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My New Propane tank reactor (Many pics included)
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Hi All,

As I stated in a few posts many many months ago I aquired a propane tank to fabricate a new reactor. Well after many road blocks and funding issues its about 95% complete. Ready to start testing it out later on today. Here are some photo's feel free to message me with questions.

I still need to put a vacuum pump on the condenser outlet line.. but for time being i will just demeth at atomosphere until I find a decent pump for the right price.


Here is the tank with just the holes plasma cut out. The 4 up the side there is for sight glasses.


Legs on. Also pump bracket and 1 1/4" inlet.


After many months of work (off and on), here is the completed unit from front on. Also spray painted it up with Enduro paint. Fantastic paint which finishes with a plastic type of feel rather than a paint which will chip everytime you bump it in the workshop.
You can also see the control box is just hung mounted on the side. This can be detached and will be mounted on the wall away from the processor so there is zero sparking electrical components near the reactor.


View from pump side.


The pump is one of murphys 1.5HP pumps. Running it at 208V.
The Tee you see on the horizontal part of the inlet line is where the methoxide will get sucked in.


Here is the top. Big valve is my fill port. Pressure relief valve. Pressure gauge. Temp gauge up top of distillation line. I can put my thermocouple where that gauge is to control top temp. You cannot really see the back too well, but I have a 1/4"pipe running down thru a cap which has a float switch down the bottom. This was wired to kill the heater if the float switch is not activated. I thought about attaching the float also to the pump circuit as well, until the penny dropped, how the hell would I pump out the tank.


Here is the condenser. Its a auxilliary heater. Basic fan with coils thru it. Just flip the switch on the control pannel and it fires up. Thru the leg you can see a compressed air/Nitrogen inlet line. If I wanted to pressurize tank, or just bubble N2 thru there while demething I can. There is a bit of pipe with small holes drilled thru it to evenly dispurse the gas thru the tank. One day I will attach a vacuum pump to my condenser outlet.


Electrical panel box.


Inside the electrical control box.

So there she is!!

My process is pretty straight forward. My Waste vege oil goes into a 200 gallon cone bottom tank to settle over night. i have a Low density barrel heater I use on it to warm the oil in my cone tank to help facilitate settling. Settle off the crap from bottom then pump oil into reactor with the NT little blue pump.

After reaction and demeth it gets pumped into another 200gal cone bottom tank to settle glycerine, soaps and crap overnight. Drain off rubbish. Then I slowly pump from settling tank thru my 2 purolite resin tanks to get some beautiful quality fuel.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Reece123,
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Reese
-that has to be this nicest processors I've seen yet, congats and happy brewing!!! Where did you get the sight glass? Tom


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
 
Location: Manitoba Canada | Registered: March 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Tom,

i got the sight glasses from Arbor Biofuels Company. I asked if they could sell the sight glasses they use on their dry wash resin tanks.

You can also get the sight glasses as well as almost anything you need to fabricate a biodiesel reactor from:
http://www.mcmaster.com/

Next time I want to get a flow sight from mcmaster which is prety much like a pipe nipple but with a sight window in it. Would be prety neat I think. Too expensive though Smile
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh my gosh!

That's one heck of a machine. Has to be one of the Top 10 nicest units I've seen on this forum.

Great job!

Love the pump! Smile


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You didn't say what the tank volume was.

Nice reactor...I'm impressed.

I wonder why people don't make their own sight glasses from heavy walled pyrex....that is why I plan to do.

James L
 
Location: Central Alabama (Marion Junction) | Registered: February 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Murphy,

You wouldn't say top 3??

Was also your float switch and PID in the unit as well.

J, you could do that, or you could buy each sight glass for about $20 each and save yourself some time. Tank volume.. its a 420lb propane tank. These tanks are 100 gallon of propane. Volume propane is 80% of total tank volume.
 
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That is super nice. Plan to add any insulation to it though? Or is the workspace always going to be warm?
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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WOW!

Just Beautiful!
 
Location: New Orleans | Registered: December 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Ryan P.:
That is super nice. Plan to add any insulation to it though? Or is the workspace always going to be warm?


Workspace is always at around 20 deg C. It just looks too nice to add insulation onto it for a photo shoot Smile

I do have some piping insulation and also some tank insulation that i will more than likely put on.
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is a nice piece of work,you must be very proud of it-looks great
 
Location: UK | Registered: October 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shes a BEAUTY!!
Outstanding job Reece!

Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Out freakin standing, that is way prettier that ANYTHING I ever built, I would be very proud to say I built that, one thing, how do you plan on filling it? I mean obviously through the top port but will you pump oil in? You could use your main pump, just a couple valves and a tee and pump it full with the main pump.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by fabricator:
Out freakin standing, that is way prettier that ANYTHING I ever built, I would be very proud to say I built that, one thing, how do you plan on filling it? I mean obviously through the top port but will you pump oil in? You could use your main pump, just a couple valves and a tee and pump it full with the main pump.


I have to say the finishing touch is in the metallic silver spray paint job. It was lucky i could get a booth for free to spray it up (thru a friend). Paint was only about $100.

I am going to put a cam fitting on the top fill port to connect the feedstock fuel hose to the reactor. I have a little blue pump on my feedstock tank I will just transfer the oil over with. There is also a flow meter on the outlet of my feedstock tank as well as graduations on the cone bottom tank so i can determine the amount of oil going to the reactor. My feedstock tank, reactor and settling tank are all on wheels so I do not have to hard plumb anything together and I can free up space in the workshop when not using one of the tanks.
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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She's a beauty for sure! What kind of paint? Sooner or later a bio-drip will probably ding it up, but what a good starting point.

I've been plotting out a propane-tank reactor myself. I can do the welding and the painting, but I'll never come even close to the wiring and control system you've got on that thing. Wow -- just very nicely done.

Cheers, John
 
Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used this paint.
http://www.endura.ca/

Lots of oil/gas and other industrial equipment is painted with it around here.

I got some external help with the wiring as it got confusion with some components being 120V others 208V, power supply was 208VAC, also some DC power was needed (for auxiliary heater).
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was almost ready to accuse you of being an electrician when I posted, the sparky that did that did a nice job.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by fabricator:
I was almost ready to accuse you of being an electrician when I posted, the sparky that did that did a nice job.


Yep, a lot easier to get someone who does it for a day job than to do a hack job that 'works'. I do now owe him a lot of biodiesel...
 
Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very nice. What type of heater?
 
Location: Virginia | Registered: March 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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And here I was wondering where that R2D2 had gotten to after the movie career ... beautiful work.



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Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Reece123:
I used this paint.
http://www.endura.ca/


Ha, that's hilarious. I know the fellow that owns that company -- we have a favorite sports car engine in common. He lives up in Canada, but has a plant down in Houston (where I lived until yesterday). Great guy, and from what I hear, excellent products.

Where is "around here" for you?

Cheers, John
 
Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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