US 1435555 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. H. ROBERTS.
METHOD OF DISTRIBUTING GASES.
APPLICATION FILED OCT- !6, I918- Patented Nov. 141, 1922 Patented Nov. 14, I922.
MONTAGUE H. ROBERTS, OF JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY, ASSIG-NOR TO AIR REDUCTION COMPANY, INCORPORATED, OF NEW YORK, N. Y., A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.
METHOD OF DISTRIBUTING- GASES.
Application filed October 16, 1918. Serial Nb.'258,408.
To all whomit may concern:
Be it known that I, MONTAGU'E H. ROBERTS, a citizen of the United States, residing at Jersey City, in the county of Hudson, State of New Jersey, have invented certam new and useful Improvements in Methods of Distributing Gases; and I do hereby de clare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.
This invention relates to a method of distributing gases and more particularly, such as are intended to be subsequently combined in combustible mixtures, although the invention is in no way limited to use with specific gases.
Among the objects of the invent on are the prevention of freezing of moisture carried by the gases, elimination of danger in heating the gas conduit, in the event of freezing, dilution of the escaped gas to prevent the formation of explosive mixtures, and detection of any leakage which may occur.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent, as it is better understood, by reference to the following specification, when read in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating one means of carrying my invention into efiect, in which Fig. 1 is a schematic view illustrating the distribution of the gas; Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section through a portion of the conduit and Fig. 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2.
While my invention will be described in connection with the distribution of oxygen and acetylene,'or ethylene, intended to be combined as combustible mixtures, for use in torches or blow-pipes, it is to be understood that the invention is generally applicable to the distribution of any gases where similar problems arise.
It is usual to convey oxygen and acetylene, or ethylene, under compression in cylinders, which provide a limited quantity of the gases and must be replaced, from time to time, as the cylinders become exhausted. I propose to convey these gases from the source of supply to the various points in a building or plant where the gases are to be utilized in suitable pipes. The gases are compressed in water lubricated compressors, and consequently are practically saturated ethylene.
with moisture. In freezing weather, therefore, the moisture would normally congeal, eventually fill the pipes and prevent further movement of the gases. Owing to the combustible natureof the gases, it would be highly dangerous to heat them with an open flame, according to the common practice in thawing frozen pipes. Furthermore, in conveying oxygen and acetylene, or ethylene, under pressure in pipes, there is a constant danger of leakage and the formation of explosive mixtures which might become accidentally ignited.
In carrying out my invention, I propose tosurround the pipes in which the oxygen and acetylene, or ethylene, are conveyed, with a conduit in which the waste nitrogen from the liquid air machines producing the oxygen is constantly flowing. Referring more particularly to the drawing, 5 indicates a source of oxygen and acetylene, or ethylene, and preferably includes machines for recovering oxygen from the atmosphere, a corresponding quantity of nitrogen being also recovered, which is, of course, of no particular value at the point of production, and which normally leaves the machines at a relatively elevated temperature and is exhausted to the atmosphere. 6 cates various buildings of a plant, it being understood that the drawing is diagrammatic and merely for the purpose of illustration. From the source of gases 5, a conduit 7 leads through its various, branches to the buildings 6 where the gases are to be utilized. The ends of the branches extend through the buildings and are open to permit the nitrogen to be exhausted to the atmosphere, when it has served its purpose.
Within the conduit 7, I provide two pipes 8 and 9, one carrying the supply of oxygen, and the other the supply of acetylene, or Short branch I pipes 10 and 11 extend from the pipes 8 and 9 through the walls of the conduit 7 at various points where the gases are to be utilized, and are provided with controlling valves 12 and 13, and end connections 14 and 15, which permit the connection of torches or other apparatus for the utilization of the gases to the pipes 8 and 9. The pipes 8 and 9 are provided with suitable control valves 14' and 15' near theirentrance to the conduit '7 As will be readily understood, the pipes 8 and 9 within the conduit are completely indiconduit surrounded by a flowing stream-of nitrogen, at a sufficiently elevated temperature, to maintain the gases in a warm condition, which will prevent freezing at any normal atmospheric temperatures, so long as the nitrogen continues to flow. The amount of nitrogen is suflicient to dilute and carry away any possible leakage from the pipes 8 and 9, the combustible gas being so diffused in the nitrogen stream that the formation of explosive mixtures becomes impossible. Should the flow of nitrogen temorarily cease and the pipes 8 and 9 freeze in cold weather they may be readily thawed.
by the a plication of an open flame to the the nitrogen stream preventing the formation of mixtures with any leaking as which might become ignited through the heating of the conduit. hawing may also be accomplished by increasing the temperature of the stream of nitrogen or by allowing it to flow for a more or less protracted period.
As additional assurance against possible explosions, it is desirable to determine, from time to time, whether any leakage is taking lace, and to accomplish this, I provide, at intervals, in the conduit 7, a pet-cock 16 through which nitrogen may be withdrawn from the conduit 7. The nitro en thus withdrawn may be readily analyze and the presence of oxygen or acetylene, or ethylene, in the gaswill indicate leaka e from the pipes Sand 9. The point at WhlCh this leakage occurs ma be readily determmed by withdrawing nitrogen from the various petcocks 16.
The nitrogen employed in ca ing out my invention preferably comes rom the oxygen column direct, but may be passed through the intercooler of the compressor of the liquid air machine from which it is delivered at a somewhat higher temperature than that at which it escapes from the column. The nitrogen is absolutely dry and is not, therefore, subject to freezing as are the other gases which are saturated with water vapor. Dry as is a poor conductor of heat and accor ingly the conduit 7 may be located above the ground without danger of freezing'the moisture in the gases even in very cold weather.
From the foregoing, it will be readily a preciated that I have devised a method 0 and means for distributing gases which normall can be distributed onlythrough the me ium of cylinders carrying a limited supply thereof, and that my invention not only facilitates the handling of the gases, but greatly decreases, the cost of such handling, since expensive cylinders are entirely eliminated. Furthermore, a constant su ply of the gases is always available at t e point where they are to be utilized and op-' of providing a fresh supply of gases in cylinders.
It will be understood that "the method of the present invention may be racticed upon other forms of ap aratus t 'an that shown herein and also t at various modifications of the method, as well as in the details of construction of the a paratus may be made without departing rom the principle of the invention.
I claim as my invention: a 1, A method of distributing combustible gases which comprises conveying a as in a conductor and surrounding the con uctor with a flowing stream consisting of a relatively large volume of an inert fluid medium to dilute and carry away any gas leaking from the conductor. 2. A method of distributing gases which comprises conveying a gas in a conductor and surrounding the conductor with a warm flowing stream of a dry fluid medium to prevent freezing of moisture in the gas carried by the conductor. 7
3. A method of distributing gases which comprises'conveying a gas in a conductor and surrounding the conductor with a rela- 5. A metho of distributing gases which comprises conveying a s in a conductor and surrounding the con uctor with a flowing stream of nitrogen to dilute and carry away any gas leaking from the conductor.
6. A method of distributing gases .which comprises conveying a s in a conductor and surrounding the con uctor with a warm flowing stream of nitrogen,- the volume of nitrogen being relatively greater than the volume of the gas conveyed to dilute and carry away any gas leaking from'the conductor, and to revent freezin of moisture in the gas carried'by the con uctor.
7. A method of distributing oxygen and a combustible gas which comprises conveying the oxygen and combustible gas 111 separate conductors and surrounding the conductors with .a relatively large volume of an inert fluid medium.
8. A method of distributing oyxgen and a combustible gas which com rises conveying the oxygenand combustible gas in separate conductors and surrounding the conductors with a flowing stream of a dry fluid medium,
65 erations are not Interrupted by the necessity a combustible gas which comprises conveythe oxygen and eombustibieigas in sepeductors with a flowing stream 0 the con-- nitrogen. 10. A method of distributing oxygen and rate r conductors and surrounding a combustible gas which comprises conveying the: oxygen and combustible gas in sepaneswee '11; A method of distributing oxygen anea, combustible gas such as acetylene, which comprises conveying the oxygen and combustible gas in separate conductors, and surrounding the conductors with a, flowing stream of nitrogen at a, temperature suffi,
cient to ried by t e oxygen and combustible ges.
' oNrAennj Y Runners.
revent freezing of moisture cer-=' c' In testimony whereof Iaifix my'signeturo. ,by'the oxygen and I