This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
This apparatus consists of a vertical carbonate-feeding generator, in which the gas is produced under a moderate pressure; a large cylindrical iron gasometer, in which the gas is received, and instead of the pump generally used in the European system, a bev-erage-carbonating compressor which forces the carbonic acid gas and the liquid into a receiver or condenser, where they are thoroughly mixed. From the receiver the carbonade is drawn to supply the bottling-machines or syphon-fillers. It is a convenient form of apparatus, and, as it can supply several syphon-fillers or bottling machines at the same time, it is desirable for bottlers whose trade is large. We recommend that steam-power be used to operate the carbonating compressor. In smaller sizes it can be operated by hand, but the production is considerably diminished. With the smaller size of apparatus is furnished a vertical carbonate-feeding generator; with the larger sizes a horizontal acid-feeding generator is furnished.
The manufacturers' instructions run as follows: "The driving wheels are generally shipped detached from the compressor. The large balance wheel should first be placed on the shaft, then the fixed pulley, and then the loose pulley. Connect the valve marked 'gas', at the bottom of the compressor, to the gasometer, and the valve marked 'water' to the liquid to be carbonated. On some compressors the flow of gas and liquid is regulated by one valve handle as shown in Fig. 128. Turning the handle in one direction, according to the index plate, increases the supply of liquid and decreases the supply of gas, and vice versa when the valve handle is turned in the opposite direction. Bringing the handle to a certain position shuts off both the supply of liquid and gas.
Fig. 128 - Matthews' Compressor with Generator and Gasometer.
"To operate the compressor, the valve marked 'gas,' near the bottom of the machine, should be opened by turning its handle to the right, and also the valve marked 'water' by turning its handle to the left. Both these valves have a graduated index to enable the operator to know how far the valves are opened. Then start the compressor at a slow speed, which may be gradually increased from eighty to eighty-five revolutions a minute. This will force the gas and water up and into the condenser. The air and water in the condenser should be blown off at the small valve at the lower end of the glass pressure-gauge, until the compressor works regularly without pounding or thumping. Then set the safety valves to blow off at a few lbs. above the required working-pressure, by adjusting the valve weight on the screw lever. The gas thus escaping may be conducted back to the gasometer if desired. Should the compressor pound or thump, the quantity of liquid entering should be reduced by partially closing the 'water' valve, and the pounding will cease when the quantity of liquid and gas entering the condenser is about equal. Observe in feeding the liquid to the compressor that the pipe conducting the same is sufficiently submerged in the liquid to prevent pumping air. When the condenser is about two-thirds full, which can be seen by the glass water-gauge, and the required pressure is maintained, open the delivery valve. This being connected to the bottling machine or syphon filter, the operation of filling may be commenced. The full capacity of this apparatus is attained when the gas valve is fully opened, the water valve sufficiently opened to keep the apparatus charged to 150 lbs. to the square inch, and the water level at two-thirds the capacity of the condenser. Sufficient of the carbonade should be drawn off to maintain these conditions constantly. A water cooler and a gas cooler attached to the suctions of the compressor improve the quality of the carbonade, and increase the production of the apparatus.
Fig. 129. - Sectional View of Compressor.
"Keep all the bearings of the apparatus well oiled; also occasionally oil the piston of the compressor, with fine olive oil. It is advisable to frequently change the water in the gasometer. If it should become foul, it is liable to give out foreign vapors which will seriously affect the purity of the carbonade". This apparatus is made by the firm of John Matthews, New York.
The saturator or fountain of the next continuous apparatus (Fig. 131), is made from copper, tinned inside, with inlet so arranged as to allow the gas to bubble up through the water in a spray. The arbor extending into the saturator is provided with blades, which thoroughly agitate the water. The body, or frame, of apparatus is cast in one piece. The flow of gas and water are easily regulated, and all parts conveniently reached. The gasometer is made of heavy iron, of sufficient size and thickness, also a bell of thick galvanized iron, hooped inside to give it greater strength. In the centre of the dome of bell is fastened a cock, the object of which is, that when the gas is first made the air contained in the dome may be blown out. It also has eyelets at top, through which cords, passing over the pulleys at the top and connecting with weights, are attached. The pump is made of bronze, with two valves connected with the top, one being a draft, the other a stop-valve; the plunger works up and down from the underside of the pump, and is kept tight by suitable packing; when the plunger is lowered it draws gas and water - the quantity regulated by the inlet cocks - and when raised it forces the contents of pump into the saturator above, from whence it flows to the bottling-table. This apparatus is manufactured by the A. D. Puffer & Sons Manufacturing Co., Boston, Mass.
Fig. 130. - Cross Sectional View of Fig. 129.
The apparatus (Fig. 132), made by James W. Tufts, Boston, Mass., consists of a low-pressure generator, a gasometer to receive the gas as fast as produced, and a compressor.
The compressor has a single acting pump, with valves in the top, which draws, at the time, gas from the gasometer and water from a water-tank and forces them into the cylinder, where a revolving agitator thoroughly combines them. The pressure is maintained by the pump and is regulated by the gas and water inlet cocks, which may be set to admit any required quantity, and by the safety-valve, which is set to blow off all superfluous pressure. The pressure is indicated on the pressuregauge, and the height of water in the cylinder is shown by the glass water-gauge. The compressor is arranged to be operated either by hand or power, but power is strongly recommended. Directions for operating are given by the manufacturers as follows:
" Set up the apparatus as shown in the engraving. If power is to be used, the compressor must be firmly bolted to the floor, and the necessary shafting and belting provided and arranged.
"Place the rubber tube connected with the water-inlet cock of the compressor in a tank of water, or connect it with the water supply. Open the water-gauge cocks. Open one of the discharge cocks below the cylinder. Open the water-inlet cock of pump. See that gas-inlet cock is shut. Start the pump by shipping the belt on to the fast pulley, and thoroughly cleanse the pump, cylinder, pipes, and connections, by pumping water through them.
"See that the cap at bottom of gasometer, and the couplings of the rubber pipes connecting the purifier and gasometer, and gasometer and compressor, are tight. Open the air valve on top of gasometer bell, and pour water into the gasometer between the tank and bell, until it shows within about three inches of the top of tank. Close the air valve.
"Close the cock at the bottom of purifier. Remove cap from filling bung and pour two gallons of water into the purifier. Return the cap and close the filling bung tightly.
"Close the blow-off cock at the bottom of generator. Take off the cap of filling bung, insert the tin tunnel and pour in five gallons of water and five gallons of marble dust. Turn the agitator constantly while the marble dust is running in, to mix it thoroughly with the water. Close the filling bung, and screw the cap firmly to place. When everything is clean, stop the pump. Connect the cylinder with the bottling tables,, by means of the rubber pipes provided for the purpose.
"From a pitcher or other suitable vessel, pour sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol) into the acid box, about half-pint or less.
"Turn the agitator slowly. As the gas is formed it will pass through the rubber pipe into the gasometer. The acid box is always open, and more acid may be added as needed. The acid pipe extends inside the generator in the form of a U, going to the bottom and rising again to the top, and pouring the acid on top of the marble dust and water. The weight of the acid in this pipe is sufficient to prevent any pressure which may form in the generator from blowing back the acid out of the acid box.
"If by any accident more gas should be generated than the gasometer can hold, the superfluous pressure will escape through the water in the gasometer.
"As the gas passes from the generator into the gasometer, the gasometer bell will rise. Open the air valve on top of the bell and allow the air to escape; as carbonic acid gas is heavier than air, the air must pass out before the gas can escape. When the pungent odor shows that gas is rushing through, close the air valve. When the gasometer bell has risen to nearly its full height stop agitating the mass in the generator. See that the water-gauge cocks of the compressor are both open, and that there is no water in the cylinder. Close the disharge cocks below the cylinder. Close the water-inlet cock of the pump, and open the gas-inlet cock wide. Start the pump, and if it be desired to bottle at 60 pounds pressure, pump gas only until the pressure gauge registers 15 pounds; then open the water-inlet cock about half way and partly close the gas-inlet cock.
"When the water gauge shows that the cylinder is two-thirds full of water, and the pressure gauge indicates the desired pressure, bottling operations must be commenced. Open the cylinder-outlet cock, for the table which is to be used. If bottling half pints, both tables may be used, but the pump will not supply water enough for both tables if quarts are to be filled. While bottling, the pressure and water gauges must be watched, and the inlet cocks adjusted from time to time, to keep the pressure constant and the water level in the cylinder at the same height. In other words, gas and water must be admitted to the pump as fast as drawn off at the bottling table, and no faster.
"The pump-inlet cocks have each a graduated scale, over which the pin on the end of the level travels, marked 'open' at one end and ' shut' at the other, which makes a very delicate adjustment possible.
"Do not allow the water to get ahead of the gas. It is much easier to pump water against gas, than gas against water.
"When the gas is nearly exhausted from the gasometer, which will be known by the descent of the bell, pour a little more acid into the acid box and turn the agitator until the bell is again full.
"It will take two and one-half gallons of acid to neutralize the five gallons of marble dust in the generator.
" Always stop the pump when bottling operations are suspended".