About the same time that Adam introduced the important improvement just described, M. Solimani, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Central School of the Gironde, contrived to obtain the same results by a different method. The principle upon which his invention is based is, that water to exist in the state of vapour requires a temperature of 212° Fahr., whilst alcohol boils at about 1650 ; and that if a mixture of the two vapours be exposed to any tem perature between these two points, a portion of the watery vapour will be condensed, which will be greater in proportion as the temperature is below 2120. The annexed figure represents Solimani's still, as improved by Curadau. a is the door of the furnace ; b the ash-pit; c the boiler, with a large cylindrical head d; e the exit tube for the vapours, connected by a union joint to the worm f in the tub g. This tub is filled with water, which is to be maintained at a temperature depending upon the strength of the spirit required, and the spirituous vapour that passes upwards through the worm f along the tube h, then descends through the worm i s surrounded with wine, in the vessel k, where it becomes condensed. The liquid spirit then runs through another worm:, surrounded by cold water, which completely cools it before it is discharged by the pipe a into the recipient o. To prevent the water in the tub g from becoming too hot by the passage of the heated vapours through the worm f, and to preserve it at an even temperature, cold water from an elevated cistern is introduced at the bottom by a pipe p, the quantity being regulated by a stop-cock; and the wine which surrounds the worm i i in the tub k is supplied from a vessel above, by means of the pipe g. This wine in the course of distillation grows hot : it is therefore used to charge the still as often as the former charge is worked off, and the spent wine drawn off by the cock t; and as it is economical to take of the hottest portion, the cock q is opened, when the cold wine from the cistern above enters at the bottom of k, and forces the upper or heated portion along the pipe u into the boiler of the still. The spirituous vapours formed in the to k are conducted by the head r and the curved neck a into the worm f, where it takes the course of the vapours which proceed from the still. The tub es is kept as cold as possible by an ingenious contrivance of M. Curadau. A number of spiral pipes surround the tub on the inside, the ends of only two of which are shewn in the figure to avoid confusion. Now, as the upper part of the tub is always the warmest, a current of air is produced in thesepipes, which serves to cool the water in which they are placed. The worm being surrounded with a medium of about 1800 Fahr. returns to the still the greater portion of the watery part of the vapours, so that by this apparatus spirits of great strength may be obtained at a single operation.
Berard's Improved saa This invention consisted in the application of a lofty neck and head to the body of a common still, which, being exposed to the cooling influence of the air, a considerable condensation took place in those parts, but the liquor thus re-formed was not permitted to run back immediately into the boiler, but to fall upon partitions with raised ledges, so that the ascending vapour had to traverse over the successive layers of fluid in the partitions, and became for the most part condensed in its passage, only the strongest or purest spirit passing beyond the head.
Instead of a more particular description of Berard's method, we shall proceed to the notice of Mr. Derome's still, in which the method is introduced with
considerable improvements. This apparatus consists of seven vessels or parts, performing seoffices : namely, a boiler A ; a distilling column B C; a rectifieator C condenser I Q; a refrigerator p; and a reservoir a; in which the supply from another vessel U is regulated. It is considered prefer able to have two coppers like that at A, set in the masonry close to each other, so that the heated air from the burning fuel under one copper may be conducted under the other. Two communications are also to be made between the two coppers, the first by a pipe proceeding from the bottom of A to the upper part of the other; the second by another pipe rising from the top of the latter, (not represented) and descending through the top of A to the bottom of the vessel, to carry all the vapour generated underneath the liquid therein. At a b is a glass tube to show the exact height of the liquid in the copper. The interior of the distillery column, B C where the separation of the alcohol takes place, is full of shelves perforated with small holes, through which the vapour from A neces sarily passes as it ascends, and comes in contact with the wine or liquid to be distilled, that passes through the same apertures ; both the wine and the spire are thus retarded in their progress, and become intimately mixed. The small tube c d is of glass to show the state of the process going forward in the rec tificator C C, which is only an extension upwards of the column beneath, containing similar perforated shelves, and provided with a glass tube e f to show the state of the process in this part. The vapour rising to the top of the rectificator passes out through the neck H into a long worm, coiled horizontally in the condenser I Q, which is a copper cylinder. This vessel contains wine that becomes healed by passing through the worm. To collect the spirit that becomes condensed in the worm, the lower side of each coil has an opening into a short tube, of which there are as many as there are coils to the worm. To these tubes there are cocks, to draw off, as may be required, the products of any or all of them (the most distant from the rectificator being of course the strongest spirit,) either into the refrigeratory, by the upper long inclined tube represented, or by the lower one back again into the rectificator for a second rectification. The condenser is divided into two chambers, by a partition o, with a communication between them at the lower part ; there are also three manholes closed by lids M N 0 in the condenser, for the convenience of having it cleaned ; and it has a cock F to draw off its contents. The wine is constantly supplied to the condenser by the pipe K L, and as constantly flows off by the tube D E. p constitutes the refngeratory or cooler, and is also a copper cylinder containing a worm, that receives the condensed vapours through the pipe I in, and delivers the cooled product through the opening V. The cooler is constantly supplied with cold wine by the pipe R, which enters at the bottom of the vessel, and the wine passes off at the top of the vessel by the pipe K L into the condenser I Q. W is a cock, to empty the cooler ; S is the reservoir which contains the wine; it has a cock p, by the opening of which the quantity of wine to be supplied to the apparatus is regulated; and in order that this may be equal, the liquid is kept at a uniform height by means of a ball cock gT, the pipe to which is connected with the principal reservoir, which, for example, may be the vessel U.