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Re: [new_distillers] Vacuum Drying

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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                  http://webmail.netscape.com/
                • 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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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