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Biodiesel Plant Leveled In Explosion
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Most cooking oils self ignite between 590-700F/310-370C. Most French Fryers operate in the range of 320-375F/ 160-190C.
If you keep the temperature below 300F there should be no chance of the oil self igniting.


I bet there is a temperature between 300F and 590F where the volatile components of the oil are becoming significantly vaporized as to be highly susceptible to ignition from another source, like say the flame of the fryer itself (in a restaurant) or, maybe even so far as, a spark from a pump?
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't use elements anywhere anymore, my process is heated with a boiler that directly heats the circulating oil or bio, I can set the temp anywhere from 100F to 200F, never anywhere near the ignition point of anything, the problem with elements is that left dry they get red hot, probably 800-1000 degrees before they burn out, I'm dealing with 300 gallons of oil, 55 gallons of methanol, that is just not compatible with electric elements.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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where the volatile components of the oil are becoming significantly vaporized as to be highly susceptible to ignition from another source,


That's a good description of the "flash point" test. At some point the vapors will sustain combustion, if there's an ignition source. As fabricator points out, an electric heating element becomes just such an ignition source as soon as it is uncovered.

Cheers,
JohnO
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Sloginphizz.
A highlimit of 220 to 250F should be plenty high enough for any processor including one incorporating demething.
I bet the standard water heater highlimit is around there anyways...

Good info guys!
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Below is a list of the flash point and Auto ignition temperature of some common vegetable oils

Oil.........Flash Point.....Auto ignition
Rape...........321C/609F......405C/761F
Soybean......320C/608F......400C/752F
Sesame.......336C/636F......419C/786F
Cottonseed..333C/631F......420C/788F
 
Registered: November 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Sloginphizz:
I have not investigated any biodiesel fires, but in my recollection the greatest majority of biodiesel fires I have read about were caused by accidentally igniting methanol fumes.


Well, it's more like the greatest majority of flame fests on this forum were started by the possibility of igniting methanol fumes.


From my discussion with two different fire marshals, they think the biggest cause of fires in homebrew is spontaneous combustion. I'd agree, with overheating the oil being the second biggest.

Those are some good numbers on flash point and auto ignition.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Originally posted by RickDaTech:
From my discussion with two different fire marshals, they think the biggest cause of fires in homebrew is spontaneous combustion. I'd agree, with overheating the oil being the second biggest.
That is interesting information. For two different fire marshals to have personal statistics about what they think is the biggest cause of fires in home-brewing that would mean they both have attended home fires caused by making biodiesel. You do not often hear about fire departments attending biodiesel fires. I wonder if a lot of biodiesel home fires go unreported.
 
Registered: July 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's not that they have personally responded to a lot of homebrew fires. They have a political need to be knowledgeable about them. I assume they were calling the investigators of fires in other areas. They both mostly discussed fires outside their areas.
 
Location: Cowboy Country | Registered: December 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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