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Thread: Destructive distillation of coal

  1. #1
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    Destructive distillation of coal

    The "furnace" setup is similar to the one which was used here to check z0 K's claims. The only difference is that this time, coal took the position of the herbs. The coal is the one used for incense burning ( sth like this: https://www.eggerthamburg.de/wp-cont...8/07/WR-21.jpg ). I don't know if it is charcoal or mineral coal and probably it has additives in it to initiate burning.

    After distillation, it gave a white fume which condensed into a yellow-red oil. This seems to has a part insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol.



    Evaporation of this tincture gave a red residue. Upon strong heating with propane torch it sublimed (no melting) leaving nothing behind. The strange thing about it, is that it is not flamable (neither the "sublimation fume" burned upon touching a flame). So, it made me wonder what this could be. Some kind of organic substance would explain the behavior well, but why does it not burn? This is a bit strange.

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    They're made in a similar fashion to the stuff used in barbeque pits. Sawdust pressed together and then burned without oxygen.

    So you tinctured the oil in ethanol, separated it from the rest of the oil, and then dried it? Is that a correct understanding of your process to get the red residue? Interesting. I find it curious that only the oil distilled out, but at the same time, most of the other dry distillation products are already absent in char because it has been destructively distilled already, in a way, through the process of making it. I would venture to guess that the same procedure could be performed with any kind of charcoal, even that present in the ashes from a stove. Sounds less messy than normal biomass, and still gives an interesting result. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Not sure what this material is either, but my experimentation with dry distillation is incredibly limited.

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    If memory doesn't deceive, charcoal was used by Caro and his group, and they used charcoal from the oak, which is quite famous Alchemical symbol. It seems that some charcoal (like that of oak) is better than others

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    So you tinctured the oil in ethanol, separated it from the rest of the oil, and then dried it?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    I find it curious that only the oil distilled out, but at the same time, most of the other dry distillation products are already absent in char because it has been destructively distilled already, in a way, through the process of making it.
    True, the process of making it would have evaporated the oil, that is why I thought it might be mineral coal.

    Probably there is potassium nitrate in it (to help initiate the burn), plus some additive that acts like glue. I thought this glue gets evaporated and comes as the red oil. But it does not ignite with fire and this is puzzling to me. All organic substances should burn in high heat.

    I don't think charcoal from wood will give the same result, except if the same additives are added (it will give null result).

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    Quote Originally Posted by theFool View Post
    I don't think charcoal from wood will give the same result, except if the same additives are added (it will give null result).
    I am also not sure about that

    But I think it is worth trying comparing results from just a natural oak charcoal, some mixed charcoal and something like gagate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warmheart View Post
    I am also not sure about that

    But I think it is worth trying comparing results from just a natural oak charcoal, some mixed charcoal and something like gagate.
    Making charcoal from oak will give you the alchemical Elements sought after but you need to capture the distillates that come over as the oak wood putrefies in the heat until it becomes dry and black like charcoal powdered or in lumps. The first stage can be done in a larger gas fired system like in the video I posted Dry Distillation in Pyrohouse Gas Reactor:



    The second stage dry distilling the charcoal can be done in a kiln for better control and will have higher yields of alchemical Mercury, Sulfur and Sal Armoniac like in the video Alchemystic Fire:



    In these videos the starting material is Cannabis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theFool View Post
    Yes.

    True, the process of making it would have evaporated the oil, that is why I thought it might be mineral coal.

    Probably there is potassium nitrate in it (to help initiate the burn), plus some additive that acts like glue. I thought this glue gets evaporated and comes as the red oil. But it does not ignite with fire and this is puzzling to me. All organic substances should burn in high heat.

    I don't think charcoal from wood will give the same result, except if the same additives are added (it will give null result).
    I don't know for certain, 100%. But it would seem the process of making charcoal would provide any needed additives before the burn. Usually briquettes are smashed together under pressure, so the slightly hydrated sawdust sticks together like a cake or a dry pill. It's roasted after this process is complete. I would think. If that isn't the process someone can feel free to correct me, but the cooking of charcoals, afaik, is always the last step before bagging it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Making charcoal from oak will give you the alchemical Elements sought after but you need to capture the distillates that come over as the oak wood putrefies in the heat until it becomes dry and black like charcoal powdered or in lumps. The first stage can be done in a larger gas fired system like in the video I posted Dry Distillation in Pyrohouse Gas Reactor:



    The second stage dry distilling the charcoal can be done in a kiln for better control and will have higher yields of alchemical Mercury, Sulfur and Sal Armoniac like in the video Alchemystic Fire:



    In these videos the starting material is Cannabis.
    z0k

    Can I ask how you got a tight seal on your metal/tin "boiling flask" I see at the 22 second mark? I am currently using cheap erlenmeyer flasks and a propane camp stove to do dry distillations and wine and urine "vinegar/stinking oil" distillations and looking into using a metal setup. My setup works but I can only produce a small amount of vinegar/oil at a time for the Golden Chain process I am working on.

    Thanks

    Catmandu

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu View Post
    z0k

    Can I ask how you got a tight seal on your metal/tin "boiling flask" I see at the 22 second mark? I am currently using cheap erlenmeyer flasks and a propane camp stove to do dry distillations and wine and urine "vinegar/stinking oil" distillations and looking into using a metal setup. My setup works but I can only produce a small amount of vinegar/oil at a time for the Golden Chain process I am working on.

    Thanks

    Catmandu
    What you see at the 22 sec. mark in the first video is the reactor housing or furnace housing. It is an inverted 10 gal. galvanized steel trash can. The Lid is screwed to the burner grate platform and the trash can is placed over the reactor and held in place with by the lid. The thrash can housing holds the heat of the propane burner like an oven keeping the heat around the retort inside.

    The retort or reactor is two stainless steel bowls one inverted over the other and secured with steel clamps. The seal between the two bowls is high temp furnace cement pasted on before the clamps are put on.

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