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Stover fire at DuPont cellulose ethanol plant in Nevada Iowa

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http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/10913/fire-consumes-small-percentage-of-dupontundefineds-stover-bales

 

An early morning fire on March 31, destroyed about 5,200 of the 55,000 corn stover bales stored at a 30-acre DuPont stover storage site located about 10 miles northeast of Nevada, Iowa...

 

...suspects a lightning strike started the fire and said it will continue to investigate.. emergency responders performed exceptionally and pointed to extensive planning and preparedness exercises conducted in 2013. “Although heavy winds challenged the firefighters, the fire was contained by Tuesday morning,” a company spokesperson said in an email statement. “… Most importantly, we are thankful there have been no injuries.”...

 

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having this much dried biomass in any one area is always going to be a fire hazard.  With as flat as the landscape is, it might be an idea worth investing in to have several poles with lightning rods in the hay stack area to attract the lightning to a safe place.  Growing up on the farm, "spontaneous combustion" was always another hazard for large hay bale stacks.  There will be many lessons on this learning curve of large scale biomass processing.

 

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It's good that nobody was hurt and only a "fraction" or the bales were damaged without taking down thexplant. Honestly, I never even thought about the possibility of this even though I knew that should have been possible. I think you're right on putting up lightening rods or something similar.

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I have a barn that the previous owner put hay in that was too wet and it caught. I guess people were tossing hay out as fast as they could and just some scorching on some of the wood.

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