Evil Diesel’s rig

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Evil Diesel
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:17 am

Evil Diesel’s rig

Post by Evil Diesel » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:55 pm

Hi all! As promised, here’s my rig😊. I am posting this here because there may be some new or alternative approaches here that could be applied to other still designs with the correct materials. Please see the welcome page for my introduction as:
- I am not an artisan distiller with experience of potable liquor production; I don’t pretend to have the skill set
- I enjoy this as a pastime and assume eventual Ethanol fuel production is not economical on this scale (although diesel is more so).

This is a pyrolysis machine and pot still combined that produces no.2 diesel from used motor oil. Eventually, the flue gases will power a Methanol recovery still (from my biodiesel plant) and an Ethanol fuel column.

The machine is a semi-continuous design (the Mk.2), in this case for safety reasons rather than outright production. It is powered by a repurposed oil boiler that also runs off diesel, but I have modified it so the fan can operate independently of the fuel nozzle for temperature control. The main boiler is a gas cylinder which is surrounded by a ceramic brick-lined oil drum, the lid is made of concrete with a ceramic wool base. Oil is preheated by a copper loop wrapped around the exhaust (aft of the machine) before being introduced at the top of the column. The reflux (square bit at top) is filled with SS scrubbers and a simple Liebig condenser cools the distillate. Finally, an aluminium catch tank holds the raw fuel and acts similar to a thumper keg to condense any vapour that the condenser has not.

I can be producing fuel in under 45mins after switch on and I typically run the rig for 3 hours and get about 3-4 gallons out. The flue gas is burned well away from the rig, this is what will power my column eventually.

A lot of this design was based on reading this forum, so I would like to offer some things I have found out in return that may be of use:

An oil boiler (Beckett type) was an excellent choice for this setup and might be ideal for a stripping still as an alternative to propane. However, it probably won’t work for a spirit run where you need precise temperature control.

The ceramic bricks lining the oil drum are impervious to heat and could probably be repurposed to make a well insulated pot still. They are very easily cut and shaped.

The copper coil around the exhaust works very well to preheat the input liquid. The pump I use is a brass gear type, although I cannot guarantee this type is lead free so use caution!

Automotive exhaust wrap works well to keep heat in the column, although I note you guys have a better alternative for your purposes. My column reaches 400F and the boiler glows incandescent so I need something more fire proof 😂. You can place your hand on the outside when it’s running.

For the fuel guys only: exhaust repair paste works very well to seal hot joints and I use it at the top of the reflux.

Please let me know if any one has any questions and I’ll gladly answer them 😉
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Re: Evil Diesel’s rig

Post by bilgriss » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:14 am

I used to burn filtered motor oil blended with K2 in a Mercedes 300D in the summer. Never tried to split it. Sounds like you have a good setup. I also never ran 220V to the garage, so my biodiesel setup was all 110V. Took about an hour and a half to really get a full batch up to temperature, but it was mostly a set it and forget it kind of thing. This seems like it would need more attention.
Thanks for posting.

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Re: Evil Diesel’s rig

Post by Smog » Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:29 am

Evil Diesel wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:55 pm
This is a pyrolysis machine and pot still combined that produces no.2 diesel from used motor oil.
Have you tried feeding all your plastic recycling to your pot ?

Apparently you can also pump out light oil out when you cook plastic in an oxygen depleted environment.
Shit I bought but shouldn't have :
1. Amazon 30L pot distiller
2. T-500 reflux column (good product but expensive)
3. Large 60L stock pot + 2" column

Now using 15.5gal KEG + 5500w electric + fully aircooled reflux condensor and product condenser.

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