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Ethanol storage limits

We are building our CO2 extraction lab from the ground up. For the winterization process after extraction, my building plan was to have a 55 gallon drum of Ethanol in the lab with a pump dispenser mounted on it. The spent alcohol would be placed in an empty 55 gallon drum. The engineer working on the specs of the building is telling me that 55 gallons of ethanol will bump the building up to a class 1 Div 1 Classification. I have asked what the regulations are and I will conform but he says he can't tell me. Is 55 gallons too much? Can I have less than 30 gallons? Curious if other labs have run into this issue.


  • Where are you located? I just finished building a class 1 div 1 facility in Aurora Colorado. I assume he doesn't want to tell you the regulations because, specifically speaking, he can claim that it's not his job. Each inspector is free to interpret the code, but you want to eventually speak with the head of inspectors, if possible.
  • I strongly recommend calling your local fire dept, they are there to help people with this kind of stuff. Most depts use the International Fire Code. I was recently at a moonshine(legal) distillery and it certainly wasn't c1d1.

  • I'm able to store 120 gallons btw
  • what percent is your ethanol . Maybe you can add a drum of water to it then the fire hazard would be gone . Or if it's a volume issue purify and store in a food grade plastic tote or stainless steel barrel . I am new to this community so let me know if my ideas are helpful or have obvious flaws .

  • edited September 2017
    Thank you for all of your replies. We now have approval for 55 gallons in the lab. We can't have anything electrical within 5 feet of it and anything electrical between 5 and 10 feet has to be 18inches off of the floor. Good to go!
  • I'm located in Alaska
  • Lisa,
    Were you required to put it in a storage cabinet?

  • edited June 11

    @Sam_GreenRidge said:
    Were you required to put it in a storage cabinet?

    @lisa @lisa1

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