Side Column Fixins

I've been entertaining the idea of bumping my 4" to 20 plates but will need to move half the column off the boiler and have it off to the side. what sort of column supports are available from SD?

I'll also need a bottom drain methinks. got a solution for that in 4"?

what other issues am I going to encounter?


  • edited January 2017

    Using a bottom drain off the side column will require you to use two dephlegmators - one at the top of each column, and control them independently. It's also less efficient as you are returning high purity reflux (the second column bottoms) - right to the boiler.

    Ideally, you use an air powered diaphragm pump to return the reflux from the bottom of the second column to the top of the first, and run only one dephlegmator. The complexity of this is that you need to size the pump appropriately, and be able to control the pump speed to match the reflux rate.

    On a 4" column, it's probably going to be a pretty small 1/4" pump, preferably teflon.

  • edited January 2017

    Just to be clear, I think this can be done without float switches of any kind, simply tuning the pump speed to the reflux rate (using visual cues), and having the ability to tune the pump speed through the run. It can be as simple as using a sight glass tee at the side column bottom and keeping the reflux level mid-sightglass. Keep an eye on the liquid level and adjust the pump pressure regulator accordingly.

    Otherwise, you risk slugging the primary column with reflux, then going dry, as the pump cycles on and off. You can run a small AODD pump at a very slow rate, and most smaller pumps have a low delivery volume per stroke, so you can tune them to run somewhat slow.

    Of course, you need to consider the risk of pumping reflux, since if that reflux plumbing leaks, you'll have a significant issue on hand.

    Biggest benefit is that the second column can sit on the floor, and for those with ceiling height limitations, it can mean fitting in significantly more plates.

  • I had planned on returning reflux to boiler as an inefficient but cheap option. I'd love an adjustable peristaltic tho.

    I'm mostly worried about actual parts for setup and configuration. Larry? Punkin? Lloyd?

  • edited January 2017

    @fijispirits. I hunted for a decent Peristalitic pump and this was the cheapest I could find.

    Simply Pumps PM600 Peristaltic Self Priming High Flow Heavy Duty Tubing Pump, 12V, DC, 90 GPH Maximum Flow Rate @

    I just had it set up in a box with a 220 v to 12 volt power supply and a variable speed controller but the pump head is very nice actually.

  • edited January 2017

    There really isn't anything in the way of special parts.

    Use a triclamp cross/4-way for the bottom, a tee on top of that, and a column on top of the tee.

    For the cross - cap the bottom, put a sightglass on one side of the cross, and a triclamp reducer on the opposite to connect your reflux pump to.

    For the tee, mount that above the cross, use the side port for your vapor feed in, and stack the column on top.

    You'll be able to visually monitor the reflux pool at the bottom of the column by using the sightglass in the cross (you'll be on the floor to do it).

    This, obviously, assumes some kind of external fixation of the column - pipe clamps to the wall, etc. Which is much cheaper than custom flanged doodads. You could use a sight tower flange if you found some way to mount a blocking plate in the gasket position, and maybe use that to drain your reflux.

  • And make sure you are sizing your pump correctly. You need to be able to determine your reflux rate in the side column to do it. Assuming a reflux rate of 10:1, your pump would need 10x pumping capacity of your fastest collection rate during a run, and then probably another 20% on top of that for buffer.

  • edited February 2017

    This is really all we have to manage bottoms.

    The part (picture) is actually upside down.

    It is intended to simply return bottoms to the kettle. It shows a vapor inlet and a liquid outlet. The floor is pitched pretty aggressively.

    Wish I could be more helpful.

    8" Side Column Base @ StillDragon North America

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

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