1. #1
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    Default Ethanol Plant / Fires

    Looking for information and input for S.O.G.s for fighting Ethanol fuel fires. not the 10% blend or even E-85 I'm looking for information on production facilities and 100% ethanol. What are differnt jurisdictions doing. Big foam? Mass quantities of water? anything different that you have done? or a place to get the information. I have been all over the web and there is not a lot of info. Some say big foam others say mass quantities of water. I have a production facility being built in my jurisdiction, that will be on line in july of next year.

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    I'd be interested in this information as well. An ethanol plant is scheduled to be built in my county, but outside my jurisdiction. I'm likely to be going in a mutual aid capacity.
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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    Check with some leading foam manufacturers.
    NOT sales reps.
    Use to do a lot of foam research and found some foam better
    than others. Recommend you talk to 3M and Chubb/National Foam.
    They do some of the best work out there!
    Make sure the foam making equip. you have will be compatible.
    May not make much progress with a 65 GPM eductor......
    Standard AFFF won't work on polar solvent type fires.

    Good luck

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    Post Alcohol fires

    At the international speedway that I volunteer at, we use an additive called Cold Fire for all Class B fires, including alcohol fuels. We have been using it for at least 10 years, long before the Indy Racing League's safety team told us that is what they use, too.
    We keep the booster tanks in two of our three trucks mixed to around a 6% solution. This is the recommened mixture for the hotter flammable liquids such as toluene and xylene. We also have two pressurized water extinguishers on each truck mixed to a 10% solution. That is good enough to extinguish the Class D fires we may see; aluminum, titanium and magnesium. You can go to http://www.firefreeze.com to get information from the manufacturer.
    I agree that you must use a foam system that is capable of flowing more than 65 GPM and I strongly recommend that you do extensive training with what ever additive and application system(s) that you have.
    BTW, the last I heard, 3M was out of the foam business. Too many regulations for their synthetic foams is the rumor I heard.

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    3M is out of the foam business it had to do more with the process they used to make the foam. The problem I have has more to do with quantity of product this place is going to produce 20 to 30 million gallons of ethanol a year, and store approximately 100-200 thousand gallons of product at any one time. has anyone heard of using large quantities of water to in essence dilute the ethanol to a point wheere it will not sustain combution? We are dealing with a polar solvent so it is miscible with water. I could see this working with a small spill but I have my doubts about large spills or tank fires.

    I think foam is the way to go, but keeping enough foam on hand to fight a large tank fire just looking at some of the recommendations I would need a couple 3000 gallon tankers full of foam.

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    As I recall 3M went out of the foam business because the production process was thought to present a cancer hazard to employees.

    On the foam quantity issue, it should be the place of the ethanol plant to provide adequate foam for protecting their facilities.

    I went to rookie school with a firefighter from Lynchburg, TN (home of the Jack Daniels distillery). Apparently the distillery provided foam in mass quantities for their own protection. Once a year all the mutual aid departments would have a huge day-long training session on the equipment and attack plans.

    I don't know if the current crop of ethanol plants are going to be as proactive, but it seems like the right angle. As far as I know, there's no way to compel them to maintain such an inventory.
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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    Post Alcohol fires/spills

    That is very nice of Jack Daniels. Personally, I wouldn't mind some whiskey, too.
    The local landfill keeps 500 gallons of Cold Fire on site for not only fires on their property, but for fires/spills elsewhere. A neighboring department had a major tire fire a few years ago and the landfill sent some their additive, too.
    As far as compeling a private company to provide fire suppresion equipment, I would check your local or state laws. There might be something you could use there. Also, check with the insurance company for the plant if you can. They might be able to make it worth the plant's while to keep some foam near the site, but not on site. If it is on site and there is a fire, how are you going to get to it?
    Truckm15, I would suggest you look for an additive/foam that will breakdown the hydrocarbon bonds of the ethanol and form an emulsion instead of just a blanket like AFFF does. It is too easy to have the foam blanket get a hole had have a flash fire.
    Thank you for letting me know about 3M. I knew they were out of the foam business but wasn't sure why.

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    The plant has made an offer to help us purchase additional equipment, we just have not come up with a number. I have not heard of any type of foam that is designed to form an emulsion rather than blanket. I have looked at most of the major foam manufacturers, all are AR-AFFF etc... everything seems to be all over the board as far as percentages and the likes. I never thought of jack daniels, I'm going to try to get in touch with them to see what they are doing. The ethanol I'm dealing with is drinkable pure grain alcohol, they just add enough gasoline to make it poisonous. The plant has plans for a fixed foam system, my concern is exactly what mdcook stated about keeping foam on site. If something should fail, more than likely I will not be able to acces the foam to make use of it.

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    Truckm15, if you send me a PM, I can give you more information on what I am specifically talking about.
    I feel that an informational forum would be an inappropriate place to go in depth about a specific product from a specific manufacturer.

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    Thumbs up Ethanol Information

    The IAFC has produced a training package on educating emergency responders on ethanol and its hazards. A companion video will be available soon. This information is free. Go to the IAFC web site then to Downloads then to Hazardous Materials there you will find the Responding to
    Ethanol Incidents program. I helped teach the Pilot program last summer and it si desigended to allow you to build a program that meets your needs.

    If you need additional information please give me a call or email @
    571-238-2524 rmiller@fairfaxva.gov

    City of Fairfax
    Fire Department
    Training Division
    Virginia

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