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copper vs. Stainless steel in column

copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby lookingforflavor » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:00 am

does anyone have experience with SS packing vs. copper?

Can anyone say one is better than the other??
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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Zombie » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:22 pm

Stainless is better for reflux stills because it will not corrode or tarnish readily.
Copper is for short term use in removing sulfur compounds, and will tarnish/corrode so it is not often used in reflux stills as packing

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby wv_cooker » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:44 pm

Actually copper is probably used more often as packing than stainless steel. The reason is it's ability to remove sulfides. Opinions vary widely about how much copper is needed but the consensus is copper for removing sulfides.
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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Odin » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:16 pm

In addition to the great remarks made by my esteemed colleagues ... copper packing is best for taste rich product, SS for neutral/vodka.

Now, before you ask: "who'd put packing in a column ... to make a whiskey?" ... many with an SS rig do.

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Zombie » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:26 pm

I have a question that I hope is not a thread jack. I think it actually may help... Has anyone used actual window screen type mesh as packing. I do mean pure SS or Copper but used in a rolled up form. I am considering structured packing, and I thought perhaps reasonably tightly rolled screen mesh. :think:
Please excuse mneif I am jacking the subject or the object of the original question LFF :bow-blue:

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Odin » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:40 pm

I have seen it done. Effectiveness seems to be where scrubbers are.

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Zombie » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:22 am

Thx! :handgestures-thumbupright: I'll see if I can find more info/test results to post.

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Zombie » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:08 am

Here we go... This is some wordy stuff full of Voodoo mumbo jumbo but pretty much explains uses for packing, and its efficiency in the column.
First an excerpt, and then the link to the entire article... VERY useful info! :handgestures-thumbupright:

The result is that in a gas-liquid transfer operation such as methanol-water distillation, the apparatus according to the present invention can achieve a combined efficiency for the frothing trays and packings of, say, 135% compared with an efficiency of, say, 65% for a low cost, conventional apparatus containing only frothing trays where only a low throughput is possible.

Furthermore, the efficiency and/or throughput of an apparatus according to the present invention has been found to compare favorably with the more expensive apparatus containing only packed beds.

Also, when the gas flow is high, the packings have been found to serve as de-entrainment sections thus further improving the gas-liquid contact.

The provision of the extra packings 42 enhance the distribution of the sprayed liquid from the nozzle in addition to providing additional gas-liquid contact. This is an optional item which may be deleted.

Tests to verify the present invention were carried out in a 6 inch diameter column for the distillation of methanol-water mixtures. A dual-flow tray was used with 318 mm tray packing, 7 mm hole diameter and 20% hole area combined with a 100 mm high structured packing supplied by Glitsch, Inc. of Dallas, Tex. under the trademark Gempack-350. The results indicated (1) a tray efficiency of .sup.˜ 120-140% for an F-factor of 0.8-1.6 kg.sup.1/2 s.sup.-1 m.sup.-1/2 and (2) a maximum operable F-factor=1.8. This compares with an efficiency of 60% and maximum F-factor 1.4 for a sieve or frothing tray with similar tray spacing.

Tests have shown that the packing sections need only be short, say 200 mm, and so wall effects are insignificant.

The gas may be in the form of a vapor.

The frothing trays 6 to 8 may be provided with more perforations per unit area adjacent the casing 2 than at the center area of the trays 6 to 8 to provide better distribution of liquid over the packings 26 and 28. It may be noted there is no packing material on the surface of the frothing trays or in the volume immediately above the trays. This allows conventional frothing and liquid flow to occur.

The apparatus according to the present invention can be used in any distillation or absorption process. The packings may be random packings, e.g., rings, spheres or saddles or structured or ordered bed packings, e.g., corrugated, rolled, screens or plates.

https://www.google.com/patents/US5262094

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby rickyd » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:41 pm

hey
in my reflux it is packed 3\4 of the way with SS scrubbers and a couple of copper ones at the top just below the cooling jacket starts.
All u need is 1 or 2 copper ones up near the top to kill off any sulphides you can just change em every 6-8 weeks longer depending on how often u run it.
You can clean the copper ones with citric acid but once u pull them out and get a wiff of how much they stink u will ditch em without doubt and spend the few bucks replacing them. If you have a copper condenser inside u reflux that will also leech of the sulphides just clean it every now and then again with citric acid
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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby lookingforflavor » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:01 am

Starting to get busy on the farm so I apologize for not responding. I traded a 24 pack of beers for a 3" copper pipe 42" long. Working on the new setup today. My local store only has Power House copper scrubbers and they dont say if they are pure or coated. I have an email into the company asking.

I am taking the 42" 3" copper pipe and adding a foot or so of 1" pipe before taking it to the condenser. Any suggestions on how many copper scrubbers to put in the column??? I am making neutral alcohol and want no flavor.

Looks like a lot of rain coming and hope to have a day or two to run the 8 gallons of TPW I have ready.

Thank again.
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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby rickyd » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Hey LFF a couple up the end will do it fine. Being that you are using copper pipe I wld put em down the bottom instead of the top to save constantly having to scrub out the pipe but hey that's just how I wld do it :)
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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby Zombie » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:45 am

lookingforflavor wrote:Starting to get busy on the farm so I apologize for not responding. I traded a 24 pack of beers for a 3" copper pipe 42" long. Working on the new setup today. My local store only has Power House copper scrubbers and they dont say if they are pure or coated. I have an email into the company asking.

I am taking the 42" 3" copper pipe and adding a foot or so of 1" pipe before taking it to the condenser. Any suggestions on how many copper scrubbers to put in the column??? I am making neutral alcohol and want no flavor.

Looks like a lot of rain coming and hope to have a day or two to run the 8 gallons of TPW I have ready.

Thank again.


What kind of rig is it? I forget things quickly...
For the most part you would want to pack the entire length of the column leaving just a few inches of air space just below your reflux condenser. As for how dense to pack it... Just enough to hold itself in without slipping down the tube.
42 x 3 is gonna take quite abit of packing so stainless (to me) would be a better option. Or like the others stated, just a few copper, and the rest stainless. It'll save you some $$$'s and give the same results.

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Re: copper vs. Stainless steel in column

Postby emptyglass » Thu May 01, 2014 8:04 pm

rickyd wrote:You can clean the copper ones with citric acid but once u pull them out and get a wiff of how much they stink u will ditch em without doubt and spend the few bucks replacing them.


The fact they stink when you pull them out shows that they serve an important purpose. Imagine all that stink going into your drink...
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