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Activated Carbon Regeneration

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Hey guys,

   I searched and could not find any information on regenerating activated Carbon.  Is this something most small distilleries do?  Or are you guys just using new carbon every few filtration runs?   If so what is your technique how much how often do you replace it?  I have found very technical literature(phd dissertations and what not) on regenerating activated carbon mostly by running steam through it.  However, I am planning to install a low pressure steam generator 15psia.  The literature I read says the steam should hit 145 C and according to steam tables 15 psi steam is only like 102 C.  Anybody with any information on how they regenerate carbon or even if you do not regenerate carbon, please let me know it would be a big help.

 

Jonathan

Boozios Liquors

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Carbon should last more than a few runs depending on what you're throwing at it. What qualitative test are you using that tells you it is in need of a regen? 

To regen carbon simply water rinse-acid-water rinse-caustic-water rinse-acid-water rinse. All at temperature, around 60oC. Let me know how you go. Your qualitative test should tell you how effective the clean was.

 

Cheers,

 

Mech

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Thank you guys.  Mechwarrior any clue what the chemistry is behind the acid then caustic wash, ionic bonding or just breaking down the impurites?  I believe the 145 C steam regen is just heating above the boiling point of the impurities.  I am curious if the acid/base will get into the small pores properly.  I am think I would have to run it at the same bed time as that of a vodka run.  Make sure it has the proper time and velocity to get into the pores. 

Navenjohnson I have actually read that before.  It is a great resource best I have seen for the practical use of carbon, but not much info on regeneration.  Unless I missed it.

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I ran carbon for many years using the acid-base regen system. The only real downside was the enormous amount of water you use in the process. If it was my money I'd be putting in place and acid and base recovery system as well as a water recovery system. My columns were 10kL each and I ran them in a duplex configuration so I always had a column ready to go as needed. From memory I used 7T of carbon and a million litres of water initially and then I'd top-up with an extra tonne of carbon every year or two.

With the fresh carbon we used it had a great deal of fines that needed to be flushed out, hence the massive water use. Wash forwards for a time and then back flush for a time and repeat over and over until you've removed all the fines. My columns contained a bank of 200micron wedwire filters at the base and the columns were classed as a pressure vessel.

The acid and base cleaning (at temperature) is all about breaking down and removal of the inorganic and organic residues. We didn't use "built" chemicals, so no sequestering/chelating or wetting agents, as a result we needed a stronger dose and a longer clean but the cost difference was staggering.

 

I hope this helps.

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Wow!! your system is wayyyy bigger than mine.  Haha but yes it helped.  What kind of pressures were you seeing on the vessel that it needed to be classified as a pressure vessel?  Is that mainly because of the pressure loss across the 200 micron filters so you needed a large pressure upstream of the filters?  Or was there another reason I am missing?

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17 hours ago, Booziosliquors said:

Is that mainly because of the pressure loss across the 200 micron filters so you needed a large pressure upstream of the filters?  Or was there another reason I am missing?

Yes, that is correct.

At times the filter can "blind" due to excess organics etc and at those times the pressure will spike. That's when the pressure relief and the duplex filter comes in handy.

If you are automating you automate the changeover well below your pressure relief settings. If not you just keep an eye on the pressure differentials and manually change over when needed.

Cheers,

Mech.

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I did engineering for a pumping systems company. And we used to install duplex strainers prior to the pumps. And they would set off an alarm if the differential pressure got to high. Sounds like a pretty similar system. Just filters such smaller particles. 

 

Mech warrior. Thanks for for all your input

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