In any fuel manufacturing process there is a concern for the safety of the plant's employees and its neighbors. This past weekend, a fire at a soybean processing plant in Brewster, Minn. that also produces biodiesel was cause to evacuate the town of Brewster. But properly trained professional employees were credited with keeping damage to a minimum. The fire was limited to an area involved with the storage of and loading out of finished soybean oil and soy biodiesel. No explosion occurred and no injuries resulted.
NBB's CEO Joe Jobe points out that biodiesel has a flash point of 200 degrees. Therefore, biodiesel is the safest fuel to handle, store and use. Jobe points out that the Minnesota plant is certified as a BQ-9000 producer, the industry's voluntary quality control program, so they were very well prepared to handle any safety issue.
The biodiesel production process is safe when managed by professionals. However, even the safest facilities can have industrial accidents. That's why the National Biodiesel Board and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have cooperated for more than a year to prepare and distribute safety training materials. NBB and IAFC will distribute 2700 copies of the information to its members and at events, like the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference held this week near Baltimore.
"Our industry prides itself on a good safety record, and NBB appreciates the leadership and cooperation of the IAFC in developing these materials that will benefit first responders as well as biodiesel producers," said Jobe.