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Best respitory safety for methoxide
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I made a litter of Biodiesel using the doctor pepper way twice. I really want to start making 5 to 10 gallon batches however I have heard of the dangers of methoxide. I have searched the forms and have not found much because it seems cartridge respirators don't do that much at all and a lot of people say they just do it in a well ventilated area. This is not enough for me, I value my life too much when dealing with this caustic solution. What is the best way to protect against methoxide. I have a MSA full face mask with a blower and was going to get their new one but these are just big cartages. I feel this needs to be talked about a little more than I have seen on these forums as this is only fuel we are making that is about $3 per gallon, and we shouldn't be making it without the proper protection as our lives should be worth much more.
 
Registered: September 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting post, It's been a couple of years since we heard from you. This has been talked about extensively over the years. The first defense against methanol poisoning is vapor control. Processing in such a way that the vapors are not released into the workspace.

The NFPA guidelines for fire codes also work for vapor control for toxicity.

If you are unwilling or unable to control the vapors, and fill your workspace with toxic levels of methanol, then self contained breathing apparatus like firemen use is your only option.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I scuba dive so I guess I can just use that for the 5 minutes it takes to mix in the methoxide mixture. I was under the impression, however, that this mixtures fumes were very toxic no matter what the concentration no?
 
Registered: September 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Methoxide" is no more toxic than the components, Methanol & NaOH/KOH.

There is some debate about the toxicity at very low concentrations. You will note that wine & various alcohols can legally contain traces of methanol. Of course, ethanol is also the antidote to methanol poisoning.

I'd suggest building a system that will inherently minimize your exposure to vapors. Sealed transfers from drum to mixer to processor (with adequate air in, but not vapors out). Vents should lead outside of your work area.

If you really want to wear a mask in your work area, consider "supplied air".
No cartridges (although I assume some kind of a super-cartridge at the supplied air access point).
"Positive Pressure" to keep the vapors from coming in around the mask. And hoses to cover your entire work area.

But that is probably overkill. Just design a sealed system with vents outside.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I was under the impression, however, that this mixtures fumes were very toxic no matter what the concentration no?


Try reading an MSDS sheet:

http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m2015.htm

One more time, rather than go the mask route, it's better to construct your methoxide mixer so that you are not exposed to the vapors.

It's taken you two and a half years to go from making two liters to considering making 5 gallon batches. If you don't feel comfortable working with methoxide, then you probably shouldn't be making biodiesel.

Check out http://burnveg.com/ for ways of using WVO as a fuel without mixing methoxide.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You know...

Caustic in the eyeballs... is probably worse than the occasional whiff of methanol.

I do think that going with supplied air would be overkill.

But, if you choose a system with a hood or a full face mask... AND USE IT. Then you will effectively have killed 2 birds with one stone.

http://cgi.ebay.com/HOBBYAIR-F...IRATOR-/190394926941

Still... the danger of caustic in the eyeballs does warrant a safety plan for such an occurrence (with or without a respirator/face mask).

Eye Wash Facility? Access to "clean" water source while groping with your eyes closed?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: keelec,
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I wonder how much methanol we're exposed to when we hit the windshield washer control on our cars...50/50 water meth mix Confused
 
Location: NJ | Registered: March 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, I avoid sticking my head out the window and keep the window closed when I'm using the washer so I don't get sprayed. I only use the washer when I'm driving fast enough so any methanol fumes won't get sucked into the air intake at the bottom of the windshield.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The danger of methanol exposure is seriously overrated. That said however, it is always best to err on the side of safety.

Information from The Guide (my biodiesel glycerin soap making book) on the toxicity of methanol:

quote:
Although PURE methanol is quite toxic and potentially deadly, according to
studies done there are acceptable low level exposures.

How the toxicity of an element is determined is by what is called the LD (Lethal
Dose) rating. These LD ratings are listed on the MSDS of any given substance; on
the MSDS for methanol it is listed as:

"ORL-HMN LDLO 428 mg kg" which means that taken orally(ORL) in humans (HMN) the
lowest published lethal dose (LDLO) is 428 milligrams per Kg of body weight.
Methanol weighs 6.63lbs/USgal - 3.1Kg/3.78Lt. - 1.75Lbs/Lt -794gr/Lt.

A person weighing 200lbs (90.72Kg) would need to swallow 38910 milligrams
(38.91g / 49ml) of pure methanol for it to be considered lethal in the lowest dosage
test done.

This does not mean that lower levels of exposure do not present other
types of health risks, but to put this into perspective the FDA (Food and Drug
Administration-USA) states that 500 milligrams daily is safe.

A quotation from Methanol.org states,

“Refueling a fuel cell car with methanol will only give low-dose exposures (23-38
ppm for a few minutes), with a small intake of 3 milligrams of methanol. This is less
than drinking a single can of diet soda containing 200 milligrams of aspartame
which would produce 20 milligrams of methanol in the body”. - Methanol Health
Effects

http://www.methanol.org/pdf/MethanolHealthEffects.pdf


Let's face it, you'll get a greater dosing fueling a race car than you will swishing around a carboy of methoxide. Swallow a couple cans of diet soft drink (I wouldn't) and you'll get quite a bit more dosing than you will by swishing around a carboy of methoxide. (note: the carboy must be closed or it will get all over the place ...)

And the there is always the at-the-ready-emergency-first-aid method. IT is the same for methanol as it is for the ethylene glycol BTW.(Scroll down to ethanol)and also (Minnesota Poison Control)


Some other interesting links on methanol poisoning;

From Everything2.com.

From the University of Cambridge.

Studies on aspartame and methanol

HTH
PS: personally, I keep a bottle of Absolut Vodka (Sweden) at the ready whenever I'm to be potentially exposed to any methanol fumes (as in loading the recovery still, demething etc)The Poles also make a good grain vodka. Cheapo vodkas are to be avoided (check to see what you're getting before imbibbing, they are not all the same)



** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.


 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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