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I'll be putting together a reactor using a re-purposed 425 gallon pressure vessel. This will allow batches that are easy to measure: 275 gallons of oil, 55 gallons of methanol, etc. What are some ways to engineer some fire safety measures?

Master Power Switch: One switch that will kill all electricity to the system. In the past I've used plug-in power strips. Easy to see that a power cord has been physically removed. Indicator light for when the system is energized, too.

Liquid level: If the tank is low or dry, I want a relay to kill all power.

High Temp Limit Switches: if power exceeds a certain amount, kill the power.

Loss of flow: If a pump runs dry (low liquid levels, burst line, clogged line, etc.) I want it to kill the pump. Pressure washers use reed switches but I have a feeling the low pressure may be a problem.

Fire Extinguishing: I used to sell a really neat fire fighting additive that worked on grease fires (not my formula but really neat stuff). It not only put out the fire but prevented it from igniting again even if the heat source was left energized. I'd like to add sprinklers and a pressurized tank with this chemical. By the way, a 1% concentration is suggested but I've seen demonstrations that amazed professional fire fighters at 1/2%.

I have gravity feed eye wash stations as well as the types that go onto a sink faucet. Other ideas? Any good resources for these type components? I've worked around process engineering a little but have no idea where to start.

Any ideas?


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Todd,
I have drawn up a few schematics on here for complete processor wiring. HERE is one I did for Drewry's push/pull setup to give you an idea. Are you using electric heat?
Check out this fine document also.
Dont be shy if you have any questions on the electrical...
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Check out this fine document also.

Jon, Cool,there's a ton of info there,and I like the biodiesel batch record sheets.
 
Location: western new york | Registered: November 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been into WVO and biodiesel for years and never have run across the BMP for small scale production. Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, I'll be running electric heat for now. I've recently rented some space at an industrial facility but the copper wiring in that area was stripped by thieves. So, I'll be off the grid running on my 12kw diesel generator (Changfa style). This is a wood processing facility and I don't want to cause a fire in someone else's plant!

I'll be hollering as I'm a chemical and process guy... not an electrician. I know enough to know I don't know enough.

Thanks.

Todd


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my humble opinion you can't have a process that is as safe as possible if you are heating directly with electric elements, but, opinions are like aholes everybody has one. Smile
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cheers!
I believe it was farmer from this forum who wrote the paper ( See here).
No troubles Todd, drop me a line anytime.
Here is a nice flow switch for a very reasonable price, it is a reed switch with no arcing or sparking parts. I have one on my current system and it works great. In my opinion the safest/simplest route is to go with an inline heater setup with the flow switch on the output if your going with electric heat. No flow past the heater = no heat power. The flow switch seems more reliable to me too, float switches are known to get hung up.
What are you planing on using for a pump? Are you planing to utilize vacuum for the processor?
I am currently also building a processor out of a 500 gallon propane tank as well as fabbing up a biodiesel fired boiler to heat the process up with...
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I've been running WVO for about five years and been around biodiesel a bit, having preferred to let a buddy blend it for me. I even attended one of Girl Mark's conferences over in Atlanta a few years ago and spoke to the group about safety. I own a small chemical company and am a real safety nut. I dread dealing with caustic and won't manufacture a chemical below 140 flash point. Therefore, handling Methanol doesn't turn me on at all. However, I've just moved my shop and need to start making bio on my own.

I have one 1" stainless steel centrifugal pump that will probably be my main unit. Otherwise, I have rotary gear pumps, 3/4" and 1" units. Yes, I am planning on vacuum.

As for heat, I'm playing around with assorted sources. Electricity is easy. I'm also doing biomass gasification and have wood fired heaters as well as Murphy's plans for a waste oil fired heater. For me, everything is an opportunity to learn.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A WVO boiler like Murphy's design is the best option. A central burner unit, outdoors and away from the processing shed and away from the living quarters is the safest. The boiler would supply enough heat for both space heating and process heat in your relatively mild climate. My buddy has a waste oil boiler in his shop that burns the PHO and fatty WVO he collects, along with waste fluids from the shop. Only the clear VO is made into BD. That boiler heats the shop, the BD shed and processor, the house and the greenhouse.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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