I suspected it would be more difficult that I’d
imagined. Although some of the zeolite settles out overnight,
it’s so finely powdered that much of it stays
suspended in the water. Separating the zeolite out this
way won’t produce as much as I need. I'll have
to find an alternative method.
Out here in California it gets pretty hot during the
day. The temperature inside the workshop can top 38
degrees Celsius at times. We’ve thoughtfully been
provided with a couple of large electric fans to keep
us cool, and over an early lunch, I entertain the idea
of converting one of them into a centrifuge. That would
be a much more effective way of getting the undissolved
zeolite to settle out from a ‘solution’
of the detergent. Because of the size of the fan, I’d
only be able to process smallish quantities of detergent
at a time, but at least I’d be able to get a much
more efficient separation this way.
The problem, of course, is that I’m depriving
colleagues of 50% of their cooling system for a while.
I only need the fan for a few hours though – surely
they won’t mind. As it turns out, no-one notices
the fan has gone missing.
By early afternoon I’ve dismantled one of the
fans, and knocked together a centrifuge of sorts. It’s
taken a while to get the balance right, and I’ve
soaked myself in the process, but at last I can get
on with separating out the zeolite from the washing
powder more efficiently now.