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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.
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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