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condenser design

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  • John
    Sorry if this question has already been discussed... I am new to the group. I am actually tinkering with making fuel ethanol. Before investing in a 6 inch
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2006
      Sorry if this question has already been discussed... I am new to the
      group. I am actually tinkering with making fuel ethanol. Before
      investing in a 6 inch collumn I thought I would build a small 2 inch
      reflux collumn and see just how much time and effort is involved in
      the basic process, making a beer, distilling it off, cleaning the
      apparatus, disposing of the byproducts and doing it all over again.
      Considering if my time is of any value it may just be cheaper to buy
      gasoline at $3.00 a gallon.

      That being said, I am considering building a 5 foot tall 2 inch
      diameter copper collumn packed with stainless or copper scrubbers, a
      *T* at the top then a condenser continuing from there. I think it
      is referred to as a "nixon" (or some president)design(?) I have
      looked at several *plans* but dont quite get how long to make the
      condensor. I figure it will be 2 inch diameter with a 1/4 inch
      copper tube coiled around maybe a 1 inch tube (1 inch tube then
      removed leaving the coil) inside. Looking at diagrams I have found
      I can kinda interpolate that the condensor is maybe somewhere
      between 12 inches and 24 inches... but not sure. Even a 2 inch
      collum represents a pretty healthy investment, so I dont want to buy
      any more copper than I have to. Anyone know of an optimal condensor
      size or formula for calculating length?
    • Peggy
      Hello John, http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/ is a great reference as well as joining the related Robert Warren forum. After reading Robert s web site, and
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 2, 2006
        Hello John,

        http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/ is a great reference as well as
        joining the related Robert Warren forum.

        After reading Robert's web site, and learning the basics of fuel ethanol
        production, you may want to go on to discover more about larger production
        capacities at the following web site: www.biofuelsenergycorp.com. If you
        want a commercial venture, then you need to understand the basics first and
        you can supply yourself with plenty of fuel with a small still such as you
        already envision. You are on the wrong forum to discuss making fuel. The
        next best informational site is here:
        http://desorgilles.tripod.com/id137.html

        Peggy


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Distillers@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of John
        Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 2:46 PM
        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Distillers] condenser design

        Sorry if this question has already been discussed... I am new to the
        group. I am actually tinkering with making fuel ethanol. Before
        investing in a 6 inch collumn I thought I would build a small 2 inch
        reflux collumn and see just how much time and effort is involved in
        the basic process, making a beer, distilling it off, cleaning the
        apparatus, disposing of the byproducts and doing it all over again.
        Considering if my time is of any value it may just be cheaper to buy
        gasoline at $3.00 a gallon.

        That being said, I am considering building a 5 foot tall 2 inch
        diameter copper collumn packed with stainless or copper scrubbers, a
        *T* at the top then a condenser continuing from there. I think it
        is referred to as a "nixon" (or some president)design(?) I have
        looked at several *plans* but dont quite get how long to make the
        condensor. I figure it will be 2 inch diameter with a 1/4 inch
        copper tube coiled around maybe a 1 inch tube (1 inch tube then
        removed leaving the coil) inside. Looking at diagrams I have found
        I can kinda interpolate that the condensor is maybe somewhere
        between 12 inches and 24 inches... but not sure. Even a 2 inch
        collum represents a pretty healthy investment, so I dont want to buy
        any more copper than I have to. Anyone know of an optimal condensor
        size or formula for calculating length?










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      • John Flannagan
        Still (no pun intended) exploring condensor design. Fuel or consumable, the purpose is the same, trying to get a 95% ethanol product efficently. So I did a
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 12, 2006
          Still (no pun intended) exploring condensor design. Fuel or consumable, the purpose is the same, trying to get a 95% ethanol product efficently.

          So I did a little math (I am by no means a math person, so corrections welcomed), and came up with the following thoughts and numbers...

          Beginning with a 2 inch condensor tube.... I recall persons saying they were using 15 to 20 feet of coiled 1/4 inch tubing in a 16 inch tube. Coiling 1/4 inch tubing without kinking or flattening it is difficult... been through my first roll of ice maker tubing already... hence my voodoo math.

          I figured the cooling must be related to the coil surface area. So I took the circumfrence of the 1/4 inch tube and multiplied it by 20 feet. Came out with a surface area of 15.7 sq inches. Then got to thnking about a 1/2 inch straight tube just run through the center of the 2 inch condensor tube. Turns out you only need some 5 inch length of 1/2 inch tubing to get the same surface area as 20 feet of the 1/4 inch tube. (at least buy my math... corrrections??).

          So the difference being the coiled 1/4 inch tubing "requires" about 16 inch of condensor where the 1/2 inch straight tube just requires a 5 inch condensor tube. How signifigant is the length of the condensor tube in this equation? Would a 5 inch condensor be as efficient/effective as a 16 inch condensor? Would there be repercussions to making a 16 inch condensor with a 1/2 inch tube just run the length through the center?

          Any thoughts/ideas?

          jf

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        • Harry
          Comments interspersed... ... consumable, the purpose is the same, trying to get a 95% ethanol product efficently. ... corrections welcomed), and came up with
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 12, 2006
            Comments interspersed...


            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, John Flannagan <wish2no@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Still (no pun intended) exploring condensor design. Fuel or
            consumable, the purpose is the same, trying to get a 95% ethanol
            product efficently.
            >
            > So I did a little math (I am by no means a math person, so
            corrections welcomed), and came up with the following thoughts and
            numbers...
            >
            > Beginning with a 2 inch condensor tube.... I recall persons
            saying they were using 15 to 20 feet of coiled 1/4 inch tubing in a
            16 inch tube. Coiling 1/4 inch tubing without kinking or flattening
            it is difficult... been through my first roll of ice maker tubing
            already... hence my voodoo math.


            .............It's really quite easy. The methods have been
            discussed many times. Do a search.


            >
            > I figured the cooling must be related to the coil surface area.
            So I took the circumfrence of the 1/4 inch tube and multiplied it by
            20 feet. Came out with a surface area of 15.7 sq inches. Then got
            to thnking about a 1/2 inch straight tube just run through the
            center of the 2 inch condensor tube. Turns out you only need some 5
            inch length of 1/2 inch tubing to get the same surface area as 20
            feet of the 1/4 inch tube. (at least buy my math... corrrections??).



            .................Corrections as follows...

            Tube area = PiDL
            where...
            Pi = 3.1416
            D = Diameter of tube
            L = Length of tube IN THE SAME DENOMINATOR e.g. inches

            Therefore your tube area...
            3.1416 x 0.25 x 20 x 12
            -> 188.5 sq_ins.

            The same surface area in a 1/2" tube is...
            L / (PiD)
            188.5 / 3.1416 x 0.5
            -> 120" or 10 feet.

            So you can see this makes all of the below irrelevant.



            >
            > So the difference being the coiled 1/4 inch tubing "requires"
            about 16 inch of condensor where the 1/2 inch straight tube just
            requires a 5 inch condensor tube. How signifigant is the length of
            the condensor tube in this equation? Would a 5 inch condensor be as
            efficient/effective as a 16 inch condensor? Would there be
            repercussions to making a 16 inch condensor with a 1/2 inch tube
            just run the length through the center?
            >
            > Any thoughts/ideas?
            >
            > jf



            Sorry to burst your bubble, John.

            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • Link D'Antoni
            John, I can only answer, or attemt to answer, the anti-kink coil question. Use a pipe/PVC the diameter that you wish to coil. With smaller copper tubing I
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 13, 2006
              John,

              I can only answer, or attemt to answer, the
              anti-kink coil question. Use a pipe/PVC the diameter
              that you wish to coil. With smaller copper tubing I
              use a broom handle as my guide. There again depending
              on how tight you want the coil to be... or not to
              be... that is the question. And.. and don't get in a
              hurry.

              Link



              --- John Flannagan <wish2no@...> wrote:

              > Still (no pun intended) exploring condensor design.
              > Fuel or consumable, the purpose is the same, trying
              > to get a 95% ethanol product efficently.
              >
              > So I did a little math (I am by no means a math
              > person, so corrections welcomed), and came up with
              > the following thoughts and numbers...
              >
              > Beginning with a 2 inch condensor tube.... I
              > recall persons saying they were using 15 to 20 feet
              > of coiled 1/4 inch tubing in a 16 inch tube.
              > Coiling 1/4 inch tubing without kinking or
              > flattening it is difficult... been through my first
              > roll of ice maker tubing already... hence my voodoo
              > math.
              >
              > I figured the cooling must be related to the coil
              > surface area. So I took the circumfrence of the 1/4
              > inch tube and multiplied it by 20 feet. Came out
              > with a surface area of 15.7 sq inches. Then got to
              > thnking about a 1/2 inch straight tube just run
              > through the center of the 2 inch condensor tube.
              > Turns out you only need some 5 inch length of 1/2
              > inch tubing to get the same surface area as 20 feet
              > of the 1/4 inch tube. (at least buy my math...
              > corrrections??).
              >
              > So the difference being the coiled 1/4 inch tubing
              > "requires" about 16 inch of condensor where the 1/2
              > inch straight tube just requires a 5 inch condensor
              > tube. How signifigant is the length of the
              > condensor tube in this equation? Would a 5 inch
              > condensor be as efficient/effective as a 16 inch
              > condensor? Would there be repercussions to making a
              > 16 inch condensor with a 1/2 inch tube just run the
              > length through the center?
              >
              > Any thoughts/ideas?
              >
              > jf
              >
              > __________________________________________________
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              > protection around
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              > [Non-text portions of this message have been
              > removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >


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            • rodmacd2000
              Your math is a little off where you failed to translate between feet and inches. Actual area of 20 ft x 1/4 is 188 sq. in. (not 15.7 sq. in. - a difference of
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 13, 2006
                Your math is a little off where you failed to translate between feet
                and inches. Actual area of 20 ft x 1/4" is 188 sq. in. (not 15.7 sq.
                in. - a difference of x 12).

                It *is* very difficult to coil 1.4" tubing to form a condenser coil
                capable of fitting inside a 1 1/2" shroud (can and has been done 'though).

                Many of us instead use 3/16" copper tubing for our condenser.
                Available at auto supply outlets (either gas or break line tubing,
                can't remember).

                Good Luck
                Rod


                > --- John Flannagan <wish2no@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Still (no pun intended) exploring condensor design.
                > > Fuel or consumable, the purpose is the same, trying
                > > to get a 95% ethanol product efficently.
                > >
                > > So I did a little math (I am by no means a math
                > > person, so corrections welcomed), and came up with
                > > the following thoughts and numbers...
                > >
                > > Beginning with a 2 inch condensor tube.... I
                > > recall persons saying they were using 15 to 20 feet
                > > of coiled 1/4 inch tubing in a 16 inch tube.
                > > Coiling 1/4 inch tubing without kinking or
                > > flattening it is difficult... been through my first
                > > roll of ice maker tubing already... hence my voodoo
                > > math.
                > >
                > > I figured the cooling must be related to the coil
                > > surface area. So I took the circumfrence of the 1/4
                > > inch tube and multiplied it by 20 feet. Came out
                > > with a surface area of 15.7 sq inches. Then got to
                > > thnking about a 1/2 inch straight tube just run
                > > through the center of the 2 inch condensor tube.
                > > Turns out you only need some 5 inch length of 1/2
                > > inch tubing to get the same surface area as 20 feet
                > > of the 1/4 inch tube. (at least buy my math...
                > > corrrections??).
                > >
                > > So the difference being the coiled 1/4 inch tubing
                > > "requires" about 16 inch of condensor where the 1/2
                > > inch straight tube just requires a 5 inch condensor
                > > tube. How signifigant is the length of the
                > > condensor tube in this equation? Would a 5 inch
                > > condensor be as efficient/effective as a 16 inch
                > > condensor? Would there be repercussions to making a
                > > 16 inch condensor with a 1/2 inch tube just run the
                > > length through the center?
                > >
                > > Any thoughts/ideas?
                > >
                > > jf
                > >
                > > __________________________________________________
                > > Do You Yahoo!?
                > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                > > protection around
                > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                > > removed]
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                > __________________________________________________
                > Do You Yahoo!?
                > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                > http://mail.yahoo.com
                >
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