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Everyone has their own standards for acceptable risk. What I might consider OK for me is quite different from what I would recommend to others, especially on a public forum that any idiot can read.


I agree. And those safety concerns have been addressed already, many times, even in the short time I've been on this forum. But as I said, there's really no difference between having a biodiesel reactor in your garage, and having a car in it. If any, I'd say an insulated reactor would be harder to let the fuel ignite than a non insulated (and many times, plastic) car gas tank.

quote:
Real drywall is quite fire-resistant, and not "glorified cardboard" as you put it. Yes, it has two cardboard/paperboard outer sheathing layers, but the core is actually powdered and reconstituted gypsum, which is a stone.

It takes a very, very, very intense and hot flame to burn drywall. Liberal use of accelerants and lots of readily available fuel.


True. At room temperature. But temperatures inside a burning building can go well over 1000*C. Try it. I did.
I put a piece of drywall inside a bakery oven, at 450*C. It takes about 10 seconds to light up like a candle, and shortly after, the gypsum just crumbles down.


************************

"When you don't think what you say, you say what you think" Jacinto Benavente.

"Wars not make one great" Yoda.

"A pessimist is a well informed optimist"

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Location: Miami, Florida. | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Graydon Blair:
Also, I don't think the firewall thing holds true in Utah. There's several attached garages that are below the dwelling space as well as attics above that have no "firewall".


That's right - until states adopted the URBC (Uniform Residential Building Code) there was no set standard for garage fire containment. I don't think all 50 have yet adopted it fully, although I don't know that for sure.

Even now (and I design and inspect homes and buildings) I see contractors who'll "protect" the walls with Type X GWB but put plain gyp bd on the ceiling. They'll also slap in plastic j-boxes and vents in "rated" envelopes not thinking the plastic filled hole compromises the system.

Best to just get biofuel making out of the house and not trust the construction for containment of a mishap. There's just too much chance for a bad day otherwise.

There is no way I'll stand near a half empty 55 gal drum of meth with a 10lb ABC ext. I be a runnin'!


Regards,
Keith

"The government is not best which secures mere life and property--there is a more valuable thing--manhood."
- Mark Twain's Notebook


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Location: Whiteville, NC | Registered: March 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I just know I'm going to get my head chewed off for saying this, but I think that there should be federal law against having a reactor in any structure attached to a residential dwelling. Outbuildings ONLY.


I could not agree more. THe nly problem with a federal law is now they know you are producing bio......



Passing a law against something doesn't finger anyone for doing it.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think you can't, or shouldn't even try to, legislate for the stupidest 1%...ya just gotta let em' kill themselves and pray they don't take anybody else out with them.



So it should be legal to react 50 gallon batches on the 5th floor of a 10 story apartment building? Laws are meant to also protect the innocent children of idiots.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know how many times this forum has addressed that exact scenario; fire starts, you have plastic tanks full of biodiesel, fire reaches tanks, you got a much bigger problem than you had a minute ago.
And biodiesel, with it's higher flash point and self propagated oxygen supply, will, once ignited, be much more difficult to put out than a diesel fire or a gasoline fire.



This is the core issue that some choose to ignore.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Common sense isn't so common, especially when it comes to safety.

My processors are away from any houses or buildings.


Illegitimi Non Carborundum
 
Location: Utopia Planitia | Registered: February 25, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Common sense isn't so common, especially when it comes to safety.

Yeah, that's why they call them 'accidents'
I think of it as premeditated carelessness.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For every Idiot that thinks they should be making BioDiesel there will undoubtably be a preventable accident that will happen.
We can keep counting them here as they make the news.
Only an Idiot would make BioDiesel in an attached building.

Let me repeat that...

"ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD MAKE BIODIESEL IN AN ATTACHED BUILDING!"
 
Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Lazerus:
Let me just say as a Massachusetts resident, that while I agree with everything said here the only part of the article that I have a problem with is this little thing:
"PERMITS FOR THE STORAGE OF FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS ARE REQUIRED BY MASSACHUSETTS FIRE PREVENTION REGULATIONS PRIOR TO THE STORAGE OF BIODIESEL AND THE PRODUCTS USED TO PROCESS THE VEGETABLE OIL."

Simply because this state has a tendency to over regulate everything! That being said, my processor that I'm currently constructing is actually going to be a mobile trailer unit, with it's own power supply, and will never be anywhere near my house.


Yikes!

I am in Mass too. Yes, if we can regulate it, ban it, tax it, or forbid it, our lovely elected officials WILL DO IT!

I took one of Girlmark's classes with a guy that was from Southborough.... He was using a "fuelmeister" I think, gosh, I hope it wasn't his house!

I have to pipe in here. First, my "credentials" I was a state certified (Ohio) fire inspector and instructor. I led a fire safety education program for my department (about the size of Southborough) I graduated second in my class from the state Fire Academy. Before I left the department I was a line officer and served a total of thirteen and a half years. Now that, that B.S. is out of the way, I want to point out a few things.

1. They ARE slamming home brew bio-d production. Just by mentioning the "permitting required for the storage of flammable material" quote. What they fail to mention is that permitting and fire department intrusion is limited to public buildings only. I want you all to think about what that posting by the fire department really means. And, what it will mean to YOUR home brewing no matter WHERE your processor is located on YOUR property!

2. They don't want home brewers in their town. Once again by mentioning the "permitting" and "inspection" process. Read between the lines here: “Prior to considering the purchase, use and/or installation of biodiesel processing and/or storage, please ensure that you check with the local fire, building and electrical inspectors to ensure that your proposal is safe for you, your family, the community and the environment. Please feel free to contact Southborough's fire inspector at 408-485-3235 extension 403 or fire_inspector@southboroughma.com with any questions.”
What "community" are they talknig about?

It was my job to make sure the conditions my firefighters had to go into were as "safe" as they could be. That was the "community" I was worried about.

There are a couple of problems I see with the pictures posted. The first one there was apparently no firefighters present, or at least none are seen. In the second photo, you see one firefighter in the foreground but no water being applied to the fire. Granted, by that time, the building was a total loss. But, also notice the snow on the ground. Was there a delay in getting water to the fire due to frozen hydrants? Was the house in an area of that town that didn't have municipal water and water had to be "trucked" in? BTW, read this: "A home in a neighboring community contained a biodiesel processor and storage area in the garage. A fire occurred in the home during the night. When the biodiesel and other liquids became involved in fire, the resulting fireball was so intense, that the fire destroyed the home in the matter of minutes:" The fire wasn’t even in their jurisdiction!!!

What I am submitting to you is a manipulation of the facts.

Notice they DON’T say what the cause of the fire actually was?

I am NOT advocating unsafe practice.

What I am advocating is everyone should call their state legislator to assure that our right to home brew bio-d is protected. I have no doubt that the Mass Fire Chief’s association is trying to get legislation passed that outlaws home bio-d production because of incidents like this.

Just think about it…

Let the flames (no pun intended) begin.

C.

P.S. I am emailing my state reps right after I post this.


C.


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Location: New England | Registered: July 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The world is not what you see but the lens through which you see it.


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Murphy:
The world is not what you see but the lens through which you see it.


OK Murph,

IT's late and I'm tired.... What does that mean?
C.


C.


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Location: New England | Registered: July 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It means that most things in life are about your own perspective.


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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What I am advocating is everyone should call their state legislator to assure that our right to home brew bio-d is protected. I have no doubt that the Mass Fire Chief’s association is trying to get legislation passed that outlaws home bio-d production because of incidents like this.



I don't even live in your nation, let alone your state, but I agree with you. People should rally together politically to generate some right for small non-commercial brewers.

All my concern is that there should be some sort of organisation with accurrate safety knowledge so the government has some sort of guidelines for little guys to adhere to. I mean, if all people do is rally together after every tragedy, then it's only a matter of time until the pendulum of public opinion swings the other way for a while. Then the little guys association will have to rally harder to regain the political upper hand again. It would be sad to see all you guys sit by peacefully brewing under the radar whill tragedy after tragedy sways support from you and gives regulators something to exaggerate and justify oppression with. Nobody should be forced under the radar, but nobody should be put at risk by someone elses negligence.

It should be easy to gets permits because the safety info should be common knowledge. Insurance should be cheap because adjusters should be hard pressed to find tragic statistics to inflate fees with.

Leadership...
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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2003 International Residential Code (current in SC) Says Fire rated sheetrock/material between garage and living area. That means doors and pull down stairs if in the garage. Fire rated rock is 5/8" not 1/2" like the walls inside the home.
bax


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Location: SC | Registered: November 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting take RNCarl. And considering the way politics works I have no problem accepting your insight.
I am no fan of "Papa Government"; the need of an overbearing, allwise,allknowing benevolent government father figure to watch out for all us inferior peons.
IMO they cause more problems than they solve, and while the article does bring out valid safety concerns it is top heavy with this getting "permission" aspect.
Now in a perfect world all these agencies would be honest and truthfully looking out for our welfare, but this is reality not a perfect world, and in reality politics plays a much too intrusive role in determining what we can and cannot do.
My system was set up with safety in mind, it is in a detached dedicated outbuilding and was wired by a certified electrician.I am certified many times over for the handling shipping and storage of HazMat (Dangerous Goods).
What need do I have to go running to some government honcho, who may or may not have an agenda or who may or may not be jealous of what I am doing, for any sort of approval ?



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Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Legal Eagle:
What need do I have to go running to some government honcho, who may or may not have an agenda or who may or may not be jealous of what I am doing, for any sort of approval ?


And chances are that government official will be by far less experienced in the field.

Have you ever seen a politician who'll honestly strive to cut government? Think about it...how many (GOOD)* employees set out with intent to make their employer's business less profitable?

Want to know how government grows?

When Joe makes a product or performs a service Mick likes, Uncle Sam's minion can't leave it alone and issues a declaration making Joe's product more expensive. When Mick now buys from Joe, he pays more because Joe pays more because Sam's minion made it cost more by "regulation". Subtly but surely, Mick and Joe both pay an increased share of taxes on the extra expense Sam's minion caused.

Who gets paid with those taxes?

Uncle Sam's Minion...

(* added as a CMA clarification...)


Regards,
Keith

"The government is not best which secures mere life and property--there is a more valuable thing--manhood."
- Mark Twain's Notebook


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Location: Whiteville, NC | Registered: March 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You know, if we stop posting in this thread, when it gets to page 2 or 3, Tilly will post another thread about something biodiesel-fire related.

Even the original poster has an agenda.


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Even the original poster has an agenda.


We all have an agenda.
Whether it is to promote safety, save a buck, save the planet, get the government off our backs, or get people to use their heads for something more than wearing a hat...
For the short time I've been here, I'm of the opinion that some member's (like, for example Tilly, Graydon or Graham) agenda seems to be that of promoting the SAFE production and use of biofuels, and evolving the "hobby". I can only respect and admire that.
Now, in reading the previous posts, I came up with a suggestion that could become somebody's agenda (or add to it).
How about somebody (or a group of people, with the right contacts) coming up with a "biofuels producers association" of sorts, with the purpose of lobbying before Uncle Sam for things like a tax exemption for biofuels producers, for example, or unified safety regulations?
Just a thought.


************************

"When you don't think what you say, you say what you think" Jacinto Benavente.

"Wars not make one great" Yoda.

"A pessimist is a well informed optimist"

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Location: Miami, Florida. | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Getting back to the facts at hand. Does anyone know how the fire started? It would sure be nice to know what happened.

A fire in any building is bad, attached or unattached to a dwelling. From day one I never heated oil without a thermostat and a timer. If one failed the other was a backup. I also turned off the element before adding the methoxide and during the reaction. My guess is this guy did something that would not have been considered safe by most of us and it caught up to him.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Reggie:
Getting back to the facts at hand.....


What facts? which hand?


Regards,
Keith

"The government is not best which secures mere life and property--there is a more valuable thing--manhood."
- Mark Twain's Notebook


2004 GMC Duramax 6.6 LLY now on B100 "Applejuice"
 
Location: Whiteville, NC | Registered: March 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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