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oil in methanol recovery? How is this happening?
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We have a classic GL ecoprocessor and process 75 gal of oil at a time. We have had good results with our methanol recovery but this last batch was weird. We ended up pulling about 7 gallons of methanol out and then walked away. When we returned, there was a total of almost 17 gallons of fluid in the methanol tank. when we tested it we found that it was biodiesel.

How did this happen? how is it even possible? the only lines going into the methanol recovery tank are a vacuum pull line (vacuum is being created by a venturi up above) and the condensate line coming from teh condenser. our tank at the top has plenty of air space so my conclusion is that this would have to be pumped back through the venturi and in through the vacuum line. however we noticed biodiesel in the condensate line.

Are we boiling off biodiesel????? Temp of reactant is 192 F.
 
Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've experienced that. It was due to foam within the reactor overflowing through the condenser into the methanol recovery container. I thought the foaming might be due to soap, and it got worse with time and, particularly, excess heat input.

It could have been due to aged WVO. I don't have a solution for you.

Paul
 
Location: New Zealand | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've tried to distill biodiesel under 2/5 atmospheric pressure. It was very hot. Methyl Dodecanoate boils at 262 degrees centigrade which is about 503 degrees farenheit, at 766 mm mercury pressure. At greatly reduced pressure, I think the boiling point can drop about 180 degrees farenheit for biodiesel type fatty acid esters. I think you are not distilling biodiesel, it is not hot enough to do that. How much vacuum are you pulling?
 
Location: Texas | Registered: April 27, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Paulus:
I've experienced that. It was due to foam within the reactor overflowing through the condenser into the methanol recovery container. I thought the foaming might be due to soap, and it got worse with time and, particularly, excess heat input.

It could have been due to aged WVO. I don't have a solution for you.

Paul

DITTO.
I too have experienced this while demething the biodiesel along with the glycerin. In my case, it was definitely due to foaming as I could see the foam in the sight tube ahead of my condenser. All I do is turn down the vacuum when this starts to happen and the foaming stops pretty quick. The biodiesel settles to the bottom of the collection container and the methanol can be sucked off the top, the biodiesel does not seem to affect the methanol purity, surprisingly...
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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