Greetings fellow stillers,
My still is a design from Gert Strands website, and apparently not
many use this style due to the complications faced while operating
it. I think I've found a way to make the operation of this type of
still easier. Please view the pic attached with this mail.
I've added a thermometer just above the lower cooling pipe entering
the column. It reads in F and my head thermometer is in C, so please
bear with that. It cost $6 US. Depending on the accuracy of the F
thermometer, it would seem to me that ethanol is a vapor somewhere
around 168F. Because I've been working with C, I really don't know
for sure. These are my notes from the first time using this method so
Column temp 168F --- Temp at head 78.xC (slow cooling water to
lower reflux ratio and increase output without changing column temp)
Column temp 192F --- Temp at head drops (slow cooling water, raise
column vapor temp and head temp)
Column temp 202F --- End of run (temp at head rises above 80C)
The head and column temps remained steady for about 1 1/2 hrs while I
took off almost 1 1/2L of 90%. When the head temp dropped, Gert
Strand said the run would be complete at that time. Instead I slowed
the water and took off another 250ml or so of unknown quality or %
tails into a different jar to be added to the next run.
The column thermometer was a great addition to this still. It alerted
me to the vapors rising so I could start the cooling water and
stabilize the reflux sooner without the head temp soaring above the
intended target temperature. The vapors in the column can be "seen"
by their temp signature and the cooling water can be adjusted
according to the head temp and output flow.
Boiler heat can be adjusted using above factors and coolant flow rate
in determining maximum efficiency.
Well, whaddaya think? Will this be of any use to the N/S folks?
OK, I don't know how to post a picture on this. The pic will follow
on my RE: to this post. Thanks for your patience....bob....