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 CLAMPINGhttp://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.