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We are all well aware of the Meth Labs and I hope that we all have trained on what to look for when we respond to a known or unknown meth lab. We also are all well aware of the High Gas prices, with diesel being $5.00 + a gallon. There are cheaper ways to make Diesel, one being BioDiesel, with the cost around .70 cents a gallon.
A lot more people seem to be starting to make their own Biodiesel, with all this being said. Here are my QUESTIONS!!!!!!

1) Do you feel that Biodiesel labs will be popping up in a way of meth labs ( all over and everywhere)

2) Do you have a concern to responding to a Biodiesel Lab?

3) Have you trained on Biodiesel and if so How?

4) Do you feel that there are more Biodiesel labs than we think at residents?

5) Do you have an SOG regarding Bio Diesel, if so can you share it with us?

I know, I know I have several questions for you to answer. However, I feel that these types of labs are going to be more frequent. Here in Ohio we have yet to see this. Thinking out of the box, I like to train on things before firefighters get hurt not after if I can help it. Jot down some thoughts and let me know what you what you think! Todd McKee

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Replies to This Discussion

I don't know to much about this - is there someplace on the web where it explains how people are making biodisel and the hazards associated with the manufacturing of it?
After seeing some programs about homebrewed biodiesel and reading some articles, I've been concerned.
SVO(Straight Vegetable Oil) is sometimes confused with BioDiesel.
There's a "cleaner" way to brew biodiesel and there's another method that has some nasty crap involved. Can't remember the details.

Do an online search at the following magazines: Backwoods Home; Mother Earth News and Grassroots Motorsports for starters.
Some links, no particular order.
Found out hyperlinks option inop. Click on them, see what happens, I'm confused! Links can be copy/pasted if no workie.
June 2008, Randy Pobst' Grease-Powered VW
June 2008, Randy Pobst' Grease-Powered VW
Excellent Paul Looks like you have some good info for us to reveiw see you in OCT
Ben - Paul has some great info! Todd McKee
I don’t think bio-diesel labs will be anywhere as prolific as meth labs… unless a discovery is made that one can reach euphoria from spent French fry grease or vegitable oil. The original diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil, I wonder if we will have a response to bio-diesel lab with a person suffering from a peanut allergy.

Concerns would be the same as responding to any other home based lab, what is it, how can it hurt me, and how do I control it. Diesel fuel bio or petroleum has a low flash point and vapor pressure and really it is a combustible.
I would be more concerned if someone was making there own ethanol.
The main hazard here would be flammable… to my knowledge toxicity is not a big problem.

I have not had any training specific to bio-diesel

I haven’t thought about it. I still think the majority of the public drive gasoline powered vehicles

I have no SOG concerning this product.

I think personally we may see more fires/calls due to people hoarding and stealing gas. Another issue is producing ethanol basically home brewed corn whiskey.

Sorry I just read my writting I meant to say high FP and low VP
In the links, it's stated that Sodium Hydroxide/Lye(caustic soda), Potassium Hydroxide and ethanol or methanol are some of the goodies neeeded to brew BioD.
And, some form of heater at approx 130 deg F.
Pumps and plumbing.
Containers/storage tanks that may or may not be stable.
KOH & Na2O are common chemicals stored and used in many homes and industries, in fact Na2O is the eighth highest volume chemical produced in the US. Both are solids. Flash points of Bio & Petro-diesel range from 165 to 270 depending on grade, oil used process etc.

Don’t take this wrong I am not saying the process does not have risks associated with the production of the Bio-diesel fuel. But when I compare risks of bio-diesel fuel labs to Meth labs the hazards are much higher for the meth lab. Also I live in an agriculture state and I still think there is more gas than diesel powered vehicles. I just dont think there will be a proliferation of bio-diesel labs (just my opinion I may be wrong)

Again I think it is most important that we engage our brain when we respond to any unknown or (known for that matter) lab accident or incident.

Chemicals, Concentration, quantity, source, procedure and processes are questions we must answer before and during an incident.

I would hate to see laws and regulations passed that would prohibit responsible people from producing their own fuel. I would imagine the oil companies would disagree with me on this.
Agree about the flash points, solids, etc.
I've seen a couple short films on BioD. Each guy had stacked tanks and related drums.

I'm concerned about:
The Lye getting on unprotected skin.
The structure the brewing equipment is housed in on fire, then the added involvement of the BioD brew adding to the fire.
Stacked tanks used for cleaning the and storing the brew.

You get a call for a Joe EcoBlows garage/pole barn/barn is on fire. Joe has his unknown BioD brewing goodies in there. It's not too bad when you get there. You open a door or window and catch a glimpse of stacked tanks, or drums, plumbed tanks, etc.
Might cause a FD to back off and spray from afar.
Or, you get a call about fumes and/odors by a neighbor. You go inside and are greeted with the mystery laboratory.
A.J. I agree that Bio D. Labs should not be as dangerous as Meth Labs. I used that to only compare with the frequency. I really think that there will be laws to regulate Bio D. Labs, I must agree with Paul on the surprises of having a lab or the folks not batch mixing the chemicals correctly or even storeing larger amounts to get the chemicals even cheaper (bulk pricing). Thinking outside the box and training on things before firefighters die is what needs to happen and we are doing it right now. I really like your post and I am glad that we have somewhere like this to train. Great Job!


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