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Thread: Distillation Vessels

  1. #21
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    You are right about the ground glass joints. Anyways I'm not missing them on my Alembic. I don't lute something and don't use rubber either. This thing is absolutely sufficient for basic operations in the plant realm. When working with dangerous material I use other devices.

    Very nice pictures, Andro!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    I've had one of my Alembics (with ground glass joints) made by a local glassblower, by altering/modifying existing glassware.
    Yes, that's what I do all the time... all you need is to go to several suppliers of glassware and ask if they do such thing... and test them with something "small" until you find your beloved puffer (he must be good and cheap).

    Beginning from zero is expensive, but modifying an existing piece isn't... quite often the solutions are very simple (like adding another "entry" to a flask... or changing a "female" entry for a "male" one, etc).

    In my experience, quite often the price depends on your face and how you ask (the WORST thing you can do is to make believe the puffer that you work for a big industry of labs). Also, if you come up with interesting designs, it's likely that he'll like you and make it cheaper (I even had the luck of making a different design for a soxhlet and THEN the puffer asked me if I gave him my permission to sell my design at his shop under my nickname... which he currently does... the infamous "zoas item" for soxhlets*).

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    I've had one of my Alembics (with ground glass joints) made by a local glassblower, by altering/modifying existing glassware.

    The Final Setup:



    The Glassblower at work:

    How much did he charge you for the piece? Also, what are the specifications (measurements and ground glass joints)?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    You are right about the ground glass joints. Anyways I'm not missing them on my Alembic. I don't lute something and don't use rubber either. This thing is absolutely sufficient for basic operations in the plant realm. When working with dangerous material I use other devices.

    Very nice pictures, Andro!
    If you do not use lutes, rubber or ground glass joints you are going to lose some of the material you are distilling.

  5. #25
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    If you do not use lutes, rubber or ground glass joints you are going to lose some of the material you are distilling.
    I know! As I tried to say before, with my setup and especially the use of a cooling mixture the loss is acceptable (for me). A yield of 100% is impossible with ANY chemical reaction. For example in your distilling devices there always will remain material in the flask, the Alembic, etc..Further, most chemical reactions are equilibrium reactions, where the educts never react to 100% products.
    I would rather be concerned, when working with your sealed setup, that the whole apparatus may explode because of the volume expansion when a liquid becomes gaseous. Especially with self built parts I would be very careful.
    The yield sure will be a bit more but I think it's pretty dangerous. And I think -looking at old pictures- the old didn't work with sealed apparatuses. If someone has real evidence that they indeed distilled with low pressure, using a fish bladder or something, I might be wrong and at least some of the alchemists sealed their equipment like you do.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    I know! As I tried to say before, with my setup and especially the use of a cooling mixture the loss is acceptable (for me). A yield of 100% is impossible with ANY chemical reaction. For example in your distilling devices there always will remain material in the flask, the Alembic, etc..Further, most chemical reactions are equilibrium reactions, where the educts never react to 100% products.
    I would rather be concerned, when working with your sealed setup, that the whole apparatus may explode because of the volume expansion when a liquid becomes gaseous. Especially with self built parts I would be very careful.
    The yield sure will be a bit more but I think it's pretty dangerous. And I think -looking at old pictures- the old didn't work with sealed apparatuses. If someone has real evidence that they indeed distilled with low pressure, using a fish bladder or something, I might be wrong and at least some of the alchemists sealed their equipment like you do.
    The objective is to get as much as possible from your work. So sealing some parts of the distilling apparatus is very important in order not to have a good part of your work lost because of volatilization into the atmosphere.

    Making a completely sealed distillation train is obviously dangerous, specially when distilling "unknown" things that you are not sure how the vapors/gases emitted are going to behave. Are they all going to condense or are some of them continue to expand and, eventually, burst the apparatus? You never know. In order to avoid this risk, you provide a thin "vent" to your receivers. The old alchemists who did not want to risk an explosion of their distilling apparatuses did this simply by putting a thin piece of hollow reed or straw right between the joining parts of the alembic's or retort's side-arm and the receiving flasks and then applying the sealing "lute" on the joints, being careful not to block the hollow reed/straw that stuck out of the joining parts. This provided an "escape" for any vapors/gases that would not condense. Today you can more easily just use a two neck receiving flask with ground glass joints:



    And provide the side-neck with a ground glass connector with a thin "vent" tube, like this:



    The important thing to remember here is that you should provide the escape tube the furthest away possible from the cucurbit/retort/flask part of the apparatus, in order to give as much possible surface area for the vapors to condense before they find the "vent". That minimizes any loses through dissipation into the air.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    How much did he charge you for the piece? Also, what are the specifications (measurements and ground glass joints)?
    Boiling flask: 2 Liters

    Alembic (modified Erlenmeyer): 2 Liters

    Receiver: 1 Liter

    Boiling Flask to Alembic Head joint: 60/46 (60mm width... I wish it was double that... It would have likely almost doubled the price...)

    Tube width when coming out of Alembic Head: 16mm

    Tube width when entering Receiver: 12mm

    Total price charged for the entire setup, parts and labor: almost 400 Euros

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    Boiling Flask to Alembic Head joint: 60/46 (60mm width... I wish it was double that... It would have likely almost doubled the price...)
    Silly question: Why would you prefer a "neck" twice as big (something like 120/96)...???

    Is it just because it would be easier to clean it? Or there's another reason that goes beyond "it's easier to clean it"?

    Just asking because 60/46 is already HUGE for me (I often use 24/40 and 29/42).

  9. #29
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    @JDP
    That makes sense!
    It would be interesting though to compare the yield of our setups. We could distill a certain amount of booze of a certain concentration. I don't want to compare the length of certain body parts if you know what I mean. I'm just curious. Are you interested?

    Edit: And I am interested in your sources. Can you tell me where you found this information? Sorry if this is common knowledge here, but it is the first time I hear about such a method.
    Last edited by Florius Frammel; 08-30-2016 at 07:06 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    Is it just because it would be easier to clean it? Or there's another reason that goes beyond "it's easier to clean it"?
    A wider neck yields noticeably better results in certain experiments.

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