Four Biofuel Incidents Top Recent News

Ethanol Plant Fire

The Associated Press (AP) reports that one worker suffered minor burns on Jan. 2 in a flash fire at the Prairie ethanol plant near Loomis, SD. Workers on the scene controlled the fire with an extinguisher. Firefighters from then scanned the area with a thermal imager to make sure that the flames were out.

Capt. Paul Morris of the Mitchell (SD) Fire Department says fighting an ethanol fire is challenging because the flames are nearly invisible when pure ethanol is burning. Officials from Prairie Ethanol plan to bring in a team of experts to determine the cause of the fire.

(Source: Associated Press)

Biodiesel Plant Explosion

Authorities in Defiance, located in northwestern Ohio, say an explosion at a biodiesel plant on Jan. 3 injured four people, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. The explosion happened about 3 p.m. at American AG Fuels. The plant began processing soybean oil to make biodiesel within the last three years.

About 20 employees were inside at the time of the blast, which happened at a loading area of the plant. One of the injured was flown via helicopter to a Toledo (OH) burn center. AP reported that the injured people had been in an office at the plant. A Defiance police officer was also hospitalized for smoke inhalation suffered as he tried to evacuate nearby residents. Their identities and medical conditions were not immediately released.

Investigators have determined the blast took place after employees inadvertently left the cover open on a 10,000 gallon glycerin tank. Glycerin is used as a solvent, sweetener, antifreeze, and in making explosives and soaps. When the tank was heated to keep the glycerin from gelling, flammable vapors escaped into the building where the tank was located. An employee smelled the vapors and opened a garage door to air out the building. It’s believed the electric motor on the garage door ignited the fumes.

Authorities evacuated a two-block area next to the plant for about two hours until residents were allowed to return.

(Source: Associated Press)

Ethanol Train Derailment

A major rail line was forced out of service on Dec. 28 after nine cars on a 42-car train derailed in Indiana County in western Pennsylvania. The resulting ethanol spill caused a fire, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report. No injuries were reported.

The cars left the track at about 1:45 p.m. in West Wheatfield. Rudy Husband, spokesman for Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail line, told the Tribune-Review that eight of the derailed cars contained ethanol, a flammable substance, and another was loaded with liquid propane.

Dan Stevens, spokesman for the Westmoreland County (PA) Public Safety Department, said a car carrying ethanol ruptured and caused a fire. "Everything seems contained to one car," he said. "Nothing seems to be leaking."

The train left Conway, Pa., on the morning of Dec. 28, and was headed to Newark, NJ. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

(Source: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Train Car Leak

Hazardous-materials crews were called to clean up an ethanol leak Jan. 6 from a railroad tank car at Norfolk Southern in Raleigh, NC, according to a report by The News & Observer.

Robin Chapman, a spokesman for Norfolk Southern, said a small leak was located at the top of the tank car, but had been stopped by late Sunday afternoon. There was no damage or injuries reported, he said.

The tank car was transporting the ethanol for a company that Chapman would not name. The amount of leaked ethanol hasn’t been determined, Chapman said.

An employee at Norfolk Southern noticed the tank car appeared shiny when it stopped at the rail yard, Chapman said. The employee called the Raleigh Fire Department, which responded with hazardous-materials crews.

Chapman said the tank car is headed to Linwood, which is about 40 minutes south of Winston-Salem, NC.

(Source: The News & Observer)

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Management Stories
ManagementMACA 2014: The State Of The Agricultural Industry, And Then Some
October 9, 2014
The trade association’s annual gathering featured speakers from across agriculture and beyond. Read More
StewardshipA Multi-Layered Approach To Water Quality
October 6, 2014
Illinois event highlights research and technology designed to better monitor and improve water quality — and the benefits of cooperative, coordinated effort. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
ManagementRussia Bans U.S. And EU Ag Product Imports In Ukraine Sanctions Battle
August 7, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the import of agricultural goods from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Latest News
Agworld Apple Watch Farm Management
EquipmentAussie Data Management Software Company Making Its Mark…
July 4, 2015
Zach Sheely, vice president of sales and operations, says that several large, well-known U.S. cooperatives (Stanislaus Farm Supply, Wilco-Winfield and Read More
Topcon AGI-4 on MF Planter
EquipmentAutosteer: Compatibility, Accuracy Remain Top Of Mind
July 3, 2015
The world of automatic steering solutions in agriculture has evolved rapidly in the last few years. From after-market add-ons that Read More
ManagementUnited Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes Merger & Crop Update
July 2, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the reasons behind the United Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes merger and USDA’s recent Read More
Industry NewsBioSafe Adds To Sales Force
July 2, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the hire of two new members for its service team. David Britt recently joined the team Read More
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementChesapeake Bay Clean-Up Gets Renewed Attention
July 2, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay has been called one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. It’s also one of Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More