Karrick Process Apparatus
Country: United States
Date: June 2008
I want to build a scale Karrick LTC, but cannot find any
blueprints or instructions. . . ideas?
It would be difficult to build a working scale version of a Karrick
processor because it has many parts, and the temperatures are many hundreds
of degrees. Actual blueprints would not help because they would be drawn
for the peculiarities of a real, large refinery, and the relative sizes of
parts to make a working miniature version would be different.
Now, if you would like to build a non-working model to look at, I would
suggest actually not doing that. Instead, it would be better to learn about
the process, or to make drawings of a processor with interesting comments
that explain how it works. There are drawings on the Internet but they are
difficult to understand and drawings that better explain the parts would
be useful for other students.
Some web sites have much information about how the process occurs, and
there is a lot of interesting things that go on, especially when looking at
the temperatures used, and the kinds of products that are made.
Many processes have been invented to convert one type of fuel into another
type of fuel. Some of these processes are over 200 years old.
Almost any conversion that you can think of can be done. Natural gas to H2
and CO2. Oil to diesel. Methanol to H2 and CO2. And so on and so on.
The Karrick process takes coal and produces fuels that contain energy but
are not very useful: a large amount of "char", a barrel of tar, and a gas
mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, as well as CO2.
Yes, it works, but then are these products worth all the expense and the
cost of the coal? Also, there is always a penalty: energy is consumed to
make the process run. You always end up with less energy than you started
with when you change from one fuel to another. So, fuel processing is the
last resort if you must absolutely have a certain product and there is no
If there is nothing but coal as a resource and diesel fuel is desperately
needed, yes, Karrick and Fischer-Tropsch can be used to make diesel. But
the process will be expensive, dirty, and you'll use up a lot of coal.
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Update: June 2012