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RE: [Distillers] Digest Number 2447

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  • Ackland, Tony (CALBRIS)
    JW, ... It had reflux running. Thats the trick in getting it balanced & running well. You need to monitor the temperature in the lower boiler, and at the top
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2005
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      JW,

      > When you ran your continuos still, did you return any reflux or run
      > flat out as striping still. Was just wondering in case the reflux
      > dropped into lower portion of column and mixed with wash inlet.


      It had reflux running. Thats the trick in getting it balanced & running well. You need to monitor the temperature in the lower boiler, and at the top of the column.

      The lower one should be ==> 100C. Mine ran at about 105C - its higher than normal water boiling point because there is a slight pressure in the column. If it starts dropping below 100C thats an indicator that alcohol is coming down into the lower portion - ie your feed rate is too fast - so back off the feed. The idea is that the boiler should only be water/tails, and alcohol never gets to go too far below the feed point.

      You then need to set your top reflux rate so that it will achieve the purity you want - 95% in my case. If i was to set the reflux rate too high, there could be a chance that you eventually fill the column with pure reflux (eg imagine if it was in total reflux), and again it would start coming through down out the boiler/drain. Not too difficult to work out this collection rate - eg if I'm feeding the column at 85mL/min, and its at 14% alcohol, then I should expect to collect 95% purity at 85*14/95 == 12.5 mL/min. If your column is too short this wont be possible - thus a matter of knowning what to expect from your gear before you begin.

      If you had a couple more thermometers up the column, you'd be able to track those zones fairly well - eg never let the lower 20cm of the column get below 100C, and monitor the 78C location to keep it near the top & not too far down.

      I guess you could forget about the top reflux, and just run it as a stripper, especially if you were going to redistill it anyhow. But i didnt - the product was pure, and fine enough to consume as is.

      Tony
    • J W
      Thanks Tony I have built a feed as you had drawn in your diagram. This will go on top of my column; it is in a sleeve, which joins another column on top, I
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 31, 2005
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        Thanks Tony
        I have built a feed as you had drawn in your diagram.
        This will go on top of my column; it is in a sleeve,
        which joins another column on top, I then put my
        condenser on top of the second column. I was only
        planing to strip with this setup, but will experiment
        to see how pure a product I can get. I thought the top
        column might flood if tried to get 96% as the total
        length might use all the heat before reaching the
        condenser. I have a thermometer in the boiler, the new
        adaptor and the top of column so I should be able to
        know what is happening. At the top of bottom column at
        the hight of my liquid feed, what would you guess the
        temp to be? I hope to pre-heat the wash with the waste
        from the boiler.
        Placed photos of adapter in photos continuos still,
        link below.
        http://tinyurl.com/dgqet
        Thanks for all the help
        JW



        --- "Ackland, Tony (CALBRIS)"
        <Tony.Ackland@...> wrote:

        > JW,
        >
        > > When you ran your continuos still, did you return
        > any reflux or run
        > > flat out as striping still. Was just wondering in
        > case the reflux
        > > dropped into lower portion of column and mixed
        > with wash inlet.
        >
        >
        > It had reflux running. Thats the trick in getting
        > it balanced & running well. You need to monitor the
        > temperature in the lower boiler, and at the top of
        > the column.
        >
        > The lower one should be ==> 100C. Mine ran at about
        > 105C - its higher than normal water boiling point
        > because there is a slight pressure in the column.
        > If it starts dropping below 100C thats an indicator
        > that alcohol is coming down into the lower portion -
        > ie your feed rate is too fast - so back off the
        > feed. The idea is that the boiler should only be
        > water/tails, and alcohol never gets to go too far
        > below the feed point.
        >
        > You then need to set your top reflux rate so that it
        > will achieve the purity you want - 95% in my case.
        > If i was to set the reflux rate too high, there
        > could be a chance that you eventually fill the
        > column with pure reflux (eg imagine if it was in
        > total reflux), and again it would start coming
        > through down out the boiler/drain. Not too
        > difficult to work out this collection rate - eg if
        > I'm feeding the column at 85mL/min, and its at 14%
        > alcohol, then I should expect to collect 95% purity
        > at 85*14/95 == 12.5 mL/min. If your column is too
        > short this wont be possible - thus a matter of
        > knowning what to expect from your gear before you
        > begin.
        >
        > If you had a couple more thermometers up the column,
        > you'd be able to track those zones fairly well - eg
        > never let the lower 20cm of the column get below
        > 100C, and monitor the 78C location to keep it near
        > the top & not too far down.
        >
        > I guess you could forget about the top reflux, and
        > just run it as a stripper, especially if you were
        > going to redistill it anyhow. But i didnt - the
        > product was pure, and fine enough to consume as is.
        >
        > Tony
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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