The column of the commercial setup is fully insulated (which makes my polisihing efforts on the section at hand rather futile as is will be covered in insulation when under action) with reflux condensor head on top just like a regular setup.....except the inner beauty
The packed part (bottom of the column) uses SS mesh and as far as I can understand it's there to assure the laminar flow of the steam and cut out boiling fluctuations.
The "turbines" are stationary and do not turn, they act as the stator of a turbine would and create a helix shaped tunnel for the rising vapour....they are fixed inside the column and also fixed rigidly onto the threaded rod that holds them together. When vapour runs through them it's forced into a swirling motion. So calling them turbines is maybe a bad choice of words as it creates a false idea of how the packing operates.
The commercial setup that my friend owns has 4 sections of turbines (he only uses 3 of them as there's no more room to make the column higher). The sections are soldered and the turbine packing is also soldered into the section and is therefore unremovable (unlike mine). Maybe there is alternating turbine geometry or placement involved in the original setup since the sections are numbered and have to be arranged according to this numeration to make the setup work properly. Looking into the sections I see no difference in the turbines but maybe it lies deeper as one can only see about 10cm down the section. Well....we'll see soon enough whether my contraption works or not.
My friend uses no carbon filtering, since there's no need for that. Just a stripping run and a rectification run and he's done. I'll try to get more info on the cuts but I imagine they lie in the realm of a regular randomly packed column of comparable dimensions.
It was a real pain to fab all those little propellers...I basically cut them out by hand one by one and smoothed them on a lathe.Would be a real shame if it does not work, but I can always take the whole thing apart and alter the placement and geometry of the little suckers until it works like it should.
The interesting part is that I have found, despite all efforts, no reference to this kind of setup or column packing method on the internet nor in the online patent offices. The closest alternatives that I found were spinning band distillation and centrifugal distillation setups, both of which employ the use of rapidly spinning parts inside the column to enforce separation.
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