Is Diesel Fuel A Hazardous Material?

7th of March, 2019

Many people ask if placarding is necessary when transporting diesel fuel. The placarding requirement is generally dictated by the hazard of the substance, the quantity of the material being transported, and the type of packaging used, as is the case with many hazardous products. However, when it comes to establishing whether diesel is regulated or not, there is some misunderstanding.

To begin, it’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between bulk and non-bulk packaging. Bulk packaging has no intermediary form of containment and can hold a liquid hazardous with a maximum capacity of 119 gallons.

As a receptacle for liquid hazardous, non-bulk packaging has a maximum capacity of 119 gallons or less.

A flammable liquid with a flash point of at least 38 C (100 F) that does not fit the definition of any other hazard class may be reclassified as a combustible liquid, according to 49 CFR 173.150.

In the hazardous materials table (172.101), diesel fuel is classed as a flammable liquid, however it can be reclassified as a combustible liquid in most cases if it has a flash point of 100o F or higher (38o C).

The form of packaging determines whether or not diesel is controlled. When sold in non-bulk packaging, flammable liquids like diesel are generally exempt from the HMR. As a result, a placard is not necessary when diesel is transported in non-bulk packaging. When diesel is transported in bulk packaging, however, it is controlled and placarding is required.

Is diesel fuel considered a hazardous material?

Daniel: A query about reportable quantities was recently posed to me. They wanted to know what the reportable quantity for diesel fuel and gasoline was. So I proceeded to Table 1 of the Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook, but there was nothing there about fuel. They claim it’s 10 gallons, but according to the internet, it’s 25 gallons, but it doesn’t assist me as much as the HAZMAT/Safety man around here, and you always seem to know that sort of thing. Could you perhaps explain why it isn’t in there? The Hazardous Materials Table lists it under flammables.

I’m sure I’m missing something or am on the wrong route, because I have no idea where to go from here.

  • The hazardous substances table does not list gasoline or diesel fuel by name (appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101). As a result, those hazardous materials aren’t classified as hazardous chemicals.
  • Note that the Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook is an excellent source of knowledge, however it is a JJ Keller-produced and-sold guidance product. It is not intended to be a replacement for the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
  • Components of both diesel fuel (e.g., naphthalene) and gasoline (e.g., benzene) are included in the hazardous substances table by name and may be dangerous by themselves or in other solutions.
  • The definition of a hazardous material in 49 CFR 171.8, on the other hand, is as follows:

The term does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction of it that is not otherwise specifically listed or designated as a hazardous substance in appendix A to section 172.101 of this subchapter, nor natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, or synthetic gas usable for fuel (or mixtures of natural gas and such synthetic gas).

  • Both gasoline and diesel fuel are classified as “petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof,” yet neither is “particularly categorised or defined as a hazardous substance.” As a result, regardless of their composition or quantity, neither can be considered a reportable quantity of a dangerous material.
  • In most circumstances, gasoline and diesel fuel will meet the criteria for a Class 3 Flammable (gasoline) or Combustible (diesel fuel) liquid, as listed in column 2 of the Hazardous Materials Table. As a result, both gasoline and diesel fuel are typically considered hazardous materials.
  • At 49 CFR 171.8, the word “hazardous material” is also defined. It says there that a hazardous substance is included in the term hazardous material.
  • To summarise, neither gasoline nor diesel fuel are dangerous substances, but both will most certainly become hazardous materials in the future.
  • I believe the claims of an RQ of 10 lbs or 25 lbs are based on other regulations (such as the Clean Water Act) or other agencies’ threshold reporting quantities (perhaps state agencies have established threshold quantities that require reporting in the event of a release). Regardless, the Hazardous Materials Rules (HMR) of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT/PHMSA) are unaffected by those other regulations.

What kind of danger does diesel fuel pose?

When exposed to heat or flame with a low flash point, it poses a moderate fire danger. When exposed to heat, a spark, an open flame, or another source of ignition, the product becomes flammable and easily ignites.

Is diesel a risk?

Dizziness, tiredness, and headaches can be caused by inhaling diesel fumes (not car exhaust). Large quantities of breathing can cause a coma, loss of muscle control, and heart and lung difficulties. Diesel can irritate, dry, and break the skin; if the skin is exposed for an extended period of time, burns may occur.

Is a site with diesel considered hazardous?

It is stored, handled, or discharged 100 Volatile Flammable Liquid]. Because diesel fuel has a flash point of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, the region where it is used is usually not categorised.

What is the best way to get rid of diesel fuel?

Because diesel gasoline is a flammable and toxic waste, there are a few precautions you should take before discarding it.

It should never be flushed down the toilet or thrown away in a garbage container or recycling bin.

This can corrode your pipelines, pollute ground and drinking water, and put your waste collectors’ health at danger.

Dumping diesel gasoline into a river, lake, pond, sewer, canal, or any other body of water is unlawful. It’s also against the law to dump it in a landfill.

So, whether you’re trying to get rid of an old vehicle with diesel fuel remaining in the tank or an old container in your garage that may have been contaminated with water or another unknown substance, you must dispose of it as hazardous waste.

Follow the steps outlined below to safely dispose of diesel fuel:

Step # 1: Know What You Possess

To be safe, treat your diesel fuel as hazardous waste if you suspect it has been polluted by water or another unknown contaminant.

Step # 2: Try to Use the Diesel Fuel

If it’s in your vehicle, use a syphon to transfer it to a container and preserve it for later use. If you have another vehicle or piece of machinery that can run on diesel fuel, such as a generator, try to use it to avoid wasting it.

Step # 3: Ask If Someone around You Wants the Fuel

Inquire with anyone in your immediate vicinity whether they would be willing to take the fuel off your hands. Many folks would gladly accept free gasoline in exchange for rushing over to meet you.

See whether a trucker, commercial fisherman, or construction company you know might be willing to buy diesel fuel from you. Only do this if you’re very certain your fuel isn’t tainted.

Step # 4: Contact Hazardous Waste Collectors

Contact hazardous waste collectors or municipal recycling centres in your area for the cleanest way to dispose of diesel fuel. In the last six years, the hazardous waste collection sector in the United States has developed significantly.

Almost all local trash firms have hazardous waste collection programmes, or will be able to contact you with such collectors who would take your diesel fuel and properly dispose of it.

Some hazardous waste collectors may charge a minor disposal fee for diesel fuel, but keep in mind that the cost will be significantly less than the possible damage caused by illegal diesel fuel disposal.

Step # 5: Drop It Off at a Fire Hall

For training purposes, fire services utilise diesel fuel to start a fire. It is filtered and reused. Contact your local fire department to ask if they’d be interested in taking your uncontaminated diesel fuel.

You can also drop it off in a spill-proof container at several fire halls that have a local collection point.

Step # 6: Dispose of the Fuel in the Landfill in Spill-Proof Containers

Drive over to your city’s landfill to see whether they accept diesel fuel. Most landfills can take up to 5 gallons of diesel fuel in spill-proof containers that are clearly labelled as hazardous trash.

Hazardous waste disposal may be subject to fees at some landfills. The expense, however, will be less than the damage caused by improper disposal.

What are the four different kinds of hazardous waste?

Hazardous wastes are frequently distinct from one another. Hazardous wastes can be divided into four categories, according to the EPA. Each classification comes with its own set of risks and disposal options. These wastes can be extremely damaging to the environment if they are not properly treated or controlled. That is why it is critical to comprehend each of the primary classification types. Listed wastes, characteristic wastes, universal wastes, and mixed wastes are the four distinct classifications.

Listed Wastes

When it comes to listed wastes, there are four different sorts. Wastes that fall into the F-list, K-list, P-list, and U-list are among them.

Simply expressed, the F-list covers all wastes that come from manufacturing and industrial operations but have an unknown origin. Because they can be produced in a variety of industries and production processes, their true source becomes ambiguous.

The F-list wastes can be split into seven classes based on the procedures that produce the wastes. The following are the source identification groups:

  • Wastes containing dioxins
  • Wastes from the preservation of wood
  • Wastes from used solvents
  • Sludges from wastewater treatment at petroleum refineries
  • Production of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • Leachate from many sources
  • Waste from electroplating and other types of metal finishing

K-list wastes, in contrast to F-list wastes, are specialised wastes with defined industry origins. Certain forms of wastewater and sludge are generated as a result of specific manufacturing and treatment procedures, and these wastes can be identified as hazardous wastes.

They are categorised as source-specific hazardous wastes since their sources are unique. The following are the top 13 industries that generate K-lists:

  • Production of iron and steel
  • Refining of petroleum
  • Manufacturing of inorganic pigments
  • Manufacturing of explosives
  • Manufacturing of veterinary medicines
  • Production of primary aluminium
  • Manufacturing of organic compounds
  • Manufacturing of pesticides
  • a method of cooking (processing of coal to produce coke)
  • Manufacturing of inorganic chemicals
  • The preservation of wood
  • Processing of secondary lead

Manufacturing of iron and steel

Refining petroleum

Manufacturers of inorganic pigment

Fabrication of explosives

Manufacturing of veterinary drugs

The manufacturing of primary aluminium

Production of organic compounds

Manufacturing pesticides

preparing food (processing of coal to produce coke)

The production of inorganic compounds

The protection of trees

Processing of used lead

  • It must contain at least one of the substances on the P or U list.
  • The chemical in the waste must be unusable.
  • The waste has to be in the form of a commercial chemical product.

Characteristic Wastes

These distinctive wastes, unlike listed wastes, go through the identification procedure based on the traits they exhibit. The four characteristics associated with wastes are listed below.

Ignitability is one of the most important characteristics of a person.

  • Any flammable waste that can cause a fire.
  • Liquids with flashpoints below 140 degrees Fahrenheit, nonliquids with the ability to ignite under certain conditions, and compressed gases are all examples of this.

2. Corrosiveness

  • Any waste that can rust and disintegrate while melting through steel materials (usually acids and bases).
  • Aqueous wastes having an acidity level of equal to or less than 2 pH or equal to or greater than 12.5 pH are examples of this.

3. Adaptability

  • Any explosive waste that is unstable under normal settings.
  • Any waste that is capable of exploding or detonating and producing hazardous fumes is an example of this.

4. Toxicology

  • When swallowed or absorbed, any waste that is fatally toxic.
  • Lithium-sulfur batteries and other compounds that can be fatal if swallowed are examples of this.

There are tests available through accredited laboratories to assess the characteristics of wastes in order to determine the type of hazardous waste they are. You must consult with an accredited laboratory, such as EHS, in order to appropriately manage wastes.

Universal Wastes

Universal wastes, also known as commonly-generated wastes, are a type of hazardous waste. Bulb trash, mercury-containing equipment, pesticides, and batteries are examples of this type of garbage. These are some of the more often created wastes, and they are sometimes labelled as “hazardous commodities.” These wastes are divided into nine categories, as follows:

  • Explosives, Class 1
  • Flammable Liquids (Class 3)
  • Flammable Solids or Substances (Class 4)
  • Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides (Class 5)
  • Toxic and Infectious Substances (Class 6)
  • Radioactive (Class 7)
  • Corrosive Substances (Class 8)
  • Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances and Articles (Class 9)

Mixed Wastes

Mixed wastes, on the other hand, are wastes that contain both hazardous and radioactive components. Mixed wastes are treated and disposed of differently because they contain hazardous and radioactive materials.

According to the US DOE, mixed wastes are one of three forms of mixed waste. Low-level mixed waste (LLMW), high-level mixed waste (HLW), and mixed transuranic waste are examples of these types of garbage (MTRU).

If your firm or group produces hazardous trash, it’s critical to understand the right disposal techniques.

Now that you’re familiar with all of the many sorts of garbage, their classifications, and examples, make sure you’re appropriately disposing of them. Contact Environmental Hazards Services if you require analytical testing services to assess the levels of hazardousness of your wastes.

Is diesel a corrosive substance?

Fiction! Any petroleum fuel, in fact, is noncorrosive to metals. A conductive material, such as water, must be present in the fuel system for corrosion to occur.

Is it true that diesel vapours are flammable?

The efficiency of a gas engine is only about 20%. That means that only 20% of the fuel actually propels the automobile, with the rest being lost to friction, noise, and engine functions, or being expelled as heat. Diesel engines, on the other hand, can achieve efficiency levels of up to 40%. That’s why they’re so popular for transporting large vehicles like trucks, when extra fuel can quickly add up.

If you toss a lit match into a puddle of diesel fuel, it’ll go out.

This is due to the fact that diesel is far less combustible than gasoline. It needs a lot of pressure or a long flame to ignite diesel in an automobile. A match, on the other hand, will not even touch the surface of a puddle of gasoline; instead, it will ignite the vapours above the surface. (Do not attempt this at home!)

We now produce about 100 times more biodiesel than we did 10 years ago.

The United States produced approximately 10 million gallons of biodiesel in 2002. That figure was 969 million in 2012.

At high altitudes, diesel engines get better power than gasoline.

Engines that run on gasoline have a fairly particular fuel-to-air ratio. The air is thinner at high altitudes (literally, there are less molecules of air per cubic foot). This means that in the highlands, gasoline engines must add less fuel to maintain the ideal ratio, lowering performance. Turbochargers in diesel engines help them function better by pumping more air into the combustion chambers at high elevations.

What are the potential dangers of working as a diesel mechanic?

On a regular basis, diesel mechanics in Colorado and other states encounter various injury risks. Despite the fact that it is their employers’ responsibility to create safe working environments and address recognised safety dangers, the nature of the employment is hazardous. When a technician is hurt on the job, his or her financial security may be jeopardised.

Lifting hefty items that must be moved into place is one of the dangers diesel mechanics encounter. Many of the occupations they conduct demand them to bend, stretch, squat, or twist their bodies in various ways. Making these actions while carrying large goods might cause back and muscle problems. Working in confined places frequently results in hand injuries, including lacerations, cuts, bruises, and burns. Crushing injuries to toes or fractured foot bones might result from dropped equipment or large pieces that are difficult to grip securely.

Lathes, winches, welding torches, and grinders, as well as other power tools, booms, and hoists, all offer risks. Diesel mechanics’ work spaces are rarely air conditioned or heated, and some work outside in inclement weather. Roadside assistance also puts you at risk of being hit by other vehicles. Then there are the dangers of diesel, which can enter the bloodstream through the skin and inhale toxic fumes. Long-term exposure can cause cancer, kidney damage, and blood clotting issues, as well as skin conditions.

Fortunately, any employee who is injured at work in Colorado can seek financial compensation under the state’s workers’ compensation programme. The insurance policy usually offers a wage-replacement package in addition to medical care. This is covered under the benefits package for employees who have been injured and are temporarily disabled.