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I'm setting up an Up-side-down apple seed(peeled first) and plan to use the dished bottom (now top) for the foam control chamber.

I'll drill a series of holes around the periphery of the dish, up away from the liquid, then put a dip tube in the center at the low point to return the de-foamed liquid back below the fluid level. A flat plate welded across the top of the dish, after filling the cavity with steel wool, will complete the foam control chamber.

The whole reactor will be wrapped with sheet foam to insulate and the immediate proximity of the chamber to the heated liquid will keep the chamber and it's contents at a high enough temp to prevent reflux of the methanol during recovery.
 
Location: Hixson, TN | Registered: July 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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darrenstephans,

I think the size of the vacuum generator only need be sufficient volume to hold a heating element and fill the piping thru the venturi. I feel that any larger will just be a waste of space and energy to heat the extra oil.
 
Location: Hixson, TN | Registered: July 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm glad everyone likes them... if anything sticks out as poorly designed, PLEASE tell me before i find out the hard way! I've built four appleseeds before so i have a pretty good grasp on reactor design, but anyone can forget something!

quote:
Originally posted by darrenstephens:
1. In the graphic above the smaller tank to the right of the reactor...what should be the capacity of this tank assuming your reactor is 50 gallons?


I was modeling that tank as a small bbq propane cylinder... albiet poorly Roll Eyes

As someone in later posts said, it only needs to be big enough to hold just enough oil heat and run through a circulation to operate the venturi. A propane tank i figure can hold about 5gal of oil, but this design would only use about 4gal. I chose it because propane tanks are abundant and already have at least on fitting welded in. I may find these to be unfit, but until then i'm going with it.

quote:

2. The reactor tank that I am going to use (appleseed design) does not have as many ports as the one shown. Mine has two on the top and two on the side BUT NOT one on the bottom. Was this added after the fact?


This is NOT an appleseed. It is a processor custom designed by yours truely and will be welded up by a certified welder who has an interest in learning about home-scale biodiesel. It is intended to be a large scale version of what Graham has designed and described throughout this thread.

That said, there were remarks earlier and pictures posted from people interested in building a "push-pull appleseed". I mentioned at that time that i believe it can be done provided that your water heater has the appropriate pre-existing ports welded in. If it pleases the masses, i may design one on SolidWorks and post it, but no promises Razz

To briefly describe what i have in mind, one would need a water heater standing upright. The normal processing outlet would put oil into the top ports, while the suction would occur from the upper heating element port or the T&P valve port during methanol recovery. The second top port would go off to the rapeseed chamber (i haven't thought of how a foam trap would work here). Obviously the floor drain would be used as the bottom outlet.

Just a thought to get things going. Remember, i'm not sure how much information is available on how much vacuum a water heater can take. Always be careful!

quote:
Quick question, have you figured out an elegant way to insulate your tanks?


No. I am open to any and all solutions. I've entertained the idea of bubble wrap insulation, fiberglass, or expandable foam spray... If there is a better looking method, please let me know. At current, i'm going to see how noticeable the performance is and assess the need for a solution. I don't have much to go on as most large fabricated reactors like Murphy's or Dynatroit's are uninsulated. Keep me posted, please!

quote:
Do happen to have a parts list that we could all look over?


Many people make money off providing just that information. I'm not going to just come right out and give you a "build a carbon copy of my reactor" parts kit, but just take a look at the fittings and figure out what you need. I haven't even built this yet (although i have 90% of the fittings in the living room!)

I post this here so that people can get a good idea of what they can make... this is just my take on Graham's design, and i think i've accomplished my design goals.

A couple things to consider though that might not be apparent through the drawings.

1) The pictured pump is Murphy's. i just ordered it and hope to test it out soon as i've heard nothing but good things!

2) All main plumbing is 1 1/4". These fittings get expensive... $20.73 per ball valve!

3) The tank itself used to be a home heating oil tank. It's volume is ~191gal... i don't believe that these style tanks are very common.

I'll take any further comments about that reactor design here:
http://biodieselpictures.com/viewtopic.php?p=1086#1086

Thank you to all who like the CAD work, i hope it helps.

JB
 
Registered: April 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I too purchased Murphy's plans and they are GREAT. I just purchased some 1" ball valves from LOWES at $13.00 ea...kinda pricey when you have to have 12 of them.
 
Location: tulsa, ok (USA) | Registered: May 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ant,

Do you have a link or a brand name for that viewport. I am having a hard time googling one.

Doug
 
Location: Los Angeles | Registered: March 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also was looking at buying 1" ball valves from lowes and way to expensive. If you go to this link they have very good deals, I ordered 13 1" full port ball valves for $3.25 a piece and shipping was only $8.95, so for 13 delivered at my door it was only $51.20.

http://stores.ebay.com/Gas-Valves-Plus
 
Location: Vero Beach, FL | Registered: April 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Wow that is a good deal for those valves!! I wonder if they are sweat connections or NPT threaded?
 
Location: tulsa, ok (USA) | Registered: May 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Do you have a link or a brand name for that viewport


Not right now but I do have two or three lying around so I will look for you. At a guess try Danfoss.

I used one to monitor the feed where I pumped the methanol into the reactor so I could see when it was all in. A half inch one cost about £15.

I seem to remember something similar from the mac masters carr or one of those big mail order places that the USA folks get access to.


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok they are called sight glasses and here is a link to a pdf on some danfoss ones.
sight glasses
It looks as though one sort just screws straight into the side branch of a standard tee. Cheaper I should think.


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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These look cheap and cheerfull to screw into a tee. HD Polymide


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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These screw inline and are good to 200degC at pressure. Made for steam lines.

steam line sight glass


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not as cheap and cheerful the same thing in metal and glass.

screw in glass sight glasses


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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well you get the idea. I wonder if you threaded one into a crosspiece instead of a tee and threaded a high brightness white LED into a fitting on the other side if it would make spotting the colour change significantly easier?


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Ant:
well you get the idea. I wonder if you threaded one into a crosspiece instead of a tee and threaded a high brightness white LED into a fitting on the other side if it would make spotting the colour change significantly easier?


Thats sounds like an excellent idea!


quote:
Originally posted by Murphy: In short, this place is like a multi-dimensional bull$hit detector on steroids
 
Location: In the Pacific Somewhere | Registered: January 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Darrenstephens

Those ball valves are NPT threaded, I think he said he could fit either 20 or 30 (sorry cant remember) 1" balls valves in a box and he can ship a box anywhere in the U.S. for 8.95.
 
Location: Vero Beach, FL | Registered: April 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay....thanks about those valves....that is a huge savings....I am going to take these expensive ones back to Lowe's
 
Location: tulsa, ok (USA) | Registered: May 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is the layout I was thinking of for foam control using an appleseed.
 
Location: Hixson, TN | Registered: July 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Does anyone have any guidelines for how large (storage capacity) the glycerol collection tank should be?
 
Location: tulsa, ok (USA) | Registered: May 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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The only thing I can suggest is that you don't stockpile glycerol. A commercial biodiesel refinery had a fire and the story from the fire company went something like "the fire burned hard, but we had it under control.... until the glycerine caught fire!"

The container should be metal as you are going to be draining it at distilation temperatures. These temps will melt regular HDPE or PETE poly containers. Until i get all the equipment and quirks worked out of this design, i'll be draining methanol laden glycerol into a hot water heater for distilation.

Take it easy,
JB
 
Registered: April 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Graham,

have you held a vacuum meter on the main tank for the entire period that the methanol is being distilled? I know earlier it was mentioned that a 10psia vacuum was reached, but was that figure constant?

Since the methanol is boiling off and generating pressure, which the venturi then takes away, what is the variation in vacuum pressure over the time it takes to recover the methanol? Also, if this actually occurs, what is the actual effect of this variation and how do you correct/sidestep it?

JB
 
Registered: April 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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