited to the shed and biodiesel equipment, not my house.
Sure glad there wasn't a plastic cone bottom tank, nor a Harbor-Freight pump involved. I can't describe the potential damage.
Not sure how that would have made it worse -- the shed is a total loss.
'05 CRD B100
'01 TDi B100
I don't know...concrete pad looks salvageable...and that one wall could be hosed off and reused.
"...Sure glad there wasn't a plastic cone bottom tank, nor a Harbor-Freight pump involved. I can't describe the potential damage."
UFO replied "Not sure how that would have made it worse..."
Sorry, my sense of humor got the better of me. I was poking fun at those folks who regard plastic tanks and/or harbor freight pumps as the most dangerous things you can have around biodiesel processors. I hope Tilly saw the humor.
The most common element I keep seeing is someone failing to pay attention to a dangerous process that lacks safety controls. Heating a sealed drum is dumb, but a fire extinguisher in the hands of an attentive person might have saved the shed. Falling asleep while it's heating indicates a lack of appreciation for the seriousness of the situation, or alternatively, perhaps a degree of comfort knowing that the worst that could happen was the shed burning down. I can forgive the later. The former is a learning opportunity.
But Johno, those things are the most dangerious things around, it has to be true, I read it here.
What is never mentioned when a photo of a fire is posted is how the greater part of the damage is actually done by the firefighters in the effort of putting it out rather than by the fire itself.
If you've ever been close enough to a fire when it is being extinguished to see the guys in action you get a healthy respect for what a fire axe can do, and how quickly.
Whatthe fire doesn't do, the axe and water take care of ... an then along come the media for the photo op.
** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.
I would not make a blanket statement about that
About 5 years ago I had a ceiling firehere in the house. By the time the Fire Dept got here (3-5 min) I had hosed it from inside it was just smoldering.
They carefully pulled up a couple of pieces of tin on the roof and, using a gentle stream of water, hosed the smoldering timber until the fire was extinguished.
Total damage was I had to replace a 4'X8' piece of ceiling fibro and a couple of battens. And nail the two sheets of tin back on the roof.
I was impressed with the care they took.
The next day I took a carton of fourex beer up to the men at the fire Dept along with my most sincere gratitude.
You're killin' me.....
How else could we hold the Darwin Awards each year????
'03 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L Turbo
B100 - 90,000+ miles
4,500+ gallons brewed
I did not realize that it was possible to cause a BD fire in the house by mixing your brew in the back yard. Man, that setup is dangerous
03 Dodge 2500 B100 homebrew
79 Rabbit B100 homebrew
No you can't describe but maybe you can imagine what it feels like to head back a piece of plastic or a piece of stainless steel.
"head back" as in that quaint sport you play with your feet and call it football.
Then again if it was a plastic conebottom tank it would have melted straight away when placed over the gas ring. LOL Dan
The sport you call soccer because the name football was already taken by a sport you play with your hands?
The clue is in the name.... Foot ball as opposed to that funny game you play with your hands which is clearly derived more from rugby with body armour added although it is quaint you call it footbal anyway lol.
mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
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