US 2678203 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 11, 1954 r L. c. HUFF 2,678,203
HYDRAULIC JET CUTTING AND PUMPING APPARATUS FOR MINING HYDROCARBONACEOUS SOLIDS Original Filed May 31, 1946 .772 (19 7? for" 49272021 67 fiaff fimrzzegr are Patented May 11, 1954 UNITED STATES HYDRAULIC JET CUTTING AND PUMPING APPARATUS FOR MINING HYDROCARBO- NACEOUS SOLIDS OFFICE Original application May 31, 1946, Serial No.
673,506. Divided and this application March 24, 1950, Serial No. 151,774
1 This application is a division of my previously filed application, Serial No. 673,506, filed May 31, 1946, now Patent No. 2,587,729, March 4, 1952.
This invention relates to improvements in the the mining method embodied inthis invention is highly efficient and less expensive to carry out. The hydraulic cutting provides easy and efiicient means for cutting away and dislodging the material and the solvent is entirely recovered by mining of hydrocarbonaceous solids, such as oil- 5 being pumped away with the dislodged solid masaturated sands, tar sands, oil-shale, bitumen terial and returned to the processing plant. 01' asphalt deposits, and the like which may be The features and advantages of the present found in natural beds and deposits. More parinvention will be more apparent upon reference ticularly, the invention relates to improved means to the accompanying drawings and the following for the high pressure hydraulic cutting of the description thereof. solid material from the bed and for hydraulically Figure 1 of the drawing shows a cross-sectional transferring the material to an improved process- View through one form of the high pressure hying operation which operates in combination with draulic jet cutting and pumping apparatus which the hydraulic mining operation. The improved is used to remove the solid carbonaceous material. process is disclosed in my above-mentioned pat- Figure 2 of the drawing is a cross-sectional ent and employs the steps of flash distillation, view through another form of apparatus having drying, and coking or asphalting, all of which liquid jet nozzles, for high pressure cutting of may be carried on simultaneously and continuthe bituminous material and a Venturi nozzle ously by means of alternate chambers. and liquid ejection stream to remove the liquid In the mining and cutting operation, a hell or cutting agent and the dislodged solid material hood-like chamber, which is open at the bottom, from the mining zone. is used to enclose cutting nozzles and pumping Referring now to Figure 1 of the drawing, the means to remove the material cut away and dislower end of the apparatus comprises a circular lodged by the high pressure streams or jets from hood-shaped section it, which is open at the the nozzles therein. The hood confines the liqbottom and is adapted to contact the bed of uid cutting agent and the removed solid material natural deposit of the bituminous material. such that the mixture is all removed and sucked Above the hood Hi is a shell section H which away by pumping means which is also within serves as a shield and supporting frame for the the chamber. A portable crane may be employed internal mechanical apparatus. The high presto handle the hood and its internal hydraulic sure cutting liquid or solvent material is supplied cutting and pumping apparatus such that it to the apparatus by way of inlet line 12, at the may be moved from one spot to another over upper end of the device. The fluid passes through the entire bituminous deposit. a swivel pipe joint 13 to an internal line or con- A hot hydrocarbon solvent material is prefduit M which is centrally positioned and passes erably used as the cutting liquid in the mining 5 downwardly to the lower portion of the apparaoperation and the solvent is also preferably an tus. Conduit l4 terminates in a series of nozzles oil fraction obtained from the processing of the i5 which discharge the medium in jet-like high material being mined, however, steam, hot water pressure cutting streams, which in turn are dior other fluid may be employed under high presrested angularly downward such that the solid sure as the cutting medium and the fluidizing or bed will be cut away and dislodged for removal transporting medium for transferring the solid within the area covered by the hood iii. Around material to the processing unit. the internal line It, there is positioned a rotat- Various methods have been tried in the past able shaft l6 and an impeller blade li suitable and are in use at present for the extraction of for a centrifugal type pump. The shaft 56 and solid bituminous materials, such as tar sands, the blade I! may be driven by a motor l8 which which are removed from open pits. A shale is supported in the upper portion of the apparap a r as been used to some x ut tus. The housing is for the impeller blade i7 in general has been found to be rather unsatisi upported from the shell H and connects factory, particularly for t m y types of directly with the top of the hood it by way of tar sands. A method which employs dynamiting, the short connecting conduit 26, as indicated in picking the material up by steam-shovel, and the drawing. The centrifugal pump, provided by hauling it by tractor to the processing plant has the rotating blade ii and the housing it, draws also been used, but this methodv has been found the solid material, that has been cut away, and to be rather slow and expensive. In comparison, the cutting liquid upwardly through the conduit 20 and discharges to the outlet line it The outlet 2| may in turn connect with flexible piping for supplying the mixed solids and liquid to suitable processing equipment such as shown in my above-mentioned patent. A perforated plate or screen 22 is placed across the entrance of the inlet conduit and serves to keep out any over sized material that would cause damage in being drawn through the centrifugal pump. The screen 22 may be attached to the conduit 14 and thus be made to rotate with the conduit and discharge nozzles. In the apparatus shown, a system of gears is used in the box 23 above the motor [8, in order to rotate the interior line it and the jet nozzles it. However, in an alternative method of construction, the jet nozzles it; may be placed at a slight angle such that the high pressure stream will cause their rotation, and the gear box 23 may be eliminated. Above the pump housing I9, a supporting frame 2 3 is provided to carry the motor l8 and to furnish attachment means for a yoke 25. The yoke 25 is provided with a lifting eye at its upper end which makes the apparatus adaptable for handling by any type of hoist or movable crane such as previously indicated.
In a somewhat simplified form of the cutting and pumping apparatus, as indicated in Figure '2. of the drawing, the centrifugal pump is eliminated and in its place an ejector type of pump is used. High pressure liquid or solvent material enters the upper end of the apparatus through inlet 26 and passes downwardly through the channel between an inner conduit 21 and an outer conduit 28. At the lower end of the annular flow channel there are provided a plurality of discharge nozzles 2Q which provide high pressure jet streams for cutting away and dislodging the solid bituminous material. An open bottom hood membertt serves to confine the cutting liquid andthe dislodged solid material such that both may be removed by way of the internal pumping means provided. The inner conduit 2'2 is provided with a Venturi nozzle 3! at its lower end such that a high pressure jet stream of liq-.
uid from a centrally located nozzle 32 will cause a jet pump action to draw the solids and liquid mixture upwardly therethrough into conduit 2? and be discharged therefrom, through outlet line 33. A swivel type of pipe joint 3 1 is used between the upper end of conduit 21 and the discharge line 33- such' that the apparatus may be readily moved about by means of a movable crane or like equipment. The discharge nozzles 29 are preferably placed at an angle which will cause the conduits 21 and 28 to rotate from-the pressure of the jet streams and provide a full circular cutting action on the solid material bed. Since it is desirable to rotate the nozzles 2d, the inlet joint 26 and the outlet joint 3% must be of a swivel type of construction as well as a type that will withstand high pressure service. Alsoa ro- 4 tilling process, is heated and passed to the mining apparatus as the hot solvent material.
In an alternative method of carrying out the mining operation, hot water or steam may be used in the high pressure jets in the mining hood to cut away the bituminous deposit and fluidize the particles such that they may be conveyed by pipe line to the processing unit. The passage of the water and solids mixture directly to the distillation chambers, however, means the expenditure of considerable heat and energy in flashing off the large quantity of water present. It is, therefore, advisable to remove the oil from the water by employing conventional settling basins, mixers, and skimming basins which have been used in connection with such types of material.
I claim as my invention:
1. An apparatus for hydraulically removing solid material from natural deposits thereof, which comprises in combination, an open bottomed confining hood adapted for encompassing a small area of said deposit, an inlet for a high pressure fluid medium and outlet means from said hood for particles of said material and said fiuid medium, a rotatable conduit communicating with said inlet and terminating in a plurality of discharge nozzles, said nozzles directed angularly downwardly toward the lower periphery said hood and suitable for effecting rotating jetlike cutting streams of said fluid medium and. the dislodging of said solid material, and slurry pumping means in said outlet means ror discharging resulting dislodged solids and fluid medium.
2. An apparatus for hydraulically removing solid material from natural deposits thereof, which comprises in combination an open-bob tomed pressure tight hood adapted to encompass a small area of said solid material deposit, inlet means for a high pressure fluid medium, outlet means for solid particles of said material and said fluid medium, a rotatable fluid inlet conduit extending centrally through said apparatus and terminating in a plurality of discharge nozzles, said nozzles being directed angularly downwardly toward the lower end of said hood, and eiiecting jet-like cutting streams of said fluid medium, a
. swivel joint connecting said inlet and said retatable joint or bearing 36 is provided between V the exterior conduit 28 and top of the hood 35. A perforated plate or screen 3 5 is positioned across the flared inlet to the ejector or Venturi nozzle 3| in order to prevent its clogging with large pieces of solid matter.
When employing a hydrocarbon solvent for the high pressure cutting fluid, the bituminous material in the tar sands will be substantially dissolved and removed from the mineral material by the time the mixture has been pumped to the processing unit. In the preferable embodiment of the combination process, an intermediate gasoil fraction, which is a product of the dis tatable conduit, motor driven centrifugal pump having a housing and a rotatable impeller blade, a short fiuid channel connecting the upper portion or said hood with said pump housing whereby said pump passes dislodged solids and fluid material from within said hood to said outlet means, a prime mover for said centrifugal pump having an extended hollow drive shaft connecting with said rotatable impeller blade and concentric around said rotatable conduit which connects said inlet means to said discharge nozzles within said hood, and an open shell attached to and extending beyond said hood adapted to enclose and support said pump housing and said prime mover.
3. An apparatus for hydraulically removing solid material from natural deposits thereof, which comprises in combination, an open bottomed confined hood adapted to encompass a 'small area of said solid 'material deposit, an
inlet'conduit for a high pressure fluid medium, an outlet for solid material and said fluid medium, two concentric and rotatable conduits providing; an, annular flow channel therebetween, a swivel pipe joint between and connecting said inlet conduit with said annular flow channel, a second swivel-jointbetween said outlet and the inner of said concentric conduits, and a rotatable joint between the exterior of said conduits and said hood, a plurality of discharge nozzles at the end of said channel between said conduits and opposite said fluid inlet and said outlet, said nozzles being positioned to have similar angularity with respect to said hood and are directed angularly downward to discharge high pressure fluid medium from said annular flow channel in jet-like cutting streams at the lower periphery of said hood, a Venturi shaped inlet within the lower end of said inner conduit, a jet nozzle positioned centrally between the other of said discharge nozzles and directed upwardly into said inner conduit providing thereby a high pressure fluid stream directly into said Venturi, said venturi and last said jet nozzle effecting jet pumping of dislodged solid particles and fluid medium from within said hood to said outlet at the opposite end of said inner conduit, and a perforate screening member across the Venturi inlet to said inner conduit.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,418,098 Schneiders May 30, 1922 1,428,728 Weber Sept. 12, 1922 1,502,261 McArthur July 22, 1924