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Re: Biodiesel plant p2 opportunities

Hi Tony,

There are hazards using heated methanol.  A home grown plant in MA exploded and burned to the ground because the thermostat malfunctioned and the temperature of methanol feeding into the vat was a bit too high. 

Handling caustics should be done respectfully, too. I wonder if our green chemists can add any thoughts to this?

Janet Clark
Senior Associate Director
Toxics Use Reduction Institute
University of Massachusetts Lowell

At 01:59 PM 6/17/2005 -0700, you wrote:

Hi group!

I am going to be P2 point on a biodiesel manufacturing plant that is in the pre-design stage right now.  To get a jump on this, I was wondering if anyone has had experience with biodiesel manufacturers, BD plant design, and pollution prevention opportunities.  From my understanding of BD production, the entire process should generate next to no hazardous waste and uses methanol and NaOH/KOH as parts of the reaction.  Does anyone have any P2 opportunities (can include water or energy reductions, methanol recovery, increased reactor efficiency, etc.) or resources for where to find success stories?

P2 opportunities could include water recovery or energy reductions, increased reactor efficiency, methanol recovery


Tony Cooper
Toxics Reduction Engineer
Washington State Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction
PO Box 47775
Olympia, WA 98504-7775
Phone:  (360) 407-6338
Fax:      (360) 407-6305
E-mail:  toco461@ecy.wa.gov