Antique Glass Distillation Column again Operational

Dr. Dan Gulino has officially been declared the CHME Tinkerer.  With ~$15K of Equipment Renewal funds provided by NMSU, Dr. Gulino has completely refurbished the old column that many CHME alumni used to learn about vapor-liquid equliibrium and staged separations.

The column existed in the lab upon my arrival in 1995.  I am unsure when it was procured by the department.  Any alumni having information on this history are encouraged to contact Dr. Rockstraw and share your knowledge.

During the process of getting the glass adapter and reboiler designed, Dr. Gulino sent photos of the column to the Southeastern Glass (a company that did my glass work at Ethyl Corp in Orangeburg, SC back in the late 1980s).  Dr. Gulino describes the SE Glass rep as an old-timer with a storehouse of knowledge who indicated that he thought the column probably dated from the 1980s and that it was probably donated by Union Carbide.  I welcome email to corroborate or correct this story.

The column is now covered with insulation (to permit near adiabatic operation), and has sucessfully been used to enrich a methanol/water mixture.

insulation1  insulation2  insulation3 refractometer2 refractometer3

The analysis of stage concentrations will be performed using a new refractomter (shown), for which a calibration curve will be generated.


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