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Allergic reaction to biodiesel?

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Old 11-21-2006, 11:52 AM
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Allergic reaction to biodiesel?

I was doing some modification work on the fuel lines of my truck last weekend and took a "biodiesel shower"...basically got my arms soaked with 5% biodiesel. I burned the old shirt I had on when I finished the job and took a long hot shower. Now I have been around diesel fuel all my life and have gotten it on me a number of times, but this is the first time I actually got biodiesel on me. Starting almost immediately after getting my arms wet, an allergic reaction began. I have red welts and it itches like poison oak or poison ivy. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and do you think the allergic reaction is to the 5% bio or the 95% diesel. I know I could go expose myself to pure diesel and find out, but that experiment does not enthuse me much at this time.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:20 PM
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Commercial bio or you made it? If you bought it there's no telling what it was made from.....Do you have allergies normally?
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lemerise
I was doing some modification work on the fuel lines of my truck last weekend and took a "biodiesel shower"...basically got my arms soaked with 5% biodiesel. I burned the old shirt I had on when I finished the job and took a long hot shower. Now I have been around diesel fuel all my life and have gotten it on me a number of times, but this is the first time I actually got biodiesel on me. Starting almost immediately after getting my arms wet, an allergic reaction began. I have red welts and it itches like poison oak or poison ivy. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and do you think the allergic reaction is to the 5% bio or the 95% diesel. I know I could go expose myself to pure diesel and find out, but that experiment does not enthuse me much at this time.
New one on me, I've been using B-100 for 3 years, and have never had that happen.........I've been soaked in it, We use it in our solvent tank, with 5 different people using it, and have never experienced anything like what you are describing.


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Old 11-21-2006, 09:00 PM
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I have never had an allergy to anything before this event. I did not make the biodiesel, bought it at local supplier. I think over the years I have been exposed to numerous solvents (PERC, trichlor, toulene, etc, etc) and I have just become sensitized enough to be affected. I just applied some cortisone cream on my arms and it has been of some relief. After this is over I may try my pure diesel exposure and see what happens.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:44 AM
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niemerise
If you still have some of that BD blend around and can get some litmus paper test it (try both ways acid and base it will take two types of litmus). Its possible that the supplier did not neutralize the BD and you got a chemical burn. Depending on the method used to convert the VO to BD it could be either acid or base.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:00 AM
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I have a tankful (40 gallons) of it...when I go to town I will pick up the litmus paper, if I can find some. What is the normal range of pH for biodiesel?
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:15 PM
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For the most part it should be neutral, around 7, but if traces of the chemicals used to accomplish the trans-esterification (convert VO into BD) remain could be decidedly basic, over 7, or acidic, under 7. you should be ok with a range of 6.5 to 7.5.

I bet Fab knows what ph his ready to use BD is at. Maybe he will chime in here.

If it does turn out to be a case of residual chemicals I would consider changing suppliers because you could damage parts in the fuel system. This is the biggest source of problems among DIY BD makers.

BTW your atavar sure looks like Kinky Friedman, a candidate for Gov of TX in the last election.

Last edited by Phydeaux88; 11-22-2006 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:26 PM
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6.2 to 6.7 I've found that "dry-washing" with Magnesol removes the base catalyst very well. Most home brewers that use the water wash system find they have to add a mild acid [like vinegar] to neutralize the biodiesel. This is just adding MORE water to it, and we all know what I think about water-washing.....................

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