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Getting Yellow and Green tinted methanol?
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I use an 80 gallon water heater with a single heating element for my glycerin distillation. I have a water cooled copper pipe and coil for condensing and it works great. I put in 55 gallons of glycerin and the first 10-15 gallons of methanol comes out crystal clear and cool. But last time I had green liquid that ended up in the container (wasnt soluble in methanol, looked like green oil in water) after the initial 15 gallons or so and this time the container has a yellow tint (but I believe the yellow liquid settled to the bottom). Is it possible the yellow liquid is biodiesel? And what could possibly be green that comes out of my glycerin? Im thinking that I let it get too hot (it gets left on for 12-18 hours, glycerin might reach 200*F at max)
 
Location: Central IL | Registered: January 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Copper is an amazing metal that forms a big range of chemical compounds, many of which are blue or green. The copper in your condenser is reacting over time with residues in the glycerine. Methanol is polar, and the tint indicates (to me, at least, and I am not a chemist) an ionic copper compound, say copper hydroxide - just a guess. The liquid that will not dissolve in the methanol indicates a non-polar compound, say a copper carboxylate - ie leftover fatty acids in the glycerine could be combining with the copper. You may find it mixes well with oily liquids such as kerosene. You could avoid all this by flushing the condenser each time after use.
 
Location: New Zealand | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your glycerin is probably boiling and making foam. 30 gallons is alot of head space, so it should only happen at the end of the run. I used to have this problem until I started Whole batch demething. it drops the numbers in the bio drastically because the soap falls out into the glycerin layer. Be fore I switched over to that, my glycerin run would occasionally tint my methanol tan. never had green though.


powering
2 bobcats, an excavator, and a ventrac mower. looking for a diesel weedeater!
 
Location: morgantown wv | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The green was just several puddles at the bottom that was immiscible in the methanol, it was very weird. Since its just glycerin foam it shouldnt hurt to re-use the methanol should?
On another note, with whole batch demething the soap falls into the glycerin layer? If it will lower my soap levels before hitting the resin then I could justify modifying my setup to accommodate for WBD
 
Location: Central IL | Registered: January 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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WBD always lowers my soap numbers. I put the hot fuel into settling tanks after demething, so the soaps can fall out more after it cools. If your methanol tests out ok for purity, then I'd say use it. you might want to add some new methanol to it, and use the colored stuff over a couple of batches. As they told me in college, "the solution to pollution is dilution'. The green color almost has to be from the copper.


powering
2 bobcats, an excavator, and a ventrac mower. looking for a diesel weedeater!
 
Location: morgantown wv | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with RR that the tint in the methanol is likely due to glycerine contamination, and it was a good call. The jury is still out on what the non-polar green stuff is.
 
Location: New Zealand | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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