Author Topic: disposable ghetto condenser  (Read 14441 times)

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  • Guest
disposable ghetto condenser
« on: October 01, 2004, 08:06:00 AM »
After looking at these condenser plans:

Post 28988 (missing)

(simonsays7: "Home made reflux condenser", Chemicals & Equipment)

I was curious as to whether or not a 2 liter Pepsi bottle, with a hole cut in each end the same size as SWIM's cook hose, then filled with ice, slid onto the hose before the reaction vessel was clamped in place, and then duct taped on to prevent water leakage would be an acceptable contraption to use as a condenser.  When SWIM is done with it, just toss the whole shooting match into the burn barrel and be done with it.  No paraphernalia laying about and no fragile glass for SWIM to trip over and break with his big ol' feet.

Is this idea a keeper or not?


  • Guest
dead horse
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2004, 08:16:00 AM »
Spoke with someone who says dwarfer has already attemped this, and it worked but was heavy and water condensed from the ice melting which sounds to me like its just as bad as leakage, so it might just be beating a dead horse.  Can't kill a bee for trying!


  • Guest
There is an easier way, proven many times...
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2004, 01:17:00 PM »
...and that is first-hand, SWIX can verify many successful dreams...

WARNING: like many clandstine procedures this is dangerous as the equipment is not stardard lab equipment but improvised instead, meaning it is not tested (unless you test it...good idea) and so take precautions and always put safety first!!!!!

Take one wine bottle, drink wine. Sober up, or, for the more adventureous, just jump str8 into the mission... Now the bottle type must be the thick-walled type wine bottles. Most are, but bee careful the odd ones are just thin glass like spirit bottles and these will shatter(!) Get some cloth-type tape. Normal vinyl/plastic tape will not work, it stretches/goes soft when bottle gets hot and slides off bottle. So tape with cloth content will withstand heat. Take couple meters ~8mm plastic tubing, coil around bottle, beginning ~4 inches above bottom. Keep coils together, wind on all the way to the top while taping on to prevent uncoiling. Cover whole coil in bit more tape to ensure it strong enough. Take another couple meters ~8mm tubing and jam one end in 1 inch piece ~13mm tubing. This then plugs into bottle (should be tight seal). 8mm tubing goes str8 up above bottle 1 meter or so then to whatever vent/system you want to do. Bottle goes in pot of oil on element. Temp is taken up *VERY SLOWLY* and never ever above a slow bubbling of rxn in bottle. 1.5 - 4 hours is usual for hypo, 4 - 8 for I/RP, depending on size of rxn quality of reagents etc.

Whoops forgot to add that water goes thru the tubing coiled around the bottle. If you hadn't figured that out already...


Afterwards dismantle and dispose of the bottle. SWIX used to like the fact that SWIX could walk into supermarket, spend $200 on jars dH2O matches wine paper towels etc etc and when finished whole lot goes into rubbish and no evidence (as long as rubbish carefully disposed of of course).

One last point: testing glass strength is pretty easy. Build it, put it on with just water in it and boil the water vigourously in the oil bath. If it doesn't develop cracks (or just outright shatter) you got a winner. Apart from the time I/RP was mixed and the bottom dropped out, SWIX has had 100% success.

8)  8)  8)


  • Guest
The trouble wit getto shit you dont get the...
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2004, 01:21:00 PM »
The trouble wit getto shit you dont get the straight pooop............... a soutable size copper addapter then a suitable size cooling zakeckt will do sufice just check the safrol FAQ OK>!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Guest
Cost of trade-off...
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2004, 02:52:00 PM »
Yes I agree quality can be an issue, primarily because one cannot distil the product so solvent clean-up only. So you gotta get good at that. Even then it still don't compare to distilled stuff - although you can get pretty close IMHO.

Although UTFSE and there will be a ghetto steam distiller in there somewhere probably that might do the damage, if you a bit of a MacGyver in the 'ole workshop....  ;)

Of course nothing compares to the proper equipment that is designed intended for the purpose, but hey, circumventing risk or just plain necessity are the realms of the clan chemist huh...


  • Guest
The problem is that plastictubing doesnt ...
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2004, 05:43:00 AM »
The problem is that plastictubing doesnt transport heat well.
So if you go to make something like the described condensors it would be advantageous to use thin walled tubing or glass.
A metaltube with a thin coating of chemical resistant paint insides is easy and better than plastic or glass - cheap and disposable (test with HCl vapor for being sure).

Of course a condensor doesnt need flowing water, a sufficent large reservoir of water where the condensor is immersed in is ok, the main problem being weight.


  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2004, 05:33:00 PM »
SWIX tried something like that once, just reservoir of water, worked for little while but gradually water warmed up and reflux moved higher and higher. Even the bottle method the plastic tubing out the top gets too hot really but it still worked. Sometimes had to turn it off, let all heat dissapate, then restart because it can boil for something like an hour before the heat climbs up to the top again. That really drags the time out too. I agree metal tubing would operate better, but maybe a little more tedious to work with, dunno. But then you can actually cut the tape at the bottom and slide the whole coiled tubing system off in one piece as the tape on the outside holds it together, so you can keep it. So only have to make once from metal then keep it, good as. Just slide it on to new bottles. SWIX did with plastic coils sometimes, but usually threw away due to tape/plastic containing way too much forensic evidence.


  • Guest
works, or so it seems
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 06:12:00 AM »
SWIM is looking, but no luck as of yet on obtaining a real condenser.  So he has tried a couple ideas with some success.  Probably the best was he took 2 re-freezeable ice bags, (the kind that you put in your lunchbox or cooler)which seemed to do the trick, crude, but effective and no condensation.  SWIM just taped them together on either side of the cook hose.  If you experiment with this, remember that (SWIM almost stepped on his dick here)as they melt, they lose thier shape and may slide down the hose or fall off.  SWIM just happened to be looking in the right direction when his were about to fall. (even a blind pig finds an occasional turnip)  More worried about them knocking something over than falling.  As a fix, SWIM has taped them around a section of old hose when they were all thawed out, and is freezing them that way. Maybe today's road trip will find us a real unit and we wont need to see if it works.  Noticed that the hose discoloration all but stops at that spot..thats what we want, is it not?  How about air cooled?  SWIM was thinking about setting up the rig close to the AC unit and making a cardboard "hood" (beer box with a hole on each side, stick the hose through the holes and slide the open side over the face of the AC unit)for the hose and just turning the unit on.  I mean, the purpose of the condenser is just to get all the gas that leaves the vessel to reconstitute (rehydrate, reform...shit, can't think of the right word here)to a fluid and essentially "rain" back into the reaction flask, is that not correct?  Looking at the plans, it doesnt look like anything more than a water-filled jacket for cooling purposes, much like the old WWII .30 caliber machine guns.


  • Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004, 08:03:00 PM »
'Condense' was the word you were looking for, as in condenser...  :-[

Hey that ice-bag still sounds pretty dodgy, I think you right about them knocking things over and also the high heat on the plastic below them not good.

Tellin ya the bottle is DIY perfect... but oh well good luck finding the real deal anyway always much better of course...


  • Guest
two fluroescent tubes, different diameters,...
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2004, 10:38:00 PM »
two fluroescent tubes, different diameters, one slid into the other one, adn the holes sealed with silicon glue (not very effective as tried) or cork, makes a rediculoulsy big 1m long condensor that can be shoved into any bottle via a cork stopper, to maintain reflux, or, as a condensor for distillation if you can orient the tube at a 45 degree angle, but have not found the easiest way to attach this to the cork stopper in the bottle yet.


  • Guest
Jebus H Cripes
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2004, 04:52:00 AM »


  • Guest
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2004, 01:36:00 PM »


  • Guest
SHORTY's 48" flouro tube
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2004, 04:25:00 PM »

Post 481459

(SHORTY: "Speaking of ghetto condensers....", Stimulants)

This works and is easy as hell to construct. A rubber stopper can be used to secure the condenser to flask and to insure no leaks.

It is a simple air condenser.  I think was WizardX who said that it could be made more effective with the addition of some aluminum foil folded around it in a T shape.  For the rxn's SHORTY normaly discusses (5-15gs E in a LWR) he says it works fine without the foil.


  • Guest
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2004, 01:39:00 PM »
Sorry about that.  I am of course well aware of the no sources rule here.  But I guess I never considered that site as a "source".  But I guess it certainly would be.
  Apologies all around.


  • Guest
flourescent tubes?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2004, 01:45:00 PM »
Flourescent tubes are too fragile to support themselves as condensers. You can use a small diameter flourescent tube as the inside glass tube of a liebig style condenser IF you make end pieces of suitable material that the tube can pass through, and use the end pieces to attach the whole to a flask.

I did this with a pvc outer jacket, a pvc reducer/adapter that dropped the pipe size from the 1 1/2" water jacket to a   3/4" o.d. pvc pipe. I used a two inch piece of the 3/4" pvc pipe on each end of the water jacket. I reamed each short piece of pipe out with a 11/16" drill bit so the 5/8" glass tube would pass inside them at each end, and fitted the glass in place with a thin layer of epoxy. The PVC protected the glass from breakage when inserting the condenser into the stopper, etc. (Metrics not used because parts purchased were SAE, rather than metric.)

It is much easier to just buy a condenser.