Author Topic: Batch Process Distilling WMO  (Read 16936 times)

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2012, 01:53:03 PM »
The biggest and most common problem I see with these backyard pyrolysis and WMO distillation systems is a profound lack of control, which can lead to disastrous results, or at the very least a great deal of lost fuel.  Finding my WMO distillation system was releasing a great deal of poisonous HCL gas, I shut it down and did not turn it back on until I felt I had the exhaust gasses better handled.

To solve the poisonous, flammable, explosive and corrosive gas emissions that are common with backyard pyrolysis and WMO distillation systems I first leak tested the system several times, and fixed all of the leaks.  I used soapy water sprayed onto every joint to search for and find leaks.

Once all of the leaks were fixed I then set to work designing and building a functional water bubbler.  The problem I see with most of the water bubblers on these backyard pyrolysis and WMO distillation systems is they are nothing more than a bucket full of water.  Well, guess what?  If the water is not exchanged on a regular basis, then the water can acidify and become saturated with acidic gasses, and thus stop absorbing them, plus the water can become dangerous to handle.  So, I directed the cooling water from my condensers to the bubbler.  I then wanted to separate the exhaust stream from the water stream, and divert it to a burner, in case there were any flammables.  I ended up recycling an old Whole House water filter for this purpose.
Bubbler assembly

Bubbler assembled

Separating the exhaust stream from the water stream required more plumbing, so I added a 2"T and some 2" pipe.
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2012, 02:04:38 PM »
Last week I tried running my WMO distillation system again.  I found the exhaust stream was handled very well by my additions.  However, when I opened up the traps after the run I only found about 250ml of distillate.  The problem as I see it is I have only been heating my retort from the bottom.  It worked OK when the retort was only 1-3 gallons (4-12L), but at 6-gallons (24L) I have too much thermal mass producing too great a delta T across the retort. 

So, yesterday I received another funding check and spent the whole thing in less than 24 hours on needed parts to move the WMO distillation system forward.  I ordered:
1 Band heater
1 Line heater
3 PID controllers with SSRs and thermocouples
3 ea. 20Amp Variac Voltage Regulators
1 North 75SCp100 cartridge for the respirator.

The band heater will allow me to dump watts into the center section of the retort.

The line heater will allow me to rap the top and exit pipe with heating tape to get them to the control temp, so that the boiling WMO in the retort does not just reflux off the top of the retort.

The PID controllers with SSRs was needed, because I have yet to get the Opto22 SSR to control with the PID controller.  I am assuming, if the marketer of the PID controllers is shipping them with SSRs, then those SSRs should work with his PID controller.

I purchased the variacs to control the power going to the heaters.  If the 3 PID controllers end up being a bust, like the last one, then I can control with the variacs.  Also, since this whole project is solar powered, then I can tailor the power consumed based upon power gained.

It will be a few days before the equipment arrives, so I won't be turning it back on until I can control the temperature better in the retort.
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #77 on: December 10, 2012, 05:06:01 PM »
Last Thursday, 12-06-2012, I ran my WMO distillation unit again since adding the upgrades.  It was the first time I ended up with 2782ML (.73gal) of distillate, which was a fantastic improvement, but I wanted to get the remaining 5 gallons of WMO that was left in the retort fully distilled.  I had various problems with heater failures, and lack of power, due to the projecting being solar powered.  I controlled the temperature with variacs, which worked quite well, but I had to babysit it closely.  The samples are below.  I did not have the sample of 132ml of the diesel fraction available to photograph. 
The 2 samples come from the same fraction and are roughly the viscosity transmission fluid.

Sunday, 12-09-2012, I ran my WMO distillation unit again.  Since the last run I installed 3 PID controllers.  The PID controllers are limited to 400c (750F). This time I got almost twice as much distillate as the last run, at about 5L (5qt), but only 2 of the three heaters made it to the control point.  In the last hour of heating the band heater got above 380c.
The sample on the left is diesel fuel like, except it gelled below 50F (9c).  The 2 samples on the right are dark with motor oil viscosity

I ran my WMO distillation unit again Monday, 12-10-2012,.  I estimated that there was about 3 gallons (12L) of WMO left in the retort. This morning, after the unit has cooled off, I collected all of the distillates, and the remaining WMO I have left in the retort.
The sample on the far left is water-like, but pea green and most likely copper sulfide.  The next sample to the right is dark read and kerosene like.  The next sample to the right is like transmission fluid, and it is even dark red. The sample next to the right is diesel fuel like, except it gelled below 50F (9c). The sample on the far right is dark and thick, like heavy motor oil.

I found there was a half gallon of tar-like residue in the retort.  I plan to save it for a cracking run with the residues of all of the WMO that I plan to distill.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 02:19:36 PM by Jhanananda »
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

mtrans

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #78 on: December 11, 2012, 02:34:17 PM »
Yes dark too in my "experimentall" ,but it`s not problem,odor is, I put Al peasess like you say and help 50%.
Do you CF your D and do you put something in WMO like lime or?I still don`t have some lit to start CF,and have to clean everything from WMO first that isn`t eazy on -5c here.
I also have viscosity between D and ATF,more heat to get D?
I`ll improve my English

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2012, 03:57:18 PM »
Hello mtrans, the odor of my present batch is quite fowl, but then it was contaminated with brakleen, which is TCE, so when it gets distilled it comes out really bad.  I will do my best from now on to avoid WMO that is contaminated with brakleen (TCE).

Aluminum parts do seem to have some advantages over copper, as they do not seem to be attacked by the HCL, H2S, etc, that are the corrosive byproducts of pyrolysis.  I would prefer, and recommend, stainless steel components instead.  But, they are expensive.  I will be keeping my eyes open for them in the future.

Well, since I have a centrifuge, then, yes, all my fuel gets CFed, but I do not think that distilled WMO really needs to be CFed.

I do not bother to clean my WMO prior to distillation, but I do let the radiator fluid settle out, and I make a halfhearted effort to remove it first.

Yes, lighter fractions will be favored by higher retort temperatures that are >750F (400c).  That will have to wait until I get different PID controllers, or switch to an arduino to drive, and monitor, the whole affair.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 06:52:01 AM by Jhanananda »
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

mtrans

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #80 on: December 12, 2012, 02:07:19 PM »
Very true,
I CF because isn`t eazy to clean boiler for me,and that is way I ask do you try lime,I plan to use,but for cleaning if its don`t dissolve or make sludge inside boiler well when I am in doubt.
To day I find that 4 of my 6 heaters are dead,half is because I connect 220 v made heater on 380 v(ha ha series or parallel),another half is my old PID that didnt turnoff once, it do clack click clack,so shoping again,heaters + time relay.
I`ll improve my English

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #81 on: December 12, 2012, 06:15:17 PM »
Hi mtrans, it isn't easy for me to clean the inside of the boiler/retort, or the first 2 traps, so I am not going to bother until there is about 1/8" (3.2mm) of crud on the walls.  At that point it might scrap off in chunks.  Here are phtoos:
Inside the Retort is coated with soot

The first trap is coated with some kind of tar, or polymer

The second trap is not as ugly, but it is still pretty coated with crud

The third trap is almost clean

This morning I poured some of yesterday's WMO distillate into the crankcase of my engine and noticed a glob of something slither by, so I screened it, and this is what I got.
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

Excalibur

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #82 on: December 12, 2012, 09:30:48 PM »
 


I got something like this too in my last distillation run. I blamed it on there being some wvo amongst the feedstock.
Orion blog, fuel making machine in detail: http://diydiesel.blogspot.co.nz/

mtrans

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #83 on: December 13, 2012, 01:42:00 AM »
Hi,do you guys use some catalist,like lime,and prhaps that did it?
or help not to have?
Good to have forum to talk about this things.
I`ll improve my English

Excalibur

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #84 on: December 13, 2012, 04:44:23 AM »
Hi,do you guys use some catalist,like lime,and prhaps that did it?
or help not to have?
Good to have forum to talk about this things.
No lime in mine. I use broken pieces of terracotta in the reflux.
Orion blog, fuel making machine in detail: http://diydiesel.blogspot.co.nz/

Jhanananda

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #85 on: December 13, 2012, 05:53:11 AM »
No, so far I have not used a catalyst.  I use the long stringy aluminum chips from a machine shop as reflux/boiling chips.  According to the research articles that I have read catalysts only increase the output of light fractions by only 10%; whereas, plain old thermal cracking accounts for 90% of the cracking that goes on in a retort. 

Every time I ran my retort I got more light fractions from the same batch of WMO.  The light fractions could only have come from thermal cracking.

On the thick stuff I screened out of my distilled heavy fraction of WMO, Excalibur, I cannot be sure if there was no WVO in the feed stock, but I do not think there was any.  I am pretty sure this is just heavy fractions, grease, wax, etc.  And, I think we should expect some heavy fractions coming over.  As a matter of fact the last of the distilled motor oil also had a tar-like coating left on the inside of the container when I screened it.  So, I think we pyrolysis jocks are going to find we will still have to blend, settle, screen, filter and maybe even centrifuge our end product.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:03:50 AM by Jhanananda »
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

Jhanananda

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Re: Batch Process Distilling WMO
« Reply #86 on: December 20, 2012, 11:20:08 AM »
Please note folks that I have split the topic between "Batch Process Distilling WMO" and "Continuous Process Distilling WMO" from here to the end of the last entry of this thread, because I can see that there is a distinct difference between Batch Processing methods and Continuous Processing methods of Distilling WMO.

I have been interested in the idea of developing a continuous process WMO distillation system, but only after I got my batch process WMO distillation system working reliably.  I reason, that first comes the batch process.  Once I understand the batch process, then I can extend what I learned in the batch process to a continuous process WMO distillation system.

What I have learned so far in my batch process WMO distillation system is, 5 gallons (20L) of WMO in, results in 4.5 gallons (17L) of distilled petroleum oil fractions out, with only 1/2 gallon (2L) of residue, which is mostly heavy fractions, with a fair amount of soot and ash.  It is dealing with that soot and ash, which I am sure, is going to be major problems for anyone who is distilling WMO.

I have, therefore, focused upon developing a retort design with a wide enough opening so that I can chip out and remove the accumulating ash and soot that is bound to build up in the retort in a fairly short period of time.

If 5 gallons of WMO leaves behind 1/2 gallon (2L) of residue, which is mostly heavy fractions, with a fair amount of soot and ash; then it means that my 5-gallon retort is going to be full of heavy fractions, with a fair amount of soot and ash, after processing 100 gallons of WMO.

I reason that to meet my personal need for fuel I need to be able to process 5 gallons (20L) of WMO into fuel nearly every day.  And, I also reason that a continuous process WMO distillation system is primarily needed for anyone who is distilling more WMO than they need for their personal needs, and thus is a commercial venture, which I have no problem with, but the needs are different.

However, I believe at the heart of a continuous process WMO distillation system is a batch WMO processor; and if that continuous process WMO distillation system is going to process 100-gallon (400L) batches, then they can do it with only a 5-gallon (20L) retort.  If; however, the continuous process WMO distillation system requires processing larger amounts of WMO than 100-gallon (400L) batches in a day, or between cleaning out the retort, then they are going to need a larger retort.

The last batch I ran was December 12th.  In the 5 runs with that one 5-gallon (20L) WMO batch I learned a great deal.  I learned that the heat input must be distributed more evenly across the surface of the retort, so I ordered and installed a band heater and a line wrap heater before I completed the batch.  The two heaters help me complete the batch, but I realized that another band heater was needed.

I have since dismantled the entire WMO distillation system for a complete refit. I have ordered another band heater.

BAND HEATER WFB10-06301, 2850w 480v, 12 x 3.375", 3 PHASE, 48" FIBERGLASS LEADS EXIT NEAR GAP, STRAP CLAMPING
http://www.ebay.com/itm/230818645848?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
I have also ordered several more thermocouples, because I have learned control is critical, and one cannot have control without thorough monitoring. 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/271094523370?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
I also ordered a 24" (60cm) type K thermocouple with a 304 SS Sheath as an immersion thermocouple, so that I can monitor the actual temperature of the liquid in the retort.
http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=JQIN

Each heater will have its own thermocouple, and its own PID controller, and its own variac. 

I will be purchasing more insulation tomorrow to improve the insulation of the retort and the first condenser trap.  I have purchased more plumbing fittings to improve and simplify the plumbing.  I purchased some split bolts to solve the problem of corroded electrical contacts at high temperature.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 07:39:11 PM by Jhanananda »
I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th

mtrans

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Re: Distilling WMO
« Reply #87 on: December 28, 2012, 01:42:45 AM »



 The red condenser has the facility to be water cooled,
though this rig hasn't got to the point of needing it yet.

How much temp do you have on red condenser,I think you get all fuel there like me,and did you start to cool?
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Excalibur

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Re: Batch Process Distilling WMO
« Reply #88 on: December 28, 2012, 03:08:22 AM »
This is the first iteration of the device. Here I was wanting to condense everything into the one condenser using a water quench. It didn't work out for a number of reasons. Also the retort volume was too small and inefficient and its' heat source was too erratic.

My latest version uses two condenser vessels with a water cooled pipe-in-pipe between.

I'll update the photo of the cart soon.
Orion blog, fuel making machine in detail: http://diydiesel.blogspot.co.nz/

Jhanananda

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Re: Batch Process Distilling WMO
« Reply #89 on: January 08, 2013, 01:13:52 PM »
I am looking forward to seeing the updates of your pyrolysis unit, Excalibur.

Here are photos of the insulating enclosure for my 6-gallon (24L) retort

I have been running various blends of waste oils and unleaded gasoline (Petrol) since Feb, 2007 in a 1983 Chevy G-20 van with a 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, with a Stanadyne Rotary DB2 IP. I have started the engine with no difficulty on an 80/20 (WVO/gas (petrol)) blend down to 3F (-16c). I have found th