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Biodiesel Doing It Right
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  1. BiodieselDoing It Right Green Energy SummitMilwaukee, WI March 10, 2011 Green Diesel Wisconsin Foundation 920-289-0166

  2. What is the Wisconsin Small-Scale Biofuels Producers Program? • Program designed to promote small-scale biofuels production • Biodiesel • Ethanol • Biomass • Biogas • By providing assistance to producers • Technical • Regulatory • Funding information • Networking • Quality • Safety Register for free at

  3. Alternative Fuels Fuel Types • Biodiesel • Ethanol • Biogas Options to Consider • Fuel usage • Amount of production • Storage, blending, & distribution • Equipment location • Mobility of equipment

  4. How to make biodiesel Mix methanol and potassium hydroxide together until dissolved Add to feedstock oil/fat Heat to 125 F and stir for 3 hours Let settle

  5. Biodiesel Production Basics

  6. Plastic Processors ???

  7. How NOT to make biodiesel "If you can bake a cake, you can make biodiesel,"

  8. Surprise, AZ Explosion Small external fire Plastic tank system leaked methanol vapors Explosion blew off garage doors

  9. Biofuels Production Operations considerations • Storage • Fire safety • Environmental safety • Resources: Wisconsin Guide to Building Biofuels Facilities: • Biodiesel Safety and Best Management Practices for Small-Scale Noncommercial Use and Production • Environmental Laws Applicable to Biodiesel Facilities •

  10. Storage Tank Regulations • Wisconsin Department of Commerce (Comm 10) • • Above ground storage tanks (AST) greater than 110 gallons • Underground storage tanks (UST's) with a capacity greater than 60 gallons • Intermediate Bulk Containers • A process tank is considered a storage tank if the vessel is used as storage for a period exceeding 96 hours after the primary process is completed. • Portable containers, such as barrels, are regulated under current fire codes.

  11. Comm 10: Combustibles • The National Fire Protection Association Chapter 30 (NFPA30) • Fire prevention and safety • Tank design and installation • NFPA has adopted Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 142 and American Petroleum Institute (API) 650 tank design standards. • Flammable and combustible liquids • regulated by flash point, not by petroleum/ vegetable oil content. Generally, as the combustible liquids' flash point increases, the regulatory requirements become more relaxed.

  12. Liquid Fuel Classifications • Class IA • Flash points below 73°F and boiling points below 100°F • Class IB • Flash points below 73°F and boiling points at or above 100°F • Class IC • Flash points at or above 73°F, but below 100°F • Class II • Flash point at or above 100°F and below 140°F • Class IIIA • Flash Point equal to or greater than 140°F, but less than 200°F • Class IIIB • Flash Point equal to or greater than 200°F

  13. Methanol, (methyl alcohol) • Class I flammable liquid • Can ignite from static charge, flame or spark • Burns without a visible flame • Water is not an efficient extinguishing • Cumulative poison • Collects in body • Can cause blindness • Poisoning • Absorbed through skin • Inhaled, difficult to smell lower concentrations • Headache is a sign of poisoning

  14. Methanol • Wear compatible gloves, apron and appropriate eye protection. • Any other protection appropriate to your handling method (shoe covers, etc) • Cartridge-style masks are not appropriate • Some will capture methanol, but saturate quickly, rendering them useless • Positive-pressure full face mask ideal protection • Minimizing exposure to vapors best

  15. Methoxide(Na O-CH3) • Product of mixing methanol and sodium hydroxide • In pure form a white solid material. • Sodium Methoxide in methanol is highly toxic and explosive. • Making (and tranferring) sodium methoxide is the most dangerous step when making biodiesel.

  16. Hydroxides (Base Catalysts) • Caustic • Will cause severe eye damage • Will burn skin • Can be dusty • Take care in handling • Avoid breathing in dust • Wear compatible gloves, apron, dust mask, and appropriate eye protection. • Any other protection appropriate to your handling method

  17. Biodiesel, Fats, & Oils • Class IIIB combustible liquid • Biodiesel: flash Point ~ 266 °F • Fats/Oils : flashpoint of 450 ° F or higher • Burns with significantly higher BTUs and difficult to extinguish • Biodiesel/diesel blends

  18. Glycerine • Flashpoint of 320° F and an auto ignition point of 739° F. • Biodiesel refining byproduct is not pure glycerol because it also contains methanol. Methanol or methyl alcohol has a flash point of 52° F. The amount of methanol in the glycerol byproduct will vary with the refining process, but flammable and explosive methanol vapors emitted are an explosion and fire safety concern.

  19. Methanol Recovery System for Biodiesel Production

  20. Glycerin Storage • The Commerce tank program has taken the position that tanks storing the glycerin byproduct must be listed and configured for a Class I flammable liquid, including venting to the outside. Commerce will recognize engineering that will provide control of the vapors for recovery processes, and this process must be in tank plan submittals. The containment requirement for a Class IIIB liquid applies.

  21. Water Resources Drinking water & ground water need to be considered in either an ongoing operation or a proposed operation. The presence of wetlands and other surface water features are important in locating an operation. There are numerous requirements that when properly implemented, will protect water resources. Depending on the size of the operation, there may be a need for a high capacity well . Wisconsin Guide to Building Biofuels Facilities page 10

  22. High Capacity Well • Must be approved by DNR prior to construction • Springs that flow at a rate of one cubic foot per second or more at least 80 percent of the time • Potential impacts on nearby municipal wells • Trout streams or exceptional or outstanding resource waters within 1,200 feet of a proposed well • Water loss of over 95 percent of the water pumped from a major basin • Water loss of over 2 million gallons per day from a major basin • Special casing areas • Landfills within 1,200 feet of a proposed well • DNR remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites for ground water use restrictions

  23. Waste Water • Wastewater directed to a municipal wastewater treatment plant will not require a permit • Industrial wastewater is not allowed to be directed to a domestic septic system • All other types of discharges will require a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit. Common activities that require a WPDES include: • Cooling water • Filter backwash • Wash water • Other process water

  24. Stormwater The WDNR Stormwater Program addresses two primary activities • Construction/expansion • Stormwater management once the facility is operating • If your facility will be disturbing one acre or more of land, you will need to comply with Stormwater requirements.

  25. Air Permitting • DNR is authorized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue Air Permits • Information on Air Permits can be found by contacting the WDNR office in your area • *Small Producers exempt from air pollution and control permit

  26. Solid & Hazardous Waste • Solid waste typically handled by existing institutional processes • Waste glycerin may be hazardous waste if it contains methanol in quantities large enough to lower the flashpoint below 140° F • If waste glycerin/methanol byproducts are sent offsite to be legitimately reclaimed, they are exempt from hazardous waste regulations, per Section NR 661.02, Wis. Adm. Code

  27. Spill Reporting • If a spill occurs, it is the responsibility of the person who possesses or controls the hazardous substance or who causes the spill to notify DNR via the 24 hour Spill Reporting Hotline at 1-800-943-0003. The responsible party must determine whether a discharged substance is hazardous based on quantity, concentration, and physical, chemical, and infectious characteristics of the substance.

  28. For many substances, whether or not the substance is considered hazardous will depend on the quantity discharged and the location of the discharge. Example: Due to its high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), spilled vegetable oil is a hazardous substance and must be reported if it enters waters of the state such as a storm sewer, lake, or stream or causes slippery road conditions. All spills of hazardous substances must be cleaned up, regardless of location or quantity. Wisconsin Guide to Building Biofuels Facilities - page 16

  29. Containment • Federal EPA Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Rules • Clean Water Act & Oil Pollution Act of 1990; vegetable oils and animal fats are considered oils. EPA has determined that facilities must meet the rule's substantial harm criteria due to facility characteristics and their potential to impact sensitive areas, including drinking water intakes. Facilities under this rule must comply with secondary containment and emergency response requirements. In this determination, the EPA has considered the physical, chemical, biological, environmental effects and other properties of petroleum oils, vegetable oils, and animal fats

  30. SPCC rules • The SPCC rule applies to owners or operators of facilities that: • store, transfer, use, or consume oil or oil products (for example, gasoline, heating oil, off-road diesel, on-road diesel, lubrication/hydraulic oils, animal fats and vegetable oils) above applicable thresholds (listed below), and • could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the U.S. • The applicable capacity thresholds for facilities subject to the SPCC rule are: • aboveground oil storage capacity* greater than 1,320 gallons, or • completely buried oil storage capacity* greater than 42,000 gallons. *counting only containers with a capacity of 55 gallons or greater.



  33. Special Thanks to: • Bob Herubin • NRP Environmental Consultants, Inc. • Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College • Green Diesel Wisconsin Foundation • Contact Information • Robert Brylski • 920-289-0166 •