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Getting methyl alcohol in the kitchen

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Getting methyl alcohol in the kitchen

general description

The liquid - methanol (methyl alcohol) obtained with the help of this description.

Methanol in its pure form is used as a solvent and as a high-octane additive to motor fuel, and also as the most high-octane gasoline (octane number => 115). This is the same "gasoline", which is filled with tanks of racing motorcycles and cars. As shown by foreign studies, the engine running on methanol, is many times longer than using conventional gasoline, its power is increased by 20% (with the engine running at the same rate). The exhaust of the engine working on this fuel is environmentally friendly and there are practically no harmful substances when testing it for toxicity.

A small-sized apparatus for obtaining this fuel is easy to manufacture, does not require special knowledge and scarce details, is trouble-free in operation. Its performance depends on various reasons, including the size. The apparatus, the circuit and the description of assembly which we offer to your attention, at D = 75 mm gives three liters of finished fuel per hour, has a weight of about 20 kg, and the dimensions are approximately 20 cm in height, 50 cm in length and 30 cm in width.

Chemistry of the process:

We will not go deep into the variants of chemical processes and for simplicity of calculations we will assume that under normal conditions (20 ° C and 760 mm Hg) methane is produced from methane by the following formula:

2CH 4 + O 2 -> 2 CO + 4H 2 + 16.1 kcal,
44.8 liters of methane and 22.4 liters of oxygen 44.8 liters of carbon monoxide and 89.6 liters of hydrogen, then methanol is produced from these gases by the formula:

СО + 2Н 2 <=> СН 3 ON
of 22.4 liters of carbon monoxide and 44.8 liters of hydrogen: 12 g (C) + 3 g (H) + 16 g (O) + 1 g (H) = 32 g of methanol.

Hence, according to the laws of arithmetic from 22.4 liters of methane, 32 g of methanol leaves, or approximately: 1.5 kg of 100% methanol (2 liters) is synthesized from 1 cubic meter of methane. Actually, because of low efficiency in domestic conditions, from 1 cubic meter. natural gas will be less than 1 liter of the final product (for this option, this limit is 1 l / h!).
In mid-2003, the price of 1 cubic meter. household gas in Russia is 42 kopecks. Given that the calorific value of methyl alcohol is twice as bad as gasoline, we get an equivalent price of 84 kopecks and, finally, round up to 1 rub. for other expenses - el. en, water, catalysts, gas cleaning - which is an order of magnitude cheaper than gasoline and means - "the ovchinka is worth making" in any scenario!
The price of this fuel does not include the cost of the installation (in the transition to alternative fuels, a period of self-sufficiency is always required), in this case the price will fluctuate from 5 to 50 thousand rubles, depending on productivity, automation of processes and whose forces will be produced. At self-assembly, it will cost at least 2, and max.10 thousand r, basically money will go to turning and welding works, and also for the preparation of compressors (it can be from a defective refrigerator, it will be cheaper) and materials from which this unit is assembled.

Caution: Methanol is a poison. It is a colorless liquid with a boiling point of 65 ° C, has a smell similar to the smell of ordinary drinking alcohol, and is mixed in all respects with water and many organic liquids. Remember that 50 milliliters of methanol drunk are lethal, in smaller quantities poisoning with the products of the decomposition of methanol causes a loss of vision!

Principle of operation and operation of the apparatus

Tap water is connected to the "water inlet" (15) and, passing further, is divided into two streams: one stream (cleaned by the filter of harmful impurities) and through the tap (14) and the hole (C) enters the mixer (1) and the other flow through the tap (4) and the hole (G) goes to the refrigerator (3), passing through which water, cooling the synthesis gas and condensate of methanol, leaves through the hole (10).

Household natural gas, cleared of sulfur impurities and odorous odorants, is connected to the pipeline "Gas inlet" (16). Then the gas enters the mixer (1) through the hole (B), in which, mixed with the water vapor, it is heated on the burner (12) to a temperature of 100-120 ° C. Then, from the mixer (1) through the hole (D), the heated mixture of gas and water vapor enters through the opening (B) into the reactor (2).
The reactor (2) is filled with catalyst No. 1, the mass fraction of metals: 25% NiO (nickel) and 60% Al2O3 (aluminum), the remaining 15% CaO (black lime) and other impurities, catalyst activity - residual volume fraction of methane in conversion with steam of hydrocarbon gas (methane), completely purified from sulfur compounds containing methane not less than 90%, with a volume ratio of steam: gas = 2: 1, not more than:

at 500 ° C, 37%
at 700 ° C - 5%.

In the reactor, synthesis of gas occurs under the influence of a temperature of about 700 ° C, obtained by heating the burner (13). Further, the heated synthesis gas enters through the hole (E) into the refrigerator (3), where it must be cooled to a temperature of 30-40 ° C or lower. Then the cooled synthesis gas through the hole (I) leaves the refrigerator and through the opening (M) enters the compressor (5), which can be used as a compressor from any household refrigerator. Further compressed synthesis gas with a pressure of 5-10 atm. through the hole (H) comes out of the compressor and through the hole (O) enters the reactor (6). The reactor (6) is filled with catalyst No. 2, consisting of 80% copper and 20% zinc.

In this reactor, which is the most important unit of the apparatus, methanol vapor is formed. The temperature in the reactor should not exceed 270 ° C, which can be checked with a thermometer (7) and adjusted with a tap (4). It is desirable to maintain a temperature in the range of 200-250 ° C, and can be lower. Then the methanol vapor and the unreacted synthesis gas through the hole (P) exit the reactor (6) and enter the cooler (H) through the hole (L), where the methanol vapor condenses and leaves the condenser through the hole (K). Further, the condensate and the unconverted synthesis gas enter through the hole (Y) into the condenser (8), where the finished methanol accumulates, which leaves the condenser through the opening (P) and the tap (9) into any container.

The hole (T) in the condenser (8) serves to install a pressure gauge (10), which is necessary for controlling the pressure in the condenser. It is maintained within 5-10 atmospheres or more, mainly with the help of the tap (11) and partly the tap (9). The hole (X) and the tap (11) are necessary to leave the unconverted synthesis gas from the condenser, which is recirculated back to the mixer (1) through the hole (A), but as practice has shown, it is necessary to burn the exhaust gases in the wick, back to the system, this reduces the efficiency, but greatly simplifies the configuration. The valve (9) is adjusted so that pure liquid methanol leaves without gas. It will be better if the level of methanol in the condenser will increase, than decrease. But the most optimal case, when the level of methanol will be constant (which can be controlled by built-in glass or some other method). The crane (14) is adjusted so that there is no water in the methanol, and in the mixer, the steam is formed better less than the larger. 5>

Starting the unit

The gas is opened, the water (14) is still closed, the burners (12), (13) are working. The valve (4) is fully open, the compressor (5) is on, the cock (9) is closed, the cock (11) is fully open.

Then, the water access tap (14) is slightly opened, and the tap (11) regulates the required pressure in the condenser, controlling it with a pressure gauge (10). But in no case do not close the cock (11) completely! Then, after five minutes, bring the temperature in the reactor (6) to 200-250 ° C by tap (14) and lighted burner (21). After this, the burner (21) is extinguished, it is only needed for preheating, because Methanol is synthesized with release of heat. Then, slightly open the tap (9), from which a stream of methanol should go. If it will go constantly - slightly open the cock (9) a little more, if there is methanol in the mixture with the gas - open the cock (14). In general, the better the tuning of the device, the better. The water content of methanol can be checked with an alcoholometer. The density of methanol = 0.793 g / cm 3 .

This apparatus is preferably made of stainless steel or iron. All parts are made of pipes, copper pipes can be used as thin connecting pipes. In the refrigerator it is necessary to keep the ratio X: Y = 4, that is, for example, if X + Y = 300 mm, then X should be 240 mm, and Y, respectively, 60 mm. 240/60 = 4. The more turns that fit in the refrigerator on either side, the better. All valves are applied from gas-welding torches. Instead of the cranes (9) and (11), you can use pressure reducing valves from household gas cylinders or capillary tubes from household refrigerators. The mixer (1) and the reactor (2) are heated in a horizontal position (see drawing).

Well, perhaps, that's all. In conclusion, I would like to add that a more progressive design for the home production of auto fuel was published in several issues of the magazine "Priority" 1992-93:
№1-2 - general information on methanol production from natural gas.
№3-4 - drawings of the installation for processing methane in methanol.
№ 5-6 - installation, security measures, control, instruction on the inclusion of equipment.

Figure 1 - Schematic diagram of the apparatus

Figure 2 - Mixer

Figure 3 - Reactor

Figure 4 - Refrigerator

Figure 5 - Condenser

Figure 6 - Reactor

Additions from Igor Kvasnikov ( - the address has changed).

Accidentally in the search engine came across your publication and was very interested in its contents. After a brief introduction, at once the inaccuracies admitted by the author surfaced. Information about "methanol" was published in the magazine "Priority" for 1991, 92, 93 years. , but the fully prepared project was never published (the promised catalysts for subscribers were blocked). In these rooms there were drawings of a reactor with an electrical control circuit and a cooler design, after which Mr. Wachs (the author of the article) politely apologized and said that further publication is stopped at the request of the power structures of the USSR and those who want to repeat this setting the field of creativity unlimitedly.
It is strictly forbidden to supply water directly from the tap to the reactor. it contains chlorine, which instantly poisons the catalyst of the second reactor, the same applies to the gas, which contains impurities of sulfur and active organic substances. In my setup, I used distilled water and monoethanolamine gas cleaning, all this gives a good result. After a more detailed study of the original article, there appeared a lot of inaccuracies that we will consider later.

Let us now turn to the consideration of changes in the schematic diagram of the apparatus along the nodes:

Figure 1 (a) - Changed scheme of the apparatus

The 1st stage - as it was said before, gas and water must be purified (household filter, even better than a distiller), so as not to immediately poison catalysts 2 and 6 of the reactors. More precisely, to maintain the ratio of pairs: gas, as 2: 1. There should not be a return of unreacted products in the 1 st stage.

2nd stage - methane conversion starts at t ~ = 400 ° С, but at such low t ° С the low percentage of converted gas, the most optimal t = 700 ° С, it is desirable to control it with the help of a thermocouple.

Refrigerator 4-I recommend for each stage to make your own, this will facilitate the t-adjustment in the future and not use a coil for these purposes.

After the reactor and the refrigerator in the installation there is a pressure gauge (10) and a pressure relief valve (11) adjusted to a pressure of 25-35 atm (the choice of pressure depends on the degree of catalyst wear). It is better to use two compressors from the refrigerator to inject sufficient pressure of synthesis gas.

Condenser-8 advise do not cylindrical shape, and conical (this is done to reduce the area of ​​evaporation of methanol) and with a window to control the level of methanol. The reacted products are fed from the top of the cone with the help of a tube (y) f8mm. The tube is lowered into the conical vessel below the throttling tap (P) by 10 mm. The unreacted synthesis gas is discharged through a tube (x) f5mm which is welded into the top of the cone, the outgoing gas is burned through this tube at its end, to prevent the flame from leaving the conical vessel, the end of the tube is filled with copper wire. The level of methanol is maintained at 2/3 of the total height of the vessel, for this it is better to make a transparent window. To ensure 100% safety, it is possible to equip the output wick with a thermocouple, at the signal of which (due to the absence of flame), the gas supply to the unit automatically closes, any regulator from modern gas stoves is suitable for these purposes.

All of the above is presented in the form of a functional scheme, implemented on the basis of kitchen implements: