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Vacuum Drying

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  • George Wessel
    Hello Everybody This question is directed towards anybody who might be able to help. If I had 1 gallon of water and I applied a vacuum high enough to boil it.
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 28, 2002
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      Hello Everybody

      This question is directed towards anybody who might be able to help.

      If I had 1 gallon of water and I applied a vacuum high enough to boil
      it. How many Cubit / Feet, or Liters, of oxygen and hydrogen would it
      produce when it was finally boiled dry.

      A second question, would 30 inches of vacuum apply as much pull as 30
      inches of pressure would apply push, on a piston of the same size? As I
      see it the vacuum would only be applying a single atmosphere (14 PSI)
      because it would only be removing a single atmosphere and the 30 PSI of
      pressure would be applying a pound or two over 2 atmospheres. The reason
      I ask is that I know where there is a 1000 gallon popane tank that was
      damaged in a grass fire. It is no longer usuable as a popane tank but I
      think it would make a great vacuum tank. With a few modifications to
      get the malt and spent grains in and out.

      Sorry for the abstract questions but any answer would be appreciated. I
      would really hate to buy these tanks and then find out they are not
      strong enough to hold a vacuum capable of evaporating the water in my
      grains and malts.

      All answers welcome
      George
    • Mike Nixon
      George Wessel wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Vacuum Drying If I had 1 gallon of water and I applied a vacuum high enough to boil it. How many Cubit / Feet,
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 28, 2002
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        George Wessel wrote:
        Subject: [new_distillers] Vacuum Drying
        If I had 1 gallon of water and I applied a vacuum high enough to boil
        it.  How many Cubit / Feet, or Liters, of oxygen and hydrogen would it
        produce when it was finally boiled dry.
        ========================
        Answer:  none.
        Boiling does not split water up into oxygen and hydrogen.  For that you need electrolysis.
        However, if you mean "what is the volume of water vapor given off by 1 gallon of water?" then that would be:
        4,706 liters of vapor from 1 US gallon
        5,652 liters of vapor from 1 Imperial gallon
        ========================
        A second question,  would 30 inches of vacuum apply as much pull as 30
        inches of pressure would apply push, on a piston of the same size? 
        ========================
        Yes, but you would never get 30 inches vacuum (I'm assuming you mean inches of mercury, like a barometer) as this is more than a perfect vacuum. 
        ========================
        As I see it the vacuum would only be applying a single atmosphere (14 PSI)
        because it would only be removing a single atmosphere and the 30 PSI of
        pressure would be applying a pound or two over 2 atmospheres. The reason
        I ask is that I know where there is a 1000 gallon popane tank that was
        damaged in a grass fire.  It is no longer usuable as a popane tank but I
        think it would make a great vacuum tank.  With a few modifications to
        get the malt and spent grains in and out.
        ========================
        The propane tank will be designed to withstand pressure from within, and not from outside.
        However, you would probably get away with it as these beasties are made to withstand all sorts of rough treatment.  Quickest test would be to chuck some water in and light a fire underneath to boil it. The steam will drive out all the air if you leave it long enough, then just seal the tank and remove the fire.  You'll get a great vacuum when the tank cools down, and if it crumples, don't buy it! 
        One other thing to bear in mind if you do go this way, is that you would still have to heat it to stop the water freezing.
        ========================
        Sorry for the abstract questions but any answer would be appreciated. I
        would really hate to buy these tanks and then find out they are not
        strong enough to hold a vacuum capable of evaporating the water in my
        grains and malts.
        ========================
        No problem George.  Nothing is too good for a founder member of The Amphora Society!  :-))
        I'll run this question past Mike McCaw as such processing is right up his street.  He may also be able you give you some ideas on easier methods. 
         
        All the best,
        Mike Nixon
      • homedistiller
        Hi George, I have also a few remarks. Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 29, 2002
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          Hi George,

          I have also a few remarks.

          Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to
          propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in case of leaks.
          I have opened those propane tanks (I use them as supplementary tanks
          for compressed air) and man... what a smell! I think it would ruin
          whatever you put inside that tank for years. This product looks like
          an oily substance and smells at least as strong as an essential oil.
          I don't know what this product is, but I'll try to find it out. You
          might be able to clean it out, but it's like this product becomes
          soaked into the tank material itself.

          Do you have a vacuum pump ? How much vacuum does it pull ? Do you
          have freeze-drying in mind ?

          Most vacuum pumps are not designed to draw water out. They work with
          oil lubed vanes and make something like "mayonnaise" when sucking
          water vapour. Some vacuum pumps are oil-less and these are better
          suited for drying. With increasing vacuum (= also more expensive
          pumps), the boiling point lowers. At what temperature would you like
          to dry ? This determines the vacuum you'll need.

          Freeze drying is the most sophisticated of vacuum drying and is a
          marvellous invention, providing the highest quality and longtime
          storage of the dried products, but is more complicated for the common
          do-it-yourselver.

          Greetings,
          Dirk
        • George Wessel
          ... Thanks a bunch Mike I all ready have a vacuum pump. I brought a 2 cows milking machine at a sale for $100 US. It came complete with a vacuum pump. It can
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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            > The propane tank will be designed to withstand pressure from within, and
            > not from outside.
            >
            > However, you would probably get away with it as these beasties are made
            > to withstand all sorts of rough treatment. Quickest test would be
            > to chuck some water in and light a fire underneath to boil it. The steam
            > will drive out all the air if you leave it long enough, then just seal
            > the tank and remove the fire. You'll get a great vacuum when the tank
            > cools down, and if it crumples, don't buy it!

            Thanks a bunch Mike

            I all ready have a vacuum pump. I brought a 2 cows milking machine at a
            sale for $100 US. It came complete with a vacuum pump. It can pull a 20
            - 21 pound vacuum on the guage. It is the damaged popane tanks that I
            do not have. In order to run any tests I would have to buy the tanks.
            This is why I have so many questions while a test would be so easy to do.

            > One other thing to bear in mind if you do go this way, is that you
            > would still have to heat it to stop the water freezing.


            Would not the freezing point of water drop under a vacuum as well as the
            boiling point?

            If it makes any difference I am working on fuel grade alcohol. I figure
            I should be able to dry my malted grain and my spent grains after
            fermentation in these tanks. Vent the compressor exhaust from the malt
            in the open and vent the exhaust from the spent grains into a condenser,
            back to the wort storage tank. My worst fear now is that this might not
            be a very fast process.

            The worst I guess is that I will have to get two milk cows and drink
            lots of milk.

            Thanks again
            George
          • Mike Nixon
            George Wessel wrote: Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Vacuum Drying Would not the freezing point of water drop under a vacuum as well as the boiling point?
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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              George Wessel wrote:
              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Vacuum Drying

              Would not the freezing point of water drop under a vacuum as well as the boiling point?
              =============================
              Nope.  Freezing is not the same as boiling.  Freezing occurs when molecular movement slows to such an extent that molecules can bind closely together in a solid, crystalline state.  Boiling occurs when the vapor pressure of the hot liquid is the same as the atmospheric pressure, so you can boil a liquid either by heating it up to increase its vapor pressure, or by lowering the atmospheric pressure to match the liquid's vapor pressure at whatever temperature it's at.
               
              Boiling takes heat energy to turn the water into water vapor, and if you boil water by just lowering the pressure then this heat comes from the water itself.  This lowers its temperature of the water, and if you keep lowering the pressure so that it is always less than the vapor pressure of the water (the vapor pressure of water decreases as the temperature drops) then the water will keep boiling, but at lower and lower temperatures, and eventually freeze.  If you want to get rid of all the water by vacuum boiling, you therefore have to supply heat to keep the water liquid.
               
              Frankly, I think that this is the hard way of doing what you want to do, and with no assurance of success.  As Dirk (homedistiller) pointed out, those propane tanks are likely to be heavily contaminated and would ruin your product.  He also points out that the other option of freeze drying, although great, is very complicated and, I imagine, very expensive to set up.  Mike McCaw has noted that the big boys in modern malting works use "through air" drying as it has proved to be efficient and cost effective.  At the risk of sounding defeatist, I would suggest you follow that advice.  As for the vacuum pump that came with your milking machine investment, I hope for the sake of the cows that it doesn't produce a vacuum strong enough to boil water!  You must have a lot of very unhappy cows in your area :-(
               
              Mike Nixon
               
               
            • georgelola@netscape.net
              ... Our popane stinks as well. I am not going for food quality. But for fuel grade alcohol. ... Yes I do have a small vacuum pump. It is an old 2 cow Surge
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                "homedistiller" <homedistiller@...> wrote:

                >Hi George,
                >
                >I have also a few remarks.
                >
                >Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to
                >propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in case of leaks.
                >I have opened those propane tanks (I use them as supplementary tanks
                >for compressed air) and man... what a smell! I think it would ruin
                >whatever you put inside that tank for years. This product looks like
                >an oily substance and smells at least as strong as an essential oil.
                >I don't know what this product is, but I'll try to find it out. You
                >might be able to clean it out, but it's like this product becomes
                >soaked into the tank material itself.

                Our popane stinks as well. I am not going for food quality. But for fuel grade alcohol.





                >Do you have a vacuum pump ? How much vacuum does it pull ? Do you
                >have freeze-drying in mind ?

                Yes I do have a small vacuum pump. It is an old 2 cow Surge piston type and freeze drying is exactly what I am going after. I plugged up the outbound lines and attached a guage and got 20 to 21 inches.







                >
                >Most vacuum pumps are not designed to draw water out. They work with
                >oil lubed vanes and make something like "mayonnaise" when sucking
                >water vapour. Some vacuum pumps are oil-less and these are better
                >suited for drying. With increasing vacuum (= also more expensive
                >pumps), the boiling point lowers. At what temperature would you like
                >to dry ? This determines the vacuum you'll need.

                At 20 inches of vacuum, how cold would become to cold?


                >
                >Freeze drying is the most sophisticated of vacuum drying and is a
                >marvellous invention, providing the highest quality and longtime
                >storage of the dried products, but is more complicated for the common
                >do-it-yourselver.

                Is there any special technique required? I was just going to pull it down to all my pump had and shut the value and pull it down again when the vacuum got a little low. Experience I figured would tell me how long to hold the vacuum for whatever I was drying.

                Thanks for the Reply
                George


                >Greetings,
                >Dirk
                >
                >
                >

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              • Mike Nixon
                Aha!!!! Well that certainly answers that question George, but raises another: why do you want to dry the grain when it is the sugars you want from the
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                  Aha!!!!   Well that certainly answers that question George, but raises another:  why do you want to dry the grain when it is the sugars you want from the malted grain to ferment in order to make your fuel alcohol?  Am I missing something?  Also, a useful byproduct from grain produced alcohol is the spent grain, which can be sold as fodder.  Not sure that your two cows would appreciate the smell of it though after its been through that propane tank.
                   
                  Mike N
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 11:56 AM
                  Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Vacuum Drying

                  "homedistiller" <homedistiller@...> wrote:

                  >Hi George,
                  >
                  >I have also a few remarks.
                  >
                  >Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to
                  >propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in case of leaks.
                  >I have opened those propane tanks (I use them as supplementary tanks
                  >for compressed air) and man... what a smell! I think it would ruin
                  >whatever you put inside that tank for years. This product looks like
                  >an oily substance and smells at least as strong as an essential oil.
                  >I don't know what this product is, but I'll try to find it out. You
                  >might be able to clean it out, but it's like this product becomes
                  >soaked into the tank material itself.

                  Our popane stinks as well.  I am not going for food quality.  But for fuel grade alcohol.





                  >Do you have a vacuum pump ? How much vacuum does it pull ? Do you
                  >have freeze-drying in mind ?

                  Yes I do have a small vacuum pump.  It is an old 2 cow Surge piston type and freeze drying is exactly what I am going after.  I plugged up the outbound lines and attached a guage and got 20 to 21 inches.







                  >
                  >Most vacuum pumps are not designed to draw water out. They work with
                  >oil lubed vanes and make something like "mayonnaise" when sucking
                  >water vapour. Some vacuum pumps are oil-less and these are better
                  >suited for drying. With increasing vacuum (= also more expensive
                  >pumps), the boiling point lowers. At what temperature would you like
                  >to dry ? This determines the vacuum you'll need.

                  At 20 inches of vacuum, how cold would become to cold?


                  >
                  >Freeze drying is the most sophisticated of vacuum drying and is a
                  >marvellous invention, providing the highest quality and longtime
                  >storage of the dried products, but is more complicated for the common
                  >do-it-yourselver.

                  Is there any special technique required?  I was just going to pull it down to all my pump had and shut the value and pull it down again when the vacuum got a little low.  Experience I figured would tell me how long to hold the vacuum for whatever I was drying.

                  Thanks for the Reply
                  George


                  >Greetings,
                  >Dirk
                  >
                  >
                  >

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                • CornFed (Randy)
                  there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list about 3 or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the distillation process using
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                    there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list about 3
                    or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                    distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling temperature.
                    He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the distillation
                    phase.

                    One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                    vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                    electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand gallon
                    propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large volume it
                    could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol vapor
                    into it during a low temperature distillation.

                    after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.

                    In the fuels lists, 'drying' is the term they are using (right or
                    wrong) when they are attempting to get as close to anhydrous ethanol
                    as possible.



                    --- In new_distillers@y..., "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                    > Aha!!!! Well that certainly answers that question George, but
                    raises another: why do you want to dry the grain when it is the
                    sugars you want from the malted grain to ferment in order to make
                    your fuel alcohol? Am I missing something? Also, a useful byproduct
                    from grain produced alcohol is the spent grain, which can be sold as
                    fodder. Not sure that your two cows would appreciate the smell of it
                    though after its been through that propane tank.
                    >
                    > Mike N
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: georgelola@n...
                    > To: new_distillers@y...
                    > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 11:56 AM
                    > Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Vacuum Drying
                    >
                    >
                    > "homedistiller" <homedistiller@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > >Hi George,
                    > >
                    > >I have also a few remarks.
                    > >
                    > >Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to
                    > >propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in case of
                    leaks.
                    > >I have opened those propane tanks (I use them as supplementary
                    tanks
                    > >for compressed air) and man... what a smell! I think it would
                    ruin
                    > >whatever you put inside that tank for years. This product looks
                    like
                    > >an oily substance and smells at least as strong as an essential
                    oil.
                    > >I don't know what this product is, but I'll try to find it out.
                    You
                    > >might be able to clean it out, but it's like this product
                    becomes
                    > >soaked into the tank material itself.
                    >
                    > Our popane stinks as well. I am not going for food quality. But
                    for fuel grade alcohol.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > >Do you have a vacuum pump ? How much vacuum does it pull ? Do you
                    > >have freeze-drying in mind ?
                    >
                    > Yes I do have a small vacuum pump. It is an old 2 cow Surge
                    piston type and freeze drying is exactly what I am going after. I
                    plugged up the outbound lines and attached a guage and got 20 to 21
                    inches.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > >Most vacuum pumps are not designed to draw water out. They work
                    with
                    > >oil lubed vanes and make something like "mayonnaise" when sucking
                    > >water vapour. Some vacuum pumps are oil-less and these are
                    better
                    > >suited for drying. With increasing vacuum (= also more expensive
                    > >pumps), the boiling point lowers. At what temperature would you
                    like
                    > >to dry ? This determines the vacuum you'll need.
                    >
                    > At 20 inches of vacuum, how cold would become to cold?
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > >Freeze drying is the most sophisticated of vacuum drying and is
                    a
                    > >marvellous invention, providing the highest quality and longtime
                    > >storage of the dried products, but is more complicated for the
                    common
                    > >do-it-yourselver.
                    >
                    > Is there any special technique required? I was just going to
                    pull it down to all my pump had and shut the value and pull it down
                    again when the vacuum got a little low. Experience I figured would
                    tell me how long to hold the vacuum for whatever I was drying.
                    >
                    > Thanks for the Reply
                    > George
                    >
                    >
                    > >Greetings,
                    > >Dirk
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
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                  • Mike Nixon
                    ... From: CornFed (Randy) To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 3:36 PM Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Vacuum Drying there was a
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: CornFed (Randy)
                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 3:36 PM
                      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Vacuum Drying


                      there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list about 3
                      or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                      distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling temperature.
                      He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the distillation
                      phase.

                      One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                      vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                      electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand gallon
                      propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large volume it
                      could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol vapor
                      into it during a low temperature distillation.

                      after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.

                      In the fuels lists, 'drying' is the term they are using (right or
                      wrong) when they are attempting to get as close to anhydrous ethanol
                      as possible.
                      ========================
                      Thanks Randy. I've just been doing some figgerin ... a 2000 US gallon
                      propane tank exhausted to 30 inches vacuum would be subjected to a pressure
                      of 235.3 tons! I just love trivia like that :-))

                      Mike N
                    • CornFed (Randy)
                      Ethanol is a superior parts cleaning solvent. after a few large runs of ethanol throught it the smell should be close to being cleaned out. Your car wont
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                        Ethanol is a superior parts cleaning solvent. after a few large
                        runs of ethanol throught it the smell should be close to being
                        cleaned out. Your car wont notice a bit.


                        --- In new_distillers@y..., georgelola@n... wrote:
                        > "homedistiller" <homedistiller@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >Hi George,
                        > >
                        > >I have also a few remarks.
                        > >
                        > >Over here they add a VERY strong and awful smelling product to
                        > >propane, so the propane (or butane) can be detected in case of
                        leaks.
                        > >I have opened those propane tanks (I use them as supplementary
                        tanks
                        > >for compressed air) and man... what a smell! I think it would ruin
                        > >whatever you put inside that tank for years. This product looks
                        like
                        > >an oily substance and smells at least as strong as an essential
                        oil.
                        > >I don't know what this product is, but I'll try to find it out. You
                        > >might be able to clean it out, but it's like this product becomes
                        > >soaked into the tank material itself.
                        >
                        > Our popane stinks as well. I am not going for food quality. But
                        for fuel grade alcohol.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > >Do you have a vacuum pump ? How much vacuum does it pull ? Do you
                        > >have freeze-drying in mind ?
                        >
                        > Yes I do have a small vacuum pump. It is an old 2 cow Surge piston
                        type and freeze drying is exactly what I am going after. I plugged
                        up the outbound lines and attached a guage and got 20 to 21 inches.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > >Most vacuum pumps are not designed to draw water out. They work
                        with
                        > >oil lubed vanes and make something like "mayonnaise" when sucking
                        > >water vapour. Some vacuum pumps are oil-less and these are better
                        > >suited for drying. With increasing vacuum (= also more expensive
                        > >pumps), the boiling point lowers. At what temperature would you
                        like
                        > >to dry ? This determines the vacuum you'll need.
                        >
                        > At 20 inches of vacuum, how cold would become to cold?
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > >Freeze drying is the most sophisticated of vacuum drying and is a
                        > >marvellous invention, providing the highest quality and longtime
                        > >storage of the dried products, but is more complicated for the
                        common
                        > >do-it-yourselver.
                        >
                        > Is there any special technique required? I was just going to pull
                        it down to all my pump had and shut the value and pull it down again
                        when the vacuum got a little low. Experience I figured would tell me
                        how long to hold the vacuum for whatever I was drying.
                        >
                        > Thanks for the Reply
                        > George
                        >
                        >
                        > >Greetings,
                        > >Dirk
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        > __________________________________________________________________
                        > The NEW Netscape 7.0 browser is now available. Upgrade now!
                        http://channels.netscape.com/ns/browsers/download.jsp
                        >
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                      • CornFed (Randy)
                        ok then start at a lower vacuum level. The point was to have the stored capacity to draw the contents in to the tank while using less heat energy to get it
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 30, 2002
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                          ok then start at a lower vacuum level. The point was to have the
                          stored capacity to draw the contents in to the tank while using less
                          heat energy to get it into vapor form. 30 inches will boil water at
                          room temperature.

                          the point of using the tank was that finding a vacuum pump large
                          enough to service the distillation would be very costly and out of
                          the home hobbiest range. Also there was discussion about the heat
                          and the ethanol vapor destroying the pump in the process. Using the
                          tank as a storeage vessel would allow you to draw it down ahead of
                          time and use it as a stored energy source.

                          30 inches of vacuum was the number that we worked with when doing air
                          conditioning repairs. "draw down to 30 inches for 30 minutes with
                          the pump and then held for an hour with valves closed" ensured at
                          moisture was removed and that there wasnt any leaks. got to love
                          that trivia.


                          > ========================
                          > Thanks Randy. I've just been doing some figgerin ... a 2000 US
                          gallon
                          > propane tank exhausted to 30 inches vacuum would be subjected to a
                          pressure
                          > of 235.3 tons! I just love trivia like that :-))
                          >
                          > Mike N
                        • homedistiller
                          Hello George, I m still somewhat puzzled about what you want to dry actually. In the beginning, I (and others) thought you wanted to dry the spent grains. But
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                            Hello George,

                            I'm still somewhat puzzled about what you want to dry actually.

                            In the beginning, I (and others) thought you wanted to dry the spent
                            grains.

                            But now, after all the postings on the subject, I also start to think
                            that you want to "dry" the ethanol. Am I right, or are you thinking
                            about distilling under vacuum as well ?

                            With vacuum distilling, one could catch two birds in one shot:
                            distilling at low temperatures AND obtaining 100% pure ethanol,
                            because
                            the azeotrope disappears from a certain vacuum. Sadly, I have no
                            experience on this matter, but I'm interested.
                            See for more:
                            http://homedistiller.org/designs.htm#vacuum


                            Freeze-drying ethanol to remove the remaining percentages water from
                            ethanol doesn't exist. It's the technology used to preserve foods,
                            flowers etc. First, the items are frozen solid, then such a vacuum is
                            applied, that the frozen water inside the items turns into vapour,
                            without becoming liquid. This is a very slow process.

                            I think the best way for the amateur to dry ethanol are molecular
                            sieves. See for more:
                            http://homedistiller.org/polish.htm#dry

                            But then again: do you need 100% pure ? I believe this is only needed
                            when you want to mix the ethanol with other fuels.
                            I read that most gasoline cars drive fine on 85% (or better) ethanol.
                            It's only when you mix with other fuels that the water separates out.

                            Greetings,
                            Dirk
                          • homedistiller
                            Hi Randy, This buffer-idea sounds terrific! Did some people try this setup already ? I use a similar principle for compressed air: two ex-propane tanks of
                            Message 13 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                              Hi Randy,

                              This buffer-idea sounds terrific!

                              Did some people try this setup already ?

                              I use a "similar" principle for compressed air: two ex-propane tanks
                              of 1600 liters each. When these are filled, I not only go a long way,
                              but I can also run tools that a small compressor wouldn't handle.

                              Could this vacuum buffer solve it all ?

                              Would a bigger buffertank eliminate the need for a vacuumpump during
                              distillation ?

                              In a sense it should, we don't want to remove anything out of a
                              closed system, we just want to separate.

                              Then indeed:
                              1) Make a closed-circuit batch-distillation set-up that can be sealed-
                              off hermetically.
                              2) Apply the desired vacuum to the system.
                              3) Seal-off the system.
                              4) Apply heat input
                              5) The wash boils at a low temperature (depending the vacuum value)
                              6) Everything should be done as with "normal" distilling but now at
                              lower or much lower temperatures, again depending the existing vacuum.

                              The buffer/cooler/recipient-tank could be placed in a cool (cold or
                              very cold) area. A precooler for the distillate could be used.

                              Is that really all ? Is it too good to be true ?

                              Am I making a fatal mistake somewhere in the thinking ?

                              Not too sure about vapour pressure and how this will try to ruin our
                              desired vacuum.

                              Just thinking out loud.

                              Sincerely,
                              Dirk




                              --- In new_distillers@y..., "CornFed (Randy)" <cornfed15@h...> wrote:
                              > there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list about
                              3
                              > or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                              > distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling temperature.
                              > He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the distillation
                              > phase.
                              >
                              > One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                              > vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                              > electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand gallon
                              > propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large volume
                              it
                              > could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol vapor
                              > into it during a low temperature distillation.
                              >
                              > after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.
                              >
                            • homedistiller
                              Randy, I ve seen a small (50 liter, diameter 30 cm) propane tank used as a vacuum tank (95% vacuum). Bigger sized tanks used for vacuum buffer are definitely
                              Message 14 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                                Randy,

                                I've seen a small (50 liter, diameter 30 cm) propane tank used as a
                                vacuum tank (95% vacuum).

                                Bigger sized tanks used for vacuum buffer are definitely heavier
                                constructed than regular pressure tanks. They have thicker walls and
                                have circular reinforcing ribs.

                                Look at those carbonated drink cans or those plastic PET-bottles.
                                They handle very well high internal pressures but crumble under a
                                relatively small external overpressure.

                                I think that using bigger propane tanks for vacuum is possible, but
                                would require adding external framing, to avoid collapsing at higher
                                vacuum.

                                Sincerely,
                                Dirk






                                --- In new_distillers@y..., "CornFed (Randy)" <cornfed15@h...> wrote:
                                > ok then start at a lower vacuum level. The point was to have the
                                > stored capacity to draw the contents in to the tank while using
                                less
                                > heat energy to get it into vapor form. 30 inches will boil water
                                at
                                > room temperature.
                                >
                                > the point of using the tank was that finding a vacuum pump large
                                > enough to service the distillation would be very costly and out of
                                > the home hobbiest range. Also there was discussion about the heat
                                > and the ethanol vapor destroying the pump in the process. Using
                                the
                                > tank as a storeage vessel would allow you to draw it down ahead of
                                > time and use it as a stored energy source.
                                >
                                > 30 inches of vacuum was the number that we worked with when doing
                                air
                                > conditioning repairs. "draw down to 30 inches for 30 minutes with
                                > the pump and then held for an hour with valves closed" ensured at
                                > moisture was removed and that there wasnt any leaks. got to love
                                > that trivia.
                                >
                                >
                                > > ========================
                                > > Thanks Randy. I've just been doing some figgerin ... a 2000 US
                                > gallon
                                > > propane tank exhausted to 30 inches vacuum would be subjected to
                                a
                                > pressure
                                > > of 235.3 tons! I just love trivia like that :-))
                                > >
                                > > Mike N
                              • CornFed (Randy)
                                as far as I know it was just a concept that was kicked around for a while. I believe they ran into a roadblock determining just how to go about the vacuum
                                Message 15 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                                  as far as I know it was just a concept that was kicked around for a
                                  while. I believe they ran into a roadblock determining just how to
                                  go about the vacuum distillation phase.

                                  then the conversation dropped from the list and I havent heard about
                                  it since til now. On a totally differnt list.


                                  --- In new_distillers@y..., "homedistiller" <homedistiller@y...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > Hi Randy,
                                  >
                                  > This buffer-idea sounds terrific!
                                  >
                                  > Did some people try this setup already ?
                                  >
                                  > I use a "similar" principle for compressed air: two ex-propane tanks
                                  > of 1600 liters each. When these are filled, I not only go a long
                                  way,
                                  > but I can also run tools that a small compressor wouldn't handle.
                                  >
                                  > Could this vacuum buffer solve it all ?
                                  >
                                  > Would a bigger buffertank eliminate the need for a vacuumpump
                                  during
                                  > distillation ?
                                  >
                                  > In a sense it should, we don't want to remove anything out of a
                                  > closed system, we just want to separate.
                                  >
                                  > Then indeed:
                                  > 1) Make a closed-circuit batch-distillation set-up that can be
                                  sealed-
                                  > off hermetically.
                                  > 2) Apply the desired vacuum to the system.
                                  > 3) Seal-off the system.
                                  > 4) Apply heat input
                                  > 5) The wash boils at a low temperature (depending the vacuum value)
                                  > 6) Everything should be done as with "normal" distilling but now at
                                  > lower or much lower temperatures, again depending the existing
                                  vacuum.
                                  >
                                  > The buffer/cooler/recipient-tank could be placed in a cool (cold or
                                  > very cold) area. A precooler for the distillate could be used.
                                  >
                                  > Is that really all ? Is it too good to be true ?
                                  >
                                  > Am I making a fatal mistake somewhere in the thinking ?
                                  >
                                  > Not too sure about vapour pressure and how this will try to ruin
                                  our
                                  > desired vacuum.
                                  >
                                  > Just thinking out loud.
                                  >
                                  > Sincerely,
                                  > Dirk
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In new_distillers@y..., "CornFed (Randy)" <cornfed15@h...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > > there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list
                                  about
                                  > 3
                                  > > or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                                  > > distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling
                                  temperature.
                                  > > He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the
                                  distillation
                                  > > phase.
                                  > >
                                  > > One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                                  > > vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                                  > > electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand
                                  gallon
                                  > > propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large volume
                                  > it
                                  > > could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol vapor
                                  > > into it during a low temperature distillation.
                                  > >
                                  > > after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.
                                  > >
                                • George Wessel
                                  ... (snip) This is along the same lines as I am thinking Thanks ... (snip) Does a popane tank make as big a bang when it implodes as it does when it explodes?
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                                    >
                                    >
                                    > there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list about 3
                                    > or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                                    > distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling temperature.
                                    > He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the distillation
                                    > phase.
                                    >
                                    > One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                                    > vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                                    > electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand gallon
                                    > propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large volume it
                                    > could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol vapor
                                    > into it during a low temperature distillation.
                                    >
                                    > after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.


                                    (snip)
                                    This is along the same lines as I am thinking

                                    Thanks



                                    >
                                    > ========================
                                    > Thanks Randy. I've just been doing some figgerin ... a 2000 US gallon
                                    > propane tank exhausted to 30 inches vacuum would be subjected to a pressure
                                    > of 235.3 tons! I just love trivia like that :-))
                                    >

                                    (snip)
                                    Does a popane tank make as big a bang when it implodes as it does when
                                    it explodes? Just wondering how far back I should dig my hole to hid
                                    in. Or how far out into the pasture I need to drag this thing before I
                                    apply the vacuum.

                                    Looks like I'll just have to front the $50.00 bucks and hook up a vacuum
                                    pump and wait and see.
                                  • George Wessel
                                    ... This and my freshly grown malted barley is all. I explained farther in another email. Thanks
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Oct 1, 2002
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                                      homedistiller@... wrote:

                                      > Hello George,
                                      >
                                      > I'm still somewhat puzzled about what you want to dry actually.
                                      >
                                      > In the beginning, I (and others) thought you wanted to dry the spent
                                      > grains.
                                      >

                                      This and my freshly grown malted barley is all. I explained farther in
                                      another email.

                                      Thanks
                                    • motie_d
                                      Hi All! Glad to see this topic again. Randy informed me off-list about it. I ve been gone for several months, and only able to check my Emails irregularly. My
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Oct 2, 2002
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                                        Hi All!
                                        Glad to see this topic again. Randy informed me off-list about it.
                                        I've been gone for several months, and only able to check my Emails
                                        irregularly.
                                        My original premise was not simply to do a vacuum distilation, but
                                        to do a vacuum fermentation concurrently. I wanted to distill off at
                                        least some of the Ethanol at a temp where the Yeasts could survive
                                        and keep working to keep the mash below 10%.
                                        Sort of a crude continous-process. Keep adding sugar and drawing off
                                        Ethanol with a vacuum.
                                        It will be another month or so before I have much time to actively
                                        participate.

                                        Keep thinking!
                                        Motie

                                        --- In new_distillers@y..., "CornFed (Randy)" <cornfed15@h...> wrote:
                                        > as far as I know it was just a concept that was kicked around for a
                                        > while. I believe they ran into a roadblock determining just how to
                                        > go about the vacuum distillation phase.
                                        >
                                        > then the conversation dropped from the list and I havent heard
                                        about
                                        > it since til now. On a totally differnt list.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In new_distillers@y..., "homedistiller" <homedistiller@y...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > > Hi Randy,
                                        > >
                                        > > This buffer-idea sounds terrific!
                                        > >
                                        > > Did some people try this setup already ?
                                        > >
                                        > > I use a "similar" principle for compressed air: two ex-propane
                                        tanks
                                        > > of 1600 liters each. When these are filled, I not only go a long
                                        > way,
                                        > > but I can also run tools that a small compressor wouldn't handle.
                                        > >
                                        > > Could this vacuum buffer solve it all ?
                                        > >
                                        > > Would a bigger buffertank eliminate the need for a vacuumpump
                                        > during
                                        > > distillation ?
                                        > >
                                        > > In a sense it should, we don't want to remove anything out of a
                                        > > closed system, we just want to separate.
                                        > >
                                        > > Then indeed:
                                        > > 1) Make a closed-circuit batch-distillation set-up that can be
                                        > sealed-
                                        > > off hermetically.
                                        > > 2) Apply the desired vacuum to the system.
                                        > > 3) Seal-off the system.
                                        > > 4) Apply heat input
                                        > > 5) The wash boils at a low temperature (depending the vacuum
                                        value)
                                        > > 6) Everything should be done as with "normal" distilling but now
                                        at
                                        > > lower or much lower temperatures, again depending the existing
                                        > vacuum.
                                        > >
                                        > > The buffer/cooler/recipient-tank could be placed in a cool (cold
                                        or
                                        > > very cold) area. A precooler for the distillate could be used.
                                        > >
                                        > > Is that really all ? Is it too good to be true ?
                                        > >
                                        > > Am I making a fatal mistake somewhere in the thinking ?
                                        > >
                                        > > Not too sure about vapour pressure and how this will try to ruin
                                        > our
                                        > > desired vacuum.
                                        > >
                                        > > Just thinking out loud.
                                        > >
                                        > > Sincerely,
                                        > > Dirk
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In new_distillers@y..., "CornFed (Randy)" <cornfed15@h...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > > > there was a discussion along these lines in the bio fuel list
                                        > about
                                        > > 3
                                        > > > or 4 months ago. MotieD was trying to find a way to start the
                                        > > > distillation process using vacuum and a lower boiling
                                        > temperature.
                                        > > > He was trying to reduce the energy consumption in the
                                        > distillation
                                        > > > phase.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > One of the suggestions was to use a large propane tank as a
                                        > > > vacuum 'engine' or storeage device. Much like a capacitor in
                                        > > > electronics work. They discussed that because a 2 thousand
                                        > gallon
                                        > > > propane tank at 30 inches of vacuum would have such a large
                                        volume
                                        > > it
                                        > > > could be used to store the vacuum and then draw the ethanol
                                        vapor
                                        > > > into it during a low temperature distillation.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > after the distillation phase, the tank can be emptied.
                                        > > >
                                      • George Wessel
                                        raises another: why do you want to dry the grain when it is the sugars you want from the malted grain to ferment in order to make your fuel alcohol? Am I
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Oct 2, 2002
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                                          raises another: why do you want to dry the grain when it is the
                                          sugars you want from the malted grain to ferment in order to make
                                          your fuel alcohol? Am I missing something?

                                          (snip)
                                          I want to dry the spent grains after I ferment it. First of all to get
                                          all the recoverable alcohol out of the grain and second so it will store
                                          until it can be fed. Last of all because you can only feed a cow so
                                          much water per day in her daily diet. I will have to look it up, I'm not
                                          sure anymore how much it was but it can be easily surpassed when feeding
                                          spent grains. One place I saw piped their CO2 from their fermenter into
                                          a box that held their spend grains and they fed out of the box. No
                                          oxygen or less oxygen, no spoilage.

                                          Not sure that your two cows would appreciate the smell of it
                                          though after its been through that propane tank.


                                          (snip)
                                          I would have to be inclined to say that after I heat these tanks a few
                                          times the popane smell would come out of the steel. Let me the first to
                                          say I could be wrong. But I have smelled old popane tanks that have lost
                                          this bad smell after setting awhile.
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