Comments on bokakob vertical/simple column
It seems that I began a parallel development of the vertical/simple
style column without realizing that you (and others) were on the
job. After looking over your recent revisions and reading others
comments, I have some of my own:
The widget at the base of the condenser meant to divert the
distillate into the center of the column (as people have already
mentioned) should not be soldered in. But, why use a reducer at all?
Reducers are pricey. Why not just create a simple funnel out a length
if 2" or 3" copper pipe? (or sheet copper if it's handy) The funnel
would drop into the top of the main column and be held in place by
gravity. The bulk of the refluxed distillate will still find it's way
down the middle of the funnel, or surface tension would carry it
along the bottom. It would probably be good enough. (And simple, and
cheap to boot) The funnel would be built by just cutting a section
out of the piece of pipe, bending it into a funnel shape and
soldering it. The top edge could be bent/hammered out to help detain
it along the top edge of the main reflux tube. Copper is pretty
malleable, so it should be easy to form even with simple tools.
If that is too complex could you could just use a 2" "cap" with a 1"
hole drilled in the middle. A couple of whacks with a hammer in the
middle if the cap would make it "funnel shaped" enough to get the job
done. You could also solder a length of 1" pipe into the center of
the cap running two or three inches back into the main reflux tube.
While it would be more expensive (money wise) to use a cap instead of
the hand built funnel, the advantage would be that it would be a more
complete seal around the top of the reflux tube. (hence forcing more
the distillate to go down the center.
Yet another approach (the most complex, but probably the best) would
be to use a return line of some type, rather then having the
distillate reflux via spilling over the top of the reflux tube. It
could be a 1/4" or 1/2" copper pipe that is soldered to the inside
of the condenser section. It would return the distilled liquid to
deeper in the main reflux column then the other methods, and it
wouldn't interfere when the condenser was removed for use as a simple
condenser. (That's what the joining sleeve is for, right?)
If you looked over my last quick sketch, you probably noticed I
didn't make the condenser as fancy as your design. It's more like a
Nixon-Stone cold finger. It just sticks in the top of the condenser
section of the tube. No fancy entrance and exit hole in the condenser
tube. Easier to build. Easier to maintain. My drawing didn't
indicate it, but I intend for it to be at least a double winding at
the top half. There might still be room in the middle to stuff a
scrubbie in there, but I doubt it.
I noticed you reversed the direction of the cooling water. Good call.
Did you get the "removable condenser" idea from my post? Regardless,
I like it!
Your design is more evolved then mine was at the time I posted it.
When do we get to see pictures of a working column?
P.S. You can see some crude sketches of these ideas in the Files