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Help with cooking dirt into sand


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So I would like to automate completely a process that turns dirt into sand. I have tried with a high temperature steam room and a heat exchanger made of aluminum tiles for incoming dirt/outgoing sand, but the process is painfully slow: not only it takes a huge amount of time for dirt to reach the correct temperature, the resulting sand is half the mass after being dug and has half the specific heat capacity, so the counterflow heat exchanger has barely any use.
Any idea/way to make the process fast? I'd love it to be able to process 20kg/s, not sure it is possible though.
For the record, I have access to any material and research.

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Why would you want to to turn dirt which has a pretty high value in to sand which you turn pretty much any rock in to sand as well as salt in to sand to get the table salt.  Regolith also counts as a filtration medium replacing the need for sand in everything except making glass.

I would imagine a slime cooker taken farther would be enough.  You are going to need a lot of heat.

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You also lose half the mass doing this.  If you need sand, ranch pokeshells or crush some rocks.  If you have too much dirt, feed it to sage hatches.  If you are composting pdirt into dirt, stop and just feed it to sage hatches or pokeshells.

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2 hours ago, 0xFADE said:

Why would you want to to turn dirt which has a pretty high value in to sand which you turn pretty much any rock in to sand as well as salt in to sand to get the table salt.  Regolith also counts as a filtration medium replacing the need for sand in everything except making glass.

I would imagine a slime cooker taken farther would be enough.  You are going to need a lot of heat.

I have no use for dirt, I ranch slicksters and wild plant, so the 2000tons of dirt in my game are dead resources. I'd prefer not to use regolith since it needs a complicated and fragile system to be automatically harvested and cooled down (as far as I am aware, the automation on bunker doors still flickers once in a long while, which is enough to make a mess).

It is not as easy as it is with slime since dirt has more then 7 times the SHC.

2 hours ago, sheaker said:

EDIT: I am sorry, I forgot that the process must be automatic.

Build this and put a tempshift plate made of dirt in the corner vacuum tile.123.thumb.png.70939d65d372ca708faf22c3c719d4dd.png

 

800kg of sand instantly:

1233.thumb.png.744e5fd905a4fdc9e70734feee08acd4.png

I have 2 problems with this setup: first, I want to build it in survival, not in debug, so the heat sources I have at my disposal are either thermium aquatuner, which gets to 1000C, or a volcano, that is around 1700C (can't be bothered to check now). Second and most important: I'd have to order to build a tempshift every time I want more sand, which is the opposite of the automation I'm looking for. But thanks for the ideas.

1 hour ago, psusi said:

You also lose half the mass doing this.  If you need sand, ranch pokeshells or crush some rocks.  If you have too much dirt, feed it to sage hatches.  If you are composting pdirt into dirt, stop and just feed it to sage hatches or pokeshells.

I am aware of the mass loss (as described in my first post). I am building this precisely to ranch pokeshells, I'm converting CO2 into polluted dirt through water sieves, which is why I need a lot of sand. Pokeshells require A LOT of pdirt, and only give back 50% of what they consume as sand.
Still, thanks for your input!
 

I know the whole thing is not worth it, there are easier ways, I just wanted to do something different while finally giving a use to the huge amount of dirt I have. As I said in the beginning, I have already built the cooker, it's just too slow to be used meaningfully, even with 20 tiles of aluminum heat exchange. I guess my problem is that debris heat exchange sucks.. I could let in fertilezer and algae instead, so they cook very quickly to dirt and form a tile, which is much easier to heat, but algae and fertilizer are more limited and I wouldn't be recycling my dirt stockpile.

So any idea or already made designs? :grin:

EDIT: after some experimenting, it looks like dirt exchanges heat extremely well in petroleum while on rails for a mechaninc I am not aware of. I guess this could be promising. Anyone know anything about this kind of heat exchange on rails?

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1 hour ago, sheaker said:

I was trying to create some solution and here is a draft that was working for a while. It may be a good starting point.

 

oni.png

Oh.. that is a very creative solution, I hadn't thought of molten lead! I will play around with it for sure, thanks!

Meanwhile, I've built another prototype, rails that go through aluminium or petroleum exchange heat more then fast enoug.. the problem is that some of the sand tiles generated are undiggable, similarly to what sometimes happens with regolith. I've filed yet another bug report about it, but until it is fixed, my build is completely invalidated. Even using door crushing/falling doesn't work, it requires too much density of automation in too little space..

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If you have that much thermium you can make your own heat source to make sand.  You should be able to use rail to pass it through a double thick hot wall to melt it and it should pop out as sand.  This works for things that transition to a liquid at least.

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1 hour ago, 0xFADE said:

I put a piece of dirt on my regolith rail and it did turn to sand at one of the heat exchanges.

20200418053559_1.thumb.jpg.a4252431099712fe7f25efa64f0d9c02.jpg

Yeah I've built something like this already, aluminium tiles are even better, it only takes 10-15 tiles to pop the dirt. The problem is that some of the sand tiles produced this way are consistently undiggable, so it becomes nearly impossible to automate.

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9 hours ago, 0xFADE said:

Aluminum would be better at that lower temperature yeah.  I can't use aluminum in this one.

If it makes unminable tiles I would imagine that would happen with any production method.

Tests confirm what you supposed, every once in not a long while, some tiles are simply spawned undiggable. I've opened yet another bug report but I'm not really hopeful! Thank you for your inputs, you have been kind!

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