I am wanting to design a reflux distillation column to recover methanol from a 100 gallon batch of biodiesel or glycerin in order to meet ASTM specs and for economic reasons. My question is how do you go about sizing the column, evaporator, tank, and tank heater? Is there a rule of thumb for this or is it more of what parts you have available?
You can find a good set of instructions here:
Remember this page is for ethanol, so you'll have a very hard time getting any more than 95% purity (ethanol forms an azeotrope with water at about 95.5% purity), but you won't have that problem with methanol.
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