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Author: Subject: Distillation and steam distillation apparatus
The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 07:40
Distillation and steam distillation apparatus


Distillation and steam distillation apparatus:
Over the weekend I stayed at someone's cabin, and they had a percolator. has anyone ever used one for distillation? It seems to me if you popped cinnamon in where the coffee grounds or tea would go, you could use it as a steam distillation rig, and get cinnamaldehyde where the brewed coffee would be made. Just a thought. Has this been done before? Percolators seem like useful chemistry apparatus.




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blogfast25
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 11:57


The term 'percolator' conjures up quite a few similar but different devices. Which type did you mean?



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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 13:41


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
The term 'percolator' conjures up quite a few similar but different devices. Which type did you mean?

From what I can tell, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_percolator
The one I saw had the coffee at the bottom, with a water bath beneath, which steamed it, going up a tube to the upper half, where it would condense.

Like this one in shape.

[Edited on 5-26-2014 by The Volatile Chemist]




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Metacelsus
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 13:59


That looks more like a Soxhlet extractor (with no siphon) than a steam distillation apparatus.

[Edited on 26-5-2014 by Cheddite Cheese]




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DrAldehyde
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 16:29


Speaking from experience, that is known as a Cuban coffee pot in some circles




http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.espresso-mach...

image.jpg - 13kB
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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 18:09


That's exactly what I meant Dr.Ald. ! What's your opinion on how they'd wwork as a steam disillation unit?



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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 18:36


If you would have used:

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/search.php?fid=5

you should have found:

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=5950

which should answer most if not all of your questions :P The attached document might be helpful as well :D The end results from the effort applied :cool:

Attachment: SteamDistillation.pdf (792kB)
This file has been downloaded 439 times





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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 18:50


Sorry, this is not a UTFSE situation. I guess you don't understand that we are talking about the usage of a COFFEE making device as a chemistry tool, not just discussing steam distillation.



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DrAldehyde
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 07:10


It wouldn't work for steam distillation. The unit boils water, which is forced up the tube as liquid. They make great espresso though.
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 07:26


^^^ Wouldn't cutting off the tube to a place above the water level solve that issue?
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 12:34


Quote:
Sorry, this is not a UTFSE situation. I guess you don't understand that we are talking about the usage of a COFFEE making device as a chemistry tool, not just discussing steam distillation.


Using Wikipedia should have found:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_distillation

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percolation

and thus answered these queries :) The extraction of cinnamon is discussed in the attached document which was found freely online using Google :P The end results from the effort applied :cool:


Attachment: Practical_Flavoring_Extract_Maker.pdf (1.4MB)
This file has been downloaded 227 times

[Edited on 27-5-2014 by leu]




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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 13:01


Volatile chemist:

I think that would work. I have one of those, they're very popular in Italy (where I lived for a few years), to make expresso coffee.

Once the water in the lower compartment boils, a mixture of steam and boiling water is forced up the tube and through the ground coffee and into the upper compartment, extracting the drinkable coffee extract from the ground coffee.

While not perfect I think it could be used as a simple steam distillation apparatus. Only one way to find out...

@leu: the question was specifically about this percolator, not about steam distillation or cinnaldehyde in general.

[Edited on 27-5-2014 by blogfast25]

[Edited on 27-5-2014 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 15:38


Percolating coffee pots use steam generation to carry a mix of hot water and steam to the top of the pot where the boiling water & condensate fall back onto the coffee grounds and extract the soluble matter from the grounds.

That's not what you want from a steam generator - you want just steam. In fact I often use a "steam trap" following my steam generator (a pressure cooker) just to remove condensate from the steam.

Is what you are proposing any different, in principal, from a regular percolating coffee pot?




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[*] posted on 28-5-2014 at 11:50


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
That's not what you want from a steam generator - you want just steam. In fact I often use a "steam trap" following my steam generator (a pressure cooker) just to remove condensate from the steam.



In what way would some hot water affect the extraction though?




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[*] posted on 28-5-2014 at 14:01


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
That's not what you want from a steam generator - you want just steam. In fact I often use a "steam trap" following my steam generator (a pressure cooker) just to remove condensate from the steam.



In what way would some hot water affect the extraction though?


Hot water would be great for extraction as in making coffee, or as the OP suggests, extracting other soluble material from some substrate like cinnamon. I just don't see the point of trying to use such a device for "distillation." I suppose it could be used with some modification for steam distillation. I usually prefer to do steam distillation by injecting dry steam, however, as it is more efficient.




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[*] posted on 29-5-2014 at 09:25


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
That's not what you want from a steam generator - you want just steam. In fact I often use a "steam trap" following my steam generator (a pressure cooker) just to remove condensate from the steam.



In what way would some hot water affect the extraction though?


Hot water would be great for extraction as in making coffee, or as the OP suggests, extracting other soluble material from some substrate like cinnamon. I just don't see the point of trying to use such a device for "distillation." I suppose it could be used with some modification for steam distillation. I usually prefer to do steam distillation by injecting dry steam, however, as it is more efficient.

Right. I guess I misused the term steam distillation.
As a side note, percolators are different than standard coffee makers.




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[*] posted on 29-5-2014 at 09:40


There are subtle differences between using steam to extract something and hot water (even mixed with steam). There are about a dozen or more common methods of extracting compounds from organic material: steam distillations, percolations, continuous extractions, soxhlets, supercritical extractions, liquid solvent extractions, etc... Each has differences in what compounds it removes and what compounds stay behind, as does the solvent used (if other than water/steam), the temperature, the time, etc.

For instance, you would not want to use hot water to decaffinate coffee, as it would remove all of the "coffee" flavor as well. but supercritical extraction does a pretty good job of removing the caffeine without all of the flavors (note, I will prefer regular coffee). So depending on that task at hand, each method may produce a different mixture of materials extracted. The trick to becoming a good scientist to to either research which method is best or do the experiments needed to find it. In natural product extractions, often one method will bring a particular component out better than others and with less other materials contaminating it.
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