Decarb/offgassing of reclaim crude?

So I recently cleaned up and reduced all my extra cleaning solvent laying around, and also included a run of crude that didn’t finish distilling and had to get stopped early for other reasons. The cleaning reclaim was from cleaning glassware, surfaces, crude spills, etc.

I went through all the filtration steps and this shit smelled extra funky and gross. While distilling it, the lower temp volatiles came off as expected. I wasn’t anticipating much decarbing, since at least 40% of the material had already been partially boiled. But when I started getting into 140-180 C temp on the mantle, I was getting excessive foaming and bubbling, to the point that I had to resort to partial vacuum, for many hours. It never stopped off-gassing and decarbing. I even was able to get it to settle after 4 hours or so, and at around 180 C, I was finally able to go to full vacuum and almost immediately starting hitting green heads fractions. But the reaction died down and I climbed up to 190 C and it started foaming again, much more than I expected, and without a bump trap, I accidentally contaminated my whole vapor path.

What could be causing all this off gassing? It is pissing me off. I normally decarb before SPD, but even when I don’t it takes maybe 1.5-2 hours to decarb a bigger batch of raw crude inside the SPD. I got annoyed and turned it all off for cleaning, and gonna run some fresh crude to make me feel better, haha. But has anyone had an experience like this with any bad crude or reclaim oil?

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Take off of mantel and boil in steel pot until oil hits 120 c


There was some frozen stuff on the secondary condenser and cold trap forming, maybe water. But wouldn’t water move and recondense with the solvent fractions at lower temps and not cause excessive expansion within a closed system? Water distilation is pretty straight forward. Also, when I’ve seen water in crude, it usually separates after sitting a while. This oil sat for a while. It was also winterized and filtered, and ethanol reduced in a rotovap.

I will remove it today and put it in the decarb station.

Thank you!!

We’ve had the same problem, and water picked up from atmosphere in the (once was) 190 used for cleaning absolutely explains our symptoms.

If I didn’t feel so dumb right now…

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I’ve had that suspicion, but my hydrometer reads 95-96% ethanol on all my reclaimed solvent. I’m in the high desert and I’m lucky if we get a day of humidity above 30%.

We saw the problem only with our “bag wash”.

Used material socks soaked in 5gal buckets. In OR in the winter…

Almost no doubt at all in my mind that my issue was water…


There’s some kind of foreign deposits in there or maybe waxes or fats due to improper winterization. What micron filters did you use. Try using about a cup of activated carbon while filtering in the hochstrom. Most the time that get deposits out on a molecular level when shit passes through the filter