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Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

These are various style condensers for many different applications.

Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby ZeroGee » Tue May 28, 2013 12:03 pm

Give an engineer enough free time and he'll come up with an inventive idea. At least, that's what Thomas Edison said when questioned about some of his employees' paid time off.

A month or two ago, someone commented about not getting enough vapor turbulence in the cooling tubes of standard shotgun and Liebig condensers used with pot stills. Someone offered a method of denting the side walls of the internal tubes and another suggested working out a strand of SS scrubber and pulling it down the tube. Both are excellent ideas, but I'd like to add another: a coil of AWG 10 or 12 solid core copper wire, like that used in household wiring, wrapped around a dowel (about a quarter-inch diameter smaller than the internal diameter of the tube) at about one wrap every inch or so for the length of the tube and solder at each end to hold it in place. Cheap, easy and provides vortex-like turbulence.

Prepare the wire by removing any insulating lacquer (light sanding or lacquer thinner), wash/wipe clean and rinse with white vinegar. Any remaining lacquer will show up after the vinegar treatment. Although the coil need not touch the side walls of the tube, compressing the coil slightly after forming will ensure touch along the length of the tube and minimize rattling.

Not my idea, actually; got it from an Archimedes screw pump.
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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby brantoken » Tue May 28, 2013 12:51 pm

I like it.....
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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby punkin » Tue May 28, 2013 4:15 pm

I would worry about how much liquid was being held up in the condensor if non vertical.
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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby ZeroGee » Tue May 28, 2013 5:06 pm

punkin wrote:I would worry about how much liquid was being held up in the condensor if non vertical.
ZeroGee wrote:Although the coil need not touch the side walls of the tube, compressing the coil slightly after forming will ensure touch along the length of the tube and minimize rattling.
The coil will be loose enough to allow drainage even at 45 degrees tilt. Tilting the shotgun will hold up some liquid at the top, regardless of the coil.

Let me edit:
"Although the coil need not touch the side walls of the tube, compressing the coil slightly after forming will ensure [some] touch along the length of the tube and minimize rattling."

Hope that helps.
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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby ZeroGee » Tue May 28, 2013 11:51 pm

Another alternative turbulence creator is a ball chain that can be hung inside the internal condenser tubes. These can be anything from a single chain attached at both ends for those who require tipping the shotgun or Liebig condensers, to several chains connected together at both ends and suspended from a shaped wire soldered or brazed across the tube diameter. They needn't be tightly suspended.

These are the chains used as lanyards for dog tags, key chains, fishing swivels and even toilet tank flapper valve chains. They are made in several materials including stainless steel and copper and are both strong and durable. There are a number of connectors, clips and hooks made for each size and material. They are also used for jewelry and as hanging curtains for space dividers.

Check them out at http://www.ballchain.com/. I believe this is the original US manufacturer. They're also available on rolls at most of the big box hardware stores.

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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby hambwild » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:35 pm

or how about using a tubing with a spiral flute on the interior of the tube?
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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby ZeroGee » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:07 am

No reason why it shouldn't. The idea is to induce turbulence in the vapor to ensure contact with the cooler sidewalls of the cooling tube(s).

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Re: Shotgun/Liebig Turbulator

Postby Sambedded » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:08 pm

Turbulence required only for cooling water. Walls in a vapor path should be smooth to allow fast removing of liquid from them.
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