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Publication numberUS2556480 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 12, 1951
Filing dateOct 14, 1947
Priority dateOct 14, 1947
Publication numberUS 2556480 A, US 2556480A, US-A-2556480, US2556480 A, US2556480A
InventorsErnest B Miller
Original AssigneeJefferson Lake Sulphur Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for softening water
US 2556480 A
Images(7)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER 2,556,480

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed Oct. 14, 1947 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. E. B. Miller BY MAM Attorngys June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed Oct. 14, 1947 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN T 0R.

E.B. Miller Attorngys June 12, 1951 Filed Oct. 14, 1947 E. B. MILLER 2,556,480

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 ]NVE NTOR. E. B. Muller BY MW Atiorngys June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER 8 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed Oct. 14, 1947 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. E. B. M l I ler BY 4%,, 9 m

Attorneys June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER 2,556,480

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed OCT. 14, 1947 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 ElE=.- E

= INVFNTOR.

E. B. Miller Attorney June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed Oct. 14, 1947 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR. E. B. Miller BYZQ ya 4 A'rigrne s June 12, 1951 E. B. MILLER METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed 001;. 14, 1947 uoumauafieg wL-l asugg puooas ssugg asugu aims buguauog puooas I NH E JNVEMTOR.

. Miller Attorneys Patented June 12, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Ernest B; Miller, Houston, Tex., assignor to J efferson Lake Sulphur Company, New Orleans, La., a corporation of New Jersey Application October 14, 1947, Serial No. 779,826

11 Claims. 1

This invention relates to water softening and has more particular reference to a method of and apparatus for softening water.

One object of the present invention is to provide a novel method of and apparatus for softening water.

Another object of the invention is to provide an ion exchanger in which a plurality of ion exchange units are successively moved into and through one or more water softening chambers, then into and through a regeneration chamber, and then into and through one or more washing chambers.

Another object of the invention is to provide an ion exchanger, as characterized above, wherein .the softening, regenerating and washing chambers are mounted with a pressure vessel to permit equalization of pressures within and without the chambers.

Another object of the invention is to provide an ion exchanger in which a large surface area of relatively thin layers of granular ion exchange material, offering the minimum of resistance to the flow of water, is condensed into a small cubic space.

Another object of the invention is to provide a system for water softening, including an ion exchanger, as characterized above, wherein means are provided for controlling the flow of hard water through the softening chambers, the flow of rinse water through the Washing chambers, and the flow of a regenerating medium through the regenerating chamber.

Another object of the invention is to provide a system for softening water, as characterized above, wherein the means for controlling the flow of the hard water, rinse water, and regencrating medium through the ion exchanger is responsive to the rate of flow of soft water from the ion exchanger.

Other objects and. advantages of the invention will appear in the specification, when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation showing the mounting and arrangement of the apparatus .of the invention;

Fig. '2 is a plan View of the apparatus shown in Fig- 1;

Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the ion exchanger, taken on line 33 of Fig. 2, but omitting the driving mechanism;

Fig. 4 is a horizontal sectional view of the ion exchanger, takenonline A-i of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged transverse sectional view of a seal;

Fig. 6 is a plan view of the seal shown in Fig. 5;

Fig. '7 is a vertical sectional view taken 0 line l'-l of Fig. 6; r

Fig. 8 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 87-8 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 9 is a partial Vertical sectional view of a manifold, showing the details of a roller;

Fig. 10 is a plan view of a tubular ion exchange material containing unit;

Fig. 11 is a vertical sectional view, with .part broken away, taken on line i I-la' of Fig. 10; and

Fig. '12 is a diagrammatic view showing the flow of the hard water to be softened, the rinse water, and the regenerating medium through the system.

In general, the invention comprises a method of and apparatus for continuously directing the flow of hard water to be treated ,into and through one or more softening chambers; continuously directing the flow of a regenerating medium into and through a regenerating chamber; continuously directing the flow of rinse water into and through one or more washing chambers; and continuously and successively moving a plurality of ion exchange units into and through the chambers.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in Figs. 1 and 2, one embodiment of apparatus and the arrangement thereof for carrying out the method of this invention. The apparatus shown includes a six stage ion exchanger I, two stages of which are used as softening chambers in which the hard water is brought into intimate contact with the ion exchange material, one stage of which is used as a regenerating chamber in which a regenerating solution is brought into intimate contact with the ion exchangematerial, and three stages of which are used ,as washing chambers in which the rinse water is .brought into intimate contact with the ion exchange ma:- terial; a water motor 2; and an ejector 3. The exchanger is preferably supported in a raised position by a suitable framework, indicated at 4.

The hard water to be softened is delivered under line pressure from a source of supply (not shown) to the water motor 2 by means of a pipe line 5. After its passage through the water motor, the hard water passes through pipe line '6 to the first softening stage of the exchanger. During its passage through the first softening stage, the hard water is brought into intimate contact with the exchange material and. partially softened. After passing through the first softening stage, the partially softened water passes through pipe line i to the second softening stage of the exchanger. During its passage through the second softening stage, the partially softened water is brought into intimate contact with the exchange material and final softening takes place. After passing through the second softening stage, the completely softened water is delivered through pipe line 8 to its point of use (not shown).

Hard water under suitable pressure, passes through pipe line 9 to the ejector 3, where it mixes with a suitable solution, preferably brine,

drawn into the ejector through pipe line from a source of supply (not shown) and forms a regenerating solution, preferably a brine solution, which passes from the ejector through pipe line I I to the regenerating stage of the exchanger. During its passage through the regenerating stage, the regenerating solution is brought into intimate contact with the material and regenerates it for reuse. After its passage through the regenerating stage, the regenerating solution passes through pipe line 12 to sewerage (not shown). Rinse water is supplied to the third or final washing stage through pipe line l3 which connects with the soft water discharge pipe line 8. From the third or final washing stage, the rinse water passes through pipe line Hi to the second washing stage, and from the second washing stage passes through pipe line E5 to the first washing stage. During its passage through the three washing stages, the rinse water is brought into intimate contact with the ion exchange material and thoroughly washes and cleans the material, thereby preparing it for reuse. From the first washing stage, the rinse water, together with the soluble salts and impurities washed from the ion exchange material, pass through pipe line It to sewerage (not shown). Pipe lines 5, 9, l0 and l3 may be provided with suitable valves ll, [8, I9 and 20, respectively, to control the flow of water therethrough.

The exchanger is generally similar in construction to the dehydrator shown in my copending application Ser. No. 706,108, filed October 28, 19%6, now Patent No. 2,507,608, May 16, 1950, for Method of and Apparatus for Dehydrating Gas and Recovering Condensable Hydrocarbons Therefrom, and comprises a pressure vessel 2!; upper and lower annular manifolds 22, 23 fixedly mounted within the vessel; a comp-artmentized annular drum 24 rotatably mounted within the pressure vessel between and in communication with the manifolds; and suitable driving mechanism for rotating the annular drum.

The pressure vessel 2! is preferably formed in two parts, an upper flanged shell or cap 25 and a lower flanged shell 26 suitably secured together, as by bolting, to form a gas-tight joint.

The annular drum 24 is fixedly attached, as by means of plates 21, 28, to a central vertical shaft 29 suitably journaled in bearings carried by the upper and lower shell members 25, 26. The mechanism for rotating the annular drum is supported on a platform 30 mounted on the upper shell 25 and includes a shaft 3! having a gear 32 on one end engaging a gear 33 on the upper end of shaft 25. The shaft 3| is driven, through suitable reduction gearing 34, by the water motor 2.

The rotatable annular drum comprises two spaced concentric cylinders 35, 36, which form the side walls; two spaced annular plates 31, 33, each secured to the top of the cylinders 35, 36, respectively form the top of the drum, the space between the annular plates 31, 33 forming an annular opening 39 in the top of the drum; two spaced concentric annular plates 40, 4! each secured to the bottom of the cylinders 35, 35, respectively form the bottom of the drum, the space between the annular plates 40, 4| forming an annular opening 42 in the bottom of the drum.

The rotatable annular drum is divided into a plurality of compartments 43 by radial partitions or diaphragms M. In each of the radial compartments 53, near the bottom thereof, there is provided -a plate l5 attached to the walls of the compartment, as by welding, to form a watertight joint. Each plate 45 forms a support for one or more tubular ion exchang material containers 45. In the particular embodiment shown, only one such container is shown as mounted in each compartment.

The ion exchange material containers 45 (see Figs, 10 and 11) are identical in construction and each comprises two concentric tubular wire screens 4'1, 48 held in spaced relation by a plurality of longitudinal radial fins 9, with the annular space between the screens closed at the bottom. The mesh of the screens is such as to retain a granular ion exchange material 50, preferably zeolite, in the annular space between the screens.

Each of the containers 4% is provided with a pair of concentric hoops 5!, 52, suitably secured to the upper portions of the screens 4?, 48. A cover plate 53 having an annular depending trough-like flange E l fitting between the hoops 5i, 52, provides a closure for the top of the screen. The cover plate 53 is suitably detachably secured to one of the hoops and is provided with a depending annular fin 55 which projects downwardly below and between the hoops 5!, 52, and fits into slots 55 formed in the upper ends of the radial fins 49, all as shown in Fig. 11. The construction being such that, as the zeolite settles down, leaving a space between the top portion of the wire screens devoid of zeolite, the fin 55 will prevent water from passing through the space devoid of zeolite. Each container 46 is detachably mounted on a nozzle 57 projecting upwardly from an opening 58 formed in the plate 45, as clearly shown in Fig. 3. The nozzle 51 is secured in the opening 55, as by welding, to form a watertight joint.

The top and bottom manifolds 22, 23, are mounted on the top and bottom of the annular drum 24, in communication with the annular openings 39, t2 formed in the top and bottom of the drum. The manifolds are identical in construction and each is formed in the shape of an annular trough having an annular top (or bottom) 59 and annular side walls Gil, SI (see Fig. 5).

A plurality of compression springs 52, mounted on brackets 63 suitably secured to the inner walls of the vessel 2 l, yieldably press the top and bottom manifolds against the top and bottom, respectively, of the annular drum (see Fig. 3). The top and bottom manifolds are held stationary relative to the rotation of the annular drum by means hereinafter to be described and, to prevent the escape of liquid between the rotating drum and the manifolds, sealing ring gaskets 64 are placed at the junction of the side walls of the manifolds and the drum. The sealing ring gaskets 54 are held in tight sealing engagement with the top and bottom of the drum by means of annular hoops 65 which encircle the gaskets and hold them against the side walls of the manifold (see Fig. 5). The upper (or lower) ends of the hoops 65 are secured to the top (or bottom) plate of the manifold, as by welding. The rin gaskets are retained between the hoops 65 and the side ars-zscnso walls 68, Bil of the manifolds by means of a plurality of circumferentially spaced threaded bolts 66, which engage the ring gaskets and the lower portions of the hoops and side walls. The ring gaskets 64 are yieldably held in engagement with the top and bottom of the drum 24 by means of a plurality of compression springs 61 mounted on stud bolts 68 secured to the top (or bottom) of the manifolds and engaging annular plates or members 69 mounted on the top (or bottom) of the ring gaskets, all as clearly shown in Fig. 5.

At six circumferentially spaced points in the top and bottom manifolds, there are located seals which, by reason of the sliding contact of the radial partitions 44 against the under surface of the bottoms of the seals, divide the manifolds and drum into six sectors, each sector water-tight with respect to the adjacent sectors. The seals are identical in construction and the details thereof are best shown in Figs. 5, 6 and 7 Each seal includes a bottom or sealing plate 18 mounted within the manifold between spaced radial partition wall ll, 12. The bottom plate 18 is yieldably urged against the top (or bottom) of the drum and rests on the concentric annular plates 31, 38 which form the top of the drum (or plates 48, ll which form the bottom of the drum), as shown in Fig. 5. The side edges of the plate are bifurcated, as shown at 13, M, for the reception of gasket strips 75, 16, which are yieldably pressed outwardly against the partition walls 1 l2 of the seal by leaf springs l1, 18, as shown in Figs. 6 and 7.

The means for yieldingly pressing the bottom plate 18 of the seal against the top (or bottom) of the drum comprise a plurality of compression springs I9 mounted on projection 88, formed on the upper surface of the plate 18. The springs 19 engage the top (or bottom) of the seal and are held in position by bolts 8| projecting through the top (or bottom) of the seal and the coiled springs and threaded into the projections 88 formed on the plate 10.

Each radial partition or diaphragm 44 has a portion of its top and bottom edges extending upwardly between the edges of the opening in the top and bottom of the drum. A gasket 82 is secured on these portions and extends above (or below) their top (or bottom) edges and engages the under face of the bottom plate 10 of the seal.

Plates 83 are secured to the tops and bottoms of the partitions and are held spaced therefrom by a spacer strip 84, the plates and spacer strip being secured to the partitions by bolts 85. The gaskets 82 are confined between the partitions and the plates 83, as by means of bolts 86, and are pressed upwardly (or downwardly) against the under surface of the bottom plates Ill of the seals by means of leaf springs 81, all as shown in Figs. 5 and 7.

In order to prevent the gaskets 82 from being unduly pressed upwardly when the gaskets are not engaging the bottoms of the seals, means are provided for spanning the reaches of the manifolds between the seals. These means comprise spaced pairs of curved plates 88, 89 which extend between and are secured to the partition walls of the seal, as shown in Fig. 8. The bottom surfaces of the plates 88, 89 are in the same horizontal plane as the bottom surfaces of the bottomplates T8 of the seals, so that, as the gaskets 82 move out of engagement with the bottom plate of the seal, they immediately engage the plates 88, 89.

A plurality of rollers 9|! are mounted within the top and bottom manifolds. These rollers are circumferentially spaced within the manifolds and are adapted to engage the annular plates 31, 48 which form parts of the top and bottom, respectively, of the rotatable drum. These rollers are adapted to prevent frictional surface engagement between the side walls of the manifolds and the top or bottom of the drum. These rollers are identical in construction and mounting and each comprises a theaded stud bolt 9| screwed into the outer side wall 6! of the manifold; a ball race 92 fixedly mounted on the bolt, and a wheel 93 mounted on the ball race, all as shown in Fig. 9.

Six pipes or conduits 94, 95, 96, 91, 98 and 99 having threaded ends project through the cap of the vessel 2| and have their threaded ends suitably secured to the top plate of the manifold, as by means of lock nuts, which form water-tight joints. The pipes are welded to the cap and hold the top manifold stationary relative to the rotation of the drum. In order that they may cooperate with the springs 62, each of the six pipes is provided with a suitable flexible section, as indicated at l 89. The six pipes are circumferentially spaced with respect to the top manifold and each is secured to and communicates with the manifold at a point located between the seals.

Six additional pipes HH, I82, E83, I94, Hi5 and H36 having threaded ends, project through the bottom of the vessel 2! and have their threaded ends suitably secured to the bottom plate of the bottom manifold, as by means of lock nuts, which form water-tight joints. These pipes are welded to the bottom of the vessel 2| and hold the bottom manifold stationary relative to the rotation of the drum. In order that they may cooperate with the springs 82, each of these pipes is provided with a suitable flexible section I81. These pipes are circumferentially spaced with respect to the bottom manifold and each is secured to and communicates with the manifold at a point located between the seals. The width of the seals with respect to the radial compartments 43 containing the ion exchange units is such that at all times at least one of the partitions or diaphragms 46 is engaging the bottom plate E8 of the seal in watertight engagement. From the foregoing, it readily will be seen that by the engagement of the radial partitions with the seals, the manifolds and the drum are divided into six water-tight chambers or sectors which form the first softening stage, the second softening stage, the first washing stage, the second washing stage, the final or third washing stage, and the regenerating stage. The drum carrying the tubular zeolite containers is rotated clockwise, as viewed in Fig. 8, and as it rotates, the tubular zeolite containers are successively moved through the stages in the following order: the second softening stage, the first softening stage, the regenerating stage, the third washing stage, the second washing stage, and the first washing stage.

The size of the ion exchanger, the number of radial compartments 43 to be positioned at the same time in each of the six chambers or sectors, and' the number of tubular zeolite containers in each of the radial compartments are matters of design to be determined by the specific requirements for each machine. In the particular embodiment shown, there are eleven radial compartments 43, each containing one tubular zeolite container. The seals are so spaced as to provide for three of the radial compartments #3 being operatively positioned in each of the softening sectors and one of the radial compartments to be operatively positioned in each of the washing and the regenerating sectors, at one time.

- The six pipes 94%, 95, es, 9?, 98 and 99 are connected to pipe lines E, ii, l5, l4, l3 and 8 respectively, and the six pipes iill, m2, I03, H34, H and 186 are connected to pipe lines 6, l2, l6, l5, l4 and 7, respectively, by means of which hard water, rinse water and brine solution flow into and out of the ion exchanger. The flow of the water to be treated, the rinse water and the brine solution are shown schematically in Fig. 12.

The hard water to be treated or softened passes through pipe line 6 to the ion exchanger and enters the bottom manifold of the first softening stage through pipe 12%. Then it moves upwar ly through the opening in the bottom of the drum into the bottom of the various compartments of the drum as are at that time contained within the sector forming the first softening stage. Thence, upwardly through the openings in the plates 65 and up into the interior of the tubular zeolite containers, through the pervious layer of zeolite, into the compartments of the drum. As the hard water passes through the zeolite, an interchange of Ca and Mg ions of the hard water with the Na ions of the zeolite takes place and the water is partially softened. The partially softened water then passes upwardly through the opening in the top of the drum into the top manifold. From the top mam'fold, the partially softened water passes through lines 94, l and Hit to the bottom manifold of the second softening stage. Then, it moves upwardly through the second softening stage, in a manner similar to its upward passage through the first softening stage and during its passage the final softening takes place. After passing through the second softening stage, the now softened water passes through pipes 99 and 8 to its point of use.

The brine solution used as the regenerating medium passes from the ejector through pipe I i to the ion exchanger and enters top inanifold of the regenerating stage through pipe line 95. Then it moves downwardly from the manifold through the opening in the top of the drum into the various compartments of the drum containing the tubular zeolite containers as are at that time contained within the sector forming the regenerating stage. The brine solution passes through the pervious layer of zeolite into the interior of the tubular containers; thence, downwardly through the openings in the plates 45 into the bottom of the drum and through the opening therein into the bottom manifold. As the brine solution passes through the zeolite, an interchange of the Na ions of the brine solution with the Ca and Mg ions of the zeolite takes place and the zeolite is regenerated. From the bottom manifold, the brine solution, together with the soluble Ca and Mg salts recovered from the zeolite, passes through pipes i532 52 to sewerage.

The water used for rinsing is soft water and preferably is obtained from the soft water discharge pipe 23 by means of pipe line i3 and enters the top manifold of the third or final washing stage through pipe Q8. Then it moves downwardly irom the manifold through the opening in the top of the drum into the various compartments of the drum containing the tubular zeolite containers as are at that time contained within the sector forming the third Washing stage. The rinse water passes through the pervious layer of zeolite into the interior of the tubular containers; thence, downwardly through the openings in the plates :35 into the bottom of the drum and through the opening therein into the bottom manifold. As the rinse Water passes through the zeolit it washes and cleans it of all salts and other impurities. From the bottom manifold, the rinse water passes through pipes i535, ill and 9'! into the top manifold of the second washing stage. Th rinse water passes downwardly through the second washing stage, in a manner similar to its downward passage through the third washing stage. During its passage through the second washing stage, further washing and cleaning of the zeolite takes place. From the second washing stage the rinse water passes through pipes 04, 5 and 96 into th top manifold of the first washing stage. The rinse water passes downwardly through the first washing stage in a manner similar to its downward passage through the third washing stage, and during its passage the first washing and cleaning of zeolite takes place. From the bottom manifold of the first washing stage the rinse water, together with the salts and other impurities separated from the zeolite, passes through pipes tilt and iii to sewerage.

If desired, and preferably, the rate of rotation of the drum 24 is controlled by the rate of flow of the discharged soft water through pipe line 8. For this purpose, a relay operated valve ll, placed in the hard water supply line 5, controls the rate of fiow of the hard water to the water motor and thereby the rate of rotation of the drum 24. The relay operated valve ll is controlled by a flow meter Hi8 connected across a restricted orifice in the soft water discharge line 8. A pipe line I09 connects the how meter and the relay operated valve.

By mounting the drum and. the manifolds within a pressure vessel, the method may be carried out with high pressure water and, too, the equalization of pressure within the drum, manifolds, and vessel, permits the drum and manifolds to be made of lighter weight material, which adds considerably to the efficient and economical operation of the ion exchanger.

The equalization of pressure may be accomplished by filling the pressure vessel with liquid or gas and maintaining it under pressure equal to the pressure of the water being treated. Preferably, the pressure equalization is accomplished by means of a small opening i it formed in that portion of the pipe line iili within the vessel 2|.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that there has been provided a novel method of and improved apparatus for softening hard water. The method comprises, broadly, the steps of continuously circulating ion exchange material in a closed path; continuously directing the flow of hard Water through the exchange material at one or more points in its closed path to effect an interchange of ions therebetween; continuously directing the flow of a regenerating medium through the exchange material at one point in its closed path to effect the interchange of ions therebetween; and continuously directing the flow of a rinse water through the exchange material at one or more points in its closed path which are between the points traversed by the regenerating medium and the hard water. At this point, it may be well to point out that the hard water to be treated flows through the ion exchange material in the same direction in the two softening stages, viz., from the inside to the outside of the tubular containers, while the regenerating medium and the rinse water flow through the ion exchange material in the opposite direction in the regenerating and washing stages, viz., from the outside to the inside of the tubular containers. This reversal of flow, has an important bearing in the practice of the method of the invention. In th softening stages, due to the how from the inside to the outside of the tubiilar containers, the interchange of ions between the ion exchange material and the hard water progressively decreases from the inside to the outside, resulting in a pro gressive decreasing saturation of the zeolite with the greater amount of Ca and Mg ions closer to the internal circumferences of the tubular containers. By reversing the flow of the regenerating medium and the rinse water, the regeneration of the exchange material is speeded up and, in addition, the cleaning and removal of soluble mineral salts and other impurities is facilitated, due to the down flow through the machine.

While the apparatus and the method of the invention have been described in connection with the use of cation exchange material, and the use of a brine solution as the regenerating medium, the apparatus and. method are also applicable to the treatment of water with hydrogen ion exchange materials, in which case, the regenerating medium would be dilute sulphuric acid, and with anion exchange materials whichv are for the most part basic resins, being condensation products of amines with formaldehyde, in which case the regenerating medium would. be dilute sodium carbonate instead of sodium chloride or sulphuric acid.

Obviously, the invention is not restricted to the particular embodiments thereof herein shown and described. Moreover, it is not indispensable that all of the features of the invention be used conjointly since they may be employed advantageously in various combinations and subco binations.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for softening hard water comprising, in combination, an ion exchanger including a rotatable annular drum, partitions dividing the drum into a plurality of compartments, a foraminous container adapted to hold ion exchange material removably mounted in each of said compartments; a pair of spaced stationary manifolds communicating with said drum, sealing means mounted in said manifolds and cooperating with said partitions to divide said drum and said manifolds into at least three water-tight sectors; means including conduits for delivering the hard water to be treated into one of said sectors whereby the hard water will come in contact with the exchange material contained in the compartments in said sector and the desired ion interchange will take place; means including conduits for delivering regenerating medium into another of said sectors whereby the regenerating medium will come in contact with the exchange material contained in the compartments in the sector and the desired ion interchange will take place, thereby reactivating the exchange material for reuse; means including conduits for delivering rinse water into another of said sectors, whereby the rinse water will come into contact with the exchange material contained in the compartments in the sector and wash any regenerating medium thereon therefrom; and means for rotating said drum whereby said compartments containing exchange material are successively moved through each sector.

2. A system as set forth in claim 1, wherein 10 the annular drum is provided with a pair of spaced annular openings and wherein each manifold communicates with one of said openings.

3. A system as set forth in claim 1, wherein the rotatable annular drum and the manifolds are mounted within a pressure vessel.

4. In an apparatus for softening hard water, the combination, comprising a rotatable annular drum having annular openings in its top and bottom; a plurality of vertical partitions mounted in and dividing said drum into a plurality of radial compartments; a transversely extending partition provided with at least one opening mounted in each of said compartments and forming a water-tight joint with the walls thereof, at least one tubular ion exchange material container located in each of said compartments and removably mounted on said partition, each container being closed at its top and having its hollow int rior at its bottom end in communication with an opening in said partition; an upper manifold mounted above said drum, means for holding said manifold in water-tight engagement with the top of said drum with the manifold communicating with the opening in the top of the drum; a lower manifold mounted below said drum, means for holding said lower manifold in water-tight engagement with the bottom of the drum, with the manifold communicating with the opening in the bottom of the drum; a plurality of sealing means located in each of said manifolds and cooperating with said partition to divide the drum and the manifolds into a plurality of sectors, each sector being water-tight with respect to its adjacent sector; means for passing hard water through at least one of said sectors; means for passing a regenerating medium, through another one of said sectors; means for passing rinse water through at least still another of said sectors; and means for rotating said drum whereby said compartments with the ion exchange material containers are successfully moved through each of said sectors.

5. In an apparatus for softening hard water asset forth in claim 4, wherein each of said sealing means comprise a spaced pair of transversely extending wall members mounted in the manifold; a bottom sealing plate vertically slidably mounted between said wall members; and resilient means urging said plate toward said drum; and wherein the top and bottom ends of said vertical partitions cooperate with the sealing plates in said sectors to divide the drum and the manifolds into said plurality of sectors as the drum revolves.

6. In an apparatus for softening hard water as set forth in claim 4, wherein the annular drum and the manifolds are mounted within a pressure vessel and wherein means are provided for equalizing the pressure within the pressure vessel, the rotatable drum and the manifolds.

7. In an apparatus for softening hard water, the combination comprising a rotary member having a plurality of axially extending compartments, each of said compartments having a pair of vertically spaced Openings formed therein; a foraminous container adapted to hold granular adsorbent material removably mounted in each of said compartments; a pair of vertically spaced stationary annular manifolds having radial partitions therein dividing them into a plurality of separate corresponding sectors, each of said sectors having a fluid conduit communicating therewith and having an opening therein for the passage of fluid; said manifolds being mounted to slidably engage said rotary member as it rotates g 11. and being positioned so that the vertically spaced openings in said compartments will be successively brought into communication with the openings in the corresponding sectors of the vertically spaced manifolds respectively as the rotary member rotates, whereby successive axial flows of fluids will take place through the compartments of the rotary member as said rotary member rotates.

8. In an apparatus as set forth in claim 7, wherein said foraminous containers are tubular and have an open bottom end and a closed upper end and are mounted in said compartments with their open bottom ends in communication with the bottom openings in said compartments.

9. In the softening of hard water involving the contact of ion exchange material with the hard water with the resultant exhaustion of the material and the subsequent treatment of the material with a regenerating medium to regenerate the material for further contact with the hard water, the improvement which comprises rotating a series of separated thin beds of ion exchange material directly in succession and substantially continuously relative to and through a succession of reaction zones, a regenerating zone and a rinsing zone; continuously directing the flow of the hard water under pressure in succession and in series through said reaction zones; continuously withdrawing the softened water from the last one of the reaction zones; continuously directing the flow of a regenerating medium under pressure through the regenerating zone; continuously withdrawing the exhausted regenerating medium from said regenerating zone; continuously directing a flow of rinse Water under pressure through said rinse zone to wash ofi any regenerating medium left on the material; and continuously withdrawing the rinse water and excess regenerating medium from said rinsing zone.

10. The method, as set forth in claim 9, wherein the direction of the series flow of the hard water is opposite to the direction of rotation of the exchange material beds, whereby the hard Water will always make its last passage through freshly regenerated exchange material beds.

11. In the softening of hard water involving the contact of ion exchange material with the hard water with the resultant exhaustion of the material and the subsequent treatment of the material with a regenerating medium to regenerate the material for further contact with the hard water, the improvement which comprises rotating a series of separated thin beds of ion exchange material directly in succession and substantially continuously relative to and through a succession of reaction zones, a regenerating zone and a succession of rinsing zones; continuously directing the flow of the hard water under pressure in succession and in series through said reaction zones; continuously withdrawing the softened water from the last one of said reaction zones; continuously directing the flow of a regenerating medium under pressure through the regenerating zone; continuously withdrawing the exhausted regenerating medium from said regenerating zone; continuously directing a flow of rinse water under pressure in succession and in series through said rinsing zones to wash off any regenerating medium left on the material; and continuously withdrawing the rinse water from the last one of the rinsing zones.

ERNEST B. MILLER.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3002922 *Jan 29, 1959Oct 3, 1961Baddour Raymond FApparatus and methods for continuous ion exchange
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Classifications
U.S. Classification210/676, 210/687, 210/324
International ClassificationC02F1/42
Cooperative ClassificationC02F1/42
European ClassificationC02F1/42