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Multiple Columns

Bubble-Pot? Pot-Column? Bubble- Packed column? Don't know quite what it is?
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Multiple Columns

Postby blahblahblah » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:51 pm

I have been looking into multiple column stills some of the commercial guys use.
Adaption of this system for hobby use due to it's versatility and ability to save a bit of height appeals to me.
I have read over the builds by Googe on this and other forums.If you have not here is one of his builds.
http://forum.moderndistiller.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4808&hilit=googe
The work by others in relation to the plate and packed column combination has been very interesting, great stuff people, thank you.

Here is a diagram of a small scale commercial multi column set up.( image by olympic distillers)

commercial multi column.png


I do not know the correct names of the parts of this system I want to describe, forgive me of this. Most of the diagrams I have been looking at are from China.
I am at a disadvantage,as having never seen on of these in the flesh.
This isn't exactly the design I wanted a diagram of, but it will serve the purpose for this example.Lets pretend we are not using the botanicals basket.
This isn't like a Coffey still where the reflux is pumped back to the top of the first column.
There are many options to operate this still so lets say we are going for a neutral not bypassing any plates. Nice and simple.
What I don't understand are the reflux return lines at the bottom of the columns. They have a vapor lock, makes sense, but why do they feed straight back to the boiler?
Why are the reflux return lines not feeding onto the bottom plate of the previous column? A cascading reflux return type system?

cascading reflux return.png


I have not found any online discussion with a definitive answer.

I can only speculate that:
- Doing so might cause strange temperature reactions with the mixing on the plate/cause flooding?
- Trying to juggle 2 Dephlegmators and return reflux volume/temp is much more complicated that I am thinking?
- The assumed efficiency benefits of a cascading reflux return system are outweighed by the possible finicky operation?
- A cascading reflux return system in some way bypasses/circumvents an operational function of the still that I can not envisage?


Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, do I need to buy a book on this type of system? Maybe knowing the exact names of the components would help me refine my research.
I know I could build one, do tests and then modify it to the other configuration and compare the data.
And if that needs to be done OK.I do love tinkering. but I really think some one out there could steer me in the right direction.
:teasing-blah: :teasing-blah: :teasing-blah:
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