|Publication number||US2166193 A|
|Publication date||Jul 18, 1939|
|Filing date||Aug 16, 1937|
|Priority date||Aug 16, 1937|
|Publication number||US 2166193 A, US 2166193A, US-A-2166193, US2166193 A, US2166193A|
|Inventors||Charles W Woodworth|
|Original Assignee||Charles W Woodworth|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (3), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
July 18, 1939. c. w. WOODWORTH OIL REFINING PROCESS Filed Aug. 16, 1937 STATES 011. REFINING PROCESS Charles w. Woodworth, Berkeley, Calif. Application August 16, 1937, Serial No. 159,359
This invention relates to improvements in oil refining and particularly to a process for reducing heavy or crude use of vaporizing temperatures oils to light oils without the The main objects of this invention are to provide an improved process for obtaining the lighter oils from crude or heavy oils; to provide such a process wherein light hydrocarbons of the paraffin series are obtained directly froma crude oil without passing through a gaseous stage; to provide an improved oil refining process operable at atmospheric pressures; and to provide an improved oil refining process wherein lighter hydrocarbons of the parafiin series rectly from a crude oil by the low temperatures.
A specific embodiment of an apparatus for are removed diuse of relatively practicing the improved process is shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Fig. 1 is a sectional view in elevation of a laboratory apparatus for carrying on the process,
Fig. 2 is a sectional elevation of a modified apparatus for attaining a higher rate of production of the light oils.
Mainly my improved process consists in first producing a relatively thin film of the heavy or crude oil, and then,
by means of heat applied at relatively low temperatures, causing a dissociation of the heavy crude oil molecules to produce directly on the crude oil film small dancing or bouncing droplets of a lighter oil, which droplets are captured on a relatively cool surface and flow therefrom as a liquid into a separate container.
As shown in the drawing, the
laboratory apparatus for practicing this process comprises a bowl or reservoir l for holding a supply of crude oil, a wick 2 which dips into the oil contained in the bowl I and extends over a heat source 3, which,
in the apparatus shown in Fig.
1, is an ordinary electric light bulb mounted in a socket 3.| extending upwardly through the bowl I through a central aperture therein. A collecting hood 4 having an internal trough 5 adjacent its bottom end is then placed over the wick and heat source, so as to surround the same,
the collecting hood t in the form shown standing in the bowl I and having a drain 6 leading from the trough 5 to a container I collecting hood is proportioned and arranged so that its inner wall surface, immediately surrounding and above the wick the heat source, is spaced away portion exposed to from the wick to provide a gap across which the dancing droplets of light oil must jump to contact the collecting surface.
In operation the crude oil is lifted by the capillary action of the wick 2 and travels upwardly 5 along the wick in the form of a relatively thin film and heat at a relatively low temperature is supplied to the film by the heat source, the temperature supplied by the heat source being in the neighborhood of 150 to 200 F. As the film of crude oil travels upwardly along the wick 2 and is affected by the heat source 3, small droplets appear on the surface of the wick which droplets. are constantly in motion, dancing or bouncing away from the wick surface and falling back thereupon. As heat is absorbed by the oil film the dancing motion of the small droplets becomes more and more extensive until the droplets spring away from the wick 3 to such an extent as to contact the inner surface of the collecting hood on which they form a film of oil which immediately begins to drain downwardly into the trough 5 where this captured oil is collected and drained off through the spout 6 to the container '8.
The dancing or bouncing oil droplets arising from the surface of the oil film carried by the wick 2 are minute, but visible, rapidly moving particles, which ahnost immediately upon formation begin to spring away from and fall back upon the oil film surface. As heat is absorbed the springing or bouncing action of the minute droplets becomes so extensive as to substantially fill the gap between the wick 2 and the collector hood 4 and in that included space form a fog, or mist.
The fog or mist composed of minute rapidly moving oil droplets, arises directly from the oil film carried by the wick 2 and the light oil comprising the fog of droplets does not pass through a gaseous or vapor stage between the film and the formation of the droplets.
The oil forming the minute rapidly-moving droplets making up the fog or mist is a lighter oil than that comprising the crude oil contained in the reservoir l and is a uniform product which may be any one of the lighter liquid hydrocarbon constituents of the crude base.
With the temperature conditions remaining practically constant, the average size of the droplets is also constant and what occurs in the formation of the oil fog or mist is probably the removal, or passing off, of dissociated molecule groups which form in the crude oil upon the application of heat. Apparently there is a selection of molecule size in the formation of the droplets,
and a large amount of production of smaller molecular groups due to the withdrawal into the droplets of the dissociated groups derived from the larger molecules of the original crude oil upon the application of a moderate activating heat, resulting in somewhat the same reduction of gravity ordinarily secured by cracking with high temperature.
The fog forming in the space between the wick 2, and the collecting hood 4 may be considered as an air-oil emulsion or an emulsion fog in which the molecules forming the surface film of the droplets are polarized, giving a strong surface tension and carrying an electric charge. The droplets form only on the wick and as nearly as can be observed, it seems that they do not leave the wick until they reach a uniform size at which point they begin to dance or bounce away from the wick. As soon as the droplets touch the collector surface they immediately lose their identity and form an oil film covering the collector hood surface, eventually draining downwardly along the same to the trough 5 from which the collected oil is readily removed.
The electric charge of the surface of the fog particles is observed to be negative and hence the fog particles cannot come into contact with a collector surface if it also is negative. The collector surface therefore should possess a positive static charge in order not to be repellant. It is not necessary that the collector surface be attractive to the fog material, but so that on contact the surface film of the fog particles will be broken and the globule will spread out as an oil film. In this respect it has been observed that if the collector surface is negatively charged it ceases to be operative since the fog particles avoid contact with it and finally coalesce into large droplets resting upon the wick surface from which they initially arose.
The phenomenon of the dancing droplets of lighter gravity oil, appearing on the surface of a film of a heavier crude oil upon the application of a slight amount of heat, is thus utilized to obtain a light or refined oil in a manner much more simple than is ordinarily employed, resulting also in an extraordinarily high production of oil of a uniform grade; as much as to of the original amount of crude oil being removed as the light oil product. The 5% to 15% of the original crude oil volume remains as a residue on the wick.
The arrangement of apparatus shown in Fig. 2 of the drawing illustrates a means by which the production of a light oil from a crude oil by my process may be accomplished on a larger scale. This apparatus comprises a relatively large reservoir 8, in which a series of tubular wicks 9 are partially immersed, each of the wicks 9 being supported parallel with the oil surface in the reservoir by a supporting member ll arranged so that the portion of the wick 8 that is not immersed takes the shape of a tent extending upwardly above the surface of the crude oil contained in the reservoir 8.
As shown, the heat source II is located centrally between the sides of the upwardly extending wick tent so that heat by radiation will reach all portions of the unimmersed part of the wick.
The collector member l2, which may be of glass of any other suitable material, is in the form of a corrugated board, the corrugations of which are V-shaped and spaced apart a distance equal to the sp c ng of the ser es of r s s and each corrugation being disposed over and housing one of the wicks 9. The sides of the V- shaped corrugations of the collector member I! are spaced away from the inclined surfaces ofthe wicks 9 to provide the gap in which the 5 light-oil fog or mist forms and as the lightoil fog liqueiles upon contact with the collector surface, the liquid drains downwardly into a drain trough I! located below each lowermost apex of the corrugated collector member. As shown in Fig. 2, and in order to keep the collector member l2 cooled, wicks N are provided at the bottom of each trough formed in the upper surface of the collector member, which wicks may be moistened with water so that evaporation will tend to keep the collector member cool.
Although particular embodiments of my invention have been herein shown and described it will be understood that details of the process a may be altered or omitted without department from the spirit of this invention as defined by the following claims.
1. The method of refining oil which consists in producing an oil fog by application of heat to an oil surface, collecting liquid from said fog, and removing the liquid so formed, said heat being at a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid. 30
2. The-method of refining oil which consists in producing an oil fog at atmospheric pressure by application of heat to an oil surface, collecting liquid from said fog, and removing the liquid so formed, said heat being at a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid.
3."I'he method of refining oil which consists in producing an oil fog by application of heat to an oil film, collecting liquid from said fog, and removing the liquid so formed, said heat be- 40 ing at a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid.
4. The method of refining oil which consists in producing an oil fog at atmospheric pressure by application of heat to an oil film, collecting liquid from said fog, andremoving the liquid so formed, said heat being at a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid.
5. The method of refining oil which consists in producing an emulsion fog by application of heat to an oil surface, collecting liquid from said fog by contact with a collector surface, and removing the liquid so formed, said heat being at, a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid. 55
6. The method of refining oil which consists in producing an emulsion fog at atmospheric pressure by application of heat to an oil surface, collecting liquid from said fog by contact with a collector surface, and removing the liquid so 00 formed, said heat being at a temperature less than the boiling point of the collected liquid.
7. The method of refining oil which consists in applying heat to an oil surface suilicient to pnoduce surface emission of globules, which globules spring away from the oil surface, and capturing and collecting said globules as they spring from the 01] surface.
8. The method of refining oil which consists in applying heat to an oil film surface suflicient 70 to produce emission of globules from the oil film surface, which globules spring away from the oil surface, and capturing and collecting said globules as they spring from the oil surface.
9. The method of refining oil which consists 76 in heating an oil surface until a visible fog of minute oil droplets appears above the oil surface, and collecting liquid from said fog on a relatively cool surface by contact.
10. The method of refining oil which consists in spreading the oil into a thin film, heating said
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|U.S. Classification||208/360, 204/157.15, 204/900, 392/393, 196/128, 392/391, 122/266, 122/366, 208/347, 204/172, 392/395|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S204/90, C10G9/42|