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Anyone running continous stills? Really suprised at the lack of them.


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Is anyone running a continuous still?  With the knowledge out there from the oil industry using them for a hundred years and the efficiency they have by reusing heat from exchangers and condensers I'm surprised more don't use them.

I've run distillation units for years so maybe it just seems easier for me.  

And I wish there was a easy program for design out there then what we have.  

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Most of your big distilleries use continuous stills.  What you have to remember is that they aren't optimal for smaller distilleries who don't work around the clock or don't produce the same spirit all day long or don't have the ability to always have enough fermented to run.

For many smaller distilleries running batches is preferred.

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Still Dragon makes a great continuous still - ask Stumpy.

The issue is mash production. 2,000 gals per day / 10,000 per week is a lot of mash for a small distillery to cook and ferment. 

You also need manpower, barrels and cash flow to sustain the process to get to market.  
 

 

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I have 2 continuous stripping  stills that I built. An experimental one that runs on 1.5 Kw electric and will strip about 400 litres of beer per day. A larger one strips about 2,000 litres a day. Very efficient with energy use and zero cooling water required. Beer feed is used as condenser coolant, so the beer enters still at close to boiling point requiring very little energy to raise the last few degrees. Hot overflow of the spent beer is also used to heat the input beer which increases the flow rate. Surplus heat from the overflow produces high grade hot water. 

The larger continuous runs on used fryer oil so my running costs are almost negligible.

I will probably never get time to build it, I would love to build a continuous fractionating column with quite a few take-off points ( like petroleum stills) That way I could blend different cuts back at various ratios to create unique flavour profiles.

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4 hours ago, PeteB said:

Surplus heat from the overflow produces high grade hot water. 

 

Did not understand the above comment.  Please expand on this if you are only using beer as the coolant.

 

Please can you post post a process flow diagram of your smaller unit running at 1.5KW.

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On 4/20/2020 at 2:23 PM, Mverick160 said:

Is anyone running a continuous still?  With the knowledge out there from the oil industry using them for a hundred years and the efficiency they have by reusing heat from exchangers and condensers I'm surprised more don't use them.

So it's not about efficiency for most of us per se. The If you're making vodka then yes a continuous still will likely be the best tool. If you're making a high ester heavy Jamaican rum then no, it's a bad idea. Continuous stills tend to pull a lot of cogeners out of the product. If that's not what you're looking for then continuous is not the right tool. Also continuous rigs tend to need higher input volumes of beer than most of us can make.

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I haven't forgotten to post photos and diagrams, just too busy just now to do it properly this week.

Back soon

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I'm currently building a whisky column (on a budget) at the moment. The plan is to distill grain in. 

I am aiming for a feed rate of between 420-480 litres per hour. 

I had the main copper column is fabricated in 4mm copper. It's made up of two 2400mm sections. Overall it measures 5400mm / 300mm. And will hold 12-14 trays? I am aiming for a 70-73% abv spirit. 

I'm planning the trays will be perforated with 6mm? holes and 50mm? downcomers. If anyone has advice on the percentage of hole area to surface area I should be aiming for that would be helpful. 

I've just managed to find second hand a 3000mm / 110mm heat stainless steel exchanger. The tube stack is 15 x 12.5mm. I plan to counter flow the spent wort (360-420 litres per hour at 95+ degrees celsius) scavenged from the column sump via mono pump to preheat the incoming fresh wort. I'm not sure what to expect the temperature of the fresh wort to be coming out of the exchanger at but I'm guessing the heat exchanger is oversize. So if someone who is more clever than I knows how to work that out I would appreciate your math skills. 

The next on the list of things to do is to spec the size of a second steam feed heat exchanger to boast the fresh wort temperature from the heat recovery exchanger before it is delivered into the top of the column. Feel free to add any of your suggestions here as well. 

The demethanizer will be 3000mm / 100mm column packed with ceramic structured packing. 

I haven't done any drawings that are worth sharing. 

IMG_1071.jpg

IMG_1072.jpg

IMG_1073.jpg

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IMG_1076.jpg

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@Modernity  I would be wary of using perforated trays if you are going to be distilling grain in.  If you are going to make the trays into a removable cassette then that could work if you need to clean them.  Maybe wait for @PeteB to post his photos and diagrams to see how he did it.  He and I discussed using very simple splash trays before he built his first column, and he came up with a very innovative way of installing the trays but I have not seen what he finally built.

If you do go with the perforated trays be generous with your downcomer sizing.  I like to allow a downcomer residence time of 10 seconds, based on the full volume of the downcomer.  If your tray spacing is around 300 mm then it would be better to install a 3” downcomer.  I also prefer D shaped downcomers.  You can make these easily by splitting a 6” pipe in half longitudinally and then welding in a plate to seal the straight part of the D.  Half a 6” pipe has double the area of a 3” pipe, but is still only 3” wide.

Some references for downcomer design also specify a maximum velocity, but this only comes into play with large hydrocarbon columns that can have +3 ft tray spacings.

The hole area (perforations) is much harder to calculate.  I found this reference that states

% Hole Area:

This is the ratio of hole area to bubbling area. The default practice is to target a hole area of 8 to 10 % of bubbling area for pressure services. The acceptable range for percentage hole area is 5 % to 15 %. However for some critical services, we can go % hole area up to 17-17.5 % provided that weeping is under control. Hole areas below 5 % are not used.

 

Despite their claim that hole areas of less than 5 % are not used I designed a column that uses 2.9 % and has been running very stably 24/7 for 33 years.  That column was a bit unusual in that it had a very high liquid to vapor ratio and I had a lot of pressure drop to play with.  For your stripper you will also have a relatively high liquid to gas ratio and I would guess that it will need 6 to 8 % open area, but that really is just a guess.

If the hole area is too small it will unnecessarily limit the capacity of the column, and if the hole area is too large the trays will weep and their separation power will be low.  Rather than taking the risk of deciding on the hole area yourself it might be better to buy trays from a supplier with a track record and who offers a guarantee. (I am not touting for business – I do not supply equipment or consulting services.)

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22 hours ago, meerkat said:

@Modernity  I would be wary of using perforated trays if you are going to be distilling grain in.  If you are going to make the trays into a removable cassette then that could work if you need to clean them.  Maybe wait for @PeteB to post his photos and diagrams to see how he did it.  He and I discussed using very simple splash trays before he built his first column, and he came up with a very innovative way of installing the trays but I have not seen what he finally built.

If you do go with the perforated trays be generous with your downcomer sizing.  I like to allow a downcomer residence time of 10 seconds, based on the full volume of the downcomer.  If your tray spacing is around 300 mm then it would be better to install a 3” downcomer.  I also prefer D shaped downcomers.  You can make these easily by splitting a 6” pipe in half longitudinally and then welding in a plate to seal the straight part of the D.  Half a 6” pipe has double the area of a 3” pipe, but is still only 3” wide.

Some references for downcomer design also specify a maximum velocity, but this only comes into play with large hydrocarbon columns that can have +3 ft tray spacings.

The hole area (perforations) is much harder to calculate.  I found this reference that states

% Hole Area:

This is the ratio of hole area to bubbling area. The default practice is to target a hole area of 8 to 10 % of bubbling area for pressure services. The acceptable range for percentage hole area is 5 % to 15 %. However for some critical services, we can go % hole area up to 17-17.5 % provided that weeping is under control. Hole areas below 5 % are not used.

 

Despite their claim that hole areas of less than 5 % are not used I designed a column that uses 2.9 % and has been running very stably 24/7 for 33 years.  That column was a bit unusual in that it had a very high liquid to vapor ratio and I had a lot of pressure drop to play with.  For your stripper you will also have a relatively high liquid to gas ratio and I would guess that it will need 6 to 8 % open area, but that really is just a guess.

If the hole area is too small it will unnecessarily limit the capacity of the column, and if the hole area is too large the trays will weep and their separation power will be low.  Rather than taking the risk of deciding on the hole area yourself it might be better to buy trays from a supplier with a track record and who offers a guarantee. (I am not touting for business – I do not supply equipment or consulting services.)

@meerkat, great feedback thank you.

I'm processing your thoughts.

The perforated trays are a beast of the thing to get my head around.

I was considering 10% hole surface area but are more than happy to go for 6%. I can always make those holes larger if necessary later. 

I'm looking at hanging or truncated downcomers. This was the least fouling design I could come up with for gain-in distilling. 

With the down comers covering between 1/3 of the width tray area in the double downcomer configuration and 2/5's in the single downcomer configuration.

 images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJkzsazImIm0Vx1nQqJP3 

I was planning to laser cut the trays out of 4mm copper TIG welded into a stackable interlocking configuration.

The plan was to counter sink the backside of the 6mm holes (150 per tray) to reduce back pressure. 

I'm not sure how to work out your downcomer residence time of 10 seconds given the feed rate of 420-480 litres per hours. I can use the 'orifice plate in downcomer to hold a dynamic seal on the liquid in the downcomer', could you give me some guidance on what you think the surface area of the downcomer openings should be to hold the 10 second residence time?

Also, I was thinking 30mm height of the weirs. Your thoughts?

Cheers

 

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For a column of 300 mm ID you definitely do not want to go for the split flow design you have shown. It is unnecessarily complex and restricts the bubbling area. I have seen single pass trays of 2 m diameter working very well, even back in the days of bubble caps.

I have never seen a downcomer with perforations at the bottom. You want the flow down the downcomer to be as unimpeded as possible, especially if the liquid is not totally clear. I would leave the bottom of the DC totally open.

The residence time is calculated as DC volume divided by volumetric flowrate. Your flowrate of 480 l/h (actually a bit less because some goes out as vapor) is equivalent to 0.000133 m3/s going down the DC and for an 80 mm ID pipe 300 mm long the volume of the DC is 0.0015 m3. If you divide m3 by m3/s the m3 cancels and you are left with seconds, so that is why it is called a residence time. Here we get 11.3 seconds - a nice safe number.

The downcomer does not run full.  Typically the level in the downcomer would be 30 to 50 % of the tray spacing. So the true time that the liquid spends in the downcomer is 3 to 5 seconds, but this is enough for the bubbles to disengage, thus avoiding vapor being carried downwards when it should be going upwards. The reason the level in the downcomer backs up is because the pressure on any tray has to be a bit higher than on the tray above it to force the vapor up through the tray and this pressure holds the liquid in the downcomer back. There is also a small pressure drop as the liquid flows under the downcomer and onto the tray.

The diagram below, from Peters and Timmerhaus, shows a variety of different tray types but I like these simple downcomers

image.png.499dce7a2232a9e4c093a425ee9a2826.png

 

Here they have shown segmental downcomers where the column shell forms the outer part of the downcomer but this is difficult to fabricate in smaller columns and it is more usual to weld a pipe or D section into the tray to achieve the all-round seal.

A very important aspect shown in this diagram is the sealing of the bottom downcomer in the base of the column. For a tray to function properly the vapor must not flow up any of the downcomers. The bottom tray seals first and then the seal is achieved in turn on each higher tray until all the DCs are sealed. Imagine the column at start-up with the bottom DC sealed by the liquid in the pot. When boiling starts in the pot the vapor cannot flow up the bottom DC and it flows up through the perforations in the first tray. The bottom of the DC from the 2nd tray will not be sealed with liquid yet and vapor will flow up this DC, as well as through the perforations of the second tray. But because the vapor flowing up through the bottom tray prevents any liquid from weeping through the holes the liquid will accumulate on the bottom tray until it can overflow the weir into the downcomer. As long as the downcomer projects above the tray more than the gap between the tray and the bottom of the DC from tray 2, when the liquid gets to a height sufficient to overflow into the downcomer it will have sealed the bottom of the next downcomer. Now all the vapor from tray 1 goes through the perforations in tray 2 and the same process allows the next downcomer to achieve its seal.

30 mm is a reasonable height for the weirs, but maybe a bit on the high side. They cannot be too low because (as explained above) they must be higher than the gap at the bottom of the downcomer so that the tray can seal the bottom of the DC. The higher the weir, the higher the liquid level will be on the tray. The higher this level the higher the efficiency of the tray, but also the more easily the tray will weep. It's all a trade-off between the competing factors.

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On 5/4/2020 at 2:08 AM, meerkat said:

For a column of 300 mm ID you definitely do not want to go for the split flow design you have shown. It is unnecessarily complex and restricts the bubbling area. I have seen single pass trays of 2 m diameter working very well, even back in the days of bubble caps.

I have never seen a downcomer with perforations at the bottom. You want the flow down the downcomer to be as unimpeded as possible, especially if the liquid is not totally clear. I would leave the bottom of the DC totally open.

The residence time is calculated as DC volume divided by volumetric flowrate. Your flowrate of 480 l/h (actually a bit less because some goes out as vapor) is equivalent to 0.000133 m3/s going down the DC and for an 80 mm ID pipe 300 mm long the volume of the DC is 0.0015 m3. If you divide m3 by m3/s the m3 cancels and you are left with seconds, so that is why it is called a residence time. Here we get 11.3 seconds - a nice safe number.

The downcomer does not run full.  Typically the level in the downcomer would be 30 to 50 % of the tray spacing. So the true time that the liquid spends in the downcomer is 3 to 5 seconds, but this is enough for the bubbles to disengage, thus avoiding vapor being carried downwards when it should be going upwards. The reason the level in the downcomer backs up is because the pressure on any tray has to be a bit higher than on the tray above it to force the vapor up through the tray and this pressure holds the liquid in the downcomer back. There is also a small pressure drop as the liquid flows under the downcomer and onto the tray.

The diagram below, from Peters and Timmerhaus, shows a variety of different tray types but I like these simple downcomers

image.png.499dce7a2232a9e4c093a425ee9a2826.png

 

Here they have shown segmental downcomers where the column shell forms the outer part of the downcomer but this is difficult to fabricate in smaller columns and it is more usual to weld a pipe or D section into the tray to achieve the all-round seal.

A very important aspect shown in this diagram is the sealing of the bottom downcomer in the base of the column. For a tray to function properly the vapor must not flow up any of the downcomers. The bottom tray seals first and then the seal is achieved in turn on each higher tray until all the DCs are sealed. Imagine the column at start-up with the bottom DC sealed by the liquid in the pot. When boiling starts in the pot the vapor cannot flow up the bottom DC and it flows up through the perforations in the first tray. The bottom of the DC from the 2nd tray will not be sealed with liquid yet and vapor will flow up this DC, as well as through the perforations of the second tray. But because the vapor flowing up through the bottom tray prevents any liquid from weeping through the holes the liquid will accumulate on the bottom tray until it can overflow the weir into the downcomer. As long as the downcomer projects above the tray more than the gap between the tray and the bottom of the DC from tray 2, when the liquid gets to a height sufficient to overflow into the downcomer it will have sealed the bottom of the next downcomer. Now all the vapor from tray 1 goes through the perforations in tray 2 and the same process allows the next downcomer to achieve its seal.

30 mm is a reasonable height for the weirs, but maybe a bit on the high side. They cannot be too low because (as explained above) they must be higher than the gap at the bottom of the downcomer so that the tray can seal the bottom of the DC. The higher the weir, the higher the liquid level will be on the tray. The higher this level the higher the efficiency of the tray, but also the more easily the tray will weep. It's all a trade-off between the competing factors.

Thank you Meerkat. That is a huge reply and a few sleepless nights to answer your questions. Thank you very much. 

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On 4/21/2020 at 2:26 AM, DrDistillation said:

Most of your big distilleries use continuous stills.  What you have to remember is that they aren't optimal for smaller distilleries

I think you are wrong.
Stripping columns (continuous columns) can be made in different sizes - from 2 "to 16" (for example), if we are talking about small columns.
Continuous columns allow you to save a lot of work time, and, for example, manage to overtake several tons of mash during the day, while taking up little space and does not require highly qualified operator.
It is not at all necessary to load a continuous column with many days of work. The small column is ready for operation after 20-30 minutes of warming up, then it gives out alcohol of constant strength, in contrast to the large tank, which needs to be heated for several hours just for the distillation process to begin. The output alcohol is of better quality than "from the classic tank", because the water vapor inside the column is in contact with the wash for a very short time.

Well, and the main advantage: scalability without significantly increasing the floor space. It is much easier to increase simple and cheap fermenter tanks without changing the column dimensions than to install additional distillation tanks.

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On 5/3/2020 at 3:11 PM, Modernity said:

I was considering 10% hole surface area but are more than happy to go for 6%. I can always make those holes larger if necessary later. 

I was planning to laser cut the trays out of 4mm copper TIG welded into a stackable interlocking configuration.

The plan was to counter sink the backside of the 6mm holes (150 per tray) to reduce back pressure. 

I'm not sure how to work out your downcomer residence time of 10 seconds given the feed rate of 420-480 litres per hours.

1) what is the size of the flow area (holes) should not be guessed but calculated. The range of hole areas is highly dependent on the column capacity and the steam generator capacity. Range from 8-9% to 13-15; (total area of holes).

2) laser cutting metal is a very good choice. But you need to figure out how you will mount the plates (plates) inside your column. The column must be collapsible. Here are different options in the picture.


3) If you want to distill up to 480 liters of inlet mixture per hour, with a strength of 8%, you will need 200 mm of column diameter. The cross-section of the holes is 7.6% sufficient (free cross-section). The output of 96% ethanol from the column will be up to 35 kilograms per hour. The heat exchange area of the reflux condenser will require 1.5-2 m2.
The steam generator can be selected from a rough calculation of 20 kilograms of steam per 100 kilograms of mash (input mixture). This column may require 211.75 pounds of steam per hour.
 
 

trays.jpg

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On 9/9/2020 at 9:35 AM, Alex_Sor said:
1) what is the size of the flow area (holes) should not be guessed but calculated. The range of hole areas is highly dependent on the column capacity and the steam generator capacity. Range from 8-9% to 13-15; (total area of holes).

2) laser cutting metal is a very good choice. But you need to figure out how you will mount the plates (plates) inside your column. The column must be collapsible. Here are different options in the picture.


3) If you want to distill up to 480 liters of inlet mixture per hour, with a strength of 8%, you will need 200 mm of column diameter. The cross-section of the holes is 7.6% sufficient (free cross-section). The output of 96% ethanol from the column will be up to 35 kilograms per hour. The heat exchange area of the reflux condenser will require 1.5-2 m2.
The steam generator can be selected from a rough calculation of 20 kilograms of steam per 100 kilograms of mash (input mixture). This column may require 211.75 pounds of steam per hour.
 
 

trays.jpg

Hey Alex 

So if a 200mm column produces 480 litres what will a 323.9mm column produce? 

Just curious as i recently purchased a 323.9mm column with the hope of making 96% ethanol, im think i may need to add another smaller column for further rectification.  I was thinking some around 6500mm and 323.9mm in diameter structured packing, with approximately 4 draw of points.

Snapchat-1841666324 (2).jpg

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52 minutes ago, Oldguy said:

So if a 200mm column produces 480 litres what will a 323.9mm column produce? 

what is your planned distance between the plates?
how many plates?
type of distillation plates? caps?

I have developed (myself) a spreadsheet(programm) that calculates the column, so I can make a preliminary calculation of a full column (stripping + cap) in about 5-10 minutes. 🙂

So, a column of 323 mm in diameter, according to my calculations, can process up to 1 ton (1000 kg) per hour of the input mixture of 8% mash.
The output at 96% alcohol will be 29.6 gallons per hour.
Calculated values of heat transfer:
Reflux condenser surface = F = 3.47 m2
Evaporator surface = F = 2.24 m2
Heating input mixture surface = F = 2.97 m2
Refrigerator alcohol surface = F = 1.34 m2
Refrigerator stillage (outlet at the bottom of the column) surface = F = 2.47 m2

Reflux ratio minimum = 1.790
Reflux ratio working = 2.628
Steam velocity inside the column = 0.744 m / s (allowable value 0.5 --- 1.2)

- free cross-section of the plate Fc = 7.5%;
- cap diameter d0 = 38 mm;
- the height of the drain partition hp = 15 mm.

The column is underloaded (i.e., a higher mixture pumping rate can be used).

Efficiency of plates = 0.5454

The number of plates in the stripping part (bottom part, from the mixing point) = 7 pieces.
The number of trays in the cap part (upper part, from the injection point of the mixture) = 11 pieces.
Attention! In my experience, you should always increase the number of plates. I would recommend bottom = 12-16, top = 20-22.

Height of bubbling (bubling) on a plate = 34.1mm
(this is a calculated, expected value)
This allows you to choose the distance between the plates = 200mm.

Required cooling water 18 celsius for the reflux condenser = 0.00098 (cubic meters per second).
Total water consumption is expected = 0.00197 (cubic meters per second).

Water vapor would be required (rough estimate) 200 kilograms per hour, or 441.14 pounds per hour.

 

Please see also my post here:

 

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46 minutes ago, Alex_Sor said:

what is your planned distance between the plates?
how many plates?
type of distillation plates? caps?

I have developed (myself) a spreadsheet(programm) that calculates the column, so I can make a preliminary calculation of a full column (stripping + cap) in about 5-10 minutes. 🙂

So, a column of 323 mm in diameter, according to my calculations, can process up to 1 ton (1000 kg) per hour of the input mixture of 8% mash.
The output at 96% alcohol will be 29.6 gallons per hour.
Calculated values of heat transfer:
Reflux condenser surface = F = 3.47 m2
Evaporator surface = F = 2.24 m2
Heating input mixture surface = F = 2.97 m2
Refrigerator alcohol surface = F = 1.34 m2
Refrigerator stillage (outlet at the bottom of the column) surface = F = 2.47 m2

Reflux ratio minimum = 1.790
Reflux ratio working = 2.628
Steam velocity inside the column = 0.744 m / s (allowable value 0.5 --- 1.2)

- free cross-section of the plate Fc = 7.5%;
- cap diameter d0 = 38 mm;
- the height of the drain partition hp = 15 mm.

The column is underloaded (i.e., a higher mixture pumping rate can be used).

Efficiency of plates = 0.5454

The number of plates in the stripping part (bottom part, from the mixing point) = 7 pieces.
The number of trays in the cap part (upper part, from the injection point of the mixture) = 11 pieces.
Attention! In my experience, you should always increase the number of plates. I would recommend bottom = 12-16, top = 20-22.

Height of bubbling (bubling) on a plate = 34.1mm
(this is a calculated, expected value)
This allows you to choose the distance between the plates = 200mm.

Required cooling water 18 celsius for the reflux condenser = 0.00098 (cubic meters per second).
Total water consumption is expected = 0.00197 (cubic meters per second).

Water vapor would be required (rough estimate) 200 kilograms per hour, or 441.14 pounds per hour.

 

Please see also my post here:

 

My steam input is L, rebouler return is A.

Input feed is K, 2414mm of structured packing  (350y). 

If i do not make a rectification column J will be my draw of point for ethanol from point K to J is 4717mm of packing im wondering if this is sufficient? 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/2/2020 at 2:30 PM, meerkat said:

@Modernity  I would be wary of using perforated trays if you are going to be distilling grain in.  If you are going to make the trays into a removable cassette then that could work if you need to clean them.  Maybe wait for @PeteB to post his photos and diagrams to see how he did it.  He and I discussed using very simple splash trays before he built his first column, and he came up with a very innovative way of installing the trays but I have not seen what he finally built.

If you do go with the perforated trays be generous with your downcomer sizing.  I like to allow a downcomer residence time of 10 seconds, based on the full volume of the downcomer.  If your tray spacing is around 300 mm then it would be better to install a 3” downcomer.  I also prefer D shaped downcomers.  You can make these easily by splitting a 6” pipe in half longitudinally and then welding in a plate to seal the straight part of the D.  Half a 6” pipe has double the area of a 3” pipe, but is still only 3” wide.

Some references for downcomer design also specify a maximum velocity, but this only comes into play with large hydrocarbon columns that can have +3 ft tray spacings.

The hole area (perforations) is much harder to calculate.  I found this reference that states

% Hole Area:

This is the ratio of hole area to bubbling area. The default practice is to target a hole area of 8 to 10 % of bubbling area for pressure services. The acceptable range for percentage hole area is 5 % to 15 %. However for some critical services, we can go % hole area up to 17-17.5 % provided that weeping is under control. Hole areas below 5 % are not used.

 

Despite their claim that hole areas of less than 5 % are not used I designed a column that uses 2.9 % and has been running very stably 24/7 for 33 years.  That column was a bit unusual in that it had a very high liquid to vapor ratio and I had a lot of pressure drop to play with.  For your stripper you will also have a relatively high liquid to gas ratio and I would guess that it will need 6 to 8 % open area, but that really is just a guess.

If the hole area is too small it will unnecessarily limit the capacity of the column, and if the hole area is too large the trays will weep and their separation power will be low.  Rather than taking the risk of deciding on the hole area yourself it might be better to buy trays from a supplier with a track record and who offers a guarantee. (I am not touting for business – I do not supply equipment or consulting services.)

To avoid the grain in issue you could use a small Evaporator? That what im planning.

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39 minutes ago, Oldguy said:

My steam input is L, rebouler return is A.

Input feed is K, 2414mm of structured packing  (350y). 

If i do not make a rectification column J will be my draw of point for ethanol from point K to J is 4717mm of packing im wondering if this is sufficient? 

If I understood you correctly, you do not have plates, you have a bulk (packed) column.
A preliminary rough calculation shows for your case:

13 mm Raschig rings (this is what I have in the calculations), fill height = 4 meters, diameter 323 mm, reflux ratio = 1.7, power input (heating) = 11 kW, we get:
Equivalent height of theoretical dish: 0.286 m,
Number of theoretical plates: 15.
Approximate result of separation efficiency: 95.2%
That is, 4 meters of packed column should be enough.

If you use grain wash with pieces of grain, the packed column (with backfill) cannot work, it will be clogged.
It is necessary to use a plate stripping column that can operate on a dirty mixture and does not require the use of mixture filters before feeding the mixture to the column.

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10 minutes ago, Alex_Sor said:

If I understood you correctly, you do not have plates, you have a bulk (packed) column.
A preliminary rough calculation shows for your case:

13 mm Raschig rings (this is what I have in the calculations), fill height = 4 meters, diameter 323 mm, reflux ratio = 1.7, power input (heating) = 11 kW, we get:
Equivalent height of theoretical dish: 0.286 m,
Number of theoretical plates: 15.
Approximate result of separation efficiency: 95.2%
That is, 4 meters of packed column should be enough.

If you use grain wash with pieces of grain, the packed column (with backfill) cannot work, it will be clogged.
It is necessary to use a plate stripping column that can operate on a dirty mixture and does not require the use of mixture filters before feeding the mixture to the column.

I was planning to use a thin film evaporator to strip the grain out, im hoping that as this is a small distillation itself it will also up the alcohol content of the feed.

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19 minutes ago, Oldguy said:

I was planning to use a thin film evaporator to strip the grain out, im hoping that as this is a small distillation itself it will also up the alcohol content of the feed.

from my last post, plate type (5) is suitable for processing dirty mixture with grains. The hole diameter must be at least 8mm.
A thin layer - I'm not sure what will be effective.

in the alcohol industry, nobody filters the grains separately. Grains also contain alcohol.

it is easier to process the mixture completely, without filtration. The stripping column must be able to work with dirty mixtures, I designed such samples.

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9 hours ago, Alex_Sor said:

..........

in the alcohol industry, nobody filters the grains separately. Grains also contain alcohol.,........

NOBODY!!! The huge Scottish Malt Whisky industry filters out the grain

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2 hours ago, PeteB said:

NOBODY!!! The huge Scottish Malt Whisky industry filters out the grain

Hey Pete

You got any pictures of your columns? 

I plan to build a stripping column down the line be great to have some ideas.

 

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