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john galt
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Posted 27 April 2008 04:25 AM Hide Post
quote:
All I'm saying is that I think the entire diesel biofuels community would benefit from easy access to a standardised distillation of existing regs with any necessarry appendices that represent any state, county or city variances of the overall code,

agreed... education is the answer, not legislation
Location: Possum Lake Lodge, Canukland | Registered: 03 May 2005



I don't get it John!?!?!

What are you agreeing to??? The regulations ALREADY EXIST, apparently you just aren't aware of them!

I never proposed any NEW laws, only education of the ALREADY EXISTING ONES.

I see, understand and agree with your point that it's impossible to regulate common sense and good character. Yes, as you've often said, nature will eventually breed an idiot dumber than any safety reg can protect (I'm living proof LOL). Isn't that why we have laws prohibiting mentally handicapped folks and children from operating vehicles on public roads? Sure there's a grey zone in between average intellect and those deemed utterly incapable of safely performing potentially dangerous tasks, but considering the many codes to comply with spread over the various governmental levels, wouldn't it be great if someone collated the info into an easy to use format.

I'd like to see a map of North America where you just click on your city, then a whole breakdown of applicable info opens up for easy study. No doubt, some areas will be so overregulated that there is almost no practical hope of a regular homebrewer ever achieving full compliance. At least knowing that would provide the brewer the option of either forming a coop to divide the cost of compliance over many members, or brew under the radar, or to relocate to a more bio friendly local municipality. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is no defense at all.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I couldn't have said it better welder, sorry for making a pest of myself on this subject, but I really didn't think a lobbying group would be the way to go. Like I and several others have said, just educate those we come accross who are doing things in a dangerous way. I actually like the idea you put forward of a map showing the breakdown of applicable laws in each juristictional area. That would be enornously helpful.


"When you have no destination in mind, any road will do".
- Cheshire Cat said in Alice in Wonderland,


"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax


Natural Oil Processing Environmental Community


Buy a bumper sticker or hat go to my store: http://www.cafepress.com/Bioheat
 
Location: Dudley,MA | Registered: December 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello bernyjb
quote:
Originally posted by bernyjb:
some of the concerns? Let's see...
Stuff laying around everywhere, with a guy handling dangerous chemicals having to jump around.
Wires hanging loose everywhere.
Heater wires exposed.
A power strip just laying around on top of the pump's intake pipe.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something...
Other concerns I have are;
The reactor is in a garage attached to the house.
The reactor does not appear to have a vent pipe to the outside
No fire extinguisher
Appears to be using the blue HF pump that has a history of catching fire.






 
Location: ลึก ประเทศอินเดีย | Registered: March 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I couldn't have said it better welder, sorry for making a pest of myself on this subject, but I really didn't think a lobbying group would be the way to go.



You weren't being a pest. What's the point of having a forum if we can't express our honest opinions. We likely all share some accurracy and some error, so as long as we communicate decently with each other we can correct each other gently.

That reminds me, I used the word "idiot" earlier on in this thread. I never aimed it at anyone and if anyone felt hurt, I'm sorry. I meant it generically, not specifically. Sometimes I talk harsh, but I really mean no offense at all. If you guys hung out in steel shops with a bunch of hairy tattoed cave gronks with scars and heavy callouses all over, you'd eventually start to de-evolve like me too. Sorry.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Homemade biodiesel may have caused O-burg fire

Last Update: 3:23 pm

A garage explosion and fire may have been caused by home biodiesel production, according to Ogdensburg fire investigators quoted by The Advance News.

The 7:20 a.m. Friday blast touched off a fire that destroyed the garage at 610 Rensselaer Ave. The fire also damaged a house and another garage, the Advance reported.

Fire investigators said the fire scene revealed several 55 gallon drums (see photo in slideshow) and a large amount of vegetable oil, which can be used in biodiesel production.

The explosion and fire were at the property of Carl Dashnaw.

City fire and codes officials are checking to see whether it's legal to produce biodiesel fuel on a residential property, the newspaper reported.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: john galt,



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How long now until we start seeing "knee jerk" reactions to this sort of thing by local city councils making it next to impossible to brew?

This scares the crap out of me.
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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just the Excuse the goverment needs to ban wvo storage, oh well ill just do it anyway
 
Location: Florida | Registered: April 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gee, I'm sure glad he wasn't using a poly processor. That fire would have been much worse!!


If it aint broke, dont fix it! But its ok to take it apart and see how it operates.
 
Registered: August 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Poor ole motorcycle, just didn't make it. Well time to restore it again....oh an the craftsman tool box. oh noo.....
 
Location: Norse | Registered: March 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I talked to the man tonight about this fire. He had a lot of stuff in that garage, including all his duck hunting equipment. But, He didn't loose one drop of methanol, WVO or biodiesel in the fire. He had not started back up from his winter break. He actually had made his first run for veggie oil, but it was still in the back of his truck at the time of the fire. The fire department thinks it was most likely caused by faulty wiring.

This is another case of journalistic sensationalism. It was a full page article on page 2 of the local newspaper. The fire department there is pro homebrew and they are p1ssed at the paper. The paper has promised a retraction, but I doubt you'll see the retraction get the same coverage.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another image of the same fire.

 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Laws are meant to also protect the innocent children of idiots.


I don't have any children.

I certainly agree with prudence.

However,

Should we require everyone to install padded walls in their house just in case someone may trip? Or... to prevent all the broken hands from kids punching walls (yes, the number 1 cause of broken hands is punching walls, or so they claim). Perhaps we should also make the studs out of foam rubber for the same reasons...

Perhaps we should install safety netting around the trunks of all trees in the world... just in case a kid happens to think it would be a good idea to climb the trees.

Think of all the lives saved if we set the speed limit to 10 MPH throughout the country. Perhaps we should enforce the 10 MPH speed limit with the Death Penalty.

Certainly Californians should not be allowed to build their multi-million dollar houses on forested hillsides. Maybe we should just mow down all the trees in California, and that would solve the problem.

And, no building your house withing 5 miles of a river.

And, certainly nobody should be allowed to build a house below sea level!!!

Should it be illegal to eat a "Big Mack"?

-----------------------------------------

Is there a money tree?

Consider a Carbon Monoxide Detector.
It can save a person's life in certain cases of a faulty furnace, or a slow smoldering fire.

Say the detector is a $30 device.
And, say there is a 1/1,000,000 chance that a person would die due to carbon monoxide poisoning without other warnings (for example a working smoke detector).

So, our cost to society is now $30,000,000 PER LIFE SAVED.

What about the person that has all electric heat (Heat Pump), and does not use a fireplace, doesn't smoke, and doesn't use space heaters. Their risk might be 1/10,000,000 for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (with no other warnings). So, in that case, the cost of this $30 detector is now $300,000,000 per life saved.

I think $30 in lottery tickets would be a better investment!!!!!
-----------------------------------------
Ok, so one should act according to general prudence.

Unfortunately, we can't sanitize the world of all potential dangers. And, over regulation can be far more harmful than the potential issues that could have been prevented.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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He didn't loose one drop of methanol, WVO or biodiesel in the fire.


What was in the three ruptured 55gal drums then? 2 still visible and a third where just the blown off, domed lid is lying there? You figure they were just empty...waiting to be filled with the wvo from his truck?
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are four drums visible in the picture. Three of them are still mostly in tact. They were empty with the bungs in place. Heat from the fire caused the air inside to expand and bubble up the tops. The three drums were is oil collection drum, his finished biodiesel drum and his processor.

The fourth drum was an empty methanol drum. You see the remains of it in the foreground. It blew apart in the fire. Being empty it was filled with both methanol vapors and air. When the drum got hot enough, the vapors inside ignited and blew the empty drum apart.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back to the original fire reported in this thread

After doing a bit of searching, I contacted the Fire Department in who's jurisdiction the fire occured and asked for information about the fire.
I have just received the following reply form the Northborough MA Fire Inspector.

"The fire shown on the Southborough, MA Fire Department website was in a two story wood frame, single-family dwelling in Northborough, MA. This fire occurred on December 14, 2007 at 0130 hours.

Since February 2006, the son of the homeowners was processing used vegetable oil.
He had constructed a wood-framed box, lined with polystyrene foam insulation, filled with densely packed cellulose insulation around 3- 55 gallon steel barrels and covered with a layer of polystyrene foam insulation board. Each barrel was equipped with an electric heating element.
The element of barrel #1 failed to function shortly after starting the processing of the oil. A portable, drop-in, heating element was used thereafter. The used oil would be heated so that the contaminants within the oil would drop out and leave “straight vegetable oil” (SVO) floating on the top of the barrels.
The SVO would be pumped to a 500 gallon fiberglass tank, which was adjacent to the 3-barrel box. All of this was located in one of the car bays of an under-house garage.

The day prior to the fire, the portable heating element was used in barrel #1. This element had been energized for approximately 27 hours before being discovered and unplugged, 3 hours before the outbreak of the fire.
The origin & cause investigation revealed that the barrels were leaking oil through the heating elements located at the side of the barrel. The oil was absorbed into the cellulose insulation. Also, oil has been spilled around the sides of the barrels during the filling of and the transfer from the barrels.
Barrel #1 was overheated, estimated to approximately 200 degrees F, causing the oil within the insulated container to ignite. The flames spread throughout the box, penetrating the outer surface and to the large fiberglass holding tank. The large tank had approximately 350 gallons of SVO. The ignition of this large amount of flammable caused the immediate and rapid involvement of the wood structure over."


I also asked some specific questions which are answered below,
What was the time period between the first and second photo?
"It was about 2 to 3 minutes, 5 minutes maximum. This was a very hot and rapidly spreading fire."

Do you think the house would have burned completely if there had been no Biodiesel in the garage?
"If there was no vegetable oil processing or storage in the garage there would not have been a fire. A fire for any other reason in the garage would have had substantially less volume of fire, the fire department could have contained the event and most likely saved most of the house."

Were there any injuries?
NO.

Any other information concerning the fire that you feel would add to increased safety from home brewers?
"I have several suggestions, as follows:
A.Keep all processing and storage outside of residential dwellings.
B.For storage, insulated containers; know the materials used and their compatibilities with other materials. The polystyrene and cellulose insulations used were not compatible with vegetable oil. Also, the insulation materials should not be used in a tight container, especially if to be heated above 180 degrees F. Check MSDS for all components.
C.Heating elements / devises; know the temperature ranges. Control the max. temperature.
D.Realize that the ignition temperature of all oils decreases each time they are heated, starting with the use at the restaurant. It was found that some of these oils will ignite at less that 200 degrees F.
E.Use appropriate “fire rated” containers for processing and storage. DO NOT store in a fiberglass container. Do not process or store next to combustibles.
F.Limit the size of the container for processing and storage. 500 gallons is excessive for a single container, especially within a garage adjoining to or under a dwelling.
G.Check with local fire department for regulations and safeguards."






 
Location: ลึก ประเทศอินเดีย | Registered: March 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tilly,

Thanks for the follow-up!

It certainly confirms the point you have been making about brewing outside, away from structures, or in detached buildings.
 
Location: Illinois | Registered: February 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A.Keep all processing and storage outside of residential dwellings.


quote:
A.Keep all processing and storage outside of residential dwellings.


quote:
A.Keep all processing and storage outside of residential dwellings.


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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Thanks for the follow up Tilly.

Like producer said, this certainly confirms your point about not brewing in your home. The guy in the second fire apparently followed your advice and is sleeping in his own bed tonight, unlike the guy in the first fire you reported in this thread. They make a nice contrast.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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The origin & cause investigation revealed that the barrels were leaking oil through the heating elements located at the side of the barrel. The oil was absorbed into the cellulose insulation. Also, oil has been spilled around the sides of the barrels during the filling of and the transfer from the barrels.
Barrel #1 was overheated, estimated to approximately 200 degrees F, causing the oil within the insulated container to ignite.


This was NOT biodiesel production.

It appears that the oil soaked cellulose insulation was beginning to spontaneously combust such that 200°F was sufficient to cause ignition.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by john galt:
This was NOT biodiesel production.

It appears that the oil soaked cellulose insulation was beginning to spontaneously combust such that 200°F was sufficient to cause ignition.


John, I caught that too, but it really does not matter. His house was destroyed when his 500 gallon plastic tank containing 350 gallons of SVO melted and turned a small smoldering fire into a raging inferno.

The cause of the fire does not matter. Spontaneous combustion of insulation on a heated filter unit or a wiring fire or a furnace fire, it does not matter. He had 350 gallons of SVO in a 500 gallon plastic tank without secondary containment or radiant barrier in his basement garage. I guess we should also say, don't settle your WVO inside your home as well as saying don't process in your home.

Should I say it??

Plastic Oil Storage Tank = Fire Hazard
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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