Would a larger plate heat exchanger (water cooled), with 2" inlet/outlet condense methanol vapor faster than a plumbers delight if you have more surface area? I want to build a methanol still using a former 300 gallon propane tank, with heater elements, pushing air into heater tank and pulling vapor through a condenser by vacuum. Does anyone have a methanol still similar to this? I need to know what type of vacuum pump is safe to use. Which type vacuum pump is built to be methanol vapor and or chemical resistant?
I produce 75 gallons of glycerol per batch, which contains a good quantity of methanol to
be recovered. This is why I'm thinking to build a dedicated methanol still, but given the dangers of heat and methanol, I'm asking for advice. My home built processor is not a pressure vessel, so I can't just vacuum off the processor. I see the commercial methanol recovery systems for sale, but they are way out of my league in cost to buy. Thank you
see pictures of my equipment
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No need for pressure vessels and vavcuum for methanol recovery, myself and quite a few others recover methanol in our GL style processors, check out the GL processor which can be used to recover methanol from bio and glyc
and also check out my whole batch demething method
I too have been demething biodiesel without a vacuum. Heat the fluid up to about 80 degree C and keep the top head between 65-70C and Ive been having great success.
I recirculate the biodiesel and it enters the tank thru a misting nozzle. This really accelerates the process of methanol coming off. Lots don't but, I would never go back to not using a misting nozzle to help me demeth.
I asked this exact same question a few months ago and here is the thread. Some really fantastic replies about using a vacuum. One day i will still like to set up some kind of vacuum operation.
I recirculated a 350 gal. batch of Bio Diesel, with glycerol drained off already, spraying Bio Diesel back into top of tank. Then applied a very small vacuum (1-3) inches. The vacuum really enhanced the condensing of methanol through a 10-foot plumbers delight. I think using vacuum is really worth setting up on your process. I can only imagine better results, when a full vacuum would be used.
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