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Publication numberUS1008319 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1911
Filing dateFeb 6, 1905
Priority dateFeb 6, 1905
Publication numberUS 1008319 A, US 1008319A, US-A-1008319, US1008319 A, US1008319A
InventorsHerman Frasch
Original AssigneeFrasch Sulphur Process Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mining sulfur.
US 1008319 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. FRASCH.

MINING SULFUR..

APPLICATION FILED Hum, 1905.

Patented Nov, 14, 1911.

Witness anonimi UNITED STATES PATENT ormoni 0F YDRK, N. Y., ASSIGNUB T0 THE MGE SULPHUR PBUCBSB COHPANY, A CORPORATION' 0l' MINE.

mme sorrow'.

speemmwmnr-mf. PatenteuNov. 14,1911.

Application led February 6, 1905.` Serial No. 244,51.

This invention relates more articularly to mining sulfur by fusing the atter in its' natural undergrounddeposit and .removin it to the surface while 1t is in the melte condition; but each of the improvements constituting `the invention is intended to be/Secured for all tlieuses to which the same can be applied, with or without modification.

In my patents of October 20, 1891, Nos. 461,429 and 461,430, in which I have described and claimed, respectively, the process of mining sulfur byfusion and apparatus suitable for the purpose, the mode of effecting the fusion which was set forth consisted in the circulationthrough the deposit of a fusing iiuid, water heated under pressure to above the meltingpoint of sulfur being considered the best. It was returned to the surface of the ground while still above said melting point. In practically applying this process, a deposit of sulfur was encountered in rock which was both porous and flooded with naturally present water; and, while sulfur can be, and was, in fact, obtained by the introduction and return of hot water under pressure, I discovered that more sulfur could be obtained at less expense and that larger amounts thereof could be extracted from a well by dispensing with the return of the fusing fluid (except as some of it might accidentally or incidentally be brought back to the surface of the ground) and causing it to flow away through the porous deposit underground. This discovery vforms part of the subject-matter of my applications of May 27, 1897, No. 638,357, and November 23, 1903, No. 182,359, on which patents respectively numbered 799,642 and 800,127 were granted on September 19, 1905. I have further discovered that water which is introduced to effect the fusion of the sulfur is liable to ow a'way underground without having served its purpose of-melt- .ing sulfur, or at least of meltlng it in the vicinity of the well hole, whence the melted sulfur could be removed; and I have further discovered that the yield of sulfur can, in

many cases at least, be im roved b form i an artificial retaining wall about ythe lower part of the well hole by means of sand fillmg the spacesin the rock and so confining the usm llqllind in a species of kettle. The wallI of t ettle I` have discovered to be capable of shifting under the influence of currents of fusing water, so that the meltin need not be confined to the s ace within s ai wall at'the commencement o the fusing operation.A Moreover, operation of melting the sulfurA out of porous in falling willv choke the inlet and outlet openings of the mine piping (or of one or more of such openings) and I have further discovered that this condition can be remedied or ameliorated by providing the well hole within the deposit with a perforated liningwhich. will prevent detached masses of rockfrom reaching the interior mine piping. Such masses may close some of the perforations in the said lining; but these are, or may be, so numerous and so widely distributed that only a general cave in would be apt to close enough of them to shut o'- the inflow of the sulfur or the outow of the fusing liquid. Moreover, when the lining is .upper part of the deposit is apt to lodge there against the lining; whereas, without such lining it might fall to the bottom of the well hole, where it would be more objectionable. Again, a mass or rock lodging against the lining does not close the well eiztent if lodged against the interior mine Plpmg- So far reference has been made only to the mining of sulfur by the introduction of fusing'fluid which flows away underground; but it is conceived that more or less advantage might be obtained by using some at least of the means herein specified in mining sulfur, especially when found in porous rock, by fusion with return of the fusing fluid or` by liquefaction without fusion (see m evenl in obtaining other substances om underground deposits, especially in porous rock, by the aid of Wells, with or without a preliminary liquefaction of the same intheir underground deposits.

So far as I am aware, the sanding of a rock is liable to detach masses of rock, whichv4 I 'have discovered that the present, a mass of rock detached from the hole; but it would do so to a greater or less y patent of October 20, 1891 No. 461,431 or I,

well and the providing of thesame with a The following detailed description, in connbtion with the accompanying drawings, explains what is considered the best mode of carrying the invention into effect; butit will be understood that additions, omissions and modifications canbe made indefinitely,.with

in the limits of the invention, so long as the substance of anyone or more of the hereinafter written claims is taken.-

In said drawings: Figure 1 is a diagram in Vertical section, illustrating means employed to lill a well with sand, the well hole shown having been previously provided with a perforated lining; Fig. 2 is a similar diagram, illustrating the removal of the sand from the well hole and its immediate vicinity; Fig. 3 is a similar diagrambf a completed well; Fig. 4 is a detail view, showing means which can be used to aid in lowering the perforated lining into place; and Fig. 5 is a detail view of the lower end of the sand-removing instrument.

The well may be sunk in any suitable way. Ordinarily it would have to be cased in its v upper part; and a cased well is shown.

At"`the upper end of the casing a, in Figs. 1 and 2, is a special head b having an open top and lateral spout; while in Fig. 3 the regular casing head c is shown having a stuiing box at the top and a'lateral lbranch (l. In all the figures, a perforated lining e for'the well hole below the casing is shown. This lining can be lowered into place in any suitable way. As shown, it has a cap f at the bottom providedwith a screw threaded opening in the middle. This cap can be engaged by a lowering rod or pipe g whose bottom end is threaded for the purpose. By making these threads opposite to those in the joints of the lowering rod or pipe, the latter can be unscrewed from the cap f after this has been lowered to the bottom of the well with the perforated lining e without danger of -unscrewing said joints. Pipe sec-v tions are commonly put together by right hand'threads; and left hand threads are, therefore, shown at the bottom of the lowering rod or pipe g. .After the introduction of the perforated lining (or it might be before), the well is filled with sand. For this purpose the funnel 7L may be appliedto the top of the head b. y It is kept supplied with sand which is washed Vdown into the well by water from the nozzle j of hose 7c. The nozzle j isl shown with a flattened discharge end so as to deliver a wide jet. The water flows away through the rock and carries the sand with it for a certain distance. Gradually the spaces in the rock are filled, and the operation would best be continued until no more sand can be washed down the well.

ln Fig. 2 the space below the casing a is filled with dots to suggest the presence of the sand therein. Having thus lled the well with sand, the latter is next removed from the well hole and its vicinity, leaving the sand at a suitable distancefrom the well hole and thereby forming an artificial retaining wall Z (Fig. 3) within which (as in a species of kettle) melting can be carried on.

In Fig. 2 is shown a water pipe m, pro vided at the bottom with a jet producer n (Fig. 5) in the form of a ring with a circle of upwardly inclined jet orifices, the bottom of the ring being closed by a plug through which extend two jet orifices (shown in dotted lines). Water being forced under ressure through `the pipe m issues in the form of jets which stir up and loosen the sand, so that the particles of the latter will be carried up through the casing a by the return current of water. Below the spout on'the head b is shown a trough p in which the sand may settle, while the water runs olf. As the sand is displaced, the jet producen/nv is lowered, until J at length 1t reaches the bottom of the well.- As it is lowered, the jets are projected'through the holes in the lining e and stir up the sand outside, so that it will be removed for a certain distance from the well hole. Naturally this distance will be greatest at the top and least at the bottom of the deposit, leaving a kettle-shaped space within the retaining wall formed by the unremoved sand; and in my experience there has been so complete a removal at the top as to allow the hot water which is/subsequently forced into the deposit in order to melt the sulfur therein to flow away'underground. When the sand-removing operation is finished, the pipe m and jet producer n are withdrawn; the regular casing head c is substituted for the special head b; and

the interior mine piping isintroduced.

The interior piping shown is the same which is set forth in my hereinabove mentioned patents of September 19, 1905, Nos. 799,642 and 800,127 So far as the present invention is concerned, the interior piping, when used, may be of any suitable description. That shown consists of an inner hot water pipe (l, a sulfur-raising ipe 1', and an air-injecting pipe s. The sulfur-raising pipe 7 terminates in a strainer u, which is attached to the interior hot water pipe q, but which is shut off therefrom by the plug t. v

Hot water above the melting point of sulfur is forced down the pipes a and g. Its temperature may advantageously be that of ordinary steam' under about ninety pounds of superatmospheric pressure per square inch or, F.

said patents of September 19, 1905, Nos.

in other words, about 385 Such temperature is set forth in my passes down the exterior ipe or casingV a enters the upper part of t e deposit, belng distributed over a certain vertical distance by the perforated lining e. It melts thesul; fur in the upper part of the deposit and flows away underground over the top f of the retaining wall Z. The hot-water which passes down the interior pi e g escapes near the bottom of the deposit tiirou h the openings in the wall of said pipe a `ve the annular plug t and also through ,the openings' the water in the deposit, the column of melted sulfur having its gravity reduced suiiciently for the purpose by air injected into the same through the pipe s. Should any rock be loosened by the meltingl out of the sulfur, it falls against the perforated lining e and should not materially, if at all, affect the mining operation. The effect of the water entering from the pipes a and g and flowing away underground is, as I be lieve, to carry sand with it from the inner side of the retaining wall Z and to deposit the same at a further distance from the well hole, the space within said wall .being thus enlarged gradually as the melting operation progresses.

In the hereinafter written claims, the ex# pression substance to be mined means sulfur primarily; and the words mining and well refer primarily to sulfur as the substance to be mined or the substance into or through a deposit of which the wellis to extend; but said expression and words byextension include or refer to a substance in general capable of being mined by the aid of what is set forth in the respective claims wherein said expression and words (one or more of them) occur. The words liquefaction and liquefying refer primarily to fusion or melting; but by extension they include reduction in general to a liquid state.

I claim as my invention or discovery:

1. The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to be mined, consisting in sinking a well into an underground deposit, forming a retaining wall in the deposit about the well hole by introduction of sand thereinto, liquefying said substance within said wall, and removing it in the liquid state, substantially as described.

`closed by said wall, causing said water to ow away underground, and removing the ,3. The improvementdn obtaining material from underground, consisting in formling b the introduction of sand through a well iiolea retaining wall in the ground at a suitable Vdistance from said well hole to leave between the latter and said retaining wall a s ace in which fluid can be contained, whic space is open on the side of the well hole for passage of Huid between said space and the well, substantially as described.

4. The improvement in mining by liquefaction underground ofthe materialto be mined, consisting in forming an artificial wall of sand in the deposit about the well hole andby such wall retainin liquefying fluid in the vicinity of the we hole, substantially as described.

5. The improvement in obtaining material which is found underground in self supporting rock, consisting in boring a well hole through the self supporting rock in which the material is found, inserting in a stout perforated lining which fills the well bore at least approximately and has a large number of widely distributed perforations and which thus serves to support masses of rock that may'subsequently become detached from t-he originally self supporting well walls without closing communication be tween the interior and exterior of said lining through said perforations, and eii'ecting the removal of said material by the aid'of the so prepared well, substantially as described.

6. The process of obtaining a liqueable substance whichis found in self support- ,ing rock, consisting in boring a well hole through the self supporting rock in which the substance is found, inserting in such rock walled portion of the well hole a stout perforated lining which fills the well 'bore .at least approximately and hasa large number of widely distributed perforations and which thus serves to support masses of rock that may subsequently become detached from the originally self supporting well tween the interior and exterior of said lining through said perforations, and effecting the liquefaction and removal in liquid state of the liquefiable substance by the aid of the so prepared well, substantially as described.

7. The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to be mined, consisting in inserting in the deposit a stout -perforated lining of approximately at least the diameter of the well bore, introducing liquefying fluid into the interior of said lining, causing it to flow out into the demelted substance, substantially as described.

such rock walled portion ofthe well hole walls without closing communication be' osit through the perforationsinsaid lining, which thus distributes the outflowing v bore at least approximately and which serves to supportmasses of rock that may subsequently become detached from the -originally self sustaining well walls, forming by the int-roduction-of sand through the well hole a retaining wall in the ground at a suitable distance from said well hole to leave between the latter and said retaining Walla space in which fluid canfbe contained, which space is open on the side of the well hole for passage of fluid between said space andthe well, and effecting the removal of said material by the aid of the so prepared well, substantially as described.

9. 'The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to be mined, consisting in sinking a well into an underound deposit, lowering a perforated lining fdr the well hole into said deposit, forming a retaining wall in the de osit about the well hole exterior to said lining by introduction of sand into said deposit, liquefying said substance in the space between said wall and said lining so that the liquefied substance flows into the spacevwithin said lining, and removing it in the liquid state from this latter space, substantially as described.

10. The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to be mined, consisting in sinking a well into an underground de osit, lowering a. perforated lining for the wel hole into said deposit, forming a retaininor wall in the deposit about the well hole exterlor to said lining by introduction of sand into said deposit, inserting interior mine piping within said lining, hquefying said substance in the space between said wall and said lining so that the liquefied substance flows into the space within said lining, and removing it in the liquid state from this latter space through said interior piping, substantially as described.

' 11. The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to be mined, consisting in sinking a well into an underround deposit, lowering a perforated lining for the well hole into said deposit, forming` a retaining wall in the deposit about the well hole by `first introducing sand and then (greater depth fof the deposit,

washing out a part thereof next the well hole, inserting interior mine piping within said lining, introducing hot .water into the deposit and so melting said l'substance in the space between said wall and said lining so that the .melted substance flows into the space within said lining, and removing it in the liquid state from this latter through said interior piping, substantially as described.

12. The process of forming a retaining wall about a well hole by first introducing sand through the well hole and conveying it thence laterally under unremoved overlying strata and subsequently washing out a part of the sand outside of and next to the well hole, leaving the' more remote sand to remain as a retainin wall in the well, substantially as descri ed.

in the ground at a suitable distance from the well hole to leave between the latter and'said retaining wall a. space in which fluid can be contained, .which space is o-penon the side of the well hole for passage of fluid between said space and the well, substantially as described.

14. The method of preparing a well which has been bored through self supporting rock, consisting in inserting in such. rock walled portion of the well hole a stout perforated lining which fills the well bore at least approximately and has a large number of widely distributed perforations and which thus serves to support masses of rock that may subsequent-ly become detached from the originally self support-ing well walls without closing communication between the interior and exterior of said lining through said perforations, substantially as described.

15. The method of preparing a well which has been bored in porous self supporting rock, consisting in inserting in such rock walled portion of the well hole a. stout perforated lining which fills the well bore at least approximately and which serves to support masses of rock that may subsequently become detached from the originally self sustaining well walls, and also forming by the introduction of sand through the well hole a retaining wall in t-he ground at a suitable dist-ance from the well hole to leave between the latter and said retaining wall a space in which fluid can be contained, which-space is open on the side of the well hole for passage of fluid between said space and the well, substantially as described.I

16. A well having a retaining wall of artificially introduced sand in the ground under unremoved overlying strata at a distance from the .well hole to leave bet-Ween itself and the latter a space in which fluid can be contained, said space being open on the side of the well hole for passage of fluid between said s ace and the well, substantially as des'criged.v

17. A well sunk into an underground porous deposit of naturally solid but liquefiable substance and having a retaining wall of artificially introduced sand about the well hole at a distance therefrom to inclose a.

19. A well sunk into rock at its lower partand having walls at such part which are naturally self supporting and also having each of the two features following, namely,

F first, a stout perforated lining in the lower part of the well adapted to support the pressure of detached masses ofv rock and lilling the well bore at least approximately, and, second, interior piping extending from the surface of the ground down into said lining, substantially as described.

20. A well sunk into porous rock and provided in such rock with a stout perforated lining and also with a retaining wall of artificially introduced sand, said lining lilling the well bore at least approximately and being adapted to support the pressure of detached masses of rock, land said retaining wall being located under unremoved overlying strata at a distance from the well hole to leave between itself and the latter a space in which fluid can be contained, and said space being open on the side of the well `hole for passage of fluid between said space and the well, substantially as described.

21. A well having a retaining wall of artifically introduced sand in the ground under unremoved overlying strata at a dis- -tance from the well hole to leave between itselfand the latter a space in which fluid can be contained and valso having interior piping which extends from the surface of the ground to below the top of said wall, said space being open on the side of the well hole for passage of fluid between said space and the well, substantially as described.

22. A well sunk into,a deposit of naturally solid but liquefiable substance and provided with a stout perforated lining in said deposit of approximately atleast t-he diameter of the well bore and with means for introducing liquefying fluid into the interior of said lining, so that the delivery of said fluid into the deposit is modified by the passage of the fluid through said lining'and is Y by the presence of said lining protected against stoppage by the 'falling in of solid matter of the deposit, substantially as described.

23. A well sunk into a deposit of naturally solid but liquefiable substance and hav;

ing a stout perforated lining in said deposit' and an overlyin the well bore o continuation and also a pipe connection for introducing liquefying fiuid into Said overl ing portlon of the well bore toJ be thence elivered into the deposit through Said lining, so that the delivery of the fluid from fiuid conveying portion of said well bore into the de o sit is modified' by the passage of said iiuid t rou h said lining and is by the presence of saiigl lining protected against stoppage by the falllng in of solid matter of the deposit, substantially as described,

24. A well sunk into a deposit of naturally solid but liqueable substance and provided with a stout perforated lining in said deposit of approximately at least the diameter of the well bore and with means for introducing liquefying fluid into the interior of said lining, and also with an interior pipe for raising the liquefied substance, so .that the delivery of said fluid into the deposit is modified by the passage of the fluid through said lining and is by the presence of said lining protected against stoppage by the falling in of solid mat-ter of the deposit, while Vsaid interior pipe is protected by said lining from injury by such falling matter, substantially as described.

25. A well sunk into a deposit of naturally solid'but liquefiable substance and having each of the four features following, namely, a stout perforated lining in said deposit, an overlylng fluid conveying portion of the well bore of which said linin forms a continuation, an interior fluid pipe with out-let below a large part ofthe perforations of said lining, and means for supplying liquefying, fluid to the upper part of said lining through the said overlying portion of the well bore and to said interior pipe, substantially as described. A

26. A well sunk into a deposit of naturally solid but liquefiable substance and provided with each of the three features following, namely, a stout perforated lining in said deposit of approximately at least the diameter of the well bore, an interior Huid delivery pipe with outlet below a large part of the perforations of said lining, and

means for supplying liquefying fiuid for delivery into the deposit in part after delivery into said lining above the outlet of said interior pipe and passage through perforations in said linin and in part after conveyance through said interior pi e to a lower level, substantially as describe 27. The process of mining by liquefaction underground' of the substance to be'lnined, consisting in inserting in the deposit .a stout which said lining formsy a elivery the perforated lining of approximately at least fthe diameter of the well bore and an interior pipe for raising the liquefied substance, introducing liquefying luld into the lnterior of said lining, causing it to iow out into the deposit through the perforations in said linlng, and raising the liqueied substance through said interior pipe, so that the delivery of said'v fluid into the deposit is modified by the passage o part at least of the fluid through said lining and is by the presence of said lining protected against stop age by the falling 1n of solid matter of deposit while the'raising of t-he liquefied substance through said interior pipe is also protected by said lining, substantially as described.

28. The process of mining by liquefaction underground of the substance to b'e mined, consisting in inserting in the deposit a stout perforated-lin' of a proximately at least the diameter of 51e 'weg bore and an interior fluid delivering pipe with outlet below a lar e part at east of the perforations of sai lining, introducing liquefyin fluid into the deposit in part after elivery into said lining above the outlet of said interior pipe and passage through erforations in said lining and in part a ter conveyance through said interior pi e to a lower level, and removing thelique ed substance, substantially as described.

HERMAN AFRASCH.

Witnesses:

J. C. UPDEGROVE, W. N. WILKINSON.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4869555 *Jan 6, 1988Sep 26, 1989Pennzoil Sulphur CompanyApparatus for recovery of sulfur
Classifications
U.S. Classification299/6
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/285