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Re: Vacuum Drying

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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