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Publication numberUS2681888 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 22, 1954
Filing dateMar 22, 1950
Priority dateMar 22, 1950
Publication numberUS 2681888 A, US 2681888A, US-A-2681888, US2681888 A, US2681888A
InventorsPeck Mccraw Laura
Original AssigneePeck Mccraw Laura
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Emulsion treating apparatus
US 2681888 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 22, 1954 w, s. M cRAw 2,681,888

EMULSION TREATING APPARATUS Filed March 22, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 WILLIAM S. McCRAW INVENTOR 3y Twin/ ATTORNEY June 22, 1954 w, 5, MCCRAW EMULSION TREATING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 22, 1950 yllllllllflllllllllllllllllllllllllllfia mfl \N\ H! IN INVE'N TOR A WILL/AM S. McCRAW A T TORNEV W. S. M CRAW EMULSION TREATING APPARATUS June 22, 1954 Ill R W v! UH II! \N\ a A E w W M/ T h Cw T s N M A s a M W m u m M I r B w w a h m a M d e 1 n Patented June 22, 1954 EMULSION TREATING APPARATUS William S. McGraw, New London, Conm; Laura Peck McOraw, executrix of said William S.

McCraw, deceased Application March 22, 1950, Serial No. 151,177

Claims. 1

In a gas manufacturing plant, the gas is delivered for storage to a tank open at the bottom and floating in a well containing liquid. The liquid is initially water, but after a period of operation the liquid includes a considerable amount of tar. When the raw gas is delivered to the interior of the tank it contains a considerable amount of water and tar in suspension. The suspended water and tar condense out of the gas and. mingle with the water in the well. As the result of the deposit of water and tar from the gas,

and as the result of pumped-in tar and water from other plant equipment, and also as the result of rainfall, the amount of liquid in the well increases and an overflow pipe is provided for the discharge of any liquid rising above the overflow pipe level.

Some of the tar deposited in the liquid in the well settles and accumulates in a layer at the bottom of the well. This tar presents no particular problem as it can be pumped out from time to time and used as a fuel or otherwise. Above the bottom layer of tar, there may be a layer of tar-in-water emulsion which is heavier than water. The tar in this emulsion is in the process of settling out and it gradually merges with the layer of tar at the bottom. However, some of the tar, instead of gradually settling to the bottom, becomes emulsified with the Water to form a water-in-tar emulsion which is lighter than water and which collects as a floating layer at the top. The Water-in-tar emulsion has a water content far greater than the tar content. Between the layer of tar-in-water emulsion near the tar at the bottom and the layer of water-intar emulsion at the top there may be a layer oi relatively clean water or liquor.

The floating water=in-tar emulsion presents serious disposal problems. It is this emulsion that is discharged through the overflow pipe to conventional separating equipment which is designed to settle out tar from tar-in-water emulsion but which Will pass the water-in-tar emulsion. The last said emulsion goes along with the water and fouls up the filter equipment which is provided to remove the slight traces of oil left in the water before disposal to sewers, streams or rivers.

If the water-in-tar emulsion is drawn from the holder tank to keep the overflow level at the proper point, it is not useful as a fuel nor for any other purpose due to the high water content. By reason of sanitary regulations it cannot be discharged to sewers and by reason of pollution regulations it cannot be discharged to rivers or other streams.

To conform with these regulations, valves are placed in the overflow pipes of the holder tanks to hold back the floatin emulsion. This raises the level of the liquid to such an extent that the gas mains to and from the holders are flooded with the water-in-tar emulsion and gas flow is retarded or shut off. The emulsion bein very Viscous, the problem of removal is considerable, and when drains or power pumps provided for the removal of ordinary amounts of condensate fail in their duty, hand pumping is frequently necessary. All of these problems represent extra work and expense.

For convenience the floatin layer is herein referred to as a water-in-tar emulsion, which it primarily is. Actually, however, the composition of the floating layer is usually much more complex. The said layer may include gases such as carbon dioxide, and liquids such as oil, water and tar, and solids such as lampblack.

The general object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for treating the troublesome water-in-tar emulsion so as to substantially completely separate the tar from the water. After separation, the tar and the water can be separately disposed of in any usual or suitable manner. Generally speaking, an emulsion treater embodying the invention provides an effective, inexpensive and continuously acting means for immediately handling the emulsion and for eliminating the problems. While reference has been made to the treatment of the water-in-tar emulsion floating in a layer at the top of the liquid in a well, it will be understood that an apparatus embodying the invention is not necessarily so limited and that the said apparatus can be used for the treatment of the same or similar emulsions wherever encountered.

Other and more specific objects of the invention will be apparent from the drawings and from the following description and claims.

The accompanyin drawings show alternative embodiments of the invention, but it will be understood that various changes may be made from the constructions shown, and that the drawings are not to be construed as defining or limiting the scope of the invention, the claims forming a part of this specification bein relied upon for that purpose.

Of the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a view partly in section and partly diagrammatic showing an apparatus embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a view showing an alternative embodiment of the invention, the right portion of this view showing some of the same parts as shown in the left portion of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a view showing another alternative embodiment of the invention.

Referring to the drawings and more particularly to Fig. 1 thereof, it and. I2 represent the upper and lower portions of a gas tank floating in a well l4 having a top platform It. These parts are or may beof standard construction and the u fragmentary showing of them is intended to be merely schematic. There is an annular space between the outer walls of the tank parts and the inner wall of the well, and a portion of the beforementioned floating layer of water-in-tar emulsion is in this annular space, as indicated at E.

The treater for the emulsion l3 comprises a housing l8 located above the level of the platform :6 and having a preferably horizontal cylindrical chamber therein. As shown, the housing It comprises a longitudinal series of tubular or annular members, these including an annular member 26 which may be casting, a tube 22 ,hav ing a threaded connection with the annular member 2;}, a tubeM having a flanged connection with the tube 22, and an annular member 28 which may be a casting having a threaded connection with the tube 24. The housing is closed at its ends by an end plate 28 having threaded engagement with the annular member and an enclplate 33 having threaded engagement with the annular member 26.

The emulsion E to be treated is supplied to the cylindrical chamber near the right or entrancev end thereof through a pipe 32 which is preferably vertical. As shown, the lower end of the pipeextends into the layer of emulsion E and the upper end of the pipe is threaded into an opening in the bottom of the annular member 20. The componentsof the emulsion after treatment are withdrawn from the cylindrical chamber near the left or discharge end thereof through an outlet pipe 34. The pipe 34 is shown as being vertical with the lower end thereof threaded into an opening in the top of the annular member 26.

A suitable means is provided for causingthe liquid, which is initially an emulsion, to flow through the supply pipe32 and through the main chamber and through the outlet pipe 34. This means is preferably connected withthe outlet pipe 34 and actsby suction. As shown, the upper end of the pipette communicates with a suitable suction means which may be a steam siphon indicated generally at 36. The steam siphon as shown has a mainbody 38 with chambers 40 and 42 therein separated by a wall 44. The pipe 34 communicates with the chamber, and the chamber lZ communicates with a discharge pipe Q6. is a tube 48 having a diverging conical wall 50 in the chamber 40. A steam nozzle 52 is provided which receives steam from a supply pipe 54. The

endof the nozzle 52is within the conical portion 59 of the tube 48.

When steam under pressure is delivered through nozzle 52, the vacuum created draws liquid into the chamber 40, and through tube 48, where condensation of the steam occurs. The

steam at this time imparts enough energy to the liquid, due to the velocity derived from the steam expansion and subsequent condensation, to carry it through tube 48 and to build up considerable discharge pressure. There is thus a continuous flow of liquid'from the emulsion layer E to and Mounted in an opening in the wall.

4 fully set forth, the inner electrode 58 preferably has different diameters at different positions along its length, the diameters being successively smaller in the direction of liquid flow.

Rreferably the inner electrode is adjustable as to length.

The inner'electrode 56 may be widely varied as to details of construction, but as shown in Fig. 1 it comprises three telescopically ena ingtubesjfi, and 62 of suitable metal .which may be iron. Preferably the tubes 58 and 60 are in fixed relative positions, being connected by welding at 63. The inner tube 62 of the inner electrode has a slip fit with the tube 60 and is telescopically movable longitudinally relatively thereto. The inner electrode preferably also comprises a ring 64 carried by the largest tube 58 at the right end thereof. The ring 64 is preferably formed of a highly conductive metal such as copper. The electrode has its largest diameter at the ring Hand has successively smaller diameters at the tube 53, at the tube 60 and at the tube 62.

Agenerally cylindrical member 65 of insulating material entersand closes the right end of the outer or largest tube58. A second insulating member 86 is provided adjacent the member 65, the two members being connected by screws 63, 58. The members 65' and 66 are recessed to provide a central chamber 10, and a suitable packing or gasket is provided between the. members 65 and 88 to. exclude liquid from the said chamber. The member, 65 has a central aperture, and a conducting rod 12 extends through and fits this aperture, being provided with .a head within thechamber l0. One or more radial screws, 14 extend through apertures in the tube 58 and in the insulating member 65, these screws serving to mechanically connect the tube 58 with the member 65 and also serving to provide an electrical connection between the said conducting rod [2 and the said tube 5 8.

A tubing connector 15 is threaded into thecentral aperture in the insulating member 66, a liquid-tight joint being provided. A longitudinal tube 'lfi is provided having a flared inner end, the .flared end of the tube engaging the connector l5 and being held in placeby a threaded sleeve '18. The tube 16, extends through a central aperture in the end plate: 28, a liquid-tight connection being providedby a gland 80. An insulated conductor 82 extends through the tube 16 and is connected at its inner end with the head of the conductingrod 12. It will be seen that an electrical connection is established from the conductor 82 through the rod 12, through the screws 14, and through the electrode parts 64, 58, 60, and 62.

Suitable insulating means are provided for supporting the inner electrode'56 in a central position within the chamber in the outer electrode Hi. The tube 58 is provided with three or more insulating buttonsBA, 84 and the tube 60 is provided with three or more insulating buttons. 86, 86. 'Thebuttons' 8 4 84 and 86,. 88 are attached by screws, and plugs of insulating material are preferably provided for closing the outer ends of the holesfor the screws. The several buttons engage with'the interior face of the tube24.

During assembly the tubes 58 and 60 of the inner electrode are longitudinally movable with respect to the outer electrode l8 and they can be variously positioned in accordance with antic.- ipated conditions. In order to definitely locate the tubes58 and 60 andto prevent any possible movement thereof toward the left, a ring 88 of insulating material is secured to the tube 24 in position to engage the buttons 86, 86.

As has been stated, the inner electrode is preferably adjustable as to length. The adjustment as to length may be variously effected, but when the electrode comprises a plurality of tubes, the adjustment is effected by longitudinally moving one tube relatively to another. As shown, it is the inner tube 62 which is longitudinally movable, this tube being so movable relatively to the tubes 60 and 58.

A suitable means is provided for longitudinally moving the tube 62. At the left end of the said tube is a plate 90 having a central stud at its left side. A coil tension spring 92 is located within the tube 82, this spring being connected at its left end with the plate 90 and being connected at its right end with a member 94 having threaded engagement with the conducting rod I2. The spring 92 tends to hold the tube 62 in its position at the right as shown by full lines in Fig. l. The spring 92 also serves to provide an additional electrical connection between the rod 12 and the tube 02.

For telescopically moving the tube 62 toward the left in opposition to the spring 92, there is provided a centrally located longitudinal pull rod S6. The rod 96 extends through an aperture in a member 98 threaded into an opening in the left end plate 30, and the said rod is connected with the stud on the plate 90 by means of an insulating connection I00. A gland I02 insures a liquid-tight connection between the rod 95 and the member 98. At the left end of the rod 96 and having threaded connection therewith is a handle I04, by means of which the rod can be moved longitudinally to correspondingly move the electrode tube 62. The tube is moved toward the left in opposition to the spring 92, and can be permitted to move toward the right by the action of the said spring. A set screw I08 can be engaged with the rod 96 to lock the rod and the tube in any position of adjustment. The full lines show the tube in its extreme position toward the right and the dotted lines show the tube in its extreme position toward the left.

It will be seen that all liquid flowing through the main chamber and between the electrodes must pass through the annular space between the outer face of the ring 64 andthe inner face of the tube 22. A suitable means is provided for changing the thickness of the annular layer of material at the ring 64 and for changing the rate of flow. For this purpose a tubular member or annulus is provided which is longitudinally mov-' able, this annulus engaging one of the electrodes. As shown, there is an annulus I I0 which engages and fits within the tube 22 which forms a part of the outer electrode. The annulus IIO preferably has a conical inner face, the diameter increasing toward the left. The annulus H0 is slotted and is provided with a rack H2 meshing with a pinion I I4. The pinion may be turned by a knob IIB, to adjust the annulus III! longitudinally. The annulus H0 may be locked in adjusted position by a set screw Ht. By longitudinally adjusting the annulus IIO, the thickness of the annular space around the ring 64 may be changed, the thickness of the annular liquid layer and the rate of liquid flow being thus regulated.

Means is provided for establishing an electrical circuit which includes the outer electrode I8 and the inner electrode 56, the current passing through the liquid which flows in the annular-F space between the electrodes. Preferably an al-. ternating current circuit is provided and as shown there are two main power leads I20 and I22 which are connected with a suitable source of alternating current. The leads I20 and I22 are connected with a transformer :24 from which extend leads I26 and I20, controlled by a switch I30. The leads I26 and H8 are fused at I32 and I34 and a telltale pilot lamp I33 is connected between the leads. The lead I29 is grounded and. is connected with the outer electrode at I38. The I lead I20 is connected through a variable choke i coil I40 and an ammeter N32 with the before-"' mentioned conductor 82. The choke coil I401. serves to limit the total amount of current so; that it does not exceed the capacity of the fusesat I32 and I34. The choke coil is manually ad justable to control the current flow by increasing or decreasing the inductance as required.

The liquid passing along the annular space. between the outer electrode I8 and the inner electrode 56 initially comprises the normally stable I water-in-tar emulsion E. The emulsion is ordinarily conductive to a sufficient extent to enable it to allow current to flow between the outer and L inner electrodes. As the current flows through the emulsion, the emulsion is acted upon so that the water is released from the tar enveloping it, there being a neutralization of the electrical forces holding the emulsion stable. The resultant mixture of tar and water is quite liquid and is in such condition as to promote separation of the two by subsequent settling out of the tar from the water after discharge through the pipe 46.

It has been found satisfactory to provide between the electrodes 60 cycle current up to about 50 amperes at volts. However, the invention is not so limited, and the character and amount of the current may be widely varied.

The emulsion E is broken down progressively as it moves longitudinally between the electrodes.- A relatively large proportion of the emulsion breaking action takes place in the relatively narrow and relatively thin annular space surrounding the conducting ring 64. After partial break- I ing of the emulsion, successively longer paths of current therethrough are necessary or at least 1 highly desirable. It is for this reason that the' inner electrode has successively smaller diameters in the direction of liquid flow. The electrode has its largest diameter at the ring 64 and has suecessively smaller diameters at the tube 58, at the tube 60 and at the tube 62.

There are several variable factors affecting the" action of the described emulsion treater. These factors include variations in the character of the emulsion, variations in the temperature and variations in the rate of flow. The electrical resistance offered by the emulsion which is in part dielectric varies substantially with the aforesaid factors. In order that the total amperage may be maintained approximately at a predetermined" optimum amount, the inner electrode is adjust-' able in length and. therefore in area. As shown in Fig. l, the adjustment in length is elfected by longitudinally moving the tube 92 in the manner previously described. It will be obvious that, if the emulsion resistance were not subject to vari- I ation, the total resistance of the circuit would vary directly with the length of the adjustable inner electrode. However, the emulsion resist ance is subject to variation and compensation" for such variation is effected by changing thelength andarea of the. inner electrode. Inprace tieei-the operator observes the amperage as indi-- cated by the ammeter I42 andif it is'above or below the optimum thehandle I04 is moved to correspondingly move the tube 62 and thus restore the amperage to the optimum. The current.

fiow can be alternatively or additionally controlled by the manually adjustable. choke coil I49 as previously described.

Preferably, a recirculation duct I44 is provided forrreturninga portion of the treated liquid from the.v discharge end portion of the main chamber to-the entrance end portion thereof. In the particular construction shown, the recirculationpipe is.:connected with the outlet pipe 34 rather than directly'with the main'chamber. The duct I44 comprises a series of pipes connecting the chamber 42 of the steam siphon with the interior of the main chamber at the right or entrance end.

thereof, preferably separately from the supply, pipe 32. In order to assure flow of liquid through theduct I44, one end of the said duct is connected at the. forward or discharge side of. the liquid moving means such as the siphon 36 and the other end of the saidduct is connected at the rearward. or. intakeside of the said liquid movingmeans andnear the entrance end of the chamber in the housing I8. A control valve I46 is included in the duct I44. When the valve I46 is opened some of the mixture, instead of being discharged through the pipe 46. is returned through the duct I44 tojthe. entrance end of the main chamber, being thus recirculated.

The mixture returned through the duct I 44.

consists chiefly of water which is an electrolyte, the water having relatively small amounts of vtar suspended therein. This water, when commingled with the raw emulsion, greatly facilitates the electrolytic action required to cause enough current to flow to break down the emulsion.

The use of a steam siphon as the suction means may have particular advantages. In the event that any, residue of the water-in-tar emulsion remains after the action of the electric current, such residue may be changed by action of the steam siphon from a water-in-tar emulsion-to a tar-in-water emulsion. This change is or may.

be caused by the subjection of the emulsion successively to partial vacuum, to heating, to in-' creased velocity and increased pressure, and

finally by the introduction into the emulsion of. condensed steam globules, the electrical chargesof which cancel out or otherwise affect the stabilizing charges of the emulsion components.

It is frequently necessary or at least desirable to-raisethe temperature of the emulsion before it passes through the annular space between-the electrodes, this being particularly importantincold weather. or when the emulsion is viscous or. gelled. The heating of the emulsion before treating may be effected by heating the mixture re? turned through the recirculation duct I44. The returned heated mixture is commingled :withthe rawemulsion entering through the pipe 32; The result is that there is a substantial increase in the temperature of the liquid passing-between the electrodes; This increased temperature increases.

the effectiveness of the electrolytic action. When the suction means is a steam siphon as shown. in

Fig. 1, the steam serves to heat the returned mix tu-reandno separate heatingmeans is necessary.

therefore. flows less freelythrough the treater.

However,- the-gel is smOre :easily broken down by.

the electrolytic action. This isdueto the fact.

that the gel. contains electrolytic liquor-which is squeezed out by syneresis and which enables the current to pass more readily than in the usual water-in-tar emulsion. The tendency of the emulsion to gel is therefore advantageous, in that it initiates the flow of'current under conditions.

which would otherwise be unfavorable.

Under-some conditions, the emulsion isnot-i sufiiciently conductive for satisfactory treatment.

When such conditions are encountered a-suitable:

chemical, preferably in liquid form, is introduced into. the entrance end portion of the cylindrical .chamber to increase the conductivity. For introducing the chemical a container I48 is provided which is preferably connected with the recirculation duct I44; a valve or cook I59 being provided to control the flow from the container to the duct.

Fig. 2 shows an alternative embodiment of the.-

weight IE6 is connected with the core I54 'by.

means of a cord or cable I58. The weight of the counterweight I56 is such that it exerts a force on the core I54 which is slightly greater than the force exerted by the spring 92. Thus the counterweight tends to hold the parts-1n the positions shown in Fig. 2.

A .magnetic coil or winding I 6!! is provided which surrounds the path of movement of the rodI52 and the. core I54, the said rod and core being freely movable through the coil. By'means of conductors I62 and IE4 the coil ISO is con.- nected in the circuit between the ammeter I42 and the conductor 82.

When the electrode tube 62 is in its fully extended position as shown, the electrical resistance through the emulsion is at the minimum and the amperage in the circuit is at the maximum.

Current a maximum amperage passes through:

the coil I60, which acts to'move the core I54 toward the right in opposition tothe counterweight I56, such movement being assisted by the spring 92, The tube 62 moves with the core I54;

thus increasing the resistance in the circuit and reducing the amperage in the coil I60. As movement takes place the several forces are balanced with the tube 62 in the position for optimum amperage. When the resistance inthe electrolyte is increased or decreased as the result of any of the several variable factors, the core'I54 and the tube 62 are automatically moved toward the left or toward the right to whatever extent isnecessary to maintain the current at the optimum amperage.

Fig. 3 shows another alternative embodiment of the invention. The several parts 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 are or may be identical in-con struction with the parts shown in Fig. 1. A pipe IE5 is provided which is similar to the pipe 32 and which serves to supply the emulsion-E to the main'cylindrical chamber nealatheright or entrance end thereof.

In lieu .of the outletpipe 34 connected with the cylindrical chamber near the left end there is provided a similar outlet pipe or duct I58. In lieu of the steam siphon 36 there is provided an alternative suction means which is a reciprocating pump indicated generally at M9.

The pump IE9 is or may be of standard construction and does not of itself constitute a part of the present invention. As shown, the pump has a lower chamber Ill an intermediate chamber I12 and an upper chamber IM. A central transverse wall I16 is provided in the chamber I12, a reciprocating piston Ill? being movable through an opening in the said wall. Pivoted flaps I80 and I $2 are provided at openings between the chambers He and I72 and respectively at the left and at the right of the wall I15, and pivoted flaps I84 and I86 are provided at openings between the chambers I12 and I'M respectively at the left and at the right of the wall I16.

As the piston I 78 moves toward the right, the flaps I89 and M9 are opened, liquid being withdrawn from the chamber 110 into the chamber I12 and liquid being discharged from the chamber I72 into the chamber I'M. As the piston H8 moves toward the left, the flaps I62 and I84 are opened, liquid being withdrawn from the chamber I70 into the chamber I 72 and liquid being discharged from the chamber I72 into the chamber I'M. A discharge pipe I88, similar to the pipe 46 is connected with the chamber I14, and liquid forced into the said chamber by the pump is I discharged through the said pipe.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that the pump I69 acts by suction to cause liquid to be withdrawn from the emulsion layer E, through the pipe I66, through the main cylindrical chamber, through the pipe or duct I68 and into the pump chamber Ill]. The pump forces liquid into the pump chamber H4 and through the discharge pipe I88.

In lieu of the inner electrode 56 there is provided an alternative inner electrode I99. The electrode I99 is specifically diiferent from the electrode 56, but it is similar in that it has telescopically related portions and has different diameters at different positions along its length and in that it is adjustable as to length and area.

The inner electrode i9!) comprises a centrally located metallic tube I92 which is closed at its right end by a cup-shaped metallic member IN. The tube I92 is held in place by insulating buttons I96, I96 which are connected with the tube 24 by screws I98, I98. The inner electrode preferably includes a ring I99 on the tube I92, this being similar in construction and in function to the ring 64 shown in Fig. 1.

The electrode I99 also comprises a member 209 which is a spring formed of a spirally wound strip of metal such as steel. The several convolutions of the spirally wound electrode member overlap each other and are therefore telescopically related. The outer end or portion of the metallic strip is mechanically and electrically connected with the tube I92 by screws 29! and is therefore fixed against longitudinal movement.

The inner end or portion of the metallic strip is mechanically connected with a longitudinally movable insulating member 292. The spring member I96 is initially wound spirally as stated, but by means of the member 2&2 it may be drawn out or extended longitudinally or axially to the extent shown by full lines in Fig. 3. The portion of the strip or member 200 that is connected with the member 202 and the other portions of ll) the said member 299, except the said longitudinally fixed position, are movable longitudinally and telescopically with respect to each other and with respect to the said fixed portion.

Connected with the insulating member 202 is a rod 2% similar to the rod shown in Fig. 1. Associated with the rod 294 are parts 98, I92, I04 and Ilifi which are or may be identical in construction with the parts shown in Fig. 1 and previously described. By means of the handle I M the spring member 299 of the inner electrode may be extended as required. The full lines show the minimum extension and the dotted lines indicate the maximum extension. It will be understood that the spring member resists extension and tends to return to its shorter position.

A generally cylindrical member 296 of insulating material enters and fits the cup-shaped member I96, this member having a central chamber 293 therein which is open at the left to provide access to the transverse wall of the member 194. The tube I92 and the members I94 and 2% are connected with each other by screws 2 I 2.

A tubing connector 2 It is threaded into a cam tral aperture in the insulating member 296, a liquid-tight joint being provided. A longitudinal tube 2 It is provided having a flared end, this tube being similar to the tube It. The flared end oi the tube 2i6 engages the connector 2M, being held in place by a threaded sleeve 2 IS. The tube extends through a central aperture in the end plate 29, a liquid-tight joint being provided by a gland are. An insulated conductor wire 222 extends through the tube Zlfi and is connected at its inner end with the transverse wall of the cup shaped member. The wire 222 corresponds in function to the wire 82 shown in Fig. 1.

For changing the thickness of the annular space between the outer face of the ring I 99 and the inner face of the tube 22 a longitudinally movable annulus is provided which may be iden tical in construction and in manner of operation to the annulus l Ill shown in Fig. l.

The electrical system is or may be the same as that shown in Fig. 1 and previously described.

The manner of operation is generally similar to that described in connection with 1 and repetition of the description is unnecessary. It will be seen that the length and area of the inner electrode is changed by increasing or decreasing the efl'ectivelength of the spring member 280 instead of by bodily mov ng the tube 52. If desired, the movement of the spring member 2% may be controlled automatically as illustrated in Fig. 2.

Preferably a recirculation duct 225 is provided having a control valve 226 therein. The duct 224 is connected similarly to the duct I44 as shown in Fig. 1. If necessary, a means for supplying a chemical may be connected with the duct 22%. This comprises a container i 53 and a valve or cook I59 as previously described.

As previously stated, it is frequently desirable to raise the temperature of the emulsion before it passes through the annular space between the electrodes. The pump I 69 does not heat the liquid passing therethrough and it is therefore necessary to provide a separate means for heating the emulsion. As illustrated, a steam coil 228 is positioned within the supply pipe Hi5. An electric heating unit may be substituted for the steam coil. By means of the steam coil 229 or its equivalent, the emulsion is suitably heated before reaching the main chamber.

As an alternative to the heating means at 228 zacsnsss or in order to supplement the said, heating means, a separate heating, means maybe provided in the recirculation duct 224. As shown, the liquid passes through a chamber ,230 having a steam coil 2 32 therein. An electric heating unit may be substituted for the steam coil. When a heating means is provided at 23.2, the mixturezdelivered from the recirculation duct 224 is heated and the results are the same as those previously described in connection with the siphon 3B and the duct. I44.

Heating means may be provided at 228 and also at "232, buteither heating means is: usually sufficient without the other and ordinarily only one of them isprovided in any one installation.

The invention claimed is:

1. In aniapparatusfor treatingan emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic-housing havinga cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsionrsupply pipe communicating with the housing chamber nearthe entrance end thereof, an innermetallicelectrodewithin the chamber of the outer electrode, insulating means for supporting the innei electrode in acentral position Within the chamber so asstoprovidean annular space between theouter and inner electrodes, ,an outlet pipecommun-icating with-the said housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, a steam siphon connected-with the outlet pipe and serving-towithdraw liquid through the-supply pipeandthrough the annular space in the chamber between the outer and inner electrodes and through-the-outlet pipe, means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in *an electric circuit'to causecurrent to flow between the electrodes and through the liquidin:theannular space betweenthem, the--saidcurrent serving to breakthe emulsion-as it passes along the said annular space, and arecirculation duct connected at one end to-said outletpipe'beyond said steam siphonand connected at' the other endto' theentrance portion of the cylindrical chamber, said steam siphon heating a portion of the treated liquid and forcing the heated nportion through said recirculation duct so that the heated portion 7 of the treated liquid is drawnwith untreated 'liquidthrough thespace between said electrodes.

2. In an apparatus afor treating an emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic housing having a cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsionsupply pipe-communicating with the housing chamber near theentrance end thereof, a metallic inner electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof,-insulating means" for supporting the-inner electrodein-acentralposition within the chamber so as to provide an-annular space between the outer :and lIIIlEIfBlECtI'OdGSffiIl outlet pipe connected withpthe housing'chamber near the oppositeend'thereof,.means for causing a liquid which is initially an *emulsion tomove through the supply pipe and throughitheannular space between the-outer and inner=electrodes :and through the outletpipa'means forrconnectingthe outer and inner electrodes in'anelectric circuit to'causecurrent to fiowbetweenthe electrodes and through the liquid in "the annular space betweenthem, theisaid currentservingto break the emulsionas it passes along the'said annular space, a'conductivemember within the outer electrode and adjacent the entrance end of theinner electrode'which member: isan annulus movable longitudinally along a face of one of said electrodes and having a conical face, and means for longitudinally moving saidmember -.for changing the thickness of the annular space between the electrodes at the entrance end of the-said space.

3. In an apparatus for treatingan'emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic housing having acylindrical chamber therein, anemulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof a metallic: inner electrode located within the-chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof and having itsmaximum external diameter substantially less than the internal diameter of the outer electrode chamber, the said inner electrode havingia cylindrical portion of uniform diameter nearthe'entranceend-of the housing and the said inner electrode. including a structurally separate metalin a central position within the chamberfso as ,to provideian annular spaceubetween thezouter and inner electrodes, .an outlet pipeconnected with the. housing chamber near the oppositerend thereof means. for causing a liquid whichniseinitiallyian emulsionto move through the supply pipe and through the annulanspacebetween the outer-and inner electrodesandthrough the :out-

i let pipe, and means forconnecting-the. outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes land through they liquid in the annulari-spaceibetween them, the said currentserving to-:break the-emulsion as it .passes along the said annular .-space.

.4. In an apparatus .for treating can emulsion, the combination of an, outer, electrode? comprising .a metallic housing havingla.cylindricalchamher therein, anemulsicn supply pipecommunieating with the housing .chamber nearthe-entrance end thereof, anmetallic ,inner electrode within the chamber .of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode =comprises :telescopically related ,portions at least oneof which portions "is vfixed .against longitudinal movement and another or which portions is movable 'longitudinallyzand telescopically withrespect to the" saidv fixed-por- ,tionsoas-to change thelength of the-electrode,

insulating means. for: supporting the;inner electrodeina central-position within the chamber iof'the outerelectrodeso. as to provide-an annular space between the outer --and inner electrodes,

= means for longitudinally moving ,thesaid longitudinallymovable portion of the. inner electrode to change the length of the saidelectroda-anoutlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the oppositeendthereofimeans for causing aliquid which is initiallyan emulsion to move through the supply pipe and through the annular space betweenthe outer and inner electrodesand through theioutletpipe, and means for connecting the outer and inner electrodesin. an electric circuit to. cause currentto flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the'annular space between them, the: said .currentservingrto break the emulsion as .it passes along the-said annular space.

5. Anapparatus as set forth in claim 4, wherein theiinner electrode has successi-vely.smaller .diameters in the direction .of liquid-flow.

6.lIn an apparatus for treatingan emulsion, the combinationiof an outer elcctrode'comprising a metallic: housing .:having :a: cylindricakchamber therein, an emulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof, a metallic inner electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode comprises a plurality of telescopic tubes, insulating means for supporting the inner electrode in a central position within the chamber of the outer electrode so as to provide an annular space between the outer and inner electrodes, means for longitudinally moving one tube of the inner electrode relatively to another tube thereof to change the length of the said inner electrode, an outlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, means for causing a liquid which is initially an emulsion to move through the su ply pipe and through the annular space between the outer and inner electrodes and through the outlet pipe, and means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the annular space between them, the said current serving to break the emulsion as it passes along the said annular space.

7. In an apparatus for treating an emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic housing having a cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof, a metallic irmer electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode comprises a plurality of telescopic tubes which are successively smaller in the direction of liquid flow, insulating means for supporting the inner electrode in a central position within the chamber of the outer electrode so as to provide an annular space between the outer and inner electrodes, means for longitudinally moving the smallest tube of the inner electrode relatively to the next adjacent tube to change the length of the said inner electrode, an outlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, means for causing a liquid which is initially an emulsion to move through the supply pipe and through the annular space between the outer and inner electrodes and through the outlet pipe, and means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the annular space between them, the said current serving to break the emulsion as it passes along the said annular space.

8. In an apparatus for treating an emulsion,

the combination of an outer electrode comprising a housing having a cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof, a metallic inner electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode comprises a plurality of telescopic tubes which are successively smaller in the direction of liquid flow, insulating means for supporting the inner electrode in a central position within the chamber of the outer electrode so as to provide an annular space between the outer and inner electrodes, a spring connected with the smallest tube of the inner electrode for longitudinally moving the said tube in the direction to decrease the length of the said inner electrode, means for longitudinally moving the said smallest tube of the inner electrode in opposition to the said spring to increase the length of the said inner electrode, an outlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, means for causing a liquid which is initially an emulsion to move through the supply pipe and through the annular space between the outer and inner electrodes and through the outlet pipe, and means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the annular space between them, the said current serving to break the emulsion as it passes along the said annular space.

9. In an apparatus for treating an emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic housing having a, cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof, a metallic inner electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode comprises an extensible spirally coiled spring strip having its convolutions overlapping each other and telescopically related, the said spring strip having a portion at one end thereof fixed against longitudinal movement and having other portions thereof longitudinally movable telescopically relatively to the said fixed portion, insulating means for supporting the inner electrode in a central position within the chamber of the outer electrode so as to providean annular space between the outer and inner electrodes, means connected with the coiled spring strip at the end thereof opposite the said fixed portion for longitudinally and telescopically moving the longitudinally movable portions of the said strip so as to change the amount of extension of the strip and so as to thereby change the length of the said inner electrode, an outlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, means for causing a liquid which is initially an emulsion to move through the supply pipe and through the annular space between the outer and inner electrodes and through the outlet pipe, and means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the annular space between them, the said current serving to break the emulsion as it passes along the said annular space.

10. In an apparatus for treating an emulsion, the combination of an outer electrode comprising a metallic housing having a cylindrical chamber therein, an emulsion supply pipe communicating with the housing chamber near the entrance end thereof, a metallic inner electrode within the chamber of the outer electrode and extending longitudinally thereof which inner electrode comprises a portion fixed against longitudinal movement and another portion longitudinally movable with respect to the said fixed portion to change the length of the said electrode, insulating means for supporting the inner electrode in a central position within the chamber of the outer electrode so as to provide an annular space between the outer and inner electrodes, an outlet pipe connected with the housing chamber near the opposite end thereof, means for causing a liquid which is initially an emulsion to move through the supply pipe and through the annular space between the outer and inner electrodes and through the outlet pipe, means for connecting the outer and inner electrodes in an electric circuit to cause current to flow between the electrodes and through the liquid in the annular space between them, the said current serving to break the emul- 51011 as it passes along the said annular space, and means controlled by the current in the circuit for longitudinally moving the said longitudinally movable portion of the inner electrode to change the length of the said electrode.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Cottrell et al Mar. 21,1911

Number Number

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3073776 *Jun 30, 1959Jan 15, 1963Petrolite CorpElectric treater
US5334905 *Feb 8, 1993Aug 2, 1994Heraeus Instruments GmbhImmersible lamp for a photochemical reactor
Classifications
U.S. Classification204/650, 204/668
International ClassificationC10G33/00, C10G33/02
Cooperative ClassificationC10G33/02
European ClassificationC10G33/02