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Publication numberUS1510655 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 7, 1924
Filing dateNov 21, 1922
Priority dateNov 21, 1922
Publication numberUS 1510655 A, US 1510655A, US-A-1510655, US1510655 A, US1510655A
InventorsCornelius Clark
Original AssigneeCornelius Clark
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Process of subterranean distillation of volatile mineral substances
US 1510655 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Qct. 7 i924. 1,510,655

C. CLARK PROCESS OF SUBTERRANEAN DISTILLATION OF VOLATILE MINERAL SUBSTANCES Fired Nov.` 21. 1922 v- ,y INVENTOR.l Cornelus C' A TTORNEY rammed oci. 7, 1924.

CORNELIUS CL, F LODI, CALH'OB'NIA.

raoonss or sUBTEnaANnaN DIs'rILLA'r FFlj'c..

ION 0F VOLATILE MINERAL SUBSTACES.

Application mea November 21, 1922. serial No. cacca This invention relates to the destructive' distillation by heat of volatile mineral substances, particularly such substances as are classed under the general head of carbohydrates, the distilling whereof, as is .well known, being for the purpose offreeing the volatile substances from which asoline,ben zine, kerosene and other usefull liquids are ultimately obtained I have vin mind a process particularly intended and adapted forvuse in connection with what is known as oil shale deposits,

which contain a good vpercentage of the above named products, the principal object of my invention being to provide a process by means of which the shale may be decomosed and the volatile substances therein reed withoutthe necessity of rst mining or removing the shale-from the earth. In other words, I distill the substances from the shale directly from the beds or deposits of the latter where found, using the earth or surrounding substance as a retort or crucible in which the distillation is carried on.

Other than the obvious necessity of sinking a bore from the 'surface of the earthto 4o and into the deposit to be'worked, my -process embodies no expense of mining opera- Y tions, sincel as above stated, the Jdeposit, other than that removed wheny sinking the bore, is left where it lies underground, and serves as the walls of the natural retort thus formed. Since the cost ofoperatipn of distillation itself with my process is no more than that lincurred with the usual form of distillation, I am rmly of. the belief that with its use, deposits the cost of mining or extraction of which precludes Vcompetition with other sources of supply at present. may be successfully worked and the volatile substances thereof extracted at a cost enabling empati- .tion to be met and with a profit to the operators.

To more readily explain the process, I refer to the accompanying drawing, which shows, more or less diagrammatically, the application of the process to an :underground .l bed of a mineral substance having the required properties, such as lthe oilshale as above stated.

In carrying out the process, la bore 1 of y suitable size is first sunk from the surface of' the ground to and into the deposit 2 "of oil shale or the like.

Electric-current cables 3, thoroughlyinsulated against heat by a suitable covering 4 of asbestos and the like, are lowered into the bore, and are connected at their`lower ends to a bare heating element 5 of suitable construction, said element being of a nature ltlo develop, and be Aable to withstand, great eat.

above the deposit 2, is sealed as at 6 so as to The upper end of the bore 1, lor at leastl make said bore an air-tight enclosure, a pipe 7 leading from the bore to the' outside .thereof above the seal to enable the air in the bore to be withdrawn and if necessary a gas devoid of oxygen to be pumped into the bore, so as to eliminate the possibility of the subterranean ignition `'and explosion of thevolatile matter first liberated by the heat of the element 4.

Another pipe 8 leads from the bore outside thereof, havin branches 9 if desired to the leading to individua receiving .tanks 10' j from which air is excluded, shut-ofvalves 11 being interposed in the .branches so as to control the flow to the different tanks, and to enable one such tankif desired receiving the low of liberated gas of one certain den- -1 sity, while the other tank may then receive only gas of different density, since gases of different densities are liberatedcwith dif- Y It will therefore be evident that a retortfor thel destructive distillation of the deposit 2 is formed in the bowels of the earth by the deposit itself or its surrounding materials.

The heat `generated by the element 5 acts on the deposit to liberate the volatile gases therein, which having no other outletl than the pipe 8 pass into the latter. As the process is continued and the material lining the bore becomes highly heated, said material after giving oil' its volatile constituents, becomes calcined and crumbles away, being greatly reduced in bulk or volume, and falling to the bottom of the bore. Fresh matemal is then exposed to the action of the heat, and this material in turn shrinks in bulk and falls away.

rlhis action is gradual and continuous, resulting finally in anenlarged cavity being formed at the bottom of the bore, and the process may thus be carried on indefinitely with the one bore as an outlet or until the deposit is exhausted, which will of course be evident to and noted by those on the surface from the `quantity of gas passing into the pipe 8.

While as before stated, l have particularly in mind to apply this process to oilshale deposits, ll believe it may be used with success in the distillation or liberation of volatile gases from the oil of wells which are no longer flowing, thereby eliminating the necessity of installing expensive outfits to bring the oil to the surface for distillation.

llt will therefore be seenthat l have produced a process which substantially fulfills Lorente the objects ot the invention, as detined by the appended claims,

Having thus described my invention, what ll claim as new and useful and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A process for the destructive distillation ol volatile mineral substances consisting essentially in sinking a bore into a deposit of such substance providing a source of heat in said bore in the lane of the substance, sealing the bore a ove said source providing an outlet past the seal for the escape of gases from the substance, air being excluded from admission to said outlet, and providing means for removing or neutralizing the oxygen initially in the bore after the seal is placed and prior to the operation of the heat means.

2. A process for the destructive distillation of volatilemineral substances consist- 'l ing essdntia'lly in sinking a bore into a deposit of such substance, providing' a source of heat in said bore in the plane of the substance, sealing the bore above said source, providing an outlet past the seal for the escape of gases from the substance, air being excluded from admission to said'outlet, and providing a pipe leading 4past the seal into the bore whereby the air mitially therein may be removed and a gas free ot oxygen admitted thereto.

ln testimony whereof ll ax my signature.

CRNELUJS CLARK.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/302, 166/60
International ClassificationE21B43/24, E21B43/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/2401
European ClassificationE21B43/24B