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  #1  
Old 12-13-2008, 06:41 PM
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WVO Safety?

We all know there are some inherit dangers with home brewing BioDiesel. But what about those who are filtering WVO for a fuel. At which point while heating/dewatering/filtering do you need to worry about fire? I recall several folks talking about making sure the heating elements remain submerged. What are some of the other sources of fire? What I getting at is I have an attached garage and in one corner I'm planning on home filtering there. Any thoughts on possible WVO fire issues that need to be covered?
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:52 PM
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the flash point of wvo is pretty high, the issue with heating elements is they will burn out if left on and dry. if they do burn out they will usually trip a breaker or a GFCI receptical before a fire can ignite. this has been my experiance anyway.I have my elements wired for 110v just so they can be wired in with my pump timer and plugged into a GFCI
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2009, 11:39 PM
parkland parkland is offline
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if you heaT it abnormally high, it creates a white gas that ignites with a spark.

My latest experiments include a red hot coil tube, WVO, and a GASOLINE engine, and I aint even gonna say cause nobody will believe it, but the gasser runs it !!
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:51 PM
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About the same as some one deep fat frying a turky.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2009, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by willbd View Post
About the same as some one deep fat frying a turky.

Agreed. The Flash Point of VO is 600*F plus.

Add to that the possibilty of spontaneous combustion. I know of 2 people who used sawdust to soak up spilled VO who had fires in the summer when the sawdust/VO mix got warm enough. I know of one other who had a similar fire w/VO soaked rags in the sun. Not very likely, but I stopped using sawdust for clean-up unless I'm gonna pack and burn it like a 'fire log' using 1/2 gallon milk cartons. I use sand to clean up where I may leave it for awhile.

Dunno about the 'white gas' thing. I have processed 1000's of gallons of VO and never encountered anything like this. BUT, I have heard about fuel tank explosions from people heating VO/diesel blends. The diesel will 'evaporate' out of the VO and THESE fumes can be flammable/explosive. (flash point of diesel as low as 125*F)

Parkland, I picked up a Newton 8hp engine for a friend recently that ran on gasoline until warm, then switched to diesel/kerosene. It had a (2) compartment fuel tank, the diesel-side was 2/3's or more of it! I know friend planned to make it run on VO, but last I heard it was being neglected under a workbench in the back of the shop....

Here's a pic:
Click the image to open in full size.

PM me and tell me what wacky stuff y'all come up with when it gets cold up there!! Gas engines running on VO?? I'll tell ya what little we learned about the little '2 tank/dual fuel' Newton.

Man, the more I think about it - I should get that Newton for my kids go-cart. Its bad enough their teachers, etc prolly think they are crazy when they say Mom & Dads cars run on grease. (don't worry, we are saving up to help them with therapy later in life!)
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2009, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkySkiJason View Post
PM me and tell me what wacky stuff y'all come up with when it gets cold up there!! Gas engines running on VO?? I'll tell ya what little we learned about the little '2 tank/dual fuel' Newton.
Its true, laugh as much as you want, or dont believe it.

If you heat WVO, or probably almost any oil, enough, it turnes into a gas, which for the lack of a more associative word, we'll call "producers gas"

The trick is to not have any oxygen mixed in until the mix is cooled off.

For example, my first project was as follows.

1. oil furnace oil nozzle burner as a heat source
2. steel coiled tubing heated from heat source (red f'ing hot)
3. gasoline engine.

The steel tubing in the furnace is directly in the flame. one end goes to the WVO "dripper", the other through a "throttle" valve and into the air intake on the carb.

Once you let the WVO start dripping, out the other end, white gas starts pouring out.(as long as the "throttle valve" is open) once enough bellows out, its time to open the the throttle a little on the engine, and pull start it. Mine started the first pull, and this engine wouldnt even run on gas, so I assume this gas is easily ignited.

Playing with the valve and throttle, you can get different RPM's and mixtures, but unfortuneately this system cuts the HP of the engine almost in half.


Now, I'm trying to get a gas engine to run on oil a different way. I'm welding the head completely flat, leaving no room for air at all. Then, I'm making special combustion units that screw in the spark plug holes. Each one is cylindrical and lined with a ceramic material to retain enough heat to keep it really hot for 100% combustion. Also in there will be a spark igniter to aid in starting. In the end, I expect the oil to burn just perfect even at 8:1 compression, once she warms up.

Unfortuneately this one will need a fuel injection system, but I'll probably rig something half azzed to test before buying anything.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkySkiJason View Post

Man, the more I think about it - I should get that Newton for my kids go-cart. Its bad enough their teachers, etc prolly think they are crazy when they say Mom & Dads cars run on grease. (don't worry, we are saving up to help them with therapy later in life!)
It is the opposite here. I'm the crazy teacher who runs his vehicles on oil!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:35 AM
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It is the opposite here. I'm the crazy teacher who runs his vehicles on oil!
Good work! hehehe, actually the kindergarten teacher told me she wished her husband would talk to me about what we are doing - SHE was impressed. (and thats after the 5yr old's description!! - Mom and I don't really advertise, we have enough competition for oil these days!!)
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2009, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MAKO314 View Post
the flash point of wvo is pretty high, the issue with heating elements is they will burn out if left on and dry. if they do burn out they will usually trip a breaker or a GFCI receptical before a fire can ignite. this has been my experiance anyway.I have my elements wired for 110v just so they can be wired in with my pump timer and plugged into a GFCI
I assure you that if you leave a water heater element on top of a barrel that has a little veg oil on it, and you plug it in, you WILL have a fire in less than five minutes.

Don't ask how I know this.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:23 PM
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Exactly! That's why I don't use submerged elements.........
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkySkiJason View Post

Add to that the possibilty of spontaneous combustion. I know of 2 people who used sawdust to soak up spilled VO who had fires in the summer when the sawdust/VO mix got warm enough. I know of one other who had a similar fire w/VO soaked rags in the sun. Not very likely, but I stopped using sawdust for clean-up unless I'm gonna pack and burn it like a 'fire log' using 1/2 gallon milk cartons. I use sand to clean up where I may leave it for awhile.

How does the "firelog" affect your woodburner and/or flue ? I have a fireplace insert and was wondering if I could burn such a combination.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fabmandelux View Post
Exactly! That's why I don't use submerged elements.........
Sounds like if Kirk's element had been 'submerged', there would not have been a fire!! Gotta remember to get ya to tell me that story next time I see ya buddy! I have heated VO exclusively w/water heater elements for over 3 years and not even a close call. VO does not conduct electricity and has to be over 600*F to 'catch fire'. Obviously common sense applies here, but its not 'inevitably dangerous'. Add even a little diesel, biodiesel or other 'light distillate' and all bets are off.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TchTchr View Post
How does the "firelog" affect your woodburner and/or flue ? I have a fireplace insert and was wondering if I could burn such a combination.
Well, I don't have a woodburning fireplace anymore - but I know several people who make 'logs' and report that when added to a hot fire, they burn very clean and HOT. There's been a few recent threads over at Frybrid describing some different techniques for making them...
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SkySkiJason View Post
Sounds like if Kirk's element had been 'submerged', there would not have been a fire!! Gotta remember to get ya to tell me that story next time I see ya buddy! I have heated VO exclusively w/water heater elements for over 3 years and not even a close call. VO does not conduct electricity and has to be over 600*F to 'catch fire'. Obviously common sense applies here, but its not 'inevitably dangerous'. Add even a little diesel, biodiesel or other 'light distillate' and all bets are off.
Yes, if it was submerged, it would have been no problem

I switched to a band heater. They are less than $150. Water heater elements at my hardware store are $12, thermostats are $11 plus you have to get a $4 extension cord. I have had 3 die on me, and one catch on fire in 6 months. So that's nearly 75% of the band heater cost.

And I have much less worry that this will be me
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:32 PM
Jacksfirstdiesel Jacksfirstdiesel is offline
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Since you are talking about safety I will caution you NOT to use direct heat. My friend lost his life in this fashion
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:32 PM
 
 
 
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