[Open Source Design Project] - Falling Film Evaporator



The cost is mostly the devices needed for temperature control. unless you have a steam boiler, or propane heater with infinite cold well water you are going to need some heaters and chillers :stuck_out_tongue: . Also being able to manipulate the heating and cooling parameters are huge for running it for hours on end.


Yup, apple juice concentrate is made by distilling off the water in a FFE


Ohhhh so because it’s for cannabis, it became “novel.” That would be like charging $25 per roll of parchment paper…because now you have hash oil on it…

This is absolutely true. Heat is relatively cheap/easy to do. As for cooling, you don’t need an “endless” supply of water hahaha. It can be recycled, cooled, and re-used with pretty high efficiency. Nothing is 100%, but make-up water and simple air-water cooling will do quite a bit of work. And for crude purposes, why would anyone want to lower the bliling point of ethanol much at all?


Go buy an apple juice concentrator, run some hash laden ethanol through it, let us know how that goes for you…


Propane fired hot water and geothermal cold water make for super cheap evaporatio/condensation of an incredible amount of ethanol.

You don’t have to get super hot/cold if you have surface area and volume.

One of our FFEs is in Canada, it uses dudes typically frozen lake as the chiller :flushed:


That’s not what I’m saying. It’s not a one-to-one equivalent in system design. Sure. It’s a “novel application.” Not a novel design. Novel designs warrant high pricetags in my opinion. Novel applications are a bit more like…blowing a glass virgeux column and upselling it because cannabis oil goes through it instead of any other compound… oh wait…

Viscosity makes this novel? Petroleum industry has been pumping high viscosity for ages. Vacuum evaporation? Not new. Gear pumps? Same deal. Heat exchange surface area? Not there…

You tell me which aspect of the design you find novel. I am genuinely interested in what that is.

Yes, some folks pieced systems together nicely, to account for some of these variables, but I personally don’t see where the pricetag matches the equipment (besides local regulators being like “PSI-certification or bust” …which has been the case many times, sadly…


Do you know of any “affordable” tube and shell heat exchangers? In any industry?


I never said it was a novel design. I copied most of mine from that GEA video. I said it was a novel application, which is why they have been demanding and receiving such high prices


These are relatively affordable



A friend of mine (doctorate in chemical engineering) has done installs/operation on all sorts of evaporators. He damn near has a nervous breakdown when I tell him about this industry’s FFE’s haha.

Commercial-scale processing facilities often don’t buy off-the-shelf, ready for market, turnkey systems. They contract engineers to design the heat exchange, pumping mechanisms, etc. to the scope of the project. That’s where cannabis industry has us cornered - with things like PSI-certification as the only standard in some cases.

And yes, time is money. If you need to run tomorrow, I get it. Local officials have often already signed off on the system elsewhere so it is basically “plug-and-play.”

@Future I realized that, so i corrected myself. Application vs design… One warrants a much higher pricetag than the other, methinks. Judging by food/petroleum industry folks I’ve spoken with in my lifetime, these cannabis evaporators are way too expensive for what they are.


I agree with you in theory, which is why I built one instead of buying one.

But in practice, the market dictates cost. And right now a good FFE for cannabis oil is minimum $60k


We’re on the same page, I’m just trying to be informative.


dude! Thats settled…
I’m moving to Rotorua!

where the geothermal comes in both hot and cold :wink:


I ran big coils of black plastic in a black box with a glass front for a solar powered shower on the farm before, bet that could be scaled. Coils in a compost pile could probably work too


Holy shit that’s actually a really good idea. Solar water heaters work great, and we’re mid-build on our lab in Southern California…


Haha I’ll admit I actually entertained the idea for a second. Those Alibaba prices are just so damn attractive!


Update: check out the model I made using parts almost entirely from mcmaster. I still need a source for sight glasses and tube insert assemblies. 4" shell, 1/2" tube for the evaporators and 4" shell, 1/4" tube for the condensers.


I don’t think anyone is saying it’s a novel design. We are just evaporating and condensing. Our solution is somewhat unique and lab certified so it comes with the larger price tag. Our Steel solution is 65k and it can do 0L-200L DEPENDING on what chillers and heaters the clients choose. That’s where the prices escalate. Also, you probably don’t want a 15ft tall machine so that you can drain into drums. This is where gear pumps come in handy but those also add to the price as well.


Hey 710st, how much heating and cooling do you need to run an FFE like that at full speed ???


Pure thermodynamics assuming 100% efficiency suggests you’d need about 40-45kW or 10-12 tons each of heat & cooling for 200L/hr.