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  #3031  
Old 11-27-2013, 06:54 PM
ladanivaca ladanivaca is offline
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mixed plastics and OMM

can be mixed in the plastic and pyrolysis process in the same deposit OMM

thanks
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  #3032  
Old 11-27-2013, 09:58 PM
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Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Originally Posted by rozier56 View Post
Hi Guy's, Has Any Body Out There Got An Idea Of What Production Rate Can Or Should Be Achieved,assuming You Have The Correct Cracking Temp Of 4oo*c.in The Retort. I.e.ltrs/hr.
Thanks.
During my last run I got 10 liters per hour average. I'm currently revising the set up, aiming for 20 liters+ per hour average. Currently I'm cracking waste oil, mostly hydraulic and gear oils. My retort is 47 liter capacity though I aim to constantly fill to about 3/4 level. I have no idea on the KW of heat but I use homemade diesel plus retort generated gases for the flame.

My stock of diesel for my van has all been used so I'm working long hours to take the next steps to re-run the turk-retort as soon as possible. My upgrades will be revised efficiency diesel/oil burner head, preheating for the turk and retort feeds, new pump on feedstock, insulation on reflux and diesel reservoir. I will open up my retort for it's first ever clean out so I'll be making up special tools to reach the 1.5 meter deep vessel bottom. At this stage I'm planning on initially filling with PE/WMO to the 3/4 mark.

Pics and details will be up on my DIYdiesel blog over coming days as time permits. Also more Youtube, hopefully one of the turk burner head as well.

HTH

Last edited by Excalibur; 11-28-2013 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Gramma
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  #3033  
Old 11-28-2013, 12:41 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Originally Posted by rozier56 View Post
Thanks Beyond,seems very low,is that with wmo?
Yes, I am just distilling WMO at this time, and my goal is far less than Excalibur's. I am only interested in 5 gallons (20L)/day to meet my fuel demands.
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Originally Posted by rozier56 View Post
i am cracking ldpe and concerned about the low production rate.one more question is what Kw/energy is required to achieve the desired cracking point. i am burning a 50kw/gas burner to achieve the 400*c plus, how does tha t compare with others out there?
You are using about 20 times more power than I am using, but I do not know what volume/mass you are working with. For perspective 5 gallons (20L) of oil weighs about 35 pounds (16KG). This means power per unit volume is 1KW/2.5gal (10L); or 1KW/17.5lbs (8KG); or 100w/L; or 125w/KG.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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  #3034  
Old 11-28-2013, 10:41 PM
octavio octavio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
Nice design, thanks for posting and welcome.

1) Optimum Cracker/retort temperature range
I just completed a run of WMO and found I was getting good results up to 405*C. I didn't experiment with any higher temps on this run with this retort. I would say aim at the 400*C mark and tweak from there. Too much temperature will risk boil over while too low is slow. Note also that my retort is tall and skinny so that amongst other things will create variables. Feedstock will have a bearing on the target temps too, for example my current lot has some white spirits mixed in so this boils off early.

2) Optimum Reflux temperature range
Ok, I was aiming at 300*C and in doing so I made winter diesel of .83 SG. In other words it was a little on the light side. I'll be aiming at slightly higher temp next time perhaps 320*C. It's early days but I'm going to remove the reflux swarf packing and improve the insulation. There was no catalyst.

3) Optimum 1st condenser temperature range to fraction off anything lighter then Diesel
This was talked about only a few weeks ago. I was aiming at 80 -100*C but my set up was struggling to reach the mark. Still the diesel was OK so I'm not sure what to recommend. You could choose a relatively low temp and simply expose the diesel to that temp for a longer duration, which would achieve the same result.

Hope this helps...
Thanks for your previous replay, I hav
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  #3035  
Old 11-28-2013, 10:44 PM
octavio octavio is offline
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Thanks for your previous replay, I hav
tankyou very much for your tips I really apreciate ití
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  #3036  
Old 11-30-2013, 12:26 AM
Col Col is offline
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1kW per 1L per 1hr?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyond Biodiesel View Post
How much volume are you dumping 2KW into? I am using about 2KW for 20L. I could put more heaters on, but I do not have the power. So I use a lot of insulation to do more with less.
Hi BB
Do you mean you have a 2kW hot plate under your retort? or do your hot plate, band heaters and line wrap heater all add up to 2kW? All those heaters just listed are for your retort and reflux right? I recall your retort and reflux are one chamber. So no heaters are used on the condensers? just insulation?

You mentioned you are probably getting about 2L/hr during peak distillation / cracking. So as far as sizing our units and heat / power supply it looks like each 1L of WMO will take about 1kW to vapourise / crack it in about 1 hour once the retort is up to temperature.

Excalibur - how much fuel does your turk burner consume per batch / continuous cycle? How many litres are produced per batch / shift? Interested to know the efficiency of an oil burner v electricity. The liquid fuel will no doubt be a lot cheaper / free but I'm in the suburbs cut up into 800m2 blocks and don't think I could get away with any kind of oil burner so close to neighbours.

Thanks.
Col
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  #3037  
Old 11-30-2013, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Hi BB
Do you mean you have a 2kW hot plate under your retort? or do your hot plate, band heaters and line wrap heater all add up to 2kW? All those heaters just listed are for your retort and reflux right? I recall your retort and reflux are one chamber. So no heaters are used on the condensers? just insulation?

You mentioned you are probably getting about 2L/hr during peak distillation / cracking. So as far as sizing our units and heat / power supply it looks like each 1L of WMO will take about 1kW to vapourise / crack it in about 1 hour once the retort is up to temperature.

Excalibur - how much fuel does your turk burner consume per batch / continuous cycle? How many litres are produced per batch / shift? Interested to know the efficiency of an oil burner v electricity. The liquid fuel will no doubt be a lot cheaper / free but I'm in the suburbs cut up into 800m2 blocks and don't think I could get away with any kind of oil burner so close to neighbours.

Thanks.
Col
Sorry, I wish I'd made better effort to count the liters for the recent 130L run. I'd be totally guessing at 15 - 20 liters however the figure itself is distorted due to the addition of the non condensable retort gases being burned as fuel. The fuel/oil/diesel burned was free and I made no attempt to economize at this early development stage.
I have latest pics up of my Turk burner head on DIYDiesel blog under appropriate sections/pages.
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  #3038  
Old 11-30-2013, 12:52 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Hi BB
Do you mean you have a 2kW hot plate under your retort? or do your hot plate, band heaters and line wrap heater all add up to 2kW?
I have 4 heaters on my retort. They are capable of delivering about 2KW each; however, I use variacs to regulate the voltage down to 2KW total to meet my solar gain.
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Originally Posted by Col View Post
All those heaters just listed are for your retort and reflux right?
Correct. I try to completely cover the entire retort with heat. Any area of the retort that is not covered with heat is going to be a cold zone where refluxing will take place and prevent movement of vapors down stream to the condensers.
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Originally Posted by Col View Post
I recall your retort and reflux are one chamber.
Correct. I just fill my retort about 3/4 full and I have metal screen above that for reflux area.
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Originally Posted by Col View Post
So no heaters are used on the condensers? just insulation?
Incorrect. I have about 5 condensers. The first one is heated to 300c, the 2nd one is heated to 200c, the 3rd is heated to 100c, 4th is ambient temperature, 5th is 0c.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
You mentioned you are probably getting about 2L/hr during peak distillation / cracking. So as far as sizing our units and heat / power supply it looks like each 1L of WMO will take about 1kW to vapourise / crack it in about 1 hour once the retort is up to temperature.
As I posted up thread it is only about 100watts/lit to operate my entire WMO distillation system. Part of my success in doing so much with so little is my retort has 4" (10cm) of insulation all around it, and I have spent years developing insulation practices for these temperatures.

Every heated trap is also very well insulated, and I do not turn the heaters on the traps until the retort is done evaporating the sample. This allows the traps to be heated by the vapor-stream, so that my heaters only have to work a little to boost the temperature of the trap and hold it at its control point, and only as long as needed to evaporate any light fractions, which go to the next trap and heat it up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Excalibur - how much fuel does your turk burner consume per batch / continuous cycle? How many litres are produced per batch / shift? Interested to know the efficiency of an oil burner v electricity. The liquid fuel will no doubt be a lot cheaper / free but I'm in the suburbs cut up into 800m2 blocks and don't think I could get away with any kind of oil burner so close to neighbours.

Thanks.
Col
I am very impressed with Excalibur's work and success. There are a number of advantages in using gas, liquid or solid fuels, such as dollar per watt; however, one is not going to get the control needed to safely and efficiently crack and fractionate hydrocarbons with flames, than one is going to have with electricity.

Also, having a flame anywhere near a cracking and fractionation system poses a serious fire and explosion hazard. So, I choose not to use fuels, but electricity for heating my retort and condenser traps.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.

Last edited by Beyond Biodiesel; 11-30-2013 at 12:56 PM.
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  #3039  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:45 PM
Col Col is offline
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Are both heating and cooling required?

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Originally Posted by Beyond Biodiesel View Post
I try to completely cover the entire retort with heat. Any area of the retort that is not covered with heat is going to be a cold zone where refluxing will take place and prevent movement of vapors down stream to the condensers.

I have about 5 condensers. The first one is heated to 300c, the 2nd one is heated to 200c, the 3rd is heated to 100c, 4th is ambient temperature, 5th is 0c.

Every heated trap is also very well insulated, and I do not turn the heaters on the traps until the retort is done evaporating the sample. This allows the traps to be heated by the vapor-stream, so that my heaters only have to work a little to boost the temperature of the trap and hold it at its control point, and only as long as needed to evaporate any light fractions, which go to the next trap and heat it up.
Thanks Excalibur and BB. Sounds like you have great efficiency and tight control over the heating of your system BB.

Something I have been puzzled by is whether (in a continuous drip feed system with very good insulation) I will need to regulate the temperature of the reflux chamber and condensers # 1 or # 2 DOWNWARD. Much has been said of heating and insulating these chambers, and varying the length of pipes between them to manage temperature drops. So I know I will need to heat and insulate these chambers, but do I need to be able to COOL them in a continuous system??

If the vapours are leaving the retort at 500C (I just want to be left with dry ash rather than tar at the end of a cycle) should I build into my system the ability to heat AND cool the reflux zone to strictly keep it at 380C? ie. would a constant flow of vapours from a 500C retort heat the reflux zone above 380C, so I need to cool it a bit? And would a constant flow of 380C vapours from the refluxing zone heat the first condensing chamber above 180C, so I need to cool it a bit? I intend to hold the retort at 500C, the reflux at 380C and the first condenser at 180C, then cool the remainder of the vapours after that. So I catch all vapours between 380C and 180C to be used for diesel.

I recognise the answer to this question depends on how 'closed' my system is. But those of you who have experience with the practical limitations of your insulation will have an idea of whether the heat losses through your insulation are enough to pull the temperature down enough between chambers.

I recall way back there was talk of needing to pull insulation off the system to stop it getting too hot. I don't remember if this was because they couldn't regulate their heat source properly or because the vapours carried too much heat to the next chamber?

Using a hot plate and heat bands, will it be enough to just regulate the chamber temperature via thermostat controlled heaters? or will I need to leave some of the chamber walls exposed and cool them with a fan sometimes? BB's experience tells me that in a batch system I can rely on heating only and not need to cool anything. But in a continuous system there will be no heat sink / cold chamber for the vapours to transfer their heat into as the system chambers will be kept hot continuously.

I looked at strict temperature regulation using thermic oil but I would need to pressurise the oil to 400psi to achieve a temperature of 430C. I'm not really interested in hot oil at that pressure.

Thanks
Col
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  #3040  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:04 AM
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Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Col, it's great that you are taking the time to think the system through. The answers are not clear cut. Much depends on size, shape, design etc.
However some points come to mind. The bigger the retort vessel, the more the need will be to cool the downstream flow. With vapor will travel heat so the more heat generated means the downstream equipment needs to be sufficient to handle the volume.

My mk6 retort needs an insulated reflux and a cooled diesel condenser trap.

I believe the 500*C target will be too high. Be wary of boil-over conditions. I liken it to a pot of milk boiling over on a stove. The feedstock will be cracking at that temp but it won't be distillation. I've seen boil-over in my sight glass before. It looks a very dark red and kind of "lumpy". Avoid.

Re, being left with ash rather than tar. The last part of the process may take more energy than will be economic. It might be more prudent to snip the run early rather than waste fuel/heat for little return.

The reflux temperature will determine what weight of fuel that gets trapped in the first condenser. You said 380*C, so try it and see. If the diesel is too heavy then reduce the figure, if too light then raise it. For comparison, my last run I targeted 300*C and the diesel was slightly light weight so I'm aiming for 320*C next time. The way I see it is, the highest temperature that gets the correct result is best as this uses less energy to obtain.

On my earlier prototypes, I discovered that my condensers were woefully inadequate to deal with the vapor stream heat. With a big retort there's lots of heat and the flow of vapor is relentless.

So,,, some opinion to ponder and puzzle over. In any case make a start. Don't expect everything to be perfection first time. It's too complex. Consider it as "work in progress".
Hope this helps.
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  #3041  
Old 12-02-2013, 02:37 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Thanks Excalibur and BB. Sounds like you have great efficiency and tight control over the heating of your system BB.
You are welcome. If you are going to be cracking and distilling hydrocarbons, then you are going to want tight control of the system, or otherwise fire and explosion will be the result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Something I have been puzzled by is whether (in a continuous drip feed system with very good insulation) I will need to regulate the temperature of the reflux chamber and condensers # 1 or # 2 DOWNWARD. Much has been said of heating and insulating these chambers, and varying the length of pipes between them to manage temperature drops. So I know I will need to heat and insulate these chambers, but do I need to be able to COOL them in a continuous system??
Designing a hydrocarbon cracking and distillation system requires art and science. So, there will be much for you to learn. I have 4" (10cm) of insulation on my retort and reflux. For every 100C drop moving down my line of condensers I remove 1" (2.5cm) of insulation. This means the condenser trap never overheats from the vapor stream and requires a small amount of power to maintain its temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
If the vapours are leaving the retort at 500C (I just want to be left with dry ash rather than tar at the end of a cycle) should I build into my system the ability to heat AND cool the reflux zone to strictly keep it at 380C? ie. would a constant flow of vapours from a 500C retort heat the reflux zone above 380C, so I need to cool it a bit? And would a constant flow of 380C vapours from the refluxing zone heat the first condensing chamber above 180C, so I need to cool it a bit?
You NEVER want your reflux zone to be lower in temperature than your retort, or the condenser trap it is servicing, or otherwise you will have tar, wax, polymers, or coke blocking your reflux and vent, then you have oops kaboom!! In that case we can only hope you have good insurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I intend to hold the retort at 500C, the reflux at 380C and the first condenser at 180C, then cool the remainder of the vapours after that. So I catch all vapours between 380C and 180C to be used for diesel.
That is fine, but there is no reason to heat your retort above 800F (425c) because all hydrocarbons will be evaporated, or cracked, under that.

Additionally, you can combine the light fractions with the heavy fractions to make diesel fuel. I have been doing it for 7 years, and the petroleum industry has been doing it for about 100 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I recognise the answer to this question depends on how 'closed' my system is. But those of you who have experience with the practical limitations of your insulation will have an idea of whether the heat losses through your insulation are enough to pull the temperature down enough between chambers.

I recall way back there was talk of needing to pull insulation off the system to stop it getting too hot. I don't remember if this was because they couldn't regulate their heat source properly or because the vapours carried too much heat to the next chamber?

Using a hot plate and heat bands, will it be enough to just regulate the chamber temperature via thermostat controlled heaters? or will I need to leave some of the chamber walls exposed and cool them with a fan sometimes? BB's experience tells me that in a batch system I can rely on heating only and not need to cool anything. But in a continuous system there will be no heat sink / cold chamber for the vapours to transfer their heat into as the system chambers will be kept hot continuously.
The problem is almost no one who has come to this forum has understood condenser design, including the OP. Just work on your condensers, before you even crack or distill hydrocarbons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I looked at strict temperature regulation using thermic oil but I would need to pressurise the oil to 400psi to achieve a temperature of 430C. I'm not really interested in hot oil at that pressure.

Thanks
Col
While cracking towers typically operate at above ambient pressures, that is only 15PSI (1 bar). Do not try to get fancy with your early designs. Just work on the basic system first. Get it running, then consider improvements later.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.

Last edited by Beyond Biodiesel; 12-02-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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  #3042  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:28 PM
Col Col is offline
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Thanks Excalibur and BB, comments much appreciated.

Excalibur said - The bigger the retort vessel, the more the need will be to cool the downstream flow. With vapor will travel heat so the more heat generated means the downstream equipment needs to be sufficient to handle the volume.

I expect we can consider a continuous flow system to effectively have an enormous retort, as you could run a 5L retort from a feed tank of 5L or 5ML by steady drip feed. So I will need to design my system with the ability to cool the condensers. If I run a few narrow pipes through the guts of the condensers and pump cooling water through the pipes (without any valves on the outlet end of the water pipes so there is no obstruction to super-heated water/steam escaping the pipes, and no pressure) then I expect this would do an adequate job of cooling the condensers from the inside while still allowing me to heat the condensers from the outside as required. Maybe pumping the feed oil instead of water through the cooling pipes might be a better idea, to pre-heat it before entering the retort. Also, when heating water flowing though pipes in a boiler type of situation like this I believe I would need to treat the water to prevent scale build up in the pipes. Whereas pumping oil through shouldn't give that issue, so long as I've de-sludged the oil first.

BB said - You NEVER want your reflux zone to be lower in temperature than your retort, or the condenser trap it is servicing, or otherwise you will have tar, wax, polymers, or coke blocking your reflux and vent, then you have oops kaboom!! In that case we can only hope you have good insurance.

So you run your retort at 425C and your reflux exit temperature at 425C (same chamber in your case). Wouldn't that mean you are trapping molecules heavier than 'diesel' in your first condenser (the MSDS for BP automotive diesel states a boiling range of 180-380C, so wouldn't you want a reflux exit temperature of 380C and a first condenser exit temperature of 180C?)? So then you blend solvents with this heavier fraction to get it to diesel spec? I thought one of the purposes of the reflux column was to allow heavier molecules to condense and drip back down for another chance at being cracked into the diesel fraction? If we are to expect the heavier molecules to condense in the reflux column doesn't the temperature of the reflux column need to drop lower than the retort temperature? Then you have your reflux exit temperature and your first condenser exit temperature framing the upper and lower limits of the boiling range for your desired fraction.

I think I will have to do all this at work, I have some space there and can keep it away from a residential setting. I can house it in a shipping container there too.

I will start with a lower temperature, say 425C, and see what residue I am left with. BB - do you end up with dry ash after a batch run at 425C? Excalibur - I don't want any tar - what would I do with tar? I don't need to make a driveway. How would I get rid of it? I am not too concerned about efficiency at this stage, I would prefer to lose some efficiency than end up with tar.

Thanks guys, you fellas are very helpful. Your input and the input of other notable contributors on this forum have saved me both time and probably an injury or worse.

Col
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  #3043  
Old 12-04-2013, 01:46 AM
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Using the feedstock oil feed for the heat exchanger/condenser is a good idea. My plan is to pipe the feedstock oil counter-current to the vapor flow. I have a few details to iron out as currently my condenser controls the diesel reservoir temperature by raising or lowering the distillate that drops into it.

180*C might be on the high side for the diesel tank but depending on how much light fraction you want to draw out and send downstream. My recent run, I aimed at 80*C- 100*C and the diesel seemed fine. Certainly the lower this temperature, the more volume of diesel you'll net. The 180*C mark will mean less quench for the condenser.

I'm curious to see if the 380*C reflux target will yield a diesel with a good specific gravity. Try it and tweak from there if necessary. Please record the S.G. for reference.

The reflux purpose is as you say so I think BB's 425*C marker is to liberate a heavier fraction in the first trap, perhaps a lubricating oil.

The shipping container is another great idea. I have one here but it's a bit too close to my shed and I had the materials to make a dedicated shelter. Consider fitting extractor fans.
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  #3044  
Old 12-04-2013, 03:48 AM
Col Col is offline
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Residue in retort

Thanks Excalibur, I'm looking forward to making some physical progress in the next couple of weeks. All the thinking drives you crazy wanting to get hands on!

I tested the heating temperature of a cheap hot plate, maxed out at 277C, but I could hear a thermostat click it out. So I could bypass the thermostat and try again but seeing it is just a domestic one I wonder of the surrounding materials housing the hot plate would handle higher temperatures. Might just melt into a blob.

Excalibur - You were going to do your first ever clean out of your retort? What residue did you end up with in your retort? What retort temperature/s have you been running at?

Col
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:42 AM
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Hello guys, can someone tell to me what's the typical value of pressure reached during the process in the reactor camber? Is there a formule that can be used for the calculation?
Thank you
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Nick
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:04 AM
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Thanks Excalibur, I'm looking forward to making some physical progress in the next couple of weeks. All the thinking drives you crazy wanting to get hands on!
Yes, I'm like a dog-with-a-bone with my project too. It's good that way, else it would be plain hard work!
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Originally Posted by Col View Post
I tested the heating temperature of a cheap hot plate, maxed out at 277C, but I could hear a thermostat click it out. So I could bypass the thermostat and try again but seeing it is just a domestic one I wonder of the surrounding materials housing the hot plate would handle higher temperatures. Might just melt into a blob.
Yes, I've looked at elements too. Even once I tweaked an ovens' thermostat and got a LPG cylinder-retort inside it to 400*C, made a few liters of diesel. But it wasn't what I was looking for plus my power isn't cheap so I shelved that project.
400*C is a lot more heat than 277, I mean it's exponentially hotter!! I speculate they may not last, don't know for sure as I haven't tested for any length of time. Possibly good for a condenser trap heater if it were to apply.

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Excalibur - You were going to do your first ever clean out of your retort? What residue did you end up with in your retort? What retort temperature/s have you been running at?
Today, I removed the reflux and retort flange. I was amazed how little carbon there was, 99% of which was on the retort floor. The residue was black "carbon biscuit'. I had to break it up to dislodge it. It's 1.5m to the base floor and 200mm round so somewhat awkward. I've run the retort for about 24hr+ all up, made about 250L and temperatures of up to 405*C so far in early testing.
Pics are up on a new DIYDiesel blog post. Pages with more details will be added as well in due course.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:18 AM
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Hello guys, can someone tell to me what's the typical value of pressure reached during the process in the reactor camber? Is there a formule that can be used for the calculation?
Thank you
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Nick
For our purposes nil pressure is ideal, so zero.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:32 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Thanks Excalibur and BB, comments much appreciated.

Excalibur said - The bigger the retort vessel, the more the need will be to cool the downstream flow. With vapor will travel heat so the more heat generated means the downstream equipment needs to be sufficient to handle the volume.
I have not seen anyone understand condensers on this or mine or other forums dealing with pyrolysis. Just work on your condensers first. Once you have them they will work just fine regardless of whether it is batch or continuous feed; however, if you increase your flow rate, as Excalibur did, then you will need to increase the volume and heat transfer capacity of each of your condensers.

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Originally Posted by Col View Post
I expect we can consider a continuous flow system to effectively have an enormous retort, as you could run a 5L retort from a feed tank of 5L or 5ML by steady drip feed.
Yes, a continuous feed system can be based upon a small retort, say 5-gallons (20L), which is what I am building. Once my 5-gallons (20L) batch processor is complete, then all I need to do to convert it to a continuous feed process system is work on a feeding system.

However, no, a continuous feed process system is not like a big retort.

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Originally Posted by Col View Post
So I will need to design my system with the ability to cool the condensers.
No, if you actively cool your early condensers, which should be above ambient, then you are likely to have a plugged vent line. Just reduce the insulation as I described, 1" (2.5cm) reduced for every 100C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
If I run a few narrow pipes through the guts of the condensers and pump cooling water through the pipes (without any valves on the outlet end of the water pipes so there is no obstruction to super-heated water/steam escaping the pipes, and no pressure) then I expect this would do an adequate job of cooling the condensers from the inside while still allowing me to heat the condensers from the outside as required. Maybe pumping the feed oil instead of water through the cooling pipes might be a better idea, to pre-heat it before entering the retort. Also, when heating water flowing though pipes in a boiler type of situation like this I believe I would need to treat the water to prevent scale build up in the pipes. Whereas pumping oil through shouldn't give that issue, so long as I've de-sludged the oil first.
Forget it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
So you run your retort at 425C and your reflux exit temperature at 425C (same chamber in your case). Wouldn't that mean you are trapping molecules heavier than 'diesel' in your first condenser (the MSDS for BP automotive diesel states a boiling range of 180-380C, so wouldn't you want a reflux exit temperature of 380C and a first condenser exit temperature of 180C?)?
From experience in my 300C trap I am getting motor oil, in my 200c trap I am getting heavy hydraulic oil, in my 200c trap I am getting light hydraulic oil, in my 100c trap I am getting diesel fuel, in my ambient temp trap I am getting kerosene, in my 0c trap I am getting gasoline.

The reason why the MSDS for automotive diesel states a boiling range of 180-380C is because the petroleum industry blends fractions back together to make fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
So then you blend solvents with this heavier fraction to get it to diesel spec?
Correct. That is what the petroleum industry does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I thought one of the purposes of the reflux column was to allow heavier molecules to condense and drip back down for another chance at being cracked into the diesel fraction? If we are to expect the heavier molecules to condense in the reflux column doesn't the temperature of the reflux column need to drop lower than the retort temperature? Then you have your reflux exit temperature and your first condenser exit temperature framing the upper and lower limits of the boiling range for your desired fraction.
Hydrocarbon cracking just breaks large molecules into smaller ones. Trying to get only diesel fuel out of cracking a heavier stock is going to be sisyphean.

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Originally Posted by Col View Post
I think I will have to do all this at work, I have some space there and can keep it away from a residential setting. I can house it in a shipping container there too.
Sounds like a good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I will start with a lower temperature, say 425C, and see what residue I am left with. BB - do you end up with dry ash after a batch run at 425C?
I end up with back soot in my retort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Excalibur - I don't want any tar - what would I do with tar? I don't need to make a driveway. How would I get rid of it? I am not too concerned about efficiency at this stage, I would prefer to lose some efficiency than end up with tar.
You will not have tar, if you can maintain 425c over the entire retort for long enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
Thanks guys, you fellas are very helpful. Your input and the input of other notable contributors on this forum have saved me both time and probably an injury or worse.

Col
you are welcome.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.

Last edited by Beyond Biodiesel; 12-04-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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  #3049  
Old 12-04-2013, 02:36 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col View Post
I tested the heating temperature of a cheap hot plate, maxed out at 277C, but I could hear a thermostat click it out. So I could bypass the thermostat and try again but seeing it is just a domestic one I wonder of the surrounding materials housing the hot plate would handle higher temperatures. Might just melt into a blob.

Col
There are several different kinds of hot plates. I used a heating element from a standard US electric stove and wired it directly to my PID controller, and took it several times up to 400c with no problem.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:34 PM
NickTech NickTech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
For our purposes nil pressure is ideal, so zero.
Thank you Excalibur.

So the manometer indicates always zero.

Bye
Nick
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:27 PM
rozier56 rozier56 is offline
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rozier56

Hi b&b and Excal, that banter is awesome!!! .Keep it going and hopefully more of us will contribute as we learn more. I am getting close,with my 200lt plant.Oh, yes i went big after all the info gleaned from this forum.As i mentioned before, i am producing good product but poor production rates. Busy with lots of changes, getting close.My landrover still loving the fuel.As soon as i am confident to share real info that is back up by numbers i will share with the forum.thks guys and keep watching this space!!!!!
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:08 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTech View Post
Thank you Excalibur.

So the manometer indicates always zero.

Bye
Nick
NickTech, you will have a small amount of positive pressure in the retort as temperatures in their rise. It will serve to push volatiles out and toward the vent. However, the pressure should never be more than a few inches of water, or you may have a plug.

Thanks, rozier56, do keep us posted. There is some value in starting small and working up to a final product. Excalibur has gone through 6 iterations. I have lost track of how many versions I have tried. Basically every time I make a pyrolysis run I find things that need to be changed, so I change them before the next run.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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  #3053  
Old 12-07-2013, 09:51 AM
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Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyond Biodiesel View Post
NickTech, you will have a small amount of positive pressure in the retort as temperatures in their rise. It will serve to push volatiles out and toward the vent. However, the pressure should never be more than a few inches of water, or you may have a plug.

Thanks, rozier56, do keep us posted. There is some value in starting small and working up to a final product. Excalibur has gone through 6 iterations. I have lost track of how many versions I have tried. Basically every time I make a pyrolysis run I find things that need to be changed, so I change them before the next run.
BB is right, there will be a tiny amount of positive pressure from the heat making vapor which then wants to occupy more volume. The amount would be relative to the degree of restrictiveness of the condenser/pipework array.
If the retort was fitted with a bubbler, it would add to the pressure figure so a manometer (instrument that uses a column of liquid to measure pressure) placed between retort and atmosphere, would see a gyrating effect as bubbles of gas pushed their way through the water.
Google converted: a few inches of water to about 0.1 psi.

Some time ago, I fitted a (0 -85psi) pressure gauge to the diesel condenser/reservoir as a safety feature to monitor for blockage. To date I've not seen the needle move from it's rest point of 0. If it did, there would be "panic stations".

rozier56, join in the banter whenever you feel like it. We're all learning here. No one has all the answers or is right all the time. I keep changing my set up as does BB. It's the nature of the game. Sometimes a change can bring unexpected results and sometimes the result can be a major breakthrough.
Other times a change can be failure but at least you can identify what doesn't work and perhaps more importantly why it doesn't.

Incidentally, I elected not put any plastic in my retort this time around because I don't want to introduce any unnecessary variable. There's plenty of time later on to crack the plastic stocks I have, so only oil for now. I'm getting close to doing another test run. To do is the IP fuel filter/tank, oil feed pump to sort plus the centrifuge remake of the rotor with new bearings.
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:26 AM
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Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Latest run: 9hours = 180 liters. More info shortly including a summary of issues faced and ideas for improvement. The unit is capable of 30+ L per hour as I had the feed pump delivering that amount using the counter current principle talked about earlier. Reflux temperatures between 320*C and 380*C.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:48 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Congratulations Excalibur, on another successful run. I noticed that you posted your update on my forum, which I only just got up and running again. If anyone is interested the Beyond Biodiesel forum is now up and running again.
BeyondBiodiesel.org - Index
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:49 AM
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I tested the specific gravity at 837gr for a liter. Someone correct me but isn't this on the light side? I can't find my chart of SG ratings. Can someone post a good link with a chart of all the diesel SG. Here the season is going into summer and it looks like it's going to be a hot one.

The fuel color is the same as previous batches. It's dark green with any quantity like when a jar fill is viewed. It's transparent red if light is shined through and it's amber in small amounts like that of a (8mm) 5/16" polyethylene hose. Otherwise it looks clean and bright, though previous experience says it will have particles less than what the eye can physically see.

This run I insulated the diesel reservoir, however it caused the temperature to exceed my 80 -100*C target which in turn caused the sight level indicator hose to deteriorate. Interestingly enough, the diesel reservoir is at 42*C 17hrs after the heat was turned off. I'd really like to get the centrifuge sorted and running before all that heat leeches away. I don't see that happening this time...

The counter-current preheating of the ingoing feedstock has got me excited. I think I'm onto something good with this idea. As is so often the case, there's problems to resolve and one of the more difficult ones is precisely controlling the feed flow. I need to know how many liters per hour and use that as a point of reference. My set up has a crude system of valves but the control is rather sensitive.

The revised turk burner head showed some good signs but the gas feed is proving a pain. There is backfiring if conditions aren't exactly right which isn't what you need when you trying to distill a large vessel of hydrocarbon. For the last 3 or 4 hours I elected to simply flare off the gas with a vintage Bunsen burner. I rued not having a kettle ready ... all that clean burning flame going to waste!

More pics and updates on the blog shortly. Maybe even a video if they turn out any good.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:08 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Good work Excalibur, your diesel SG is spot on, because the engineering tool box says:
Diesel Fuel Oil 2D/3D/4D/5D (60F) (15.6 c) 0.81 - 0.96sg
Liquids and Fluids - Specific Gravities - SG

For flow control you might look into a metering pump, or metering valve to control the input of raw material.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:44 AM
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Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Thanks.

According to Chevron, specific gravity for no.2 diesel at 15.6░C, is between 0.88 and 0.82.

Am working on the centrifuge as I urgently need it running. More updates later, including an idea for a retort level indicator.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:58 PM
rozier56 rozier56 is offline
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Thumbs up Merry Christmas

Merry to all,and a happy new year.I am off to the U.K. to see my grandson for the first time,leaving hot south Africa,Capetown,30*c for London 3*c.Thanks to all for this great project this year and will see you in the new year.
Regards,Derek
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:10 PM
Beyond Biodiesel Beyond Biodiesel is offline
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Safe journey rozier56.
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I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP since Feb, 2007. I have started the engine with no difficulty and no block heater on an 80/20 (WVO/gas) blend down to 0F (-18c). I have found that by blending as little as 15% gasoline in the summer, and as much as 50% in the winter, my engine starts and runs as if it was running on diesel fuel.
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