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Thread: Distillation Vessels

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Distillation Vessels

    Hello,
    Does anyone know any distillation vessel that can be used to distill spirits of salts, plants, minerals or whatever without the use a cooler and ice? And also to capture volatile salts.
    I was thinking a tribikos from Maria the jewess made of copper? I've read about some setups in the book of art of distillation : HOW TO MAKE A FURNACE THAT SHALL OF ITSELF WITHOUT ANY VESSELS WHICH SHOULD CONTAIN THE MATTER BEING PUT INTO IT SUBLIME MINERALS AND DISTILL ALL MANNER OF OILS AND SPIRITS OUT OF MINERALS, VEGETABLES, AND ANIMALS AND THAT IN A VERY GREAT QUANTITY IN A VERY SHORT TIME AND WITH SMALL COST

    The furnace is made as follows. It may be made of one piece by a potter or of brick, round or four-square, greater or lesser as you please. If the inside be one span broad in the middle, it must be high, one for the ash hole, another above the grate to the middle coal hole and two above the pipe. This pipe, being made of earth or iron, must be a span long between the furnace and the receiver, and a third part as wide as the furnace within.
    The recipients must be made of glass or very good earth well luted together, the greater the better.


    The First Figure



    The Second Figure



    A. Signifies the ash hole which must be as wide as the furnace and always open that the fire may burn the stronger.
    B The middle hole of the furnace for the putting in of coals.
    C. The stopple made of stone.
    D. The upper hole of the furnace with a false bottom wherein sand lies which is there lain that the cover may lie the closer and keep in the fumes the better.
    E. The cover which must be presently clapped on as soon as the matter to be distilled is put in.
    F. The pipe which goes out of the furnace and to which the receiver is fitted.
    G. The first recipient for flowers.
    H. The second.
    I. The third.
    K. A stool whereon the first recipient rests, in the midst whereof is a hole, through which goes the neck of the recipient to which another glass is fitted.
    L. The glass fitted to the recipient for the uniting the spirits that drop down.
    M. Another recipient united to the former glass and into which the united spirits do run.
    N. A stool through the middle of which goes a screw for the raising of that glass, which is set under the first recipient, higher or lower.
    P. The grate with two thick iron bars which lie fast, upon which four or five thinner are laid which may be stirred when the furnace is made clean.

    Thus far the first of the figures is explained, by which you may see how sublimation and distillation are made at one time, viz., of those things which will yield both flowers and spirits (the flowers sticking in the three upper recipients and the spirits dropping down into the lower).
    Now follows the explanations of the second figure which is the same with the former in respect to the furnace itself, but differing in respect of the recipients which serve for the receiving of the spirits and oils of such things as yield no flowers. Therefore I shall begin with the explanation of the receivers.

    G. The first crooked pipe as it is fitted to the pipe that comes out of the furnace.
    H. The recipient with its cover in which is one hole for one crooked pipe to go through, as you may see in the first H, and two holes for two pipes to go through, as you may see in the second H, and in HH.
    Note that these pipes may either be fastened to the cover, being all of one piece, or they must be well luted, that no vapors may pass through. Now you must conceive that in the lower receivers the vapor that goes out of the first pipe goes first into the receiver, then out of that into the next pipe and so forward until it comes into the last receiver, by which means it is much cooled (for indeed such vapors that come out of the furnace, especially when some materials are distilled, if there were not some such art to cool them would break all recipients).
    I. A tub of water wherein the recipient stands to cool the vapors and condense them.
    K. The first crooked pipe as it goes into the recipient.L. The second crooked pipe, whereof one end goes into one receiver, and another end into another.
    M. The last crooked pipe to which you must annex a receiver.

    Now the manner of distilling is thus. Let the furnace be full of coals well kindled, then cast on your matter, and stop your furnace close. This furnace needs no retort or other vessels to be set into it. Neither can you do any hurt by too much or too little fire, and you may finish your operation when you please and in one hour try diverse experiments. It saves very much time and cost, and in one hour will do as much as can be done in another furnace in twenty-four. In one hour you may make a pound of spirit of salt with four or five pounds of coals, and as much flowers of antimony in a like space of time, and with as few coals.
    If your materials be vegetables, or horn, or bones, cut them small. If hard minerals, let them be powdered very small. If salts, let them be first dissolved in water, which water must be imbibed with red hot coals until all the liquor be imbibed. Then cast in those coals into the furnace.
    If you would by this means procure the spirit of hard minerals, as of antimony, and you must take them as they come from the mine, before they have passed the fire.
    By this furnace you may make the spirits of such things which will not yield them in any other way.
    Note that such oils and spirits as are drawn by this furnace must be rectified in spirit of salt, as I have shown.

    Any ideas? Or better yet if you actually made and experimented with such setups.

  2. #2
    I got a couple of 500ml glass retorts from ebay, they would do it as long as you are careful and precisely control degree of heating.

  3. #3
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    The alembics are much more efficient. The biggest the better. They are a bit more expensive. Neubert in Germany do them. If you come accross any on ebay maybe let us know

  4. #4
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    I see that you posted this on another thread.

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/b...cc04a0ad223f78

  5. #5
    This is a good design, is a japanese alembic or rambiki or distillation apparatus, you can cool down the top with water or ice and you can ask this to be made in ceramic for you, glass designs are very expensive.

    http://www.tdsmeter.com/img/distillation1.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ranbiki.JPG

    Neubert have very good quality glass products, i own a alembic from them, my advice is buy one with a very large ground joint (45/40) a shame they don't make the joint larger, since will be much easier to extract volatile matters from the bulb, and even for cleaning. Neubert can as well custom made your glass aparatus, but of course everything is custom made is very expensive.

    I have try this model to be produced in lab glass, but is very expensive, i almost give up, maybe it can work with ceramic.



    And this is one of my designs for a cheap retort type apparatus, you just need a common round bottom flask, and this curved tube to work as a distillation apparatus, and it's production is very cheap. A very simple and cheap alternative for a glass retort. I have not try yet this last design, but if any of you like the idea, feel free to reproduce it.


  6. #6
    Draconisnova:

    I like your japanese design, the way the head fits inside the distillation vessel, but I would include an integral skirt, ring or collar that fits over the lower part as well, to which a thin bead of damp clay can be added before use, to get a good seal. Ceramic joints that seal as well as ground glass, and yet big enough to get your hand in for cleaning, aren't easy to accomplish for beginning potters. A joint that leaks obviates your experiments. Large sealed heads are a beotch to clean! When material crystallizes, how will you get in with a brush or see inside?! Also I would keep the snort as short as possible to prevent breakage, you can always lute a removable ceramic, glass or teflon tube w/teflon tape as an aperture. Also, round bottoms look elegant and might work for direct flame but grills, stoves and electric heating elements are flat.

    Did you see my ceramic collar idea under this Equipment category, "Lutings, Ancient & modern?" While crude, It solves several problems and lets you operate with some cheap "off-the-shelf" parts.

    The bent piece of glass pipe is a great idea. I wish someone would make a ceramic quick-release coupler.
    Last edited by thrival; 05-17-2013 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #7
    A modern distillation train is better then these because of the cooling in the condenser stage. However a basic retort will achieve the same if carefully used, as long as you do not need an airtight system and I saw some unused retorts on Ebay for less the 40 including postage (uk). Alembic's cost hundreds but then so do modern distillation trains, however a good pump and tubing is also needed to run the condenser stage.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pleroma View Post
    Hello,
    Does anyone know any distillation vessel that can be used to distill spirits of salts, plants, minerals or whatever without the use a cooler and ice? And also to capture volatile salts.
    Pleroma:

    To respond to your original post, so long as you're not distilling corrosive acids, you can get away with tempered jars and jugs. (Tempering is accomplished by boiling glassware for 8 hours and letting it cool slowly.) Rubber stoppers with threaded lamp rod passing through, bike tubes cut into bands to hold the stoppers in, works for me. Plastic coiled pneumatic air hose is made of nylon (melting point 650F) is cheap, non-reactive, from Harbor-Freight or hardware stores. I use spark plug boots & elbows to transition between different hose sizes. If you are going to distill acids, study up, do not presume certain materials are "safe" until you check, or you will be in for nasty surprises.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    The alembics are much more efficient. The biggest the better. They are a bit more expensive. Neubert in Germany do them. If you come accross any on ebay maybe let us know
    Gary Stadler of Scientific Glass also makes alembics based on older designs, if you're located in North America. I've made him make one that has much longer beak. Contact info: http://www.scientific-glass.com/contact.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Draconisnova View Post
    . . . my advice is buy one with a very large ground joint (45/40) a shame they don't make the joint larger, since will be much easier to extract volatile matters from the bulb, and even for cleaning. . . .
    Yes, those were my sentiments also. 45/50 is better than the traditional 24/40.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisztian View Post
    Gary Stadler of Scientific Glass also makes alembics based on older designs, if you're located in North America. I've made him make one that has much longer beak. Contact info: http://www.scientific-glass.com/contact.html
    Thanks Krisztian. Thats useful contact to have if I cant find local. The Customs duties from outside the EU is the downside. Yea I think its really down to trying to find a local glassblower.

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