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Getting methyl alcohol in the kitchen

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Getting methyl alcohol in the kitchen

general description

The liquid obtained using this description is methanol (methyl alcohol).

Pure methanol is used as a solvent and as a high-octane additive to motor fuel, as well 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, serves many times longer than when using conventional gasoline, its power increases by 20% (at a constant working volume of the engine). The exhaust of the engine operating on this fuel is environmentally friendly and when tested for toxicity there are practically no harmful substances.

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

Process Chemistry:

We will not go deep into the options of chemical processes and for simplicity of calculations we will assume that under normal conditions (20 ° С, and 760 mm Hg) methane is used to produce synthesis gas using the following formula:

2CH 4 + O 2 -> 2CO + 4H 2 + 16.1 kcal,
44.8 l of carbon monoxide and 89.6 l of hydrogen come out of 44.8 l of methane and 22.4 l of oxygen, and then methanol is obtained from these gases using the formula:

CO + 2H 2 <=> CH 3 OH
from 22.4 l of carbon monoxide and 44.8 l of hydrogen it turns out: 12g (C) + 3g (H) + 16g (O) + 1g (H) = 32 g of methanol.

So, according to the laws of arithmetic, 32 g of methanol comes out of 22.4 liters of methane or approximately: 1.5 kg of 100% methanol (2 liters) is synthesized from 1 cubic meter of methane. In reality, due to the low efficiency in living conditions, from 1 cubic meter. natural gas will be less than 1 liter of the final product (for this option, this is the limit - 1 l / h!).
In mid-2003, the price of 1 cubic meter. domestic gas in Russia is 42 kopecks. Considering that methyl alcohol is twice as bad as gasoline in terms of its heating value, we get an equivalent price equal to 84 kopecks and, finally, we round it down to 1 rub. for other expenses - email. en, water, catalysts, gas purification, - which is an order of magnitude cheaper than gasoline and means, - "worth of money is worth the candle" in any case!
The price of this fuel does not include the cost of installation (when switching to alternative types of fuels, a self-repayment period is always required), in this case the price will vary from 5 to 50 thousand rubles, depending on performance, process automation and whose forces will be manufactured. When self-assembly, it will cost at least 2, and max.10 thousand rubles, mostly money will go to turning and welding, as well as to the preparation of compressors (it is possible from a faulty refrigerator, it will be cheaper) and the materials from which this unit is assembled.

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

The principle of operation and operation of the apparatus

Tap water is connected to the “water inlet” (15) and, passing on, is divided into two streams: one stream (cleaned from impurities by the filter) and through the faucet (14) and the hole (C) enters the mixer (1), and the other the stream through the faucet (4) and the hole (G) goes to the refrigerator (3), passing through which water, cooling the synthesis gas and methanol condensate, goes through the hole (S).

Household natural gas, purified from impurities of sulfur and odorous odorants, is connected to the gas inlet pipeline (16). Next, the gas enters the mixer (1) through the hole (B), in which, mixed with water vapor, 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 hole (B) into the reactor (2).
Reactor (2) is filled with catalyst No. 1, mass fraction of metals: 25% NiO (nickel) and 60% Al2O3 (aluminum), the rest 15% CaO (neg. Lime) and other impurities, catalyst activity - residual volume fraction of methane during conversion with steam of hydrocarbon gas (methane), completely free of sulfur compounds containing methane not less than 90%, with a volume ratio of Steam: gas = 2: 1, not more than:

at 500 ° С - 37%
at 700 ° C - 5%.

In the reactor, the formation of synthesis gas occurs under the influence of a temperature of about 700 ° C, obtained by heating the burner (13). Next, the heated synthesis gas enters through the opening (E) into the refrigerator (W), 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 hole (M) enters the compressor (5), which can be used as a compressor from any domestic refrigerator. Next, compressed synthesis gas with a pressure of 5-10 atm. through the hole (H) 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 vapors are formed. The temperature in the reactor should not exceed 270 ° C, which can be controlled with a thermometer (7) and adjusted with a faucet (4). It is desirable to maintain the temperature in the range of 200-250 ° C, it is possible and lower. Then methanol vapors and unreacted synthesis gas through the opening (P) exit the reactor (6) and through the opening (L) enter the refrigerator (W), where methanol vapor is condensed and through the opening (K) exit the refrigerator. Next, the condensate and unreacted synthesis gas enter through the opening (U) into the condenser (8), where ready methanol accumulates, which leaves the condenser through the opening (P) and tap (9) into any container.

The hole (T) in the condenser (8) is used to install the pressure gauge (10), which is necessary to control the pressure in the condenser. It is maintained within 5-10 atmospheres or more mainly with the help of a faucet (11) and partially with a faucet (9). Hole (X) and faucet (11) are needed to exit the unreacted synthesis gas from the condenser, which is recycled back to the mixer (1) through the hole (A), but experience has shown that the output gases should be burned in the wick, and not run back into the system, it reduces efficiency, but greatly simplifies setup. The faucet (9) is adjusted so that clean liquid methanol is continuously released without gas. It will be better if the level of methanol in the condenser increases, than decreases. But the most optimal case is when the level of methanol is constant (which can be controlled by the built-in glass or some other method). The faucet (14) is adjusted so that there is no water in methanol, and in the mixer steam is formed, better less than more. 5>

Starting the machine

Open access of gas, water (14) is still closed, the burners (12), (13) are working. The tap (4) is fully open, the compressor (5) is on, the tap (9) is closed, the tap (11) is fully open.

Then open the tap (14) of the water, and the tap (11) regulate the desired pressure in the condenser, controlling it with a pressure gauge (10). But in no case do not close the faucet (11) completely !!! Then, after five minutes, the temperature in the reactor (6) is adjusted to 200-250 ° С by a crane (14) and a lighted burner (21). After that, the burner (21) is quenched, it is needed only for preheating, as methanol is synthesized with heat. Then they slightly open the cock (9), from which the methanol jet should go. If it goes all the time - open the faucet (9) a little more, if methanol is mixed with gas - open the faucet (14). In general, the more performance you set up the device, the better. You can check the water content in methanol with an alcohol meter. Methanol density = 0.793 g / cm 3 .

This unit is preferably made of stainless steel or iron. All parts are made of pipes, copper tubes 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 must be equal to 240 mm, and Y, respectively, 60 mm. 240/60 = 4. The more turns fit in the fridge on the other side, the better. All faucets are applied from gas-welding torches. Instead of faucets (9) and (11), you can use pressure reducing valves from household gas cylinders or capillary tubes from domestic 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 home-made auto fuel was published in several issues of the journal Priority, 1992-93:
No. 1-2 - general information on the production of methanol from natural gas.
№ 3-4 - drawings of the installation for processing methane to methanol.
No. 5-6 - installation, security measures, controls, instructions for switching on the equipment.

Figure 1 - Schematic diagram of the apparatus

Figure 2 - Mixer

Figure 3 - Reactor

Figure 4 - Refrigerator

Figure 5 - Capacitor

Figure 6 - Reactor

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

Accidentally in a search engine I stumbled upon your publication and became very interested in its contents. After a brief introduction, inaccuracies made by the author immediately surfaced. Information about "methanol" was published in the journal "Priority" for 1991, 92, 93. , but the completely finished project was never published (the promised catalysts for subscribers were squeezed in). In these numbers were reactor designs with electrical control circuit and cooler design, after which Mr. Waks (the author of the article) apologized politely and said that further publication was stopped at the request of the security forces of the USSR and those who want to repeat this installation are unlimited.
It is strictly prohibited to supply water directly from the tap to the reactor. it contains chlorine, which instantly poison the catalyst of the 2nd reactor, the same applies to gas, which contains impurities of sulfur and active organic substances. In my installation, I used distilled water and monoethanolamine gas cleaning, all this gives a good result. After a more detailed study of the original article, many inaccuracies have surfaced that will be considered a little later.

Let us turn to the consideration of changes in the concept of apparatus by nodes:

Figure 1 (a) - Modified layout

Stage 1 - as mentioned earlier, gas and water must be cleaned (with a household filter, even better with a distiller), so as not to poison the catalysts of reactors 2 and 6 immediately. It is more accurate to adhere to the steam: gas ratio, as 2: 1. There should be no return of unreacted products to the 1st stage.

2nd stage - methane conversion begins at t ~ = 400 ° C, but at such a low t ° C a low percentage of the converted gas, the most optimal t = 700 ° C, is desirable to be controlled with a thermocouple.

Refrigerator 4 is recommended for each stage to make your own, this will further facilitate t-adjustment and not use a coil for this purpose.

After the reactor and the refrigerator in the installation, there is a pressure gauge (10) and a reduction 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 synthesis gas pressure.

Condenser-8 I advise you to make not a cylindrical shape, but a conical one (this is done to reduce the evaporation area of ​​methanol) and with a window to monitor the level of methanol. The reacted products are supplied on top of the cone with the help of a tube (y) f8mm. The tube is lowered into a conical vessel below the throttling outlet (P) by 10 mm. Unreacted synthesis gas is discharged through a tube (x) f5mm which is welded to the top of the cone, the outgoing gas is burned through this tube at its end, to prevent the flame from leaving the cone vessel, the end of the tube is filled with copper wire. The level of methanol is maintained 2/3 of the total height of the vessel, for this it is better to make a transparent window. To ensure 100% security, you can equip the output wick with a thermocouple, at the signal of which (due to the absence of flame) the gas supply to the installation is automatically shut off, for this purpose any regulator from modern gas stoves will do.

All of the above is presented in the form of a functional diagram implemented on the basis of kitchen equipment: