Biodiesel Review published by Utah Biodiesel Supply
Newsletter 07
Welcome To 2010!
A new year is here and it's time once again for another issue of Biodiesel Review. We've been keeping busy all winter long adding new products to our site, learning all we can about soap making (see our cool, new soap making products), and trying to keep warm!

Seeing as Spring is just around the corner, now is a great time to start ensuring that you're all ready for the new Biodiesel production season! With fuel prices slowly inching themselves back up (we've heard rumors of $3.00/gal for diesel before the end of March), it's time to get ready for all the Biodiesel making fun!

As with all our newsletters, we've packed it full of new products, useful tips for producing Biodiesel and saving you money (be sure to check out the cool tax credit!) and keeping you up to date with the latest happenings in the Biodiesel world. So with that, grab the popcorn and your mouse! It's time for Biodiesel Review!
In This Issue
Playing It Safe With Biodiesel
Win A Free Embroidered Biodiesel Hat!
Alternative Refueling Tax Credit For Biodiesel
Over 25 Great New Products!
Ultimate Biodiesel Workshop
New Biodiesel Articles Index
Playing It Safe With Biodiesel
Safety FirstWhen making Biodiesel, it's important to be as safe as possible. Because we're working with a flammable alcohol (Methanol), caustic chemicals (Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, and/or Sulfuric Acid), heat, and electricity, there's the potential to run into safety issues.

On one of the major Biodiesel forums that I watch regularly (Biodiesel Infopop Forum), there have been several accounts of Biodieseler's that have run into safety issues. Whether it's a fire, chemical burns, exposure to too much methanol, or just massive spills, it's happened to others and it can happen to you.

While there's no way to identify and plan for every dangerous scenario that we might encounter when making Biodiesel, there are a few things that we can do to help mitigate the risk involved as well as help us to be safer when making this great alternative fuel.

Here's a list of 10 things we recommend for keeping your Biodiesel production safer.

1- Keep A Fire Extinguisher Around & Know How To Use It
Having a fire extinguisher in the same room that you produce Biodiesel in is as important as having fire detectors in your home. We recommend getting an extinguisher that's certified for use on chemical, oil, and electrical fires.

Be sure to know how to use it and also place it in an easy to access location. If the extinguisher is on the other side of the room, buried under a shelf buried under lots of junk, it won't do you any good if you can't get to it or forget where it's at if a fire breaks out. Instead, mount the extinguisher in an easy to access location and make sure that anyone that works with you making Biodiesel knows where it is and how to access it. Also, be sure that the extinguisher you purchase is sized appropriately for your Biodiesel production setup.

2- Store Oily Rags In A Metal, Non-Combustible Container
We've read story after story of oily rags catching on fire in the summer heat due to spontaneous combustion. If oily rags are a part of your operation, make sure you have a safe place to dispose of them and empty it on a regular basis. Especially if they're used to soak up oil, methanol, or Biodiesel. 

3- Ensure Adequate Ventilation Is Available
Methanol fumes can evaporate from mixing Biodiesel, methoxide tanks, or even open 55 gallon drums of methanol. It's important to make sure that the area you're using methanol in is well ventilated.

Not only are methanol fumes flammable, but they are also bad to breathe and can cause permanent damage to the nervous system. It's a good idea to ensure that the area that your Biodiesel is produced in or methanol is handled in is well ventilated. Also ensure that your processor has the appropriate vents connected to ensure proper removal of any methanol fumes.

4- If Possible, Use A "Sacrificial Building" For Biodiesel Production
The risk of fire is real and has been known to occur among Biodiesel producers; even at commercial Biodiesel production facilities. If it's at all possible, we recommend that your Biodiesel production setup be housed in a structure that isn't attached to a residence. This could include a shed, a detached garage, or a purpose built structure just for producing Biodiesel.

We've seen several fires reported that were in a garage that quickly spread to the rest of the home destroying an entire residence. Keeping everything in a detached space, even if it means investing in building a separate structure, is a good precaution to protect your house and family.

Sheds can be purchased pre-built or you can build one yourself fairly inexpensively. Ensure that it's properly sized for your setup and that it's well ventilated as well. Also, remember our first tip and mount a fire extinguisher in an easy to access location in the building you use for your Biodiesel setup.

5- Keep Your Area As Clean As Possible (Within Reason)
We realize that making Biodiesel can be extremely messy at times as we've dealt with some large spills ourselves. However, we recommend keeping your production area as clean as possible.

If you have a spill, clean it up immediately. Saw dust or kitty litter makes a great oil absorbent. Just be sure to dispose of it appropriately so as not to cause a fire hazard with wet, oil laden saw dust spontaneously combusting.

Keep walk-ways clear and keep a clean path to the door way. This includes keeping extension cords out of the walk-ways where people may trip or snag them. Anything under foot that can cause you to fall can also lead to serious accidents (tripping with a jug of methanol in hand comes to mind....).

6- Clearly Mark All Containers
Whenever we work with dangerous chemicals, it's important to clearly mark all of your storage containers; especially if you're using them second hand such as a milk jug or pop bottle. Methanol can look deceptively like water and any container it's placed in should be marked with POISON on it. Chemicals containers should also be marked appropriately as well.

Be sure the markings are clear enough for anyone to read and marked in plain site on all containers. It's also not a bad idea to keep all chemicals locked away in storage cabinets with a key when not in use.

7- Never Leave A Biodiesel Processor Unattended
Most of the accidents I've read about or heard about involving Biodiesel usually occur when a processor has been left running unattended. Either a hose falls off, a pump fails, or a heating element runs dry and the next thing you know you've got an accident happening.

Even with the most technically advanced processors on the market such as the BioPro's, it's still a good idea to always be in the vicinity of the area when the processor is working and to regularly check on it to ensure everything is working properly.

8- Leave The Phone OUT Of The Processing Area
Many of the accidents I've heard of involve answering a phone call for "just a second" and completely forgetting about what they're doing in the Biodiesel room. Usually, that "just a second" turns into several minutes, which can then turn into several hours of distraction; which usually can be a recipe for disaster.

When you're processing Biodiesel, get rid of as many distractions as possible and leave the cell phones out of the process. If someone calls while you're in the middle of processing, have someone take a message. The 5 minutes you'll lose talking on the phone isn't worth the potential accident that could happen otherwise.

9- Use Proper Wiring And Fault Protection
Many Biodiesel fires involve electrical fires caused by overloaded circuits, overloaded pumps, or a short somewhere. If you're using pumps or heating elements, be sure the wires carrying the voltage are rated to handle the load. has an excellent article on tips & tricks for wiring up small transfer pumps commonly used on Biodiesel processors. Click here to see the article. We highly recommend it!

10- Use Common Sense And Look For Ways To Improve Safety
I know that sounds crazy and it seems to be in short supply these days, but a little dose of common sense when making Biodiesel goes a long way. Take a chance this week to look over your whole process and using "common sense", see where potential risks and problems may be and look for ways to reduce those risks. Check your electrical connections. Are they overloaded? Check your chemical & methanol storage. Is it safe? Look for proper ventilation in your processing area.

Ask a friend to come over and help you look for areas you can improve on as well. Remember, your life and the lives of those around you are worth a lot more than saving a few bucks on the fuel you make. Be as safe as possible and you'll be able to enjoy many more years making this great alternative fuel!

For additional tips on how to be safe when making Biodiesel, be sure to check out these great resources!
Biodiesel Best Practices Manual - From Pennsylvania State University
Biodiesel Safety - Article from Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial
Biodiesel Safety - Article from
Biodiesel Safety Forum - From Biodiesel Infopop Forum
Win A Free Embroidered Biodiesel Hat!
Biodiesel Pictures Online
We're excited to introduce a new contest brought to us by our partner/supplier We're giving a way a FREE embroidered Biodiesel hat to a lucky newsletter subscriber!

To enter, send an email to: with the word HAT CONTEST in the subject line before March 15, 2010.

At the end of the contest we'll randomly pick a winner and will send them a hat. We'll announce the lucky winner in our next newsletter.

We have a long and successful relationship with, a company almost entirely devoted to promoting Biodiesel and other alternative fuels. They offer a large variety of decals, chrome emblems, license plate frames, magnets and even apparel, all unique items designed with one idea in mind - to spread the word about Biodiesel and raise overall public awareness of low impact living.
Be sure to check out their great website at:

Alternative Refueling Tax Credit For Biodiesel
Biodiesel Articles IndexOver the years, many government institutions have recognized the environmental benefits of using Biodiesel and have put incentives in place in the form of tax incentives to promote its use.

These exist in the United States at a Federal, State, and sometimes even local level. For several years one of the best Biodiesel tax incentives was given at a Federal level in the form of a $1.00 per gallon tax credit for every gallon produced and sold. However, it expired at the end of 2009 and as of this writing (Feb. 2010), it still is yet to be renewed.

There are still several other tax incentives available to Biodiesel producers; both at a commercial level and at a hobbyist small-scale level.

Being that it's tax time here in the United States, we thought we'd share one of the easier ones to obtain if you qualify. It's called the Alternative Fuel Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit and offers qualified individuals up to $50,000 or 50% of the value of the refueling equipment placed into service in a business setting. For personal use equipment, the credit allows up to $2,000 or 50% of the value of the refueling equipment.

Here's the details on qualifying for the credit from IRS Tax Form 8911
"Qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property is any property (other than a building or its structural components) used to store or dispense an alternative fuel (defined below) into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle propelled by the fuel, but only if the storage or dispensing is at the point where the fuel is delivered into that tank.
In addition, the following requirements must be met to qualify for the credit.
- You placed the refueling property in service during your tax year.
- The original use of the property began with you.
- The property is not used predominantly outside the United States.
- If the property is not business/investment use property, the property must be installed on property used as your main home."

For example, a BioPro 150, BioPro 190, or a BioPro 380 Automated Biodiesel Processor with a fuel filler pump installed on it may qualify. As long as it has the ability to dispense Biodiesel into a fuel tank (ie. a fuel filler pump), it has the potential to qualify.

As always, consult your tax professional for full details to see if you can take advantage of this great credit. If so, you may just be getting a little extra "green" this tax season!

Additional Resources:
IRS Tax Form 8911 - Link right to the IRS tax form
UBS Tax Incentives - List of tax incentives at our site
US Tax Incentives - Link to US Department of Energy incentives listing alternative fuel tax incentives available through US State & Federal Governments.
27 Great New Products!
New Products
We've been extremely busy this year adding an incredible number of new products since the first of the year.

We're always on the hunt for unique items for our site that allow making Biodiesel even easier and more enjoyable and we think we have some real winners!

Check out our latest crop of new items below!

Thermometers - Long Stem & Pocket Varieties
Long Stem ThermometerThis ultra cool 12" long turkey fryer style thermometer is great for checking the temperature when a long reach is necessary. Ideal for making soap from Biodiesel glycerin with, it allows for a nice, long reach deep down inside a pan. It also has a handy clip and protective sheath. Click here to learn more

NeedPocket Thermometer a pocket thermometer? This handy little thermometer features a 5" probe, a protective sheath, and a dial that reads from 0 to 220 F.
The probe is made from stainless steel and the dial is encased in an easy to read enclosure. Available in a single, double, or five pack at a great price! Learn more here!

Glass Pipettes, Pipette Pumps & Pipette Stands
10 mL Glass Pipettes10 mL Glass Pipettes25 mL Glass PipettesWe now offer glass pipettes in 3 convenient sizes. 1 mL, 10 mL, and 25 mL.

The 1 mL are marked in 0.01 mL increments, 10 mL in 0.1 mL increments, and the 25 mL in 0.2 mL increments. Available in various quantities and with or without pipette pumps.
Check them out today!

Pipette PumpsNeed a replacement pipette pump or a separate pump for each pipette you're using?
Then check out our new chemically resistant pipette pumps. They fit our poly & glass pipettes and do an outstanding job of accurately measuring with a pipette. Available in a 2 mL (fits 1 mL pipettes, a 10 mL (fits 10 mL & 2 mL pipettes), and a 25 mL (fits 25 mL & 10 mL pipettes). They can be purchased with a set of pipettes or individually.
Read more about these pumps here!

Horizontal Pipette StandIntroducing a great way to store your pipettes with our new pipette stand! The stand can lay on it's side to hold 6 pipettes, or standing upright can hold a full 12 pipettes. Handles 1 mL, 5 mL, and 10 mL pipettes.

We also have a vertical pipette stand available as well that can hold up to 28 pipettes in a vertical position. Both stands are chemically resistant and hold up well.
Read all about these two great new stands!

Graduated Lab Ware (Pitchers, Cylinders & Wash Bottles)
Graduated PitchersNeed a handy way to measure out liquids from 500 mL to 5 liters? Then check out our new chemical resistant, graduated pouring pitchers with sizes available in 500 mL, 1, 2, 3 & 5 Liters. They're extremely handy to have around when dealing with oil, Biodiesel, glycerin, methanol, methoxide, or other liquids related to Biodiesel production.
Click here to view all the different options!

Graduated CylindersWe're excited to introduce a full line of graduated cylinders made of chemically resistant polypropylene. Each cylinder has easy to read raised markings embedded into the side of the cylinder and each has been calibrated for accuracy.

They're available in a set of 7 (1000, 500, 250, 100, 50, 25, & 10 mL) or the ever popular 1000 mL cylinder can be purchased separately.
Check out all the details on the cylinders here!

250 mL & 500 mL Wash BottlesThese are really cool! They're graduated wash/squeeze bottles with an integrated spout built into them. They're perfect for dispensing solutions in measured amounts and ideal for washing out lab ware with. They're extremely flexible and have raised markings with graduations up the side of each of them. Available in 500 mL or 250 mL varieties
Read more about them here

50 mL Poly Centrifuge Tubes (With Or Without Stands)

We've had several requests for 50 mL Centrifuge Tubesthese incredibly useful 50 mL centrifuge tubes. They're ideal for conducting 3/27 Biodiesel Conversion Tests with and can be used for a wide variety of other tests including titrating oil, sampling oil, or even for storing finished samples of Biodiesel in. They're available with or without integrated stands.
Check out both varieties here
100 mL Sampling Vials
Biodiesel Pictures OnlineWe're excited to introduce a companion to our 45 mL sampling vials! Our new 100 mL sampling vials are exaclty like the 45 mL versions except that they can hold 100 mL. Like the 45 mL varieites, they seal completely, have embeded markings up the side and are semi translucent. We've found all sorts of uses for these great little gems and seem to find new ones each day!
Learn more about these beauties here

pH Testing Strips
pH Testing StripsNeed to check the pH of your Biodiesel? How about your Isopropyl Alcohol? Need to check if your Biodiesel glycerin soap is cured and ready to use? Any of these tasks can now be a breeze with this handy pH Testing Strip Kit. It comes with 100 testing strips and has a range of 1-14 on the pH Scale. Learn more here!

Soap Making Equipment

We're proud to introduce a great selection of soap making hardware!
Over the next few months we'll be adding items that can help you in your Biodiesel glycerin soap making adventures. Everything from pots and pans to essential oils and fatty acids to examples of soaps made from some of our great vendor partners. Check out the start of our great selection so far below!
Biodiesel Pictures OnlineBiodiesel Pictures OnlineSoap Making Bar CutterSoap Making Block Cutter

Stainless Steel Foam SkimmerBiodiesel Pictures OnlineStainless Steel Mixing Spoon

Stainless Steel 11 Quart Pot - This industrial grade pot is made with 18/10 stainless steel and is made for heavy duty use, includes an aluminum clad bottom for even heat distribution, and makes a perfect pot for making small batches of Biodiesel glycerin soap in.

Stainless Steel Immersion Blender - Mix soap batches like a pro with this commercial rated 2 speed stainless steel 7" shaft immersion blender. It's designed for commercial duty which means it'll mix through the thickest soap batch with ease! The stainless steel shaft makes it perfect for dealing with chemicals and with it's NSF rating, it can be fully cleaned in record time.

Stainless Steel Block Cutter - We tried this handy soap block cutter out and were immediately impressed with how easy it cuts through soap! With a rounded, sharpened edge, it'll help cut straight lines right through your soap batches and do it in style!

Stainless Steel Bar Cutter - This bar cutter is perfect for cutting soap logs into bars! It comes with a sharpened 6" x 3" stainless steel blade, can cut a full 3" deep, and is extremely easy to clean.

Stainless Steel Foam Skimmer - This foam skimmer is perfect for skimming foam off the top of soap batches. It's made from restaurant grade stainless steel, has a 4 3/8" skimmer connected to a 11 1/2" handle.

Chrome Plated Curing Sheet - We sourced this great soap bar curing sheet to allow you to give your soap bars the ultimate in air circulation. With a chrome plated grate that sits atop metal feet, soap bars curing will get the ultimate in full air circulation.

Stainless Steel Mixing Spoon - Quit stealing the silverware out of the kitchen and get one of these instead (the cook in the family will thank you!) This stainless steal heavy duty mixing spoon is perfect for mixing soap batches and because it's commercial grade, it's designed for heavy duty use and can take a real beating and come out looking new.

Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils For Soap Making
Essential Oils for Soap Making
Want to make the most incredible scented soaps around? Then you've got to try some of our great essential & fragrance oils! Hand picked by one of our best vendors, these oils will give your Biodiesel glycerin soaps that added kick that will make them be the envy of all your friends! We currently have Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Lavender 40/42, Lemon 5 Fold, Orange 5 Fold, Peppermint Supreme available with a few more in the wings getting ready to be released.
Ultimate Biodiesel Workshop In Chico, CA
Springboard Biodiesel Workshop
Springboard Biodiesel is hosting a great two day workshop in beautiful Chico, California.

The cost is $199 and includes dinner and a tour of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company where they use a BioPro 190 to make Biodiesel from their waste kitchen grease.

The workshop will be March 25th & 26th, 2010 and will include a wide range of mini workshops and activities.

If you've ever wanted to attend a great hands-on workshop and learn from some of the professionals out there, this is a great one to plan for! I've visited the factory myself multiple times and I always come away learning something new.

Here's a short list of some of the great topics on the agenda:
  • Overview Of Feedstock characteristics
  • Ethanol vs. Methanol 
  • Tax Credits available to small-scale producers
  • Oxidation stabilizers
  • Finished fuel testing
  • Explanation of ASTM-D6751 standard
  • How to sell your ASTM-grade processed biodiesel
  • Tour of the factory
  • and much, much more!
To learn more about this exciting workshop, visit Springboard Biodiesel's informational page on the web by clicking here.
New Biodiesel Articles Index
Biodiesel Articles Index
With the addition of our newsletter last year, our blog, and all the tutorial articles on our website, we decided it was high time to start organizing all our great Biodiesel articles into an index to make the information easier to find.

So, with that in mind, we've now created an index page right on our website affectionately called Biodiesel Articles. We've started off by linking to all of our Biodiesel instructional articles in all of our newsletters and articles directly on our website.

Over time we'll begin indexing tutorial style articles from our blog and eventually will even be creating an index of all the video's we've produced (and continue to produce).

As always, we're continuing to add content all the time so stop by the new index page to see what we've got cooking!

Here's the link:
Biodiesel Articles Index Page

Enjoy all the great content!
Thanks for being a part of the Biodiesel Review family! We hope you enjoyed this issue.

Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in future issues? We're always looking for cool topics to cover here so send in your idea! Send it to with the subject line NEWSLETTER SUGGESTION.
Graydon Blair
Utah Biodiesel Supply
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