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In my recovery still I used a 2000 watt 110 water heater element. However I have now burnt up (3) because of the collection of glycerine on the metal. Any suggestions? Should I go to propane?
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by flfryer:
Should I go to propane?


Only if you want to blow up. Use a 5500W 220V element running on 110V.


1985 300CD
 
Location: Pa | Registered: June 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks but will this keep the glycerine from sticking to the element itself. I have found that I start getting a good flow at around 210-220 degrees. After a while all of a sudden the element stops heating.
I have switched to propane and I don't leave the still for a minute. I have installed a thermometer in my 16 gal. so I monitor it very closely.
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Propane, well not a good idea but I can't say it will blow but I sure would not use it in my system. However, moonshine stills have used it and wood and oil burners for generations and most, I say most, have not blown up. But it do happen so why take a chance. Try a higher wattage 240 volt element but on 120 volts and you should we in good shape, just takes longer.
 
Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: September 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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But how does this keep the glycerine from sticking to the element? Is it because it's heating at a slower rate?
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Try one of these elements on 110V,works real well and lasts.Camco #02963 5500W 240V Ripp Element,it is one of the ripple elements,a little more expensive but worth every penny of it.
 
Registered: September 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Are you circulating while heating? The Camco element will work better because it is a low watt density element. It will have the same wattage but over a much longer surface.

Tony


2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
GL processor
You're not finished when you lose,
You're finished when you quit.
 
Location: Tampa, Fl | Registered: April 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm using an aquarium pump line at the bottom of my barrel. Is this good enough for circulation?
Thanks,
Mike
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not sure. I use my processor as my still with full pump mixing and the venturi for vapor circulation. I know some have used air injection, hopefully they will jump in.

Tony


2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
GL processor
You're not finished when you lose,
You're finished when you quit.
 
Location: Tampa, Fl | Registered: April 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry, I'm new to this website but what is a venturi and can I make one?
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is their a possible link where I can find out more about this?
 
Location: Gainesville, Fl. | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Check out www.graham-laming.com

There are also several threads on this forum dealing with Venturi's

Tony


2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
GL processor
You're not finished when you lose,
You're finished when you quit.
 
Location: Tampa, Fl | Registered: April 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Whether you use a 2000W element on 110 or a 220 - 5500W element on 110 is relatively unimportant.
(Although with recovery I would certainly go for the latter one and/or as TGomes said: a low density element)
Most important is REALLY good flow around your heating element.
I don't believe that any aquarium pump would cut it.
You will have to use your processing pump.

Are you de-mething your whole batch with the Glycerol still in it?
In that case you could get a reverse reaction.
Better dump the glycerol first.
 
Location: Ireland | Registered: May 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's more work, but instead of using just 1 2000 watt element, use 4. Wire 2 in series, then wire the 2 pair in parallel. It gives you the same heat output but spreads the heat over 4 times the surface area.

I use a single 2000 watt element but I've clamped copper plates on each side like heat sinks. When this element gives it up, I'm going to convert to 4 wired as above.

-Jay


'98 Dodge CTD 12-valve
120 gal Crosslink HDPE cone bottom processor (yes, it's plastic and works like champ).
 
Location: Boise | Registered: August 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've see lots of photos where people put their heating elements in a pipe - T

Then use a larger circulation pump to get full flow around the element.

If you are starting with solidified Glycerin at a low temperature, then you might have a problem... and might need to look for a better method to get it melted first.

Perhaps insulate your processor and change your processing method to prevent the glycerin from getting below its freezing point.

Isn't the Glycerin softer when using KOH than NaOH?
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey all,

I am building a new reactor and am planning on using a 240V 4500W in-line heating element from bay area biodiesel. Has anyone heard of the quality of this in-line heater at such a low cost? If I am running it at 240V to heat a 45-gallon batch run, how can I mitigate the heater from burning out? I am planning on constructing the fully submerged in-line heating setup seen on GL's site. Also, I am not planning on recovering methanol from glycerol, only using this element to heat the reaction mixture. Thanks much!

~Ryan J.


Chemical & Energy Engineering -- The Pennsylvania State University
 
Registered: May 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Home Depot has a 5500 watts element you might want to look at first. The element doubles back on itself for greater surface area. You could set that one up to run on 120V and still have 1375 watts.

From what I understand that will slow down the heating process, but extend the life of the element significantly.
 
Location: Chambodia | Registered: December 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use the Home Depot 5500 watt lime life element at 240v. They work great.

Using a 40 gallon hot water heater: I fill the still, heat the pot to 220*F and then cut the power to the element. That brings the reflux up to 180+-. No agitation. By the time the pot reaches 220*F I have recovered 8 gallons. Then when the flow slows to a trickle, I inject a little air at the bottom of the pot. Now that the power is off, the pot slowly cools and I get out another two gallons. I then call it a day.

Using this system I have yet to burn an element and can demeth a forty gallon batch in seven hours. That is starting from dead cold solidified glycerin to done.

120v takes too long. I don’t have that kind of patience. There may be a bit more methanol I could possibly squeeze from the glycerin if I was to use a vacuum or a venturi. But at the end of the day it may be only be a gallon at most. Not worth my time.

No vacuum, no venturi, no pump, no moving parts. Just a simple atmospheric still. I am now ramping up that design with a 120 gallon tank.


2004 Dodge 3500 Cummins - 2008 F-350 w/ DPF delete - Four Farm Tractors - Two Homes. All on B100
 
Location: New Hampshire | Registered: January 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Originally posted by Gregory Kittredge:
I use the Home Depot 5500 watt lime life element at 240v. They work great.

Using a 40 gallon hot water heater: I fill the still, heat the pot to 220*F and then cut the power to the element. That brings the reflux up to 180+-. No agitation. By the time the pot reaches 220*F I have recovered 8 gallons. Then when the flow slows to a trickle, I inject a little air at the bottom of the pot. Now that the power is off, the pot slowly cools and I get out another two gallons. I then call it a day.

Using this system I have yet to burn an element and can demeth a forty gallon batch in seven hours. That is starting from dead cold solidified glycerin to done.

120v takes too long. I don’t have that kind of patience. There may be a bit more methanol I could possibly squeeze from the glycerin if I was to use a vacuum or a venturi. But at the end of the day it may be only be a gallon at most. Not worth my time.

No vacuum, no venturi, no pump, no moving parts. Just a simple atmospheric still. I am now ramping up that design with a 120 gallon tank.
 
Location: Tennessee | Registered: June 07, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TO: Gregory Kittredge
Do you have a way of providing pictures or drawings of your still? I want to find a simple way of constructing a still with which to demeth. Jim ORear
 
Location: Tennessee | Registered: June 07, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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