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Rectification Column


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Hi everybody, I'm working in a rectification column and I would like to know if its safe at the bottom of my column to keep the boiling point of ethanol installed an electrical element or install a flange heater feeding this with steam, I'm asking because I consider the electrical element could increase the fire point of the ethanol steam taking into account I'm moving just steam of ethanol and ill get some condensate at the bottom, if someone has good answer about safe ill be so thankful have a good day.

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Sorry homey but your message is a little hard to decipher, I think I got the gist of it but if I don't please be patient with me and consider saying it in another way? Not trying to knock your speech or verbiage incase E is SL, but also don't want you to think I'm an idiot if I don't answer the question you actually asked.

Assumptions I'm making:

-You're talking about a continuous column, not a rectification column on top of a kettle

-You're making ethanol from grain slurry

-You're talking about a beer column.

-You're running at atmospheric



The mechanics of a column are that in which they essentially all need to be run in a similar fashion. Columns are used to separate alc, aldehydes, etc, and some water from grain slurry. Typically we want to run the base of a column at or around the boiling point of water (200-215 depending on the column, its size, product being made, and input). Reason for this is the physical mass of the column is going to create reflux to strip water out gradually over time, gradual being a key point because we want reflux flow over all trays in column. if we never actually boil water (and do so vigorously) there are two main consequences first of all it can be difficult for our column to maintain equilibrium because cascading fluid over trays is functional to the system; as well our proof will not be able to be controlled too easily both up and down. Many people believe that the higher proof the charge easier it is to hit azeo, and that can be true on a pot still in some cases. However in a column still water Is needed for continuous column functionality at atmospheric, hitting azeotrope on a continuous column still with 50% wash is not something I have seen happen ever, doesn't mean it never will or could but I've never seen it. On our old HF we were never able to hit azeotrope with an input of gns and water only (not mash) over 9%. On our CARL Pot with rec column we are able to make maximum gallonage of 190+ by charging at 50%. Weird right? Thing to remember is functionality. Pot stills are linear progressions through temps and volatilization. Point of cont distillation is to hold constant favorable spec and never stop introducing mash. 


What you're describing functionality wise is good practice for if you have already stripped all your booze and such out of input at about the proof you want and are doing a second distillation for volatiles in an adjacent column. Any example of what I'm talking about is a barbet or demethylyzing column. Barbets cannot be constructed in the same physical manner as a normal column because you need 2 collections points, one for final product and one for "heads" out the top. So if this is the tree you're barking up I can expound on this for you if you'd like. 

Heating elements in the base of beer/stripping columns (any column running grain slurry) are not a good idea because of scorching. Beer columns are best sparged or HX'd. They can be used to feed additional columns for further rectification that can take an element (like a column to hit azeo or a column for demethyl.) but need to get rid of all the grain first or you will be in trouble.

Idk if this helps you or not. If you're trying to build a column to make Bourbon or Rye I can help you. If you're trying to make a column to make other things I would talk to Alex. If you're trying to make a hybrid pot with a column on it or any column that is to be batch fed by a kettle I would talk to Paul Hall. 


LMK if you have any questions for me. 




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