Here is a decent video someone sent me by Dr. Jon Van Gerpen for those interested;
And here is another great document on best practices;
Simple schematic for a pump and heater control with a high limit
Sensor for the biodiesel/glycerin layer
What about a fire from KOH and methanol mixed?
If ignition sources are not present, it would have to 851 degF to ignite. I personally don't think it's possible to get it that hot just by mixing.
However, the mild heat from mixing does promote evaporation and pressurizes the mixing container. The increased evaporation and positive pressure increases the size of the danger zone susceptible to stray sparks. So it would be really dangerous to mix methanol and KOH with a drill and paint stirrer since the heated and pressurized atmosphere inside the mixer would force flammable levels of methanol vapors past almost any seal.
Industry best practice when dealing with flammable atmospheres, is to eliminate spark sources in an predefined area around the source of the flammable gasses. The size of the area is determined by the size of the source and by the ventilation (or lack thereof) of the area. In well ventillated areas, with really minor flammable gas sources, the size could be as small a three foot radius around the source. In areas with poor ventilation and substantial gas sources, the area could have a radius of several hundred feet, in all directions. Please understand that a substantial leak is relatively small when methanol is considered due to it's low LEL.
Just a spark from static electricity is enough to ignite methanol vapors. Where I process my bio I need to get a large fan to keep the air moving and avoid any build up of vapors.
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