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    Thread: A Counter Current Protein Skimmer (or Foam Fractionator)

    1. #1
      six6guy's Avatar
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      A Counter Current Protein Skimmer (or Foam Fractionator)

      I have wanted to build one of these babies for a while... and I finally got around to starting on it. My water temp is about 50F, so we'll see how quickly I get the wet portions of this done...

      First I should back up and explain that I have English style bio filters. Each chamber is around 4' by 4' by 6' deep. They are configured for upflow inside the chamber and the separation walls are actually downflow pipes. I'll attach a couple snaps so you have a general idea.

      The last bio chamber is what I'm going to change. I'll remove the Japanese mat media and move it into the just previous chamber (if I can get it to fit). I have 2 pumps, each a PP Artesian 1/3HP, that draw on this last chamber. I plan to add the protean skimmer to one of the two 2" suction pipes. If all goes well, I may build a second protean skimmer for the other suction pipe.

      (more to come)

      Brad
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    2. #2
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      Neat setup Brad...but I don't see how you plan to add the FF.
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    3. #3
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      Rather than bore you with the books and articles I read on how these work and how to design them... I'll just jump into the fun stuff...

      These are the parts I got at Lowes. I thought I had everything planned out, but it always takes two trips no mater what the project

      3 - 4" x 2" coupling
      1 - 4" x 4" x 2" tee-wye
      1 - 4" x 4" x 4" cleanout
      6 - 2" 45deg elbow
      1 - 2" snap in drain
      1 - 4" snap in drain
      3 - 4" pipe cut to 2.5" lengths
      1 - 4" cap
      1 - 2" pipe cut to 11.5" length
      4 - 2" pipe cut to 3" lengths
      1 - 4" by 10' pipe
      1 - 2" by 10' pipe


      Brad
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    4. #4
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      Back up and look at the first picture of the previous post. I removed the stop rim so that the 2" pipe could slide all the way through. Be careful not to remove too much material as you will create a leak by doing so. Pictured here are the high tech tools I used for removing the stop rim.
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    5. #5
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      Now lets start assembling our FF.

      Take the 4" x 2" coupler "with the rim removed", one 4" pipe piece, and assemble onto the longer 2" piece of pipe like so.

      The 4" x 2" coupler will be used as the bottom of your foam collection bowl. The 2" pipe is the riser to separate the foam from the water. The 4" pipe piece allows you to connect the next 4" fitting.
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    6. #6
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      Now add one of the unmodified 4" x 2" couplers to the short stub of the 2" pipe. Make sure this joint seats all the way in, then adjust the other coupler to be snug. It should now look like this.

      The top 4" x 2" coupler is the bottom of your foam collection bowl, the bottom 4" x 2" coupler is the top of your reaction chamber.

      Brad
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    7. #7
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      In the top of the 2" pipe insert the 2" snap in drain.

      This drain grid helps the bubbles stay in tact as they leave the reaction chamber until they get into the foam collection bowl. The square grid (as shown) will work better than the slot type grid, and either one would be better than no grid at all.

      Brad
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    8. #8
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      Brad

      you'r efforts are well taken but I'm afraid by just looking at your material list your "reactor" chamber is too small in diameter. Have you read Pablo Escobal's Aquatic System Engineering? if not do yourselve a favor and read it. It may save you lots of time and money.

      Jorge

    9. #9
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      Now I add the cleanout fitting at the top of the reaction chamber.

      The open 45deg leg will be the water intake (which must be as close to the top of the reaction chamber as possible). The strait vertical leg will be fitted with a 4" pipe (as long as possible) and this will be your reaction chamber. The 45deg leg allows water in without too much restriction and keeps bubbles from escaping. I may extend the 45deg leg by six inches or so just to make sure of bubble path. An air line, with 60 lpm air and ceramic air stone, will eventually be feed up through the 45deg leg and all the way down to the bottom of the reaction chamber.

      Brad
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    10. #10
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      Brad
      Your ultimate goal should be to eventually turn ur Foam Fractionator reactor into an Ozonator contact chamber.

      You must know your flow rate...then figure out your "dwell-Time"... Co or counter current.... venturi or pump driven o2 production..... etc.. do ur homework first

      jorge

    11. #11
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      Next we add the 4" x 4" x 2" tee-wye fitting on top.

      This fitting does two things for us. The 4" body forms the sides of our foam collection bowl and the 2" tee creates the waist discharge line. We don't really need a 2" line for the discharge, but we want this to gravity flow to the waist collection... so reduction couplers or bushings may cause issues here... Notice that the top of the 2" foam riser is higher than the peak of the discharge line, this is because the foam discharge is gravity.


      Brad
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    12. #12
      six6guy's Avatar
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      On top of the stack you need a cap.

      Foam is weird stuff and sometimes needs to be convinced about gravity, otherwise it will go strait up. The cap forms the top of the foam collection bowl and helps direct the foam waist out the discharge line.

      Brad
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    13. #13
      six6guy's Avatar
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      This next shot is important as I have about 12" of clearance from the bottom of my deck cover to the water line. That gives me about 8" of foam riser above water level.
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    14. #14
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      I'm sorry, I am rarely critical, but this design is not to be repeated. You have basic design flaws that need to be explained.

    15. #15
      six6guy's Avatar
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      Now lets start to assemble the bottom of the reaction chamber. The reaction chamber itself is just a length of 4" pipe, the longer the better. The reaction chamber should be vertical for better interaction with the air bubbles. In my case I will have to custom cut the 4" pipe for max length.

      In the bottom of the 4" pipe we want to install the 4" snap in drain. I have it half way in here for photographic reasons, in real life you should seat it well. The drain grid shape isn't important per say, although slots allow more water flow than square grids would. The drain here is used to keep the air stone from going any deeper.


      Brad
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      "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    16. #16
      Dkoinut is offline Senior Member
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      66 guy. Something's missing here!

    17. #17
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      Hello 66, please respond........

    18. #18
      six6guy's Avatar
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      At the bottom of the reaction chamber we add the third 4" x 2" coupler.

      The water flow rate will go way up here, as determined by the pump. The pump suction pipe is already in this chamber (See post #1) and that pipe is 2". The reaction chamber is larger then the suction pipe to allow slower (relative) water flow rate and indirectly to increase the dwell time of the water in the reaction chamber.

      Brad
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      Last edited by six6guy; 12-28-2008 at 11:29 PM.










      "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    19. #19
      six6guy's Avatar
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      All that is left to do is to plumb the bottom of the reaction chamber back the the 2" suction line of the pump.


      As soon as I install this FF into my pond I'll post more pictures. Actually, there are a few things yet to do. Set the height of the reaction chamber, plumb the discharge, and run the air line. But all the hard math is behind me. (Sorry, I'm an engineer... it was a great opportunity to use my slide rule )

      Some of you already know how these work and maybe how to design one. One of the best, bare bones, explanation that I found on these is found on answers.com at... http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?...6.171&method=1


      Brad
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      Last edited by six6guy; 12-28-2008 at 11:45 PM.










      "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
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      Bradley W. Olin
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    20. #20
      six6guy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by andres58 View Post
      Brad
      Your ultimate goal should be to eventually turn ur Foam Fractionator reactor into an Ozonator contact chamber.

      You must know your flow rate...then figure out your "dwell-Time"... Co or counter current.... venturi or pump driven o2 production..... etc.. do ur homework first

      jorge
      Sorry Jorge, I don't want or need an O2 contact chamber. It's a CC-FF from design day zero.

      Actually, I did do the math first. I spent a few hours a week for months running through it all. I didn't post them, but I said/implied that twice.

      I assume you were expecting me to explain everything and to do so in the first post. I didn't do it that way.


      Brad










      "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
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      Bradley W. Olin
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