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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
CCDW wrote:
Regarding burning waste oil, there is a competitive business in the greater Reno, Nevada area that gathers used oil regardless of the source and resells it as boiler fuel to power generating plants. Seems that the guys wouldn't do it if it were illegal. Or not for the last 16 years that I know of. Of course the wind blows form west to east here so we don't have to suffer the paranoid opinions of California and the citizens of Utah don't appear to mind.

Because that is not "burning waste oil". That is a re-refined product specifically designed for burning, whose feedstock is waste oil. It is the "right way to do that thing": the large facility is able to efficiently separate the toxic and/or commercially useful elements that aren't for burning, and produce a product of consistent spec and performance that burns right.

And of course you can set up shop and do this yourself; and one shortcut is using waste oil from your own processes, such that the provenance and makeup are known to you. That is not a license to spew cadmium and lead into the atmosphere bric-a-brac, and it's very likely your state regulators will bother you with wanting to see your process and internal QA. The reprocessing (proper) is cheap to do, but the formalities could be a burden.

This is a far cry from what has been discussed so far in this thread: burning waste oil of random provenance collected from your neighbors 5 quarts at a time.

In any case I have to wonder if some of you operate "private train clubs" or live on a mushroom. Because entirely absent from this thread is any sensibility regarding your neighbors, or to be more precise, their sensibilities, or to be more precise, lack thereof. Please, don't make us start another RyPN thread about threats to your organization.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
robertmacdowell wrote:
Because that is not "burning waste oil". That is a re-refined product specifically designed for burning, whose feedstock is waste oil. It is the "right way to do that thing": the large facility is able to efficiently separate the toxic and/or commercially useful elements that aren't for burning, and produce a product of consistent spec and performance that burns right.

....

This is a far cry from what has been discussed so far in this thread: burning waste oil of random provenance collected from your neighbors 5 quarts at a time.



I suspect that some (not all) of the operators who SAY they're burning "Waste Oil" are actually burning "Reclaimed Waste Oil" or whatever you'd like to call it instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:30 pm
Posts: 130
Please do not misconstrue. I never meant to imply that my neighbors lack sensibilities.

And why would make threats against this organization?

CCdW


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
CCDW wrote:
And why would make threats against this organization?

CCdW


I think what he meant was that a potential threat to your organization is your neighbors becoming about the smoke from your train containing heavy metals or some other potentially toxic substance, and getting the operation shut down based on it being a source of pollution.

We no longer operate in a vacuum. "Too bad, suck it up buttercup" is no longer an acceptable answer to smoke (if it ever was), and there are many potential problems for tourist railroads to deal with.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Bobharbison wrote:
I think what he meant was that a potential threat to your organization is your neighbors becoming about the smoke from your train containing heavy metals or some other potentially toxic substance, and getting the operation shut down based on it being a source of pollution.

Not just the usual griping that people routinely dismiss. I'm referring to something with a grain of truth behind it that has the power to get a life of its own, get out of hand on social media, bring regulators down on your head, and give the trail people ammo forever. (like the way the Lion Gardiner was made coachana-non-grata in Kingston over lead hysteria, all it needed was to be slightly true.)


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:00 pm
Posts: 45
I heard that years ago the local air pollution board here in So CA made the OERM in Perris stop accepting and burning "waste oil" in their steam locos. The main issue, I think, was lack of control on whether "Joe gearhead" also dumped old brake fluid, trans oil etc. into the donated pail of oil.
The idea of burning trash just seems sloppy to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Thousands of incinerator operators can't be all wrong. Would you landfill it all instead?

We can make it cleaner and tweak our locomotives to need less of it to start with. This is the most we can accomplish. Unless we're really marginal, more of this stuff will be exhausted by the cars of our visitors than our locomotive. If we are that marginal, we can't afford to run steam.

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
As a steam fireman who burns oil and someone who considers himself a steward of the environment, I have contemplated this deeply. Someone mentioned they wanted to see the data - there is plenty on the net. Google "burn waste oil". You will see results for filtered and unfiltered oil.

http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch01/bgdocs/b01s11.pdf
Then look at coal.
Now consider how many boilers, ships, and asphalt plants burn heavy oil #6 or coal. Check the filters on that and get back to me. All the heavy metal doesn't get scrubbed or filtered.

Be reasonable. Be responsible.

Edited: Check the laws and follow them.


Last edited by Sully on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:33 am
Posts: 51
At Camp Six Logging Museum back in the late 1960s and 1970s, I worked with Norm Elsner, who ran the Klickitat Log and Lumber (KL&L) Shay 7. He'd been running her since the late 30's and drove up every weekend to operate her at the park. He told some great stories!

Although this would be heavily frowned on today, even at Camp Six, he drank 2 or 3 beers over the day of operation. He was a big man, maybe 6' 3" or so and probably weighed 220+ even at 80 years old. So I doubt it had much affect on him, but...

He said the bricks were lined with glass from the thousands of bottles tossed in over the years.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:53 am 
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Location: Henderson Nevada
I have been associated with or witness to several organizations who burned used motor oil… At least one had a small tank truck with a pump and regularly collected the oil from service stations (this in the far distance past).

In the past I was in the forklift business… and had to deal with issues of hazardous waste…

There are at least three issues with used motor oil for steam locomotive fuel…

1) Most mechanical folks think it’s not the best fuel… based on how it burns. In some cases it seems to be the presence of water or anti freeze, in others it just doesn’t burn as hot… (one was a proponent of Bunker C as the best fuel ever…) I don’t have enough experience with a variety of fuels to make a personal statement but have respect for those who have told me. But it is cheap and available… and stem locomotives can burn most anything...

2) Robert has brought up a legitimate issue of contaminates in the exhaust. I understand from state Hwy folks that used motor oil is much cleaner than it was in the past when lead was commonly used as a fuel additive. It was a significant heavy metal in used motor oil… now not found. I believe incineration is currently a legal method of processing, so it may not be a legal issue, but remains a concern.

3) Regulatory issues… this may be a biggie… As environmental laws have developed, the rules have changed, in part defining who might have liability for future contamination. You are a hazardous waste creator if you drive a car… you have a responsibility for the dirty used motor oil you create by driving… when you have a mechanic change the oil there will be a separate charge for hazardous waste disposal… that fee is documenting the legal transfer and responsibility for the hazardous waste (aka use motor oil) you have created. You may still have some level of civil responsibility if you mechanic just dumps it by the side of the road, but paying a specific fee shields you from criminal responsibility.

Your mechanic is now a hazardous waste handler… (there are specific legal terms… but I have been away from the subject for some years…) The mechanic will transfer the waste to a processor (legally documented)… someone who will either dispose or otherwise process or convert the waste in a legal manor (and document that process or disposal)
Simply gathering and burning the waste in a locomotive boiler would not satisfy the documentation requirements, and would make the group burning the oil a hazardous waste converter (and make them subject to permit fees and taxes and would require a level of documentation… )

I believe that some of the current used motor oil burning groups purchase their used motor oil from a hazardous waste converter, who has collected that oil, documented that collection, tested and filtered as needed (not much is needed) and documented that testing, and then sold it as locomotive fuel, which as such it is no longer hazardous waste… just fuel (at least legally.) The level of contamination coming from the stack would now be legal and documented but may still be a concern.

Randy

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Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:21 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I remember Billy Jones Wildcat in Los Gatos actively collected motor oil in the 1970's. So are some of the concerns Randy described the reason for their stopping, or other operating reasons?

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Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
I'm a-jes' gonna ask this:

Synthetic motor oil. . . . Specifically, what I'll be changing out of my car soon. . . .

[dives for foxhole]


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:01 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Seriously..... apart from California and perhaps a small colony from there now residing in Boulder, where is there the will to police millions of car owners making use of their motor oil in various ways when they change it? The costs would be extravagantly out of proportion relative to the return...... just sayin', practicality and reality instead of ideals.

The small investment of about $5000-6000 can get you a centrifuge, settlement tank and filter setup. This allows you to remove a lot of crap from your collected waste stock before it goes through the burner. Benefits not based on neighborly rational environmentalism, which are of course valid, are in a cleaner and more reliable and less troublesome fuel at the burner, which means less fire control, steaming and firebox trouble.

In the larger picture, we've built since about 1930 a structure of development dependent on cars. Most of us have no other option for practical reasons, there's only just so much San Francisco to go around, and it costs a lot more than suburban Columbus. Real wages are depressed, so we can't build or market new San Franciscos in Columbus in quantity enough to replace suburbs. So, there's going to be a constant stream of pollution and waste products along with other unsustainable byproducts because we inherited a world built to generate them. Fees and legislation about dealing with waste won't transform the structure of the world, just syphon off funds that could do some of that into marginal drops in the bucket of cleanliness.... not to mention the cultural revolution necessary to make people want it to be transformed. Thankfully, the Millennials seem to have made that cultural move, thanks, kids........

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:39 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:03 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Pennsylvania
I once saw what was left of an Gatorade bottle fall out of the ashpan when I was helping clean the fire. In hindsight I'm amazed that it somehow survived being put in the firebox.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 145
I don't say this to belittle any post or poster but it is quite interesting to me how a question about disposing of a few lunch leftovers has ballooned into a discussion of how & why to save the earth from mankind and replacement of entire fuel supplies. mld


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