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Publication numberUS2231605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1941
Filing dateJul 15, 1938
Priority dateJul 15, 1938
Publication numberUS 2231605 A, US 2231605A, US-A-2231605, US2231605 A, US2231605A
InventorsDe Coligny Guerrie G, Stephenson Wallace G
Original AssigneeWhite Motor Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fuel conditioning
US 2231605 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb- 11 194.1 w. G. sTEPHENsoN- Erm. 21,231,605

.FUEL CONDITIONING Filed Ju1y.15, 195s 2 sheets-sheet 2 Patented Feb. 11, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE New Orleans, La.,

assisnors to The White Motor Company, ClevelandfOhio, a corporation of Ohio Application my 15.1938, sei-iai No. 2119,466

6 Claims.

Our invention pertains to a modification and/or conversion of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel, to the process employed and to the structural assembly for performing the process to improve the fuel and its combustion.

For decades there has been an unattained goal in the automotive industry despite repeated, intensified striving by its engineers. That goal has been the redesign of a standard internal combusio tion engine,` whether it be the Otto, Diesel or Hesselman type, to adapt it to the use of heavy hydrocarbon fuel or distillates with continuing v commercial success. We have been unable to collect evidence that the problem or problems prel sented during all conditions of automotive use ever became satisfactorily solved either in this county or in any foreign country. Many proposals alleged'to be successful have reached the market. None is known to have survived. Their 20 failure to achieve continued commercial success under all kinds of necessitated operation of. a vehicle is supposedly the reason. Many patents. both domestic and foreign, have been granted for methods of or an appliance for burning distillates 25 with success. Some -of the patentees have expounded the theory of the cracking principle in the presence not only of heat, but of a sub-atmospheric pressure. Others have further explained that only the attainment of a fixed gas could 30 avoid condensation and lubricant dilution, es-

pecially if an over-rich mixture was subsequently to be cooled by introduction of auxiliary air calculated to transform to a. combustible charge. Others have selectively or automatically (as by :i5 thermostatic control) regulated differing contributory agencies, for instance, the amount of fuel, the temperature of the fuel or the amount of pressure for some stage of the distribution. Some cause must have existed for lack of enduring success hitherto. The demand for a satisfactory adaptation of an internal combustion engine for using distillates has been so insistent land the reward for rst commercial success so certain that no other conclusion is plausible, much less convincing. There appears to be no reason for discrediting the belief thatall prior attempts were failures (within the imposed limitations of space and time and variant operating conditions) and that a determination of the necessary attendant physical and chemical influences has not been reached.

We' have departed from earlier knowledge and understanding by recognizing that copper has a pro-oxidant property and exercises a catalytic function beneficial for preparing a distillate, in-

(Cl. 12S-122) deed even a lighter hydrocarbon like gasoline, for promoting its oxidation or better combustion, whether with or without intervening atomization. Some of the copper, even if not in colloidal form, may be carried 1away in suspension with the fuel 5 and some of it may be dissolved therein especially if a copper compound (soap or salt) or equivalent pro-oxidant-property-possessing or catalyticfunction-exercising metallic compound be e"- posed to flowing fuel in the presence of adequate heat and preferably in the liquid stage while excluding air. While copper has long been known to be a pro-oxidant and even employed as a catalytic agent in refineries at very high temperatures or for production of aldehydes and our investigation has also brought us familiarity with the swcetening of .sour (sulphur-containing) distillates by suitable admixtures andalso made us familiar with the common copper dish method for detecting inadequately rened distillates, it is our well-considered opinion that copper has never herebefore been suitably employed for the treatment, modification or conversion (through catalytic or some electrical influence) of distillate fuel immediately before its ignition anywhere or like- Wise in liquid state before its atomization orinvapor phase beyond the carburetor or both before and after its admixture with air preparatory to ignition in .an internal combustion engine. Employment of one or more activating agents, nickel and/or magnesium has been advantageously practised as an aid to exercise of the unique application of a pro-oxidant function.

The behavior of any apparatus employing heavy hydrocarbons as a fuel has long been judged by experts according to several determinants including these:' (1) Ease of vaporization, (2) anti-knock or octane value, (3) lubricant dilution, (4) consumption rate, (5) temperatures generated and (6) coordinated performance. It 40 has also long been recognized that one of the greatest disadvantages heretofore attending use of distillates as fuel in an internal combustion engine mounted on a travelling vehicle, with its wide range and constantly changing conditions of operation, has been the discouragingly bad perforance during light load service. We. list the theories which we have entertained during our protracted experimentation and tests:

Catalytic action is So Well known that it should sufficev merely to state 'that it involves initiation or stimulation of the chemical reactions Without its taking part therein. We are aware that copper has long been known to exercise the function of a catalyst and that the performance is favored by heat and in the presence also of copper and copper oxides where the highest action seems to occur along the boundaries between clean and corroded copper. One novelty of our discovery is that temperatures not exceeding the boiling point of water and therefor only a third as high as the temperatures needed in a refinery processwere required preparatory to immediate combustion of the fuel in an internal combustion engine. Moreover, our method of utilizing copper as a catalyst is promoted by the fact that there is considerable fiuctuation in engine temperatures serving to contract and expand the area of deposition on the copper thereby breaking up the surface of the carbonaceous film or deposition and. constantly presenting different copper areas to heated fuel exposure. Colloidal assistants such as gumarabic or starch and activating agents such as nickel and magnesium have been employed with beneficial effect.

lA pro-oxidant is any element, material or compound which promotes 'oxidation or combustion. It operates in the same manner as a catalyst inasmuch as it promotes or encourages or establishes more weakening to oxidation without actually taking part in the chemical reaction itself.

Copper is known in the chemical industry as a pro-oxidant. Precisely how it functions is not any better known than how a catalytic agent functions. We have discovered that it can act as a pro-oxidant on hydrocarbons in the liquid state or phase as well as in a vapor state or phase. Pure 'metallic copper or copper oxides or salts of copper could all perform this function. The rapidity or intensity of the reaction is very often increased b-y an increase in pressure, particularly in connection with hydrocarbons in a vaporous state. Temperatures are also increased along with the pressure.

A number of copper salts could be used. The compounds Ygenerally known as copper soaps (stearate or oleate) would probably be the most soluble and for this reason the most eective as a pro-oxidant in hydrocarbons. Copper chro- 'mate also might turn out to be a pro-oxidant as nearly all the chromates of catalytic elements are also catalysts.

It is known in the chemical industry that several elements or compounds stimulate the prooxidizing properties of copper. Two of the best known assistants or activating agents are nickel and magnesium.

No information on what a resultant fine,`

black, smeary formation as a deposition or encrustation on the copper might be is now available. Copper is apparently not very easily poisoned as a catalyst or pro-oxidant and can stand considerable corrosion without being affected in its intensity either as a pro-oxidant or catalyst.

It is to be realized that the scope of our invention comprehends many equivalent structurall tion of the cylinder head broken away to reveal an interior structure.

Figure 3 is a plan section on zigzag line 3--3 of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is an enlarged vertical section on line 4-4 of Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a plan section, also on an enlarged scale, viewed on line 5-5 of Figure 1.

Figure 6 is a greatly enlarged vertical section through the detachable cylinder head showing some of the features of our invention.

Figure 7 is a vertical section on line 1 1 of Figure 6.

Figure 8 is a vertical section on line 8--8 of Figure 6. K

Figure 9 is a view similar to Figure 6 but incorporating several modied elements.

Figure 10 is another view like Figures 6 and 9 illustrating a further modification.

Figure 11 is a view like Figure 6 of a further modification.

Figure 12 is a vertical section on line |2|2 of Figure 11.

While as just declared the drawings illustrate a series of exemplifications of our invention, though not all of our conceptions which are being intially claimed, we would have it clearly undery stood that the differing features or contributing factors might be variously combined and that it is purely optional, with consideration of commercial feasibility and economy, as to which elements, physical and.,v chemical agencies and theoretical principles are to be combined in a marketed structure. For instance, one or more prooxidants or catalysts might be employed, one or more activating agents might be employed, both liquid phase and vapor phase treatment of the fuel singly or together might be adopted and the blower mechanism be either included or excluded-all depending on a multiplicity of factors to be reckoned with including characteristics of some particular fuel, climatic conditions, type of fuel burning equipment (furnace or engine) or general performance requirements.

Inviting attention first to the disclosures of Figures 1 to 5, an internal combustion engine comprises a water jacketed enclosing case l, one or more explosion cylinders la therein and a corresponding number of spark plugs adapted to ignite the combustible charge reaching one of the cylinders and which plugs might be fitted in the detachable cylinder head 2. A pipe 3 to be considered as connected with a source of fuel (not shown) leads to a fuel pump 4 which discharges .through a pipe 5 entering the cylinder head 2. Upon reference to Figures 6 and '7 there will be observed a detachable cylinder head plug 6 through whichA the pipev Sleads. 'I'he plug carries an angular internal ange 'l in which is tted one end of a tube 8 composed of copper and extending across the cylinder head water jacket with its opposite end closed in any suitable manner as by a cap 9. At the entry end of the tube 8 it is tted around an open spider I0 and a similar spider Il is located within the tube 8 just short of itsmiddle. Extending `between and secured in the spiders I0 and Il is a, rod .l2 on which is mounted a plurality of annular screens I3.and I4 of different metal and in spaced rela- .tion, the spacing of the screens being maintained by spacers I5 which surround the rod and are located one between each pair of screens. In this exemplication some of the screens are composed ol copper and some are composed of nickel and lb eachA in selectable alternative arrangement. Both the copper tube and the copper screens are to serve the functions of a pro-oxidant and a catalyst. The nickel screens are to serve the function of an activating agent. As shown, the first screen |3 at the left end of Figure 6 may be regarded as composed of copper, the secondscreen |4 composed of nickel and so on, every other one being of the same metal and adjacent ones of different metals.

Another series of screens I3a and |4a c-omposed of copper and nickel respectively are similarly mounted within the rear end of the tube 8 beyond the middle' line of the latter and while likewise held in spaced relation by means of spacer rings |5a, that rearward series of -rings and screens surround a return flow' tube I6 havingV an open end appositioned to the cap 9 whereby to compel travel of the treated fuel through all of the screens. The tube lI6 is bent upwardly at and at the middle of the tube 8 is fitted into one side of a coupling I8 which also confines the inlet end of a pipe |9 which passes through a packing gland 28 and screw cap 2| which are fitted around a hole through the top of the head 2. 'I'he tubes 8 and I6 are sealed against the water in the cylinder head jacket.`

The pipe `I9 discharges into a carburetor 22 which being a part of the entire fuel conduit from its source `of supply to the cylinders may be optionally lined with copper or a copper alloy Aor otherwise contain copper or a copper compound. The `lower outlet of the carburetor is connected at 23 with a blower casing 24 within which is rotatable any suitable form of impeller 25 mounted on a downwardly extending shaft` 26 which extends through a housing 2'| and is driven by mitre gearing 28 one of the meshed units of which being connected by means of a shaft 29 with any rotating part of the engine.

The blower 25 discharges through a pipe 38 leading downwardly through a passage 3| which is clearly shown in Figures 3, 4 and 5. The passage 3| is a common distributing point to a manifold 32 composed of six branches 33, 34, 35, 36, 31 and 38 which diverge therefrom in a fanshaped arrangement and each of which establishes substantially the shortest possible route or direct travel to one of the cylinders., This design of manifold, while it is not indispensable to the success of our invention, has shown improved results of distribution to and efficiency of the engine. 'The manifold 32 is appropriately secured at 39 to the side of the engine case .The liquid phase treatment of the fuel within the tube 8 may be supplemented by a subsequent vapor phase treatment at the common distributing point 3| of the manifold within that passage 3| of a cylindrical screen 40 which may be composed of copper or an alloy thereof or of composite metals one of which is to exercise the function of an activating agent for promoting the pro-oxidation orv catalytic action of the copper.

The modication disclosed in'Figure 9 comprises a tube 4I composed of nickel instead of copper and further comprises-insertion in the entering end of the tube 4| of a reticulated or perforated cartridge casing 42 filled with a copper compound 43, for instance copper stearate or copper oleate. The separated units composing the copper soap contents 43 are, of course,

a porous aggregate permeable bythe incoming fuel and are therefore a further equivalent of the .pipe having by the locationcopper screens. The alternately arranged screens in Figure 9 are to be considered as composed, one set of copper and the other set of magnesium instead-of nickel.

Figure 10 involves a modification by insertion within the forward end of a tube 44 of a rod 45 on which is wound a helical copper screen '46. Av return pipe 41 within .the rearward endof the tube 44 similarly supports a helical copper -screen 48 and near its middle has a bent discharge end 449 similarly communicating with the pipe I9 leading to the carburetor.

Figures 1l and l2 illustrate the adaptation of a copper tube 58 receiving fuel from the pipe 5, closed at itsrear end 5| and discharging through the pipe 52 into the pipe I9. The tube 50 is shown in Figure l2 to be square in cross section andl interiorly has one of its side walls carrying insulation 53V which in turn carries a copper sheet 54. The opposite wall carries internally insulation 55 on which is mounted a sheet of magnesium 56.

We claim:

1. In a fuel conditioner the combination of a fuel conduit, a copper salt in said conduit and a water-circulating system for heating said conduit.

2. The process for improving combustion of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel in advance of its immediate introduction into an internal combustion engingincludlng a fuel conduit, which comprises subjecting the fuel to a plurality of different catalytic agencies while in the liquid phase within said conduit and in the presence of heat less than 212 F.

3.' In a fuel conditioner, the combination of a hot water compartment and an assembled fuel conduit passing through yet closed with respect to said compartment, said assembly comprising a copper tube, having its one end closed and a an inlet end appositioned to said closed tube end and extending away from it and out throughone side of said tube.

4. In combination, a conduit for supplying fuel, a water-circulatory system for heating a portion of said conduit and differing metallic screens-within said heated conduit portion, the constituent metals of said screens acting as conditioning agents for catalyzing the combustion of said fuel.

5. The process for improving the oxidation of a hydrocarbon distillate preparatory to its immediate introduction into` a cylinder of an internal combustion engine, comprising the steps of flowing the liquid fuel 4incontact with a metallic catalyst in the presence of heat, adding air to said fuel, causing the air-fuel mixture to flow in contact with another and different metallic catalyst in the presence of heat, and thereupon introducing the air-fuel mixture into the engine cylinder.

6. In a fuel conditioner, the ycombination of, a hot water compartment and an assembled fuel conduit passing through, yet closed, with respect to said compartment, said assembly comprising a tube, having its one end closed, a pipe having an inlet end appositioned to said closed tube end and extending away from it and out through one side of said tube, and a perforated cartridge casing located within the tube and containing a copper compound for fuel conditioning.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2637173 *Jan 12, 1952May 5, 1953William T TaylorMeans for converting liquid fuel
US3048007 *Mar 31, 1944Aug 7, 1962Aerojet General CoDecomposition of nitro-paraffins in jet propulsion motor operation
US3053242 *Sep 3, 1959Sep 11, 1962Michael A ArpaiaCarbureting system
US3329203 *May 7, 1965Jul 4, 1967Samson SamRepair anchor nut for a gas vaporizer
US4798191 *Jan 15, 1988Jan 17, 1989Robert A. Brown, Jr.Method and apparatus for handling fuel
US5197446 *Mar 26, 1991Mar 30, 1993Daywalt Clark LVapor pressure enhancer and method
US5249552 *May 23, 1990Oct 5, 1993Wribro Ltd.Fuel combustion efficiency
US6024073 *Jul 10, 1998Feb 15, 2000Butt; David J.Hydrocarbon fuel modification device and a method for improving the combustion characteristics of hydrocarbon fuels
US6915789Apr 21, 2003Jul 12, 2005Royce Walker & Co., Ltd.Fuel conditioning assembly
US7156081Sep 14, 2004Jan 2, 2007Royce Walker & Co., Ltd.Fuel conditioning assembly
US8342159Aug 5, 2010Jan 1, 2013Rexecon International, Inc.Fuel line ionizer
US20030192514 *Apr 21, 2003Oct 16, 2003Lee RatnerFuel conditioning assembly
US20050145225 *Sep 14, 2004Jul 7, 2005Lee RatnerFuel conditioning assembly
US20110030636 *Aug 5, 2010Feb 10, 2011Detore Charles MFuel Line Ionizer
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U.S. Classification123/3, 44/321, 137/141, 123/538, 123/557, 44/363
International ClassificationF02M27/02, F02M27/00, F02M25/00
Cooperative ClassificationF02M27/02, F02M25/00
European ClassificationF02M27/02, F02M25/00