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Publication numberUS2098629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 9, 1937
Filing dateJun 13, 1935
Priority dateJun 13, 1935
Publication numberUS 2098629 A, US 2098629A, US-A-2098629, US2098629 A, US2098629A
InventorsArcher E Knowlton
Original AssigneeArcher E Knowlton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Production of gas and combustion thereof
US 2098629 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

NOV. 9, E37. A. E. KNOWLTON PRODUCTION OF GAS AND COMBUSTION THEREOF Filed June 13, 1935 frwenfor; JZEJfnowZLow,

Patented Nov. 9, 1937 PRODUCTION OF GAS AND COMBUSTION THEREOF Archer E. Knowlton, Short Beach, Conn.

Application June 13, 1935, Serial No. 26,495

9 Claims.

electrolyzed and will be separated into hydrogen and oxygen, one gas coming ofi at one electrolytic pole and the other gas coming ofl at the other electrolytic pole. The gases so produced may be stored together or separately and subsequently brought together in proper proportions and ignited and burned. The ignition and combustion liberates a large amount of heat. Water is the sole product of the combustion process and the water produced by the combustion may be returned to the original body of water. By this means it is possible when operating in a closed system to repeatedly use a single quantity of water which is not decreased or increased. Such a system may be sealed and aside from unusual or unexpected leaks may continue to operate without additions and without attention for considerable periods.

The present invention contemplates the employment of such operation for the production of useful work or desirable results.

Various control mechanisms may be associated with the apparatus so as to produce a mechanism which will have its operation initiated and stopped at appropriate times. This may be done automatically or manually or partially automatically or partially manually.

The specific purpose to which the invention is devoted and the useful end in view is not confined to a single operation. The heat of the combustion may. be used for many purposes. A closed system is not essential but may have advantages. To illustrate a specific application of the invention there is here shown and described an embodiment of a closed system constituting a means for heating water in a tankwhich water may be used for any suitable or desired purpose.

Said storage of combustible gases without loss for subsequent combustion when heat is desired averts the dissipation through insulation of the heat from masses which it is desired to maintain in a heated state for extraction at intermlt: tent intervals.

In the accompanying drawing is shown in somewhat'diagrammatic form apparatus for carrying out the invention.

A tank I is provided which is partially filled with water 2. The amount of water in thetank is immaterial although if desired it may be nearly filled with water at the beginning of the operation.

Electrical conductors 3 and 4 may be employed to bring electricity to the apparatus. The current introduced by the conductors 3 and 4 may 5 be direct or alternating current. In the drawing it is assumed that alternating current is supplied. The conductor 3 is connected at 5 to a rectifier 6 and the conductor 4 is connected at 1 to the rectifier 6. On its direct current side the rectifier 6 is connected at 8 to an electrode 9 in the Water 2 in the tank I and at I0 it is connected to an electrode II also in the Water 2 in the tank I. A partition I2 is illustrated extending across the tank I between the electrodes 9 and II. The partition I2 extends downward from the top of the tank I but stops short of the bottom of the tank I so that the water may seek its level across the tank. Between the contact I0 and electrode II is shown a toggle switch arm I3 controlled by a pressure-responsive device I 4 here shown as in the water 2 in' the tank I. Any suitable pressure mechanism may be employed. The device illustrated comprises a rod I5 engaging the lever I3 by a slot and pin mechanism I6. Around the stem or rod I5 is a coil spring I1 which tends to expand a metallic bellows I8 and hold the lever I3 against the contact I9 so as to make electrical connection between the electrode II and the contact III of the rectifier 6. When the switch is closed current passes between the electrodes 9 and II, through the water 2 and electrolyzes or decomposes the water. When it is desired to keep the gases separate some such device as the baflle I2 may be employed although this separation is not essential. Oxygen is freed at the electrode 9 and collects under pressure above the water in the upper portion of the tank I to the right of the partition I2 Hydrogen is freed at the electrode II and collects under pressure above the water at the upper portion of the tank I to the left of the partition I2. Since twice as much hydrogen is produced as oxygen it is preferable to have the partition I2 so'placed as to leave twice as much space at the left as at the right. The gases as freed are at more than atmospheric pressure and as the pressure of the accumulated freed gases builds up it tends to cause the metallic bellows I8 to collapse and thus forces open the switch lever I3 against the pressure of the spring II. Thus the electrolytic decomposing of the water is stopped when suflicient gas has assembled under pressure to the point for which the apparatus may be set. The reservoir of gas and the pressure may be fixed at any practical limits as controlled by the character of the tank and other parts subjected to the pressure.

Associated with the tank I is a tank 26 shown as provided at its bottom with an inlet pipe 2| and at its top an outlet pipe 22. Suitable valves, not shown, may be associated with the pipes 2| and 22 so as to allow water to enter the tank 26 and to be withdrawn therefrom. Within the tank 26 is a closed chamber 23 which may be referred to as a bomb. Within the chamber 23 is a burner 24 to which leads a pipe 25 to which are joined pipes 26 and 21. The pipe 26 leads from the upper portion of the tank I at the right of the partition l2 and thus may conduct oxygen to the burner 24. The pipe 21 leads from the upper portion of the tank at the left of the partition l2 and thus may conduct hydrogen to the burner 24. The pipes 26 and 21 are diagrammatically illustrated by similar lines. It maybe desirable, however, to have the pipe 21 twice as large as the pipe 26 so as to bring the gases in proper proportions to the pipe 25 and. thus to the burner 24. In the I pipe 26 is a valve 28 and in the pipe 21 is a similar valve 29. The valve 28 is illustrated as controlled by a solenoid 36. The valve 29 is illustrated as controlled by a solenoid 3|. The solenoids 36 and 3| are connected in parallel to a circuit which is controlled by the toggle switch lever 32. The switch 32 is controlled by a thermostatic device such as the bi-metallic strip 33 fastened to one side of the tank 26. The current for the solenoids 36 and 3| may be traced from the conductor 3 through the conductor 34 to the contact'point 35 through the conductor 36 past the contact point 31 through the conductor 38 to the switch lever 32 through the conductor 39 through the solenoids 36 and 3| through the conductor"46 to the contact point 4| and through the conductor 42 to the' conductor 4. Extending through the wall of the tank 26 and into the bomb 23 is illustrated an insulated ignition plug 43. The ignition plug 43 is connected to a spark coil 44 controlled by a switch 45, illustrated as a' manually controlled switch leading to the contact point 31 and so to the conductor 3. The other side of the coil 44 leads through the conductor 46 to the contact point 41 and thence through the conductors 46 and 42 to the conductor 4. Leading from the bomb 23 is a pipe 49 which may carry the water produced by the combustion of the gases in the burner 24 into the'water 2 in the tank I. In as much as the gases in the tank I may produce considerable pressure it may be desirable to provide a check valve 56 in the pipe 49 which will allow water to go toward the tank I but not toward the bomb 23. As an aid in the flow of the water through the pipe 49-there may be provided a pump 5| which is illustrated as operated by a small electric motor 52 connected across the conductors 3 and 4 at the contact points 35 and 41.

Suitable switching mechanism may be provided for this motor 52 and suitable switching mecha-' nism may be provided for the conductors 3 and 4 as well as for other elements shown.

On the pipe 26 between the valve 28 and the tank I is a pipe 53. On' thepipe 21 between the valve 29 and the tank I is a pipe 54. The pipes 53 and 54 lead to a pipe 55 extending into the bomb 23and provided with a small orifice 56 which may act as a permanently burning pilot light for the 6 burner 2.4. These may be suitably controlled by valves etc.

It will be understood that when initially started the gases will be generated but there will be no combustion until ignition initiates it. By closing switch 45 the pilot flame can be ignited and will then continue burning indefinitely or until it is purposely extinguished. The flame can be restarted at any time by closing the switch 45. In the initial condition of the operating cycle the water in the tank 26 will be cold and the thermostrip 33 will allow the switch 32 to be closed. This will cause the valves 28 and 29 to be opened allowing hydrogen and oxygen to pass to the burner 24. The pilot burner 56 being lighted, the gases in the burner 24 will be ignited. As the combustion proceeds the water in the tank 26 may become heated and the thermo-couple 33 will cause the switch 32 to be expanded as illustrated in the drawing. This will deenergize the solenoids 36 and 3| to allow the valves 28 and 29 to be closed causing the ignition in the burner 24 to cease.

' rated from the hydrogen and oxygenuntil sufficient of the gas is stored in the upper part of the tank I to increase the pressure sufllciently to cause the switch l3 to open when the electrolysis will be discontinued until sufiicient gas has been withdrawn to the burner 24 to reduce the pressure sufficiently to allow the spring I1 to close the switch l3 and again initiate the electrolytic action. The gases are thus stored up for use as may be needed for the sake of the heat .to be derived from their combustion.

Various changes in structure and operation in the illustrative apparatus may be made in carrying out the invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. The method of heating fluid comprising partially filling with water a tank having electrodes in the water and a partition above the water and extending thereinto and between the electrodes, conducting electricity to the electrodes to separate the water into hydrogen and oxygen, collecting the gases separately on -0pposite sides of the partition, leading the gases to a burner within a closed chamber surrounded by the fluid to be heated, igniting the gases at the burner, controlling the flow of gases to the burner in accordance with the heating of the fluid, controlling the flow of electricity to the electrodes in accordance with the pressure of the gases in the tank, and returning the products of the combustion to the tank.

2. A tank partially filled with water, electrodes in the "water which when continuous electric current passes between them will break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen, a partition above the water and extending thereinto and between the electrodes, conduits from the spaces abgye 'the water on both sides of the partition, valves in the conduits, solenoids arranged when energized to operate the valves, a conduit connecting the said conduits, a burner to which the last, named conduit extends, a pipe connected with the spaces on both sides of the partition above the water, a pilot light to which the pipe leads and adjacent the burner. a spark plug adjacent the pilot light and burner, a closed chamber surrounding the burner, the pilot light and the spark plug, a conduit leading from the closedchamber to the tank, a pump in the last name conduit, a check valve in the last named conduit, a closed receptacle enclosing the chamber, means for leading fluid to and from the receptacle and into contact with the chamber, means associated with the receptacle for operating the solenoids in response to the temperature of the receptacle and means associated with the tank for controlling electric current between the electrodes in response to the pressure within the tank.

3. A tank partially filled with water, electrodes in the water which when electric current passes between them will break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen, a partition above the water and extending thereinto and between the electrodes, conduits from the spaces above the water on both sides of the partition, valves in the conduits, a conduit connecting the said conduits, a burner to which the last named conduit extends, a pipe connected with the spaces on both sides of the partition above the water, a pilot light to which the pipe leads and adjacent the burner, a spark plug adjacent the pilot light and the burner, a closed chamber surrounding the burner, the pilot light and the spark leading fluid to and from the receptacle and into contact with the chamber, means associated with the receptacle for operating the valves in response to the temperature of the receptacle, and means associated with the tank for controlling electrical current between the electrodes in response to the pressure within the tank.

4. A tank partially filled with water, electrodes in the water which when continuous electric current passes between them will break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen, storage means above the water, conduits from the storage means, valves in the conduits, solenoids arrangedwhen energized to operate the valves, a conduit connecting the said conduits, a burner to which the last named conduit leads, a spark plug adjacent the burner, a closed chamber surrounding the burner and the spark plug, a conduit leading from the closed chamber to the tank, a check valve in the last named conduit, a closed receptacle enclosing the chamber, means for leading fluid to and fromthe receptacle and into' contact with the chamber, means associated with the receptacle for operating the valves in response to the temperature of the receptacle, and means associated with the tank for controlling electrical current between the electrodes in response to the pressure within the tank.

5. A tank partially filled with water, electrodes in the water which when continuous current passes between them will break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen, storage means above the water, conduits from the storage means, valves in the conduits, solenoids arranged when energized to operate the valves, a conduit connecting the said conduits, a burner to which the last named conduit leads, a spark plug adjacent the burner, a closed chamber surrounding the burner and the spark plug, a conduit leading from the closed chamber to the tank, a check valve in the last named conduit, a closed receptacle enclosing the chamber, and means for leading fluid to and from the receptacle and into contact with the chamber.

6. A system of storing and using energy comprising a body of water, means adapted to electrolyze the water at a certain rate into its constituent gases under pressure, means for causing said gases to be stored under pressure, means for causing the electrolysis of the water into its gases to be arrested when the stored gases reach a predetermined condition, a combustion chamber, means for causing and permitting said gases to burn in said combustion chamber, a body to be heated by the heat of said combustion, means for controlling the burning of said gases in accord with the heat requirements, and means for returning the products of combustion to the body of water.

7. A system of storing and using energy comprising a body of, water, means adapted to electrolyze the water into its constituent gases under pressure at a substantially constant rate over relatively long periods, means for causing said gases to be stored under pressure, means for causing the electrolysis of the water into its gases to be arrested when the stored gases reach a predetermined condition, a combustion chamber, means for causing and permitting said gases to burn in said combustion chamber at a relatively high rate during relatively short periods, a body to be heated by the heat of said combustion,

means for controlling the burning of said gases in accord with the heat requirement, and means for returning the products of combustion to the body of water.

8. A system of storing and using energy comprising a body of water, means adapted to electrolyze the water at a certain rate into its constituent gases under pressure, means for causing said gases to be stored under pressure, means for causing the electrolysis of the water into its gases to be arrested when the stored gases reach a predetermined condition, a combustion chamber, means for causing and permitting said gases to burn in said combustion chamber, a body ,to be heated by the heat of said combustion, means for controlling the time and intensity and duration of said combustion in accord with the heat requirements, and means for returning the prod nets of combustion to the body of water. 9. A method of heating a fluid comprising subjecting a body of water to electrolysis to produce oxygen and hydrogen under pressure, maintaining the gases under the generated pressure, generating further gases in response to diminution of gas pressure below a predetermined'minimum, combining and igniting the gases, transferring the resultant heat to a fluid to be heated, and interrupting and initiating the combustion responsive to the condition of the fluid to be heated.

ARCHER E. KNOWLTON. s

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2701790 *Dec 3, 1951Feb 8, 1955Oliver Goument VearElectrolytic hypochlorite generator
US3006836 *Jan 27, 1958Oct 31, 1961Cons Electrodynamics CorpElectrolytic detecting apparatus
US3045665 *Sep 11, 1957Jul 24, 1962Hartmann & Braun AgInstrument for maintaining constant oxygen partial pressure and measuring oxygen consumption
US3086924 *May 18, 1959Apr 23, 1963Cons Electrodynamics CorpOxygen detection
US3357472 *Oct 18, 1965Dec 12, 1967Henes Mfg CoMeans and method for the electrolytic production of hydrogen and oxygen for the safe consumption thereof
US3427808 *Sep 1, 1966Feb 18, 1969Hughes Aircraft CoLiquid container pressurization by nonelectrolytic dissociation of container contents
US3438869 *Jan 13, 1967Apr 15, 1969Miguel A SaavedraSystem for conversion of sea water into fresh water
US3459953 *Mar 20, 1967Aug 5, 1969Univ Oklahoma StateEnergy storage system
US3490235 *Sep 12, 1967Jan 20, 1970NasaPassively regulated water electrolysis rocket engine
US3520137 *Nov 1, 1968Jul 14, 1970Hughes Aircraft CoRocket apparatus employing electrolysis
US3706662 *Jul 1, 1971Dec 19, 1972Walker L Wellford JrNon-polluting waste reducer and method
US3753349 *Jul 12, 1971Aug 21, 1973Holmes RHydroplane construction
US3910831 *Mar 18, 1974Oct 7, 1975Alfred G HelartHydrogen generating system
US4493760 *Dec 7, 1983Jan 15, 1985Industrie Zanussi S.P.A.Electrolytic cell having nonporous partition
US4861451 *Nov 23, 1987Aug 29, 1989Hammond Royce Corporation Pty. LimitedChlorinator cell
US4893113 *Jan 29, 1988Jan 9, 1990Park Sea CGas alarm and detoxification heating systems
US5273635 *Jun 4, 1992Dec 28, 1993Thermacore, Inc.Electrolytic heater
US6443725 *Mar 22, 2000Sep 3, 2002Sang Nam KimApparatus for generating energy using cyclic combustion of brown gas
US6474330Dec 21, 1998Nov 5, 2002John S. FlemingHydrogen-fueled visual flame gas fireplace
US6761558 *Aug 22, 2000Jul 13, 2004Sang-Nam KimHeating apparatus using thermal reaction of brown gas
US20100009307 *Jul 9, 2009Jan 14, 2010Boo-Sung HwangCombustion burner of a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen
WO1999032832A2 *Dec 21, 1998Jul 1, 1999John S FlemingHydrogen-fueled visual flame gas fireplace
WO2008034152A2 *Sep 4, 2007Mar 27, 2008Hans-Peter BierbaumerRefrigerator
Classifications
U.S. Classification122/4.00R, 204/228.5, 60/203.1, 204/278, 236/33, 204/DIG.600, 122/446, 122/234, 126/116.00R
International ClassificationF24H9/20
Cooperative ClassificationF24H9/2035, Y10S204/06, F23C2900/9901
European ClassificationF24H9/20A3