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Publication numberUS20070074539 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/241,520
Publication dateApr 5, 2007
Filing dateOct 3, 2005
Priority dateOct 3, 2005
Publication number11241520, 241520, US 2007/0074539 A1, US 2007/074539 A1, US 20070074539 A1, US 20070074539A1, US 2007074539 A1, US 2007074539A1, US-A1-20070074539, US-A1-2007074539, US2007/0074539A1, US2007/074539A1, US20070074539 A1, US20070074539A1, US2007074539 A1, US2007074539A1
InventorsThomas Rossewey
Original AssigneeRossewey Thomas A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dry ice container and portable apparatus and process for the production of dry ice
US 20070074539 A1
Abstract
Portable snow and dry ice production system for use and handling individuals in home and recreational applications, rather than experts skilled in the field of manufacture of dry ice, and more specifically to a portable container for manufacturing solid carbon dioxide particles in the form of a tubular member having peripheral slits there around as well as to a method and apparatus for facilitating the formation, capture and compression of snow-like carbon dioxide in a portable environment conducive to efficient formation of dry ice.
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Claims(20)
1. A collection chamber for creating dry ice comprising:
a first tubular member having a diameter, a first end, a second end, a length and a longitudinal axis extending from said first end to said second end, and a periphery having an inside surface and an outside surface; a plurality of slits which extend through said periphery from said inside surface of said periphery through said outside surface of said periphery;
wherein carbon dioxide introduced into said collection chamber forms dry ice within said collection chamber as carbon dioxide vapor escapes through said plurality of slits.
2. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 1 further comprises a rib portion, wherein said slits are positioned circumferentially through said periphery of said tubular member and wherein said slits are configured to comprise a first segment of slits and a second segment of slits, said first segment being spatially separated from said second segment by said rib portion which about the periphery of said collection chamber.
3. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 2 to further comprise a third segment of slits, a fourth segment of slits and a spine portion, said third segment of slits and said fourth segment of slits are spatially separated from said first segment of slits and said second segment of slits by a spine section of said tubular member, said spine section extending from a first end of said collection chamber to said second end of said collection chamber.
4. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 3 to further comprise a first closure means positioned on said first end of said collection chamber wherein said first closure means comprises a tubular member comprising a first connector and a first plug, said first connector comprising a tubular configuration and having a first end and a second end, said first end of said first connector having an internal diameter whereby said first end of said collection chamber may be slideably mated with said first end of said first connector and wherein said second end of said first closure has an internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure, and wherein said first plug comprises a tubular configuration having a first end and a second end, said second end of said plug having threads about the periphery of said plug for mating engagement with said internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure means.
5. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 4 to further comprise a second closure means position on said second end of said collection chamber wherein said second closure means comprises a tubular member comprising a second connector and a first cap, said second connector comprising a tubular configuration and having a first end and a second end, said first end of said second connector having an internal diameter whereby said second end of said collection chamber may be slidably mated with said first end of said second connector and wherein said second end of said second closure has an externally threaded portion about the periphery of said second closure and wherein said first cap comprises a tubular configuration having a first end and a second end, said second end of said cap having threads about the internal periphery of said cap for mating engagement with said externally threaded portion about the outside periphery of said second closure means.
6. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 5 to further comprise:
a second tubular member having a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal axis extending from said first end to said second end, and a periphery having an inside surface and an outside surface;
a plurality of slits which extend through said periphery from said inside surface of said periphery through said outside surface of said periphery and
a third closure means positioned on said first end of said second tubular member, wherein said third closure means comprises:
a first connector and
a first cap,
said first connector of said third closure means comprising:
a tubular configuration and having
a first end and
a second end, said second end of said first connector having:
an internal diameter whereby said first end of said second tubular member may be slideably mated with said second end of said first connector and wherein said first end of said first connector of said third closure has an externally threaded portion about the outside periphery of said third closure means and wherein said first cap comprises:
a tubular configuration having:
a first end and
a second end,
said second end of said cap having threads about the internal periphery of said cap for mating engagement with said first end of said externally threaded portion about the outside periphery of said third closure means whereby said externally threaded portion about the outside periphery of said third closure means may be screwingly engaged with said first closure member of said collection chamber when said plug of said first closure member of said collection chamber is disengaged therefrom.
7. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 6 to further comprise a fourth closure means positioned on said second end of said second tubular member wherein said fourth closure means comprises a tubular member comprising a first connector and a first plug, said first connector comprising a tubular configuration and having a first end and a second end, said first end of said first connector having an internal diameter whereby said first end of said collection chamber may be slideably mated with said first end of said first connector and wherein said second end of said first closure has an internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure, and wherein said first plug comprises a tubular configuration having a first end and a second end, said second end of said plug having threads about the periphery of said plug for mating engagement with said internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure means.
8. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 1 in combination with a filtration chamber comprising a tubular filtration jacket, said tubular filtration jacket comprising a length substantially the same as said length of said collection chamber and a diameter substantially the same as the periphery of said collection chamber, said collection chamber being positioned inside said tubular filtration jacket, wherein the space between said tubular filtration jacket and said collection chamber comprises said filtration chamber and wherein said filtration jacket has a porosity to trap purulent carbon dioxide from passing therethrough while enabling carbon dioxide vapor to pass there through whereby the efficiency of transformation of liquid carbon dioxide to dry ice is enhanced.
9. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 8 wherein said filtration jacket insulates said collection chamber from ambient atmosphere surrounding said collection chamber.
10. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 8 wherein said tubular filtration jacket is comprised of synthetic material to trap liquid carbon dioxide and permit vapor to pass there through while deterring sublimation of liquid carbon dioxide.
11. A collection chamber for creating dry ice comprising:
a first tubular member having a diameter, a first end, a second end, a length and a longitudinal axis extending from said first end to said second end, and a periphery having an inside surface and an outside surface; a plurality of slits which extend through said periphery from said inside surface of said periphery through said outside surface of said periphery in combination with an aggregation chamber for introducing carbon dioxide into said collection chamber to form dry ice within said collection chamber as carbon dioxide vapor escapes through said plurality of slits, said aggregation chamber comprising:
a tubular chamber having a first planar end having an opening there through, a length and a diameter greater than said diameter of said collection chamber for sliding engagement of an end said aggregation chamber to said collection chamber, whereby said aggregation chamber is extant between said first end of said collection chamber and said planar end of said tubular chamber and wherein carbon dioxide enters into said aggregation chamber through said opening through said planar end wherein carbon dioxide entering said aggregation chamber causes carbon dioxide snow to form and accumulate inside said aggregation chamber at said planar surface to cool carbon dioxide liquid entering into said aggregation chamber before the carbon dioxide thereafter enters into said collection chamber.
12. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 11 to further comprise a first closure means positioned on said first end of said collection chamber wherein said first closure means comprises a tubular member comprising a first connector and a first plug, said first connector comprising a tubular configuration and having a first end and a second end, said first end of said first connector having an internal diameter whereby said first end of said collection chamber may be slideablely mated with said first end of said first connector and wherein said second end of said first closure has an internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure, and wherein said first plug comprises a tubular configuration having a first end and a second end, said second end of said plug having threads about the periphery of said plug for mating engagement with said internally threaded portion about the inside periphery of said first closure means.
13. A collection chamber for creating dry ice as set forth in claim 1 in combination with a liquid carbon dioxide reservoir and a storage apparatus wherein said collection chamber and said liquid carbon dioxide reservoir are disposed when carbon dioxide introduced into said collection chamber forms dry ice within said collection chamber as carbon dioxide vapor escapes through said plurality of slits and into said storage apparatus to provide a cooling chamber housing said carbon dioxide reservoir and said collection chamber.
14. An apparatus as set forth in claim 13 wherein said storage apparatus comprises a rectangular unit having a front, a back, a left side, a right side, a bottom and a top and wherein said top is hinged to said back of said storage apparatus such that the top may be opened and wherein said front is hinged to the bottom of said rectangular unit such that the front door so formed may be opened to receive into said cooling chamber said carbon dioxide reservoir wherein said door comprises a collar member positioned thereon for mating engagement with a collar member positioned on said back of said storage apparatus for forming a top portion of said cooling chamber and for positioning said carbon dioxide reservoir in said storage unit such that a portion of said carbon dioxide reservoir protrudes outside said cooling chamber.
15. A method of providing highly agglomerated carbon dioxide snow, comprising supplying pressurized flow of liquid carbon dioxide into the agglomeration chamber according to claim 11 whereupon the carbon dioxide flows through said agglomeration chamber and thorough said slits of said collection chamber and expands to form solid carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide vapor in said agglomeration chamber and said collection chamber to form solid carbon dioxide.
16. Method for packaging carbon dioxide snow in a collection chamber in which method the following steps are employed:
a—a fluid which has a temperature below the dew point of the air is injected into and in contact with the collection chamber, then,
b—the carbon dioxide snow is introduced into the collection chamber, then
c—the collection chamber is closed.
17. Method according to claim 16 characterized in that it comprises a prior step of passing the fluid passes through an agglomeration chamber before being introduced into the collection chamber.
18. Method according to claim 16 characterized in that the fluid which has a temperature below the dew point is liquid carbon dioxide.
19. A method of providing highly agglomerated carbon dioxide snow, comprising supplying a pressurized flow of liquid carbon dioxide into the collection chamber according to claim 1 whereupon the carbon dioxide flows into said collection chamber and expands to form solid carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide vapor in said collection chamber as carbon dioxide vapor escapes through said plurality of slits.
20. Method according to claim 16 characterized in that it comprises a prior step of positioning the collection chamber in a sleeve which forms an insulation chamber around the collection chamber as dry ice is formed within the collection chamber.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a portable snow and dry ice production system for use and handling individuals in home and recreational applications, rather than experts skilled in the field of manufacture of dry ice, and more specifically to a portable container for manufacturing solid carbon dioxide particles in the form of a tubular member having peripheral slits there around as well as to a method and apparatus for facilitating the formation, capture and compression of snow-like carbon dioxide in a portable environment conducive to efficient formation of dry ice.

2. Description of Related Art

Carbon dioxide (CO2) in its liquid and solid forms is used in many commercial and industrial applications to provide dry ice for refrigeration, freezing, and cooling applications. Much technology is devoted to the formation of dry ice for use in the food, beverage, and medical industries for the refrigeration and freezing of foodstuffs and medical supplies that must be kept at low temperatures without interrupting their refrigeration system from the time they are refrigerated or frozen until the time that are used.

Numerous apparatuses are known for converting liquid carbon dioxide into solid matter in commercial applications such as packing plants or refrigeration systems for commercial use. Such embodiments are typically not easily portable, nor are they for use in a fully self recreational environment or by individuals unskilled in the art of manufacturing dry ice. They do not provide a portable lockable enclosure for the apparatus which is essential for use in a home environment.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,148.679 to Eve discloses a portable device for producing solid carbon dioxide having a heat exchange coil across which heat transfer takes place to cool the flow of liquid carbon dioxide and a foraminous bag which are enclosed in a pressurized thermally insulated space attached to the outlet of an expansion nozzle for collecting solid carbon dioxide while the rest of the liquid carbon dioxide evaporates into gaseous carbon dioxide which flows out of the foraminous bag to atmosphere. A pressure relief valve is provided to regulate the pressure within the insulated chamber and to permit the escape of gaseous carbon dioxide exiting the foraminous bag to atmosphere. Dry ice is collected in the bag while the bag is in the selectively pressurized chamber. The user must then open the pressurized chamber and remove a bag which is attached underneath the heat exchange unit which is also within the pressurized chamber.

Gibot et al, U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,481, discloses a method and device for packaging carbon dioxide snow in a plastic film which film may thereafter be cut into packageable units containing dry ice. Prior to the introduction of carbon dioxide into the plastic film, a fluid with a temperature below the dew point of the air is injected into and in contact with the plastic film container.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,916,922 disclosed a rapid freezing apparatus for forming dry ice in a dry ice collecting chamber around a cooling chamber in which cooling chamber specimens, biological samples or other matter is positioned to be frozen. This disclosure is directed to the initial freezing process and not to the production of dry ice for later use.

US. Pat. No. 3,871,107 describes a freeze dryer which utilizes an aluminum container cooled by snow formed upon the expansion of carbon dioxide formed by the expansion of carbon dioxide gas into the container.

U.S. Pat. No, 4,224,801 discloses a refrigeration unit which is cooled by dry ice mixed with liquid carbon dioxide in such a tank.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,209,341 B1 discloses a plant for the manufacture of block dry ice wherein a dose of dry ice is placed within a casing and then liquid carbon dioxide is inserted into the casing by way of an injection device which is inserted into and within the casing.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,374,658 discloses a machine for making block dry ice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An objective of the present invention is to provide a portable container for use by unskilled users in a home or recreational application for producing, housing and transporting dry ice.

A further objective is to provide a portable container for use in making small 00quantities of carbon dioxide in a non-commercial application.

Yet another objective of the invention is to provide a light-weight, portable apparatus for housing a source of carbon dioxide which may be connected to a container which effects the production of solid carbon dioxide.

Other objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading and understanding this specification, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the container with closeable ends for effecting the formation, collection, and storage of dry ice.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the container.

FIG. 3 a is a partial perspective exploded view of a typical closure for a first end of said container disclosed in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 b is a partial perspective top view of a first end view of the typical closure disclosed in FIG. 3 a.

FIG. 3 c is a partial perspective bottom view of a first end view of the typical closure disclosed in FIG. 3 a.

FIG. 4 a is a partial perspective side view of a typical closure for a second end of said container disclosed in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 b is a partial top view of a second end view of a typical closure disclosed in FIG. 4 a.

FIG. 4 c is a partial perspective bottom view of a second end view of a typical closure disclosed in FIG. 4 a.

FIG. 5 is a front and back view of a sleeve which mates about the cylinder of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a front view of the sleeve with one end thereof folded over to disclose a first end view disclosed in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the cylinder there on and there about.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a front view of collection chamber with an aggregation chamber positioned on the collection chamber.

FIG. 10 is a cross partial sectional view of collection chamber with aggregation chamber positioned on a first end thereof.

FIG. 11 is a schematic partial vertical cross-sectional view of an assembly including a standard container of liquid carbon dioxide connected to a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of this invention.

FIG. 12 discloses a portable apparatus for housing the carbon dioxide supply and the collection chambers for ultimate use by a lay person to manufacture dry ice.

FIG. 13 is a partially exploded view of a portable apparatus according to the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a collar in the portable apparatus of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a side view showing how two collection chambers may be joined together to achieve a desired length.

FIG. 16 is a side view of two collection chambers boxcared.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, in which like numerals represent like components throughout the several views, FIG. 1. is a perspective view Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

Referring now to FIG. 1, collection chamber 2 having a tubular configuration having a first end 4 and a second end 6. First end 4 has a first closure means 8 positioned thereon. Second end 6 has a second closure means 10 positioned thereon. Closure means 8 and closure means 10 are secured in their respective positions when collection chamber 2 is being stored to prevent foreign matter from entering collection chamber 2. Closure means 8 and closure means 10 are also secured in their respective positions after collection chamber 2 is caused to contain dry ice as will be disclosed hereinafter.

FIG. 2 discloses a preferred embodiment of collection chamber 2. Collection chamber 2 may have different configurations; however, in the preferred embodiment, collection chamber is a tubular member having a longitudinal axis 12 and a periphery 14 and a length 16 having a plurality of slits 18 disposed uniformly and partially about periphery 14 and along the length 16 of collection chamber 2. In a preferred embodiment, slits 18 have a width 20 of approximately 0.010 inches in a preferred embodiment and a length 22. while the slits are circumferential slits in a preferred embodiment, the slits may be of varied configurations other than circular, such as longitudinal or longitudinal and circular slits in the same collection chamber.

Slits 18 are arranged into first segment or group 24 and second segment or group 26 disposed between first end 4 of collection chamber 2 and second end 6 of collection chamber 2, about periphery 14 of collection chamber 2 and along length 16 of collection chamber 2. A first segment or group 24 is separated from a second segment or group 26 along length 16 of collection chamber 2 by ribs 28 which encase the entire periphery 14 of collection chamber 2. Ends 32 of width of slits 20 in segment or group 24 are about a section of collection chamber 2 referred to as spine 30. Spine 30 extends along periphery 14 of collection chamber 2 from first end 4 of collection chamber 2 to second end 6 of collection chamber 2.

Spine 30 and ribs 28 provide rigidity and integrity to collection chamber 2. Collection chamber 2 may be provided with a third segment or group 34 and fourth segment or group 36 wherein said first segment or group 24 is symmetrically positioned on periphery 14 of collection chamber 2 from said second segment or group 26 by a spine 30. Collection chamber 2 would then have a second spine 31 geometrically and symmetrically opposite spine 30 and having the same configuration as spine 30. Collection chamber 2 may have any configuration of segments or groups having different configurations and other configurations of ribs and spines as may be determined to provide an efficient collection chamber for formation and collection of carbon dioxide as dry ice.

Collection chamber 2 may have a first closure means 8 on first end 4 of collection chamber 2 and a second closure means 10 on second end 6 of collection chamber 2. Said first closure means 8 and said second closure means 10 may have different components as determined to cause collection chamber 2 to be closed when collection chamber 2 is not in use and when collection chamber 2 is filled with dry ice. Collection chamber 2 is selectively made from a material that is ultraviolet and extreme-temperature tested as well as human, food and dishwasher safe.

Referring to FIG. 3 a, FIG. 3 b and FIG. 3 c, a typical first closure means 8 may comprise a first connector 38 and a first plug 40. First connector 38 has a tubular shape with a first end 42 and a second end 44. First end 42 has an internal diameter 46 (FIG. 4 b) such that connector 38 may be slidable and snugly receive there into for mating engagement to said first end 4 of collection chamber 2. Second end 44 of first closure means 8 has an internally threaded portion 58 about the peripheral inside of first connector 38.

First plug 40 is tubular and has a first end 48 and a second end 50. First end 48 has threaded portion 52 Said first end 48 may concave as disclosed in more detail in FIG. 3 b or may be closed (solid). Referring to FIG. 3 b, end 48 of plug 40 is dimensioned to have an outside diameter 54 which has disposed about periphery 56 of the first end 48 of plug 40, a threaded portion 52. The threaded portion 52 is dimensioned to threadably engage and secure into second end 44 of first connector 38. In use, connector 38 is forcibly joined onto and about the periphery 14 of collection chamber 2 and plug 40 may then be threadably engaged into second end 44 of first connector means 38. When connector 38 and plug 40 are mating engaged and when first end 42 of first connection 38 is matingly engaged with first end 4 of collection chamber 2 the first end 4 of collection chamber 2 is thus closed.

When or before first connector 38 is engaged with collection chamber 2, plug 40 may be removed from first connector 38 to permit attachment therewith or passage there through the introduction of pulverulent carbon dioxide and/or liquid or vaporous carbon dioxide to effect the formation of dry ice within collection chamber 2. FIG.1 shows first closure means 8 at first end 4 of collection chamber 2 when first connector 38 and plug 40 are all engaged to selectively seal or close first end 4 of collection chamber 2 As may be observed in FIG. 1 a second closure means 10 may be disposed on second end 6 of collection chamber 2. Second closure means 10 may be identical to first closure means 8. A preferred second closure means is disclosed in more detail in FIG. 4 a, FIG. 4 b and FIG. 4 c. Second closure means 10 comprises a second connector 60 and a cap 62. Second connetor 60 is tubular in configuration and has a first end 64 and a second end 66.

Referring to FIG. 4 a, FIG. 4 b and FIG. 4 c, a typical second closure means 10 may comprise a second connector 60 and a cap 62. Second connector 60 has a tubular shape with a first end 64 and a second end 66. First end 64 has an internal diameter 68 (FIG. 4b) such that second connector 60 may be slidable and snugly receive there into for mating engagement to said second end 6 of collection chamber 2. Second end 66 of second connector 60 has an externally threaded portion 70 about the peripheral outside of end 66 of second connector 60.

Cap 62 is tubular and has a first end 72 and a second end 74. First end 72 has internally threaded portion 76. Said first end 72 of cap 62 is disclosed in more detail in FIG. 4 b. The threaded portion 70 is dimensioned to threadably engage and secure into first end 72 of cap 62. In use, connector 60 is forcibly joined onto and about the periphery 14 at second end 6 of collection chamber 2 and cap 62 may then be threadably engaged into second end 66 of second connector means 60. When connector 60 and cap 62 are mating engaged and when first end 64 of second connector 60 is matingly engaged with second end 6 of collection chamber 2 the second end 6 of collection chamber 2 is thus closed.

When or before second connector 60 is engaged with collection chamber 2, cap 62 may be removed from second connector 60 to permit attachment therewith or passage there through of matter into collection chamber 2. Cap 62 may be removed from second connecter to permit the introduction of pulverulent carbon dioxide and/or liquid or vaporous carbon dioxide to effect the formation of dry ice within collection chamber 2. FIG.1 shows second closure means 10 at second end 6 of collection chamber 2 when second connector 60 and cap 62 are all engaged to selectively seal or close second end 6 of collection chamber 2

Referring now to FIG.5, there is disclosed a sleeve 80 which functions as a filtration jacket which may also be referred to as a collection chamber when jacket 80 is about collection chamber 2 as disclosed in FIG. 7 and in partial cross sectional view of FIG. 7 disclosed in FIG. 8. Sleeve 80 is disclosed in FIG. 6 as being tubular in configuration and having a diameter 82. In a preferred embodiment, diameter 82 is of such dimension that sleeve 80 may be snugly slipped over collection chamber 2. Sleeve 80 has a length 84 which is substantially of the same length 16 of collection chamber 2.

Sleeve 80 has a high resistance to vapor and is comprised of a porous substance through which a liquid or gas may be passed to trap constituents such as carbon dioxide which is purulent meaning that solid crystals of carbon dioxide are formed. This may also be referred to as snow. Sleeve 80 acts to trap carbon dioxide which is transforming into or is dry ice.

Sleeve 80 may be formed of a synthetic material made by Kimberly Clark and known as Sentrex® comprised of layers of synthetic material designed to trap liquid and let air pass there through. Sleeve 80 creates a natural pressure around collection chamber 2 and slows the rate that a gas may pass through sleeve 80. In a preferred embodiment sleeve 80 is placed around collection chamber 2 when liquid carbon dioxide is caused to be forced into collection chamber 2 and will be explained herein after. Sleeve 80 acts as an insulation chamber around collection chamber 2. Sleeve 80 also acts to slow sublimation of liquid carbon dioxide. The sleeve will cause collection chamber 2 to be cooled when collection chamber 2 is being filled with dry ice to further increase the efficiency by reducing loss to vaporization when converting liquid carbon dioxide into dry ice.

It will be appreciated that as liquid carbon dioxide sublimates to form dry ice, gas is given off from the solid CO2 by sublimation. Slits 18 on collection chamber 2 permit the gas to escape from collection chamber 2 as dry ice is formed within collection chamber 2. Sleeve 80 further filters the escaping gas to trap small particles of dry ice to form a cooling barrier around collection chamber 2. In this manner collection chamber 2 is maintained at an ever decreasing temperature as dry ice forms within collection chamber 2 and carbon dioxide gas passes through slits 18, through the chamber 86 formed between collection chamber 2 and sleeve 80 and into the atmosphere. Use of sleeve 80 provides a filtration chamber about collection chamber 2. This particular configuration increases the efficiency of converting liquid carbon dioxide into dry ice.

As carbon dioxide gas, which is constantly being given off by the solid carbon dioxide in the collection container 2, is forced into the filtration chamber the result is that a current of cold CO2 gas constantly circulates through the slits, and through the filtration chamber 86, and through sleeve 80 and out into the atmosphere carrying with it a certain amount of the heat which penetrates into the filtration chamber 86 from the outside. This causes the collection container as a whole to be a more efficient heat insulator.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the collection chamber 2 with sleeve 80 encased about collection chamber 2 is shown in cross section. Sleeve 80 has a thickness, in a preferred embodiment of ⅛th of an inch. The particular fabric and the porosity there and the ability for gas to pass there through may be determined by the specific issue and environment of use.

There is provided a chamber or space between collection chamber 2 and sleeve 80 which is denoted as a filtration chamber 86. The addition of sleeve 80 about collection chamber 2 thereby forms a filtration chamber which is a second stage filter to capture solid CO2. In a preferred embodiment sleeve 80 captures solid CO2 smaller than 1/32″. Sleeve 80 has an additional function in that it insulates collection chamber 2 from its environment and slows the sublimation process of dry ice to vapor. As liquid CO2 enters collection chamber 2, the liquid becomes a vapor and also what is called snow (dry ice). The transformation into dry ice is not 100% effective. Some vapor will escape collection chamber 2 through slits 18 and enter chamber 86. Chamber 86 provides yet another opportunity for the vapor to transform into dry ice. The vapor is in the pulverulent stage where some or all of it will be snow. Sleeve 80 insulates collection chamber 2 and also slows the sublimation process of the liquid CO2. The particles of snow that either form in chamber 86 or pass through slits 18 of collection chamber 2 are filtered or trapped by sleeve 80 to form a cold barrier about collection chamber 2 which increases the overall efficiency of the process.

To further enhance the process and the efficiency of transforming liquid CO2 into solid CO2 aggregation chamber 88 may be placed at a first end 4 of collection chamber 2 to provide an initial expansion chamber which is unvented. See FIG. 9. Liquid CO2 entering aggregation chamber 88 expands to either form a vapor or pulverulent snow. This initial stage or action provides a cooling chamber into which further CO2 being introduced there into at approximately 300 psi is chilled to a temperature which is approximately the triple point temperature of liquid CO2 at 300 psi. This improves the efficiency of the process in that the liquid CO2 is chilled.

Referring to FIG. 10, aggregation chamber 88 is shown in cross section as it is positioned over the end of collection chamber 2. As the liquid CO2 is supplied to aggregation chamber 88 by way of supply tube 90, it may be appreciated that the initial introduction of the liquid CO2 will cause aggregation chamber 88 to be cooled as previously disclosed. Snow will form and collect in aggregation chamber 88 around the first end 92 of aggregation chamber 88. The exact pattern of formation of dry ice (snow) at end 92 of aggregation chamber 88 is determined by the pressure of CO2 being supplied thereto and the resulting eddy currents. Nevertheless, the function of the aggregation chamber is to initially permit the CO2 to reach a triple point and to present a cooling chamber for the CO2 as it enters the aggregation chamber, passes there through and enters collection chamber 2, and eventually passes through slits 18, through filtration chamber 86, through sleeve 80 and into the atmosphere or a contained environment where the liquid CO2 source and the collection chamber 2 are housed as will be disclosed hereinafter.

An important aspect of the present invention is that is provides relatively inexpensive, light-weight and highly efficient apparatus which is readily connectable to a standard source of liquid carbon dioxide to quickly produce relatively small amounts of solid carbon dioxide therefrom.

As can be seen with reference to FIG. 11, a typical standard cylinder 94 containing a quantity of liquid carbon dioxide 96 is configured to interact with and be connected to a collection chamber 2 to form dry ice there within. At the top of the cylinder there is provided a tank valve 98 typically of a type which may be manually operated to permit an outflow of the contents of the tank. Depending downwardly from tank valve 98 is a liquid carbon dioxide pick-up tube 100 which ends close to the bottom surface of tank 94. Whenever tank valve 98 is opened, liquid carbon dioxide 96 is forced upwardly through tube 100 and out of tank 94. It is known that at an ambient temperature of 300° K., i.e., approximately 80.6° F., the saturation vapor pressure of gaseous carbon dioxide over liquid carbon dioxide will be approximately 98 psia. For the convenience of the user, a pressure gauge 102, preferably one capable of measuring pressures of at least 1200 psia is permanently fitted to an outlet of tank valve 98, the down stream side of which is connected to a fitting 104 which may be threaded or otherwise provided with any known quick-connection features. Pressure gauge 102 has a variable control valve to regulate the flow and pressure of the liquid carbon dioxide exiting from tank 94.

A length of tube 90 is formed at one end with a quick disconnect fitting 106 to quickly and securely connect to fitting 104 so as to be able to receive liquid carbon dioxide through readable pressure regulator 102 when tank value 98 is opened. A second end of tube 90 is fitted with an connection means 108 to receive the liquid carbon dioxide and to connect the same into aggregation chamber 88. It may be appreciated that aggregation chamber 88 may be omitted such that the distal end 110 of supply line 90 may be used to introduce the carbon dioxide directly into collection chamber 2. Distal end 110 of supply line 90 may be securely attached to the aggregation chamber 88 using conventional means so one may quickly attach the distal end of supply 90 to collection chamber 2 by causing aggregation chamber 88 to conform to an end of collection chamber 2.

FIG. 12 discloses a portable apparatus 112 in the form of a wheeled cart which houses a source of carbon dioxide 94 together with an assortment of collection chambers 2. Valve 98 is positioned to be easily accessible to the user as well as regulator 102. Supply line 90 would be attached to quick disconnect 104. Distal end 110 of supply line 90 is then positioned at an open end of a collection chamber 2 such that carbon dioxide is exhausted into a collection chamber 2. As previously disclosed, it may be appreciated that the interior of portable apparatus 112 will be cooled when one makes dry ice. The interior 114 of portable apparatus 112 actually form a cooling chamber. Thus, the temperature of the interior 114 of portable apparatus 112 is reduced which ultimately plays an important role in the efficient production of dry ice. As one produces a collection chamber of dry ice, the escaping carbon dioxide gas causes interior 114 to be cooled which results in the container of carbon dioxide 94 being cooled and the other collection chambers 2 to be cooled. As container of carbon dioxide 94 is cooled, the pressure within the tank 94 is thus reduced which causes the liquid carbon dioxide to be more efficiently converted liquid carbon dioxide into solid particles of carbon dioxide. This results in a 40-50% greater yield After making dry ice, the collection chambers may be stored in portable apparatus 112 to hold the dry ice after formation and before utilizing the dry ice in some ultimate manner. Portable apparatus 112 may have conventional means for providing a hinged door 116 for access to cooling and storage chamber 114 for cleaning and exchange of storage tank 94. There is provided a tamping tool 118 for use in compressing the snow or dry ice into a more solid form.

Referring now to FIG. 13, it may be appreciated that the portable apparatus 112 actually serves to provide an interior 114 which is also a cooling chamber 114. As dry ice is formed in collection chamber 2 while collection chamber 2 is within cooling chamber 114, the process as described in detail in the preceding disclosure, causes the interior of cooling chamber 114 to be cooled. To further enhance the performance of cooling chamber 114, a collar 120 is configured to fit above and around the end of tank 94 and below tank valve 98. Collar 120 is disclosed in FIG. 14 as formed of a first portion 122 which is mounted to the back 132 of portable container 112 by conventional means.

Second portion 124 of collar 120 is mounted perpendicular to the inside portion of hinged door 116. In application, as hinged door 116 is closed, second portion 124 of collar 120 mates with collar portion 122 to provide an opening 126 formed when first portion of collar 122 and second portion of collar 124 are mated together. Second portion of collar 124 is planar in configuration and in parallel alignment with top 116 of portable container 112. Second portion of collar 124 has a width such that it is positioned into first portion of collar 122 to provide a planar covering over a portion of the interior 114 of portable container 112. Opening 126 is dimensioned to snugly conform around and above top of tank 94.

Collar 120 may be referred to as a capture and is formed of a first section 122 having a first arm 128 and a second arm 130, each of which extend substantially perpendicular to the back of portable apparatus 112. At a first end 134 of first section 122, there is a planar section 136 which extends from said first arm 128 and said second arm 130. Second end 138 of planar section 136 has a semicircular opening 140 of such a dimension as to fit below and about tank valve 98 of the source of liquid carbon dioxide 94.

Second portion 124 of collar 120 has a semicircular opening 142 at the first end 144 of first second portion 124 of collar 120 which is symmetrically aligned with semicircular opening 140 of the first portion 122 of collar 120. Second end 146 of second portion of collar 120 is mounted to the inside 148 of hinged door 116 such that the semicircular opening 142 aligns with semicircular opening 140 when hinged door 116 is closed such that semicircular opening 142 and semicircular opening 140 conform to form a collar 120 about the top of tank 94 and tank valve 98.

When door 116 is closed, the collar 120 thus forms a protective barrier over tank 94. At each side of collar 120 there is a space between collar 120 and the first side 150 of portable apparatus 112 and the second side 152 of portable apparatus 112. The compartments thus formed are for placement of collection chambers while being stored as well as when being used. In use, as collection chamber is filled with dry ice, the escaping carbon dioxide vapor cools interior 114 of portable apparatus 112 and tank 94. By cooling tank 94 and the environment in which collection chamber is extant, the efficiency of the production process is increased since the reduction in the temperature of the liquid carbon dioxide, decreases the pressure within tank. Thus, the carbon dioxide exiting tank 94 and entering collection chamber 2 is closer to the temperature and pressure of the triple point for carbon dioxide. Triple point is the condition when carbon dioxide exists in liquid, vapor and solid states simultaneously.

Referring to FIG. 12, one may appreciate the functioning of the portable apparatus 112 when tank 94 is in place and collection chambers 2 are positioned. For the convenience of the user, fitting 104 between the pressure gauge 102 and tube 90 is mounted through second side 152 of portable apparatus 112.

Referring to FIGS. 14, 15 and 16, collection chamber 2 is disclosed as being capable for box car configuration. Should one desire, a first collection chamber 2 may be mated with a second collection chamber 2. Second closure means 10 has a male externally threaded portion 70 which is easily mated with internally threaded portion 58 of closure means 8. This permits one to connect successive sections of collection chamber 2 in series to form a longer collection chamber if desired.

As can be appreciated, the novel collection chamber provides maximum efficiency for production of dry ice and may be utilized in a portable device to effect cooling of the source of carbon dioxide and other collection chambers and for storage of collection chamber containing dry ice.

In this disclosure, there are shown and described on the preferred embodiments of the invention, but, as aforementioned, it is to be understood that the invention is capable of use in various other combinations and environments and is capable of changes or modifications with the scope of the inventive concept as expressed herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8053020Feb 26, 2009Nov 8, 2011Cook Medical Technologies LlcProcess for coating a portion of an implantable medical device
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/602, 62/384
International ClassificationF25J1/00, F25D3/12
Cooperative ClassificationC01B31/22, F25D3/12
European ClassificationC01B31/22