Distilation heat contol

Hi guys, (please forgive my spelling)

i am making a distillation kit for a science project and i need to have a controlled heating unit now i know i will need a heater capable of 160 F. i have an ardunio that i bought long ago and have not use its a uno board so i kind of got that covered i also have basic items like soldiering stuff and a prototype and a final product bread board.

so basicly i need the following functions

Heating element for liquatious substances that are not a health hazzard - heat need to be effiecent for 1 gallon

Control element for turning heat up and down

needs to be robust for long duration use 3 days at most

and i think that is it

Lots and lots of heating elements available. Just go to a kitchen supplies store (preferably one that also supplies for catering companies), and you can find electric water heaters in all shapes and sizes.

After that all you have to do is connect it through a relay, and have the Arduino switch it on and off based on the temperature.

Or if you know what you're doing you can use the Arduino to control a TRIAC and use phase cutting for much more precise control (considering the volume I'm assuming you'll use a mains AC powered heater).

9rpcrowe: Hi guys, (please forgive my spelling)

i am making a distillation kit for a science project and i need to have a controlled heating unit now i know i will need a heater capable of 160 F. i have an ardunio that i bought long ago and have not use its a uno board so i kind of got that covered i also have basic items like soldiering stuff and a prototype and a final product bread board.

so basicly i need the following functions

Heating element for liquatious substances that are not a health hazzard - heat need to be effiecent for 1 gallon

Control element for turning heat up and down

needs to be robust for long duration use 3 days at most

and i think that is it

No, that is FAR from it. Get your pencil and paper out and compute the heat needed to bring your gallon of liquid to 160 degrees F. Then determine how quickly you need to heat the liquid. That will tell you the size of heating element in watts you need.

Then decide the electrical power needed to heat the heating element. Will it need AC or DC current? Will you need a power supply capable of powering the element or will you run it from a wall socked using 120 volts AC?

How will you control the power to the heating element? Will it be on/off or will it be proportional?

Furthermore, will the liquid and heating element be in an insulated enclosure? Where and how will you measure the temperature of the liquid?

So, more information is definitely needed.

Paul

For the power likely required, you will not be looking for a relay but a contactor. If running from AC, a DC input-AC output SSR would be even better if there is one available with your current requirement plus margin. Also do not forget to add in some fusing. Lots of fusing. Heating elements burn out and when they do you want them to be the only thing that burns.

it would take 15,847.038 joules to raise 1 gallon of water by 1 degree Centigrade

the target temp is 35 degrees centigrade

i don't know the average temperature of tap water but its gonna take some energy

and i just need it to stay at that tempreture for three days while chemical processes take place

its probably going to run on ac most likely but it may run on dc since it will be hooked to the ardunio

now adwstystems you might be in luck i think i have a solid state relay.

need it to stay at that tempreture for three days while chemical processes take place

Insulate well.

Distillation is not a “chemical process”. It involves conversion of liquid to gas, which takes far more energy than increasing the temperature of a liquid.

no no no I'm making an alcohol rocket fuel using fermentation.

and i found a heating element just need to interface it with an ardunio

9rpcrowe:
no no no I’m making an alcohol rocket fuel using fermentation.

and i found a heating element just need to interface it with an ardunio

What heating element?

Paul

As you can tell, the answer is not just a simple 'get this'

each response so far has merit and holds part of the answers. There is a unwitten rule that the quality of the anwer is directly proportional to the quality of the questins.

now, we have to make some wild assumtions here.

as WVMARLE said, get a gallon tank, get it hot, and just use that to circulate. since we do not know your actual use, that might work great.

in a distillation column, you get the jacket up to some temperature, you said 160. if you want, get an old coffee maker, use the heater and relay and circulate the fluid through that. it might take 5-10 minutes to get it up to temperature, but since we do not have a great grasp on what you need, it may or may not work.

It would seem to me that you have two conditions, start from cold,and a keep warm. staring from cold would require a lot of heat. keeping warm, not so much. more of a nudge to add a bit more heat......

the best answer lies with better details. if you are doing a still, and heating vapors to your temp, then you only need to 'keep it warm' if you are heating ground water to 160 for washing hands or dishes, (more like 2nd degree burns on hands, and sterilizing dishes) your process has a MUCH higher energy requirement for heating.

I would recommend a water temp in and water temp out of the column, give you an idea of the heat transfer in the unit.

A small, and I mean tiny/small coffee maker pump can be had from Amazon or E-bay and it can be controlled with a a relay or variable speed.

as you will learn, high volume water flow = high transfer rates low volume, high temperature = high transfer rates. good surface conductor materials = good heat transfer rates

your answer may lie in a combination of things.

as for the '1 gallon' is that your total storage for circulation ? wherein your storage is 160 and the returning water temp is 155 ?

or is that 1 gallon per minute from 45 degrees starting temperature ?

i can process 6 quarts in the distillery

this is for the fermentation part

which i need to keep the yeast at 94 degrees to ferment because of my work schedule i can not monitor it 24/7

You can use an submersible aquarium heater with adjustable temperature. For fermentation, not distillation, 35 centigrades is around their upper limit.

I'm getting more and more confused on what's going on here, and what you really want. You not even bothering to stick to a single set of units (mostly US but sometimes metric) is also a problem - hope you know that this has cost NASA a satellite before. Rocketry and mixing up units is a bad idea.

There's apparently a fermentation tank, and a distillation system. Two different things, right? OP only mentioned the second, later the first appeared. Both have very different heating requirements.

Fermentation: slow heating, keep stable at certain temperature, definitely don't overheat by more than a few degrees. Careful control and constant mixing is needed.

Distillation: just heat the hell out of it, the boiling point of the liquid limits the temperature by itself. No heating control needed other than switching off the system when the temperature starts to go up which means the ethanol is pretty much gone, and you start to boil over the water fraction. I hope you don't expect to go to 100% ethanol this way, as that's impossible.

I thought the process of making moonshine was to ferment the mash and then distill to produce the alcohol. In which case the OP needs to do both. The first part is fermentation at ~160, then distill.

If we stay with the OP original question, I believe it has been answered. If there is more then an updated question needs to be posted.