My old and dear friend, the sublimator, has departed the Earth…

I had just gotten my brand new sublimation apparatus from Amazon. My old one had some chips and stuff that concerned me and I wanted a spare. Then… I had a great idea…

I decided to use my old heating mantle and chemical duty diaphragm pump to see if my old sublimator could serve to rough in the crude and remove terpenes by just gulping them through the diaphragm pump. My old heating mantle has no digital temp setting and it can get pretty hot. It got hot and under vacuum the terps started refluxing briskly. However I decided to put my portable mug heater in the cold finger which will boil the water and make everything up high hot enough to pass the evolving gas. This allows gas to escape instead of reflux. The cold finger was empty so after a deep vape hit I went and got the water :sweat_drops: for the cold finger so I could heat it.

I returned with the ice cold tap water and proceeded to pour it into the smoking hot cold finger under vacuum and which was refluxing terpenes at some unknown and BRISK temperature… should I illustrate what happened next?

Wow! I have never been moved back and almost toppled backward from the instantaneous chaos that happens immediately after the big KAPOP and the water hit the smoking hot oil at the same time as oxygen and broken glass. My goodness things went from pink cloud just vaped peaceful progress to WTF in a heartbeat!

My old friend sublimator contained all but just a few dabs worth of the oil inside itself which before the big popping noise cost roughly as much as the sublimator did. After the big popping noise the smoking oil now with water purge issues was worth a few hundred dollars more than the sublimator… I guess God only wants me to have one?

When I was a flight instructor many moons ago I picked up a saying; “Well, that was a good idea up until it wasn’t.”

In rememberance of my old friend, I lift my vaporizer high in salute and switching it on now. :cry::poop:

(P.S. Would somebody PLEASE make a cryogenic sublimator identical to the 150 ml sublimation apparatus units from Chemglass but with a round bottom instead of a hot plate flat bottom? I would pay a lot more for it.)


Dang, that sounds scary! Glad your OK , no shrapnel damage. I had a dewar implode on me a long time ago when I carelessly dropped a cold trap into one . Silvered glass flew everywhere, I found fragments of it in the weirdest places for years.

That sublimator design is pretty safe. I always wondered why they made it so deep lolz. I bet I am not the only fool to drop ice and such down onto it. It is designed for dry ice baths and such. No harm done and the soiled undies should bleach out fine. Glass has a way of suddenly changing value around me when I get new ideas… :poop:

Would something like this be ideal? The only difference is this one uses water to cool it. You could run hot or cold water through it.

glad you weren’t injured.

Glad you’re okay! Would have made an awesome slo-mo!


I am just starting the terpene run after significant cleanup and water purge.

Here I am finishing the last of the water purged that damaged oil in hexane in a small addition funnel. The handheld massage vibrator is used on the clamp stand. Seen in the funnel is hexane and just a tiny bit of water left. The water tends to want to bead up on the glass when doing these types of seperations and the vibration knocks those droplets loose and they then fall to the bottom to be drained.

The odd thing is I think I stumbled onto something fairly significant during this clean up process that is just now revealing itself as I proceed. If this is what I think it is then I should be able to repeat it. Either some one shot random behavior is being exhibited or the payback for the sublimator popping is learning something of very high utility.

If I can repeat it I will post this mystery… :shushing_face:

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glad to see that you’ve recovered your meds without too much fuss.

was a little concerned that this “lesson” was going to be a painful one. literally. was looking around for make-up meds to see you through.

curious to hear what you’ve learned (assuming its repeatable).

Basically the “lesson” was in seeing what could be done about that awful stink that happens when oil gets oxidezed harshly from high heat. I call it the burnt transmission smell. I already shared with you privately here in my lab a procedure that is radical in a way that burns the stuff out (I have used this quietly for years now). It is the pyrolysis I told you about.

Remember? It was the procedure you started backing away slowly and looking for the exit… :nerd_face:. Hehe. Truth is that pyrolysis as I described really does not deal with burnt trannny smell (this is FAR from the first time I smoked oil). This time though no pyrolysis.

Do you see that flask in the photo that the sep funnel is finishing up? That is from the chemical wash I did in that sep funnel but this time I went a different direction with how I made additions and wow did it (seem) to pull out the low boiling components. See the white? That came out of that stuff in an effort to rid it of the stink. Then when I finally ran the product again in my horizontal rig… zero terpenes came across! It pulled down to under twenty microns under 190C in typical fashion but where there should have been by that time a quarter flask of terpene collected there was a total of about one drop!

I transferred it then to the sublimator and ran it through once. I have to repeat the procedure but this next time on starting crude before I can really see. I used a modified form of counter current seperation and if repeatable without any doubt will replace the terpene distillation first pass I need to do before the sublimator. That would be huge for me because of both time and eliminate the transfer (which always leaves behind med in those tiny 50 ml bulbs). I’ll post.

“Well, that was a good idea up until it wasn’t.”

I’m going to use that one, it will come up often. Glad you ended up safe.

Here is a link to SLO MO of the burnt but cleaned up oil from the event. It got pretty dark but I did wash it.“

Here is the first harvest off that cold finger for first run it is about right. A little dark. I harvested three more times adding to this dab.

A few more steps and this will become water clear.