Help! Distillation!

Im distilling hemp crude in a 2 stage KD10. Our SOP is proven and rock solid thus far. The pictures are from the second stage residual sight glass. Ive never seen anything like it. I have to put a heat gun right above the sight glass to get the waste to fall in. Does anyone have any insight to whats going on? Evaps are at 170C and condenser is at 100C as per our SOP.


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Looks like you have some sugars. What type of extraction are you doing?

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We’re doing this white label. The clients do ethanol extraction. Are there any parameters I can tweek? Or any advice on the best way to get it out?

What temperature is your residue bath at?

We normally keep the residue circulator at 127C

Ive had a couple of coworkers comment on the burnt smell as well

I’d reprocess the feedstock and do some water washes on it. That’s going to trash your gear pumps.

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If Its sugars, then you’ll need to water wash before distillation. Maybe discuss with whomever is making the crude. It seems that they are extracting warm (how sugars usually happen). It could be temp of distillation , but I really doubt it.

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I agree. It will cause lots of problems, from destroying gear pumps to affecting your wiper blade. Not to mention it is a bitch to clean once you bake on those sugars.

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So far I have ran about 2 liters. I have not discharged anything from the residual side. I plan to remove the sight glass and clear that out manually. However, I still have about 3 liters in the feed tank . What would be the best parameters to get it through everything and out?

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You’re really going to have water wash it. You, or someone before you. But you’ll trash your shit running this with any consistency

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Run it through cold enough to not distill but hot enough to move. Run everything out of the raffinate side.

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You also going to have to run water through the machine when you’re cleaning after this run. Make sure to get those sugars now or you will hate life. I would run ethanol first, then water then ethanol again to clear out the water.

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I should be safe around 70C in the evaps? I dont have much control over which side it runs out of.

Then take the power back!

I think you’d be fine around 70 maybe even up to 120. Without vac you won’t see distillation up to 140 ish

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If you don’t evaporate anything it will all come through the residue side. Seems like a good temp to start at, can always go hotter if its not coming through.

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Once you empty your feed tank, ethanol → Distilled water → limonene(optional) → ethanol. On the water step we let it soak in the residue collection side for an hour or so at 70-90C. If you have some serious gunk you may need to push some hydrogen peroxide or Zep citrus degreaser through it. Also, we have had some luck pouring our sugared crude through a stainless mesh screen. That will at least separate the large sugar crystals from the crude.

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Almost looks like when we run remediated crude. Looks like those black snake fireworks we used to get as kids.
We have the same skid. You can take a heat gun and gently heat up the residue neck and any stuck up there will slide down and sometimes dislodge the turds on the heat arch coil.
As mentioned above wash wash wash and wash one mo tyme. Clean.
The parameters you are using should work.

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Mmm gnarly tar, 125c takes care of it so it can move well enough, but still a coont

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For an ethanol run, we typically have the evaps at 70C, the condensers at 10C, and the residue and feed at 50C. Would those be effective parameters for water as well?