Our KOH Experience:
READ EVERY THING BEFORE YOU BEGIN!!!!!!
Remember with all of this our real goal is to distill the methanol from the glycerin using
the methanol distillation method from our website. Check out our progress on the web.
Remember: when a different catalyst is used, a different glycerin is the product.
This became apparent the first time we tried to use our Lye glycerin methanol removal
method on our KOH glycerin. Check out the end of this document for the story.
Basically, our experience using KOH Glycerin is that burning the methanol off is a bad
idea. (again, read the story)
So instead, we heat the glycerin to 150°F. 64oz of glycerin (we’ve used 32oz yogurt
containers for measurement) in a wide shallow pan will take about 4 minutes to heat.
We don’t do more glycerin at a time because methanol is heavier than air and will catch
on fire if there is flame underneath it. So instead we boil the methanol out.
We keep the glycerin at a constant 150°F so that the methanol will evaporate (yes, toxic,
yuck. We’re working on the distillation method)
When the glycerin begins to rise above 150°F and reaches 180°F, we are finding that the
methanol is gone. We continue heating it and after a few minutes we turn the heat down
from a high heat to a low/med heat. The glycerin also begins to act differently. It is more
viscous and gets a creamy layer on the top of the boil. When the temperature remains at
180° for 10 minutes we are ready for soap making.
And Now for…
The first time we tried to distill the methanol off of our very own KOH
glycerin, we tried to burn the methanol off. This is what we had been doing
with our lye glycerin. Why not with our KOH glycerin too?
We soon found out…
All went as usual for the first 5 minutes, the glycerin was hot, there were
clear flames the same way the lye glycerin will do. But after a few minutes
the flames became darker, richer, more red.
“Ooh, look at the pretty sparks in the flames”
(this is because of potassium broken off of the potassium hydroxide and left
in the glycerin after the reaction. Pure potassium acts with sparking to both
water and fire)
“Why is this taking so long to go out?”
(because the glycerin is BURNING Sillies!)
another10 minutes goes bye
“Hmm, this smells different.”
“Its smoking more than usual.”
“Maybe it will go out soon.”
We turn the stove off and leave the glycerin flaming. The flame is still dark
and easy to see and Really Beautiful.
5-10 minutes later, when suddenly
The glycerin is black and starting to puff up out of the turkey pan.
A black globby HOT mass reaching for us.
“Put the THING OUT”
after 2 tries, we finally smothered it.
And it smoked.
It smoked a terrible dark grey mass of nasty toxic smoke. We took it away
and kept it covered until it cooled.
What was left? A tar like substance of hot hard blackness.
Because, we are not a wasteful bunch over here, we even experiemented a
little with the usability of this…thing.
and We gave up on IT.
“Maybe in a hundred million years it will turn into something useful.”