Proper Handling and Storage
of Ethanol

Fuel ethanol is considered a biofuel because it is derived from a variety of food grains, typically referred to as feedstocks. According to an overview of biofuels from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which researches, collects and disseminates information on energy topics, corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol because of its widespread abundance and relatively low cost.

Ever since Congress implemented the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program in 2005, a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels, eEthanol has become an increasingly prevalent ingredient in most fuels used in the U.S. The EIA states, , most gasoline sold in the U.S. contains roughly 10% ethanol by volume.

In addition to its widespread use as an additive in motor fuels, ethanol is also commonly used in a variety of manufacturing and industrial operations, including the production of plastics, varnishes, and beauty products. Commercial products containing ethanol include beverages, especially alcoholic, perfumes, aftershaves and colognes, medicinal liquids, mouthwashes, and some rubbing alcohols.

Because ethanol is commonly used in a wide range of industries, it is imperative that facilities understand the regulatory requirements for the proper storage and handling of ethanol. Additionally, facilities should ensure that approved safety equipment is used to store, transport, and dispense ethanol in order to reduce the risk of combustion or injury. To help you find the safety equipment that is right for you, here is an overview of the regulatory requirements concerning ethanol and a look at the equipment designed to facilitate ethanol's safe storage and handling.

Flammable Storage Requirements for Ethanol

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), facilities are required to implement safeguards designed to prevent the risk of fire or injury. In industrial and commercial facilities, a wide range of potential ignition sources can lead to a fire, including open flames, portable heaters, slag from welding, and spark producing tools.

OSHA general industry standard 1910.106(a)(29) and construction industry-standard 1926.152(a)(1) require facilities to take precautions in order to mitigate these risks. Eagle flammable and combustible liquid safety cabinets and safety cans are designed to prevent flammable and combustible liquids from coming into contact with ignition sources. Eagle safety equipment is specifically designed to satisfy OSHA standards and NFPA code 30 requirements.

Classification of Flammable Liquids

The NFPA identifies three classes of flammable liquids. According to the NFPA, a flammable liquid is categorized based on its flashpoint—or the lowest temperature that produces vapors. If a flammable liquid has a flashpoint below 100°F (38°C), it is considered a flammable liquid. If a liquid has a flashpoint greater than 100°F (38°C), then it is considered a combustible liquid. Storing dangerous liquids in approved containers will reduce the risk of injury or property damage and help facilities maintain regulatory compliance.

A Class I liquid technically refers to a flammable liquid, while a Class II or Class III liquid refers to combustible liquids. According to OSHA general industry standard 1910.106(d)(3)(i) and construction industry-standard 1926.152(b)(3), no more than 60 gallons of a flammable liquid may be stored in a single safety cabinet, and no more than three cabinets may be kept in any given facility. Because ethanol has a flashpoint that is below 100°F (38°C), it is considered a Class I flammable liquid.

Approved Storage Containers for Ethanol

Safety Cabinets

Flammable and combustible liquid storage safety cabinets from Eagle are designed to safely store a variety of flammable and combustible liquids in industrial and commercial facilities in accordance with regulatory requirements. These cabinets feature a reinforced double-wall, 18-gauge steel construction that will segregate flammable and combustible liquids from potential ignition sources.

All safety cabinets from Eagle incorporate four adjustable leveling legs, continuous piano hinges, ground connection, triangular warning labels, and internal vents. Flammable and combustible liquid cabinets are also available with self-closing or manual close doors. The self-latching doors are designed to secure contents for maximum storage protection in the event of a fire. The patented adjustable shelves are supported by individual brackets and can hold up to 350 pounds and designed to direct spills to the back and bottom of the leak proof sump—ensuring that no chemicals can escape from containment. Cabinets from Eagle are FM-approved, and most include a 10 year warranty, which ensures they meet the highest standards in safety , performance, and loss prevention. 

Type 1 Safety Cans

Eagle safety cans are known for their high-quality design. Type I safety cans feature a single opening for dispensing or filling liquids. These cans are constructed of 24-gauge hot-dipped galvanized steel with an environmentally sustainable baked-on powder coat finish for maximum durability and chemical resistance. The finish is available in a variety of colors in order to help personnel distinguish between liquids. Ethanol is Class IA flammable liquid, so it would be stored in a red safety can.

The spring-closing lid and neoprene gasket on these cans enables them to vent at five psi of internal pressure automatically. Safety cans from Eagle also incorporate a non-sparking flame arrester that offers flashback protection for the user. These cans are designed to satisfy OSHA and NFPA code 30 requirements and are also UL, ULC, and FM approved for the safe handling and storage of ethanol and other flammable and combustible liquids. Eagle Type I safety cans are the only safety cans on market that feature a deep-drawn, seamless quality construction.

Type 2 Safety Cans

Eagle Type II safety cans offer all the features of the Type I safety can with the added convenience of an actuated pouring valve for more controlled pouring.  Type II safety cans feature two openings: one for filling and the other for dispensing. This design provides users with a better, safer, and more controlled pour, to mitigate the risk of fire. These cans also feature a flexible spout that will facilitate easier pouring, and the built-in flame arresters provide flashback protection.

Find the Ethanol Storage Option that is Right for You

Eagle is the industry leader in flammable and combustible liquid storage and handling products. t. We supply facilities all over the world with the equipment they need to safely handle and store them in accordance with regulatory requirements.  Eagle’s line of metal safety cans and flammable liquid safety cabinets offer solutions for a variety of applications. In addition to providing regulatory compliance, Eagle’s safety cans and cabinets are designed to keep your personnel and facilities safe, secure, and protected.

Whether you need a flammable and combustible  liquid safety cabinet to store dangerous liquids or a safety can to facilitate transportation and dispensing, Eagle has the safety equipment you need. Take a look at our selection of flammable and combustible liquid safety products and find the equipment and safety solutions that are right for you and your facility.

This guide for the proper storage and handling of chemicals from Eagle is intended for reference only. It is not a substitute for the user clearly understanding the nature and proper application of flammable liquids and the laws regulating their use.

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