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Heating the reactor other than using electric

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February 28, 2018, 05:40 PM
David Shinn
Heating the reactor other than using electric
Hi Tilly,

Just going back to a post on another thread you advised against using electric heaters to heat the oil in the reactor. I'm currently trying to think out a way to adapt my reactor so that I can use a different heat source. If you were building a reactor from scratch and on a tight budget like the gentleman who started the thread, what would you do? I've bought a second hand oil fired central heating boiler (only £10!) and I'm planning on using the hot water it produces to heat a copper coil in the reactor. Is there an easier way to heat the oil? Electric is hazardous but so convenient. You do have an advantage in your climate down there. It's -5C here this evening.


February 28, 2018, 06:29 PM
Hi David,
This year I have not done any heating. I performed all my reactions at ambient temperature

In past years I had an electric heating element from a stove that I suspended in the oil which was in a 150 litre round plastic drum that had the majority of the top cut out.
I left enough of the top remain to insure structural integrity of the drum so the sides were not floppy.
I used a small aquarium air pump to keep the oil circulating while it was heating so it did not remain in contact with the heating element while the oil was heating.

After heating the oil I would remove the heating element, add the required methoxide to the drum and place a plywood top that covered the entire open top of the drum.
A small hole is drilled through the center of the plywood top so to accommodate the shaft of the drills mixer

A few years ago I added a pump that draws oil from the bottom of the reactor and discharges it back onto the top of the oil through a fitting in the plywood top.
So now I use drill and pump mixing
It works out that I never have methoxide and the heating unit in the reactor together