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Old 12-29-2016, 09:02 AM
Col Col is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Pressure relief valve

Hi Guys
What is the best mechanism to relieve pressure from the retort in an emergency?
A spring loaded pressure relief valve seems to be the best as it relieves the pressurised gas then snaps shut while there is still some pressure in the retort which means there is no chance for air to enter the retort while the valve is open, avoiding an oxygen-fuel mixture leading to an explosion.
I am looking for a stainless steel pressure relief valve, hopefully not too expensive. I want to avoid any brass/bronze/copper in the retort.
I was wondering if some other mechanism could be used - perhaps a column of heavy oil generating the pressure (far enough away from the main heat of the retort so it doesn't distill away). If retort pressure spikes, the excess pressure pushes the oil column up into a mushroom-plate/splash plate/perforated plate/scrubs within a compartment larger than the volume of oil used which allows the pressurised gas to bypass the oil and the oil to fall back down into the column re-creating the 'plug'. The oil-plug should be back in place while there is still pressure in the retort, similar to the spring-loaded pressure relief valves.
This could be used as a pressure relief valve but it is also susceptible to vacuum pulling air into the retort during shut-down. Anyone know what level of vacuum can be expected at shut down if not managed with purge gas?

Last edited by Col; 12-30-2016 at 10:45 AM.
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