Does anyone here use the air cooled condensers?
Currently I use a system similar to plumbers delight which is cooling water based.
Do you still get as good condensation using the air/radiator/fan style condenser?
Im referring to something like this:
Using the fluid inlet ports of the auxillary heaters for the methanol.
Ok. I saw it in a biodiesel book. Just seems a little easier than dealing with cooling water and pumps etc..
I know this looks real redneck crude, but I laugh every time I run it.
It works fantastic!
There is a PID/SSR controler for the head temp, a 5500W(220V) heater element at 110V(1375W)cycled by the PID.
The radiator fan comes on about 125F and seldom runs only for a few seconds.
Always 95-100% pure methanol after about 14 hrs. I get about 6 gal. from 30 gal. of glycerin.
When the flow stops I switch the catch can and bypass the PID and let it push whatever methanol is left, water and all to finish it off.
The still in operation.
The PID and 12V battery for the fan are inside.
This is what I made for the head - it seems to act as a reflux for the water
Your milage may very...
That is awesome bob!
Do you use a vacuum at all?
Do you also recover from your biodiesel or just your glycerine?
Hey where abouts did you get that plug in fan condenser from?? Is it just from a car?
I don't use vacuum on a 55 gal. drum. It would collapse like a beer can...
I recover from the biodiesel in the appleseed. Planning to try vacuum on that.
The radiator and fan assembly is from a 1991 Ford Festiva. It's aluminum and has condensed a few hundred gallons of methanol with out any damage so far. Some say methanol will eat aluminum. I think it's just the lye that does that, and the methanol comes clean even tho there may be some lye in the glycerin byproduct.
I added a temp thermostat from a water heater to the radiator and wire it normaly off until the temp rises to about 125F.
Thanks for the interest.
Hey bob, does the fan condensers work well in the heat of summer?
I run exactly the same condenser except I use a 220v bathroom extractor fan. No problems inside a shipping container and >20C ambient
Yes, in fact if it's below 80F ambient temp. the fan will seldom run at all.
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