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Steam Distillation

Steam distillation may be used to purify meth , after the reaction.

Advantages over A/B.

It eliminates the headaches of
1) a Separatory funnel,
2) a non-polar solvent
3) shaking
4) multiple washes.
5) Waiting for layers to separate
6) to do multiple pulls of crystals
7) no more lye lock
You can still
8) You can still gas with or without a non polar

The reaction mixture is filtered, then lye is added to bring the mixture to pH
13, this creates the freebase
Steam is bubbled through the mixture, the steam carries pure e freebase to a
cooling condenser and a collection flask.
Can't be much simpler
All you do is add lye, and out the other end comes purified meth freebase.
Steam distills at the temperature of steam 100C . If you were to attempt to
distill at the boiling point of Free base meth i it would take considerably
higher temperature.(250 C)

The steam unit is like an assembly line and requires a bit of room, It can
extent laterally for 3 to 5 feet long. It is composed of four(4) simple units
joined together
1) The Steam Generator(pressure cooker or a glass flask)
2) The Steaming Flask - holds the reaction mixture
3) The Condenser

4) The Collector
In addition
you will need a heat source for the steam generator
A warming tray for the reaction mix
A water pump or water source for the cooling condenser
Various rubber tubing
Some glass or copper tubing

Principles involved

Steam Distillation works off the property of vapor pressure Vapor . Press is
similar to the boiling point, but is a different property .

Vapor pressure occurs at the surface and can occur at temperatures

below the boilinnt, . increasing the temperature, increase the vapor
pressure ,.

Here is a simple and effective unit The product comes across to the
collector in the form of a clear free base oil, floating on top of
distilled water

Making Meth HCl salt

If HCl is added as a liquid or a gas, the freebase layer will disappear,
the HCl salt is produced, and the solution may be evaporated to give the solid

You can separate the freebase from the water, then gas the freebase, or
add a non polar and gas the freebase

Some Finer details

. A pressure cooker is not needed because the apparatus does not
need high pressure just a steady flow of hot steam, with average
pressure. The steam is allowed to bubble through the alkaline reaction
mixture carrying Chili free base and steam to the cooling condenser,
and into the collector vessel. To make the process more efficient the
steaming flask is warmed up Like the above example in a hot water bath on a
warming tray is used. It is important that the steam is very hot and
kept at a constant temperature, So keep the distance between
the source of the steam and the flask short, and well insulated.

Super heated steam

An advanced form of this device would use super heated steam ,
which , brings more product and less water to the condenser. It is
quicker more efficient. The steam is re-heated or super heated by a
gas flame before it enters the steam flask, A nozzle that creates a
broad flame is used on the torch. This is easy to make with some
heavy sheet metal . This directs the flame to a glass or metal tube
for super heating

Temperature control
Also the steam flask is enclosed or surrounded by steam or hot
water to maintain it at the high temperature.. With out
heating the reaction mixture , too much water condenses in the
reaction mixture. These two modifications will give a more pure
free base and will allow less water into the condenser , as well

as make the process much faster

Splash head
Use a large steaming flask and don't fill it past 1/2 way to prevent the
alkaline solution from splashing up and contaminating the steam in
the condenser. You may have seen the term splash-head . A splash-head is
designed to prevent the alkali solution from splashing up into the condenser.
A simple splash head can be made from an elliptical piece of
plastic (Tupperware) with a hole in the middle so it fits over the oncoming
steam tube. It should be placed to block the splash from hitting the

tube leading to the condenser.

. It should loosely fit ,(that is why
elliptical) in the flask so the steam will flow around it , yet the
splash, will hit it.

pH considerations
Finally you will need to check the pH of th
solution periodically.
Precaution #1
If you turn off the heat to the steamer you will creatye a vacumn in the Steam
generator. If you look closly you will notice what a great siphon tube you have
created, the reaction mixture will be drawn rapidly into the steam Generator.
So either put in a bleeder line and open it up before turning off the heat ( a
picture is forthcoming), or pop the top off the Steam generator. It does no
good to pop the top on the reaction mixture, unless you also pull the entire
steam tube out of the mixture.
Monitor the amount of free base collected .
As time goes on, the pH drops and the rate of collection of free base
There will is still be freebase in the flask. But because the pH drops the
amount of free base coming across is lessened. So turn off the steam
apparatus and carefully add
more NaOH to the steaming flask to bring it back up to pH 13 and resume
You will see a large amount of free base start coming across
again , this usually needs to be recharged only once or twice.
But incremental small recharges of NaOH is probably best

Well, if no NaOH is crossing over into the collection flask why does it need to

be replenished??? The Answer is below, you can think about that one for a

Warnings of potential danger

A word of caution,, If Murphy's law follows you around,
Beware This thing will get excitable and get hyper fizzles,
Be-careful when adding dry NaOH if too much NaOH
To get it to blow you need an excess of dry NaOH that sits in
the bottom as a solid . Once the steam heats it up it may go
ballistic, and start shooting out every office it can find. Not good for
yields, in fact it trashes your product because it will be on the ceiling
, walls, and floor.
To place a picture in your mind of what to watch for here is a story
SWIW was distilling 6 oz of product The first three came through just fine
and it was time to do a recharge, So SWIW poured in the dry NaOH, then in
true tweaker fashion, decided to go with a larger diameter tubing all the
down the line.
SWIW fired up the steamer, the larger tubing seemed perfect, not realising
that the NaOH on the bottom was getting super steamed, ,
IT started to slowly build pressure and then it blew the reaction mix up the
hose into the steam generator and out the top SWIW watched 3 oz of final
Chili product fizz
everywhere, just thankful only a little alkaline solution was
getting on SWIW. The shower was a very welcome relief from Na OH.
SWIW was lucky because SWIW had already done the first run and pulled out
3oz of product, When it blew 1.5 oz was recoverable from the three flasks
1.5 oz was on the floor, ceiling. walls, cabinets,

so actually recovered 4.5 oz Oh Yeah almost forgot, SWIW am sure you

already have, or soon would have, realized that the pH decreases because
the freebase Chili is alkaline and as it comes over the pH is decreasing. T
What remains is primarily Na-I and NaCl in water ,