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  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 05:21 PM
Tom D Tom D is offline
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Recovering Methanol

Sorry, I have no doubt this has been covered before. What is the best temp to heat Glycerin or BD to recover methanol through the condensor? I had mine at 170F but the vapors were coming out faster than the condensor could process them. There was vapor coming out the pipe that leaves the condensor.
I'm still messing with the condensor and will probably eventually dump it and build a "plumbers delight"
I know Phydeaux was trying to help me with this at the beginning of summer but I was out of town and didn't follow through with him. I will go back and pick up where we left off and hopefully he can help me.
Fabman, still no luck with your latest suggestion. (please refer to my email) I may "toss in the towel."
Thanks
Tom D
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2009, 05:37 PM
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Some vapor comes out mine too, and is pulled back into the venturi. Ours is a GL Eco-processor. Anyway this time I heated up to 200, turned off the heat, and put the pump on a six hour timer to allow it to cool slowly. So far have about 2-2.5 gallons out of about 6 that was put in.
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2009, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rushmore X View Post
Some vapor comes out mine too, and is pulled back into the venturi. Ours is a GL Eco-processor. Anyway this time I heated up to 200, turned off the heat, and put the pump on a six hour timer to allow it to cool slowly. So far have about 2-2.5 gallons out of about 6 that was put in.
Can't picture what setup you have but I presume the condensor and venturi system is part of the GL Eco-processor. Correct?
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:07 PM
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yes, the venturi draws the methanol vapor through the condensor. there is a tee at the end of the condensor that goes to the distilate container and back to the venturi.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2009, 12:20 PM
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yes, the venturi draws the methanol vapor through the condensor. there is a tee at the end of the condensor that goes to the distilate container and back to the venturi.
Kind of hard to picture. Any chance you have "show and tell" available?
Tom
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2009, 12:56 PM
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think I need to update my gallery.

Looked at my pic's and I need to update them. Will go over this afternoon an take new pics and hopefully get them posted... You are recovering from the glycerine at the same time or seperately? The GL setup doesn't work when filled with glycerol, too thick. Might experiment with distilation before draining off the glycerine, but worry about reverse reaction...
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2009, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rushmore X View Post
Looked at my pic's and I need to update them. Will go over this afternoon an take new pics and hopefully get them posted... You are recovering from the glycerine at the same time or seperately? The GL setup doesn't work when filled with glycerol, too thick. Might experiment with distilation before draining off the glycerine, but worry about reverse reaction...
If I remember prior posts, you don't want to remove methanol by distillation or any other method prior to separating BD from glycerol or you will reverse the transesterfication process. One of the experts here will correct me if I am wrong and possibly elaborate further.
I have been attempting to remove methanol after separation by using Fabman's method which I am not at liberty to discuss until he gives me permission. I know it works because he has used it for years with good results. I, on the other hand am having a hell of a time perfecting it. I wasn't sure whether it was his process that wasn't working or the condensor. The other day, I heated the glycerol to 170F and noticed the methanol was flashing or evaporating whichever is correct. It was coming out the vent pipe with pretty good force which I "pinched down" with the valve. I managed to collect approx 1/2 gal before the glycerol (25 gal) cooled. This, I presume tells me the condensor maybe working somewhat? or good? Phydeaux was working with me on this. My problem is I am trying to identify the problem. Is it the condensor or Fabman's apparatus.
Sorry for the lengthy post but I am getting frustrated. If I wasn't getting such great quality BD, I would junk the whole thing. I'll listen to ALL suggestions at this point.
Thanks to all Tom
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2009, 07:47 PM
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I'm back Tom! I think your problem is with the condensor. You said you got some methanol from just heating the glycerol, but you were also getting some vapor from the output of the condensor. This suggests that the condensor is not cooling the vapor enough to condense it all........Check and see if the coils are touching each other, or the inside of the condensor wall. If I remember right you are not using a constant cold water source. Your water temp may not be cold enough. My water temp runs about 52 deg, have you checked your input and output temps of your cooling water? I haven't seen Phy on here for quite a while. I hope he's alright. I'll try and send him a PM and get his take on your problem. Don't give up hope yet, we'll figure out what your problem is.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fabmandelux View Post
I'm back Tom! I think your problem is with the condensor. You said you got some methanol from just heating the glycerol, but you were also getting some vapor from the output of the condensor. This suggests that the condensor is not cooling the vapor enough to condense it all........Check and see if the coils are touching each other, or the inside of the condensor wall. If I remember right you are not using a constant cold water source. Your water temp may not be cold enough. My water temp runs about 52 deg, have you checked your input and output temps of your cooling water? I haven't seen Phy on here for quite a while. I hope he's alright. I'll try and send him a PM and get his take on your problem. Don't give up hope yet, we'll figure out what your problem is.
Don.
Hey Don. Hope you are well. Thanks for the reply. My coils are inside a 3" x 24" PVC pipe with a cap (non removable) on either end so I have no control over whether the coils are touching. As far as water. The ambient temp in Florida in the summer is mid to high 90s. I have a 25 gal barrel with an icemaker coil to cool the water (it isn't working as well as it should) I supplement it with a bag of ice cubes. It still only brings the temp down to low 60s at best and that is at the start of the operation. I circulate the water through the condensor with a pump. It does no good to use new potable water because it never gets as cold or colder than that. I am going to have to remove the ice maker evaporator and install one out of a full size refrigerator to get the temp I need. As far as the coil situation in the condensor, probably the best thing would be to heave it and build maybe a "plumber's delight"? what do you think?. Thankyou for your input. I will keep trying. If you read my email, you will see what I did with your other suggestions.
Regards
Tom
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:31 AM
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Tee to Distillate tank & Venturi

I know my Condensor works better when the water is colder too. With the water temp a little cooler now that temps are falling, I got about 1/2 gallon more methanol this last batch then the prior one...
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabmandelux View Post
I'm back Tom!
ditto on the good to see you back...
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:43 AM
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It's good to be back. This has been one of the busyest summers I can remember. I had an "issue" at my gold mine and had to visit the local police. Everything is back to normal now and the idiot is in jail. Still moving all my "stuff" to my new place ( been moving for almost a year now LOL), only have about 10 tons left............Only 14 months left till I retire!
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:43 AM
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