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Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 13, 2010, 11:37 pm

For what you are doing 0.1 gram resolution should be enough, the
materials are cheap and you can afford to use larger sample sizes.


Posted by Curbie on February 14, 2010, 1:28 am


For a test press I've been looking at a small bottle jack with a jig
along the lines of an auto-shop press, from my reading that seems to
be a dual benefit to heating the feedstock in terms of both increased
oil (small, but significant) and the energy required to press the oil
from the feedstock.

The issue is, I can test yield per acre with this idea but not energy
per process and the whole idea of testing is to figure out which
process (oil or ethanol) has the best return of investment.

I think I'll get closer to an answer by small scale testing of
ethanol, SVO is such a mechanical process that I think I can get close
numbers from people that are using the system and there doesn't seem
to be an obvious way to improve on what's already being done.

The current home-scale ethanol process on the other hand appears at
first blush seems to have room for significant improvement in terms of
energy input, not the amount, but source. The current home-scale
producers seem to using large output (gallons per hour) batch stills
with their associated large input energy requirements, and then
balking at the size of solar heating equipment needed to run them. No


Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 14, 2010, 3:45 pm

I've thought about (but haven't tried) a small flash boiler with an
automotive thermostat to let the depleted liquid pass on and bring
more in from the reservoir. If it works it should respond quickly and
self-regulate the flow. It might need a separate water flow control in
the fractionating column to allow higher temperature and more complete
separation in the boiler.

You could preheat the incoming liquid with condensate.


Posted by Curbie on February 14, 2010, 9:11 pm


I like this idea and will have to toss it around some, THANKS.

I talked with a guy who is doing just that, like i said, I think there
is some room to improve on enthanol production.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 12, 2010, 11:48 pm

A very important detail that's difficult to evaluate beforehand is the
amount of your time required, both to operate and to maintain the
equipment. As an example electrically heated distillation is expensive
in energy but simple to automate. Or you could heat the pot with scrap
wood for free but you'll need to attend to it constantly, and gather
the firewood.


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