05/27/2005

Domestic production of biodiesel - health and safety warning

Biodiesel is a relatively new synthetic fuel made from vegetable oils, and its
domestic production raises serious health and safety concerns. The information
below describes some of the hazards and contains advice from the British HSE
that biodiesel should not be produced at home.

Biodiesel is produced commercially and can be bought from some petrol stations.
However there are 'recipes' available on the internet for the domestic
production of biodiesel. These usually involve mixing methanol with sodium
hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or lye), and pouring the resulting
mixture into vegetable oil.

Such home production raises serious health and safety concerns, as it involves
hazardous chemicals and the risk of fire and explosion.

Making biodiesel is a potentially hazardous process that should only be carried
out in controlled conditions by people with the proper training and experience.

At the very least a poorly made product could seriously damage a vehicle engine.

Because of these serious health and safety risks, HSE advises against the home
manufacture of biodiesel using domestic or other unsuitable facilities and by
people who are not trained in handling dangerous substances.

Further information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive