Hello there, Happy Belated 4th of July.
We built the full-size stand yesterday and took stock of the pipe at hand. I heartily believe I have enough material on hand to get through 90% of the construction of this behemoth. I am already planning on shrinking the overall volume of the machine in order to save on materials and the like, although this will increase the time spent processing fluids. But the overall goal of this exercise is not to make processing fast, rather, efficient, and not labor intensive. I have place several orders for equipment and the like, but much of it still needs assembly or construction. I have measured out my distillation apparatus, and it comes in a shade under 18" in length. Io that's going to push the entire machine up to ~22" long. I'm planning on using some old lumber for V1 of the stand. when I get a solid concept down I'll order a strip of aluminum for the top and make a nice one. I have some old oak panels that might be of good use here. plus I can fill in the void with lead and make it rock solid!
Regardless of all of that, I need to have a functional setup. I've got enough pieces here to make a functional prototype. It'll be ugly, but in the case that it works, I'll actually spend money on the electronics. I might even invest in a custom board with extra battery-charging capabilities! Regardless, the next step will be the primary boiler creation. at least, during daylight hours. I have a lotta welding to do... I bought the battery boxes for the general charging this weekend, so that's another thing I have to construct.
Alright, Next Step: Calculate acceptable volumes of reaction/containment vessels. Once I get those numbers, I can continue with construction. Here's a picture of all of the math:
IT's rounded somewhat heavily, in the "overcompensating" direction. But the long and the short of it is I need three lengths of pipe: 9.5", 15" ad 28" - Volume of water wise, the reaction vessel only needs to be as large as the volume of both containment vessels, so 24.5" and really you could make that 24 if you wanted to save a buck, but because I've seen this reaction in open air, I know that this reaction can produce a considerable bubbling effect, so I would like the extra few inches in order to save some fittings. All this means is I can finally make some models and cut some pipe. I may cave and buy a 2 foot length of 4" PVC... I only need 14" to have significant overhead for the reaction chamber. that could really save some space. I'll get it running well, eventually i believe i can cut this down to half a liter and a bleach bottle, so we'll spend money at that stage. Doing some math, if I have to go to the hardware store for endcaps, I'll just get the length of pipe, it's an extra $3 so i'd be buying 2 caps instead of 1, plus i already have some caps for the pipe.
Alright, well, I have a method for making the whole thing, filtration, neutralizing, and purification one clean and tight system. I'll look into that more later. Depending on the durability of PLA against concentrated H2SO4, I may be able to use old 3d prints for this system. how awesome would that be? I'll play around with that design later, as it should be able to neutralize at least half a battery's worth of acid at a time, but that varies from battery to battery, so i'll need a better metric than that. Regardless, that's a target for a later date, but how cool would that be?
Back to the task at hand, I'll have to have the system feed fluid into the chamber automatically, so after a certain pressure raise... oh. Alright I gotta calculate out the pressure of fluid addition, glad I caught that now. So after 2 fluid additions, whatever metric that would be, if the pressure doesn't rise significantly, it'll immediately dump the system, that should help me out with keeping crystals out of the reaction chamber, god only knows how much of a nightmare that would be... I should make the top of the chamber accessible, just in case. Anyways, I've got an hour of downtime, so let me go model these things.
Alright, looks like things work, barely. I can only neutralize about 3 liters of acid before I have to dump the bucket, but that's pretty good I think. I can get another couple of 2.5 gallon buckets and refrigerate them as soon as they're done and grow all of the crystals, IIRC they'd form within a day or two. I'm not sure if it will be necessary in the end, but I really wanna have as few potentially harsh chemicals inside the new still as I can. I should look up how much I can fill the bucket with crystals before I start contaminating things. I have no issue condemning a bucket to crystal duty as I build the new boiler. I have no interest in saving the paint on it at this time. maybe i'll copper plate the inside later... I'll definitely blast the inside to knock down the rust, at least initially. Anyways, time to go home. We'll see you later.