US 3075891 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 29, 1963 J. D. ELAM 3,075,391
APPARATUS FOR THE DISTILLATION OF A LIQUID THROUGH A GAS PERMEABLE WALL Filed Jan. 3, 1958 I 8 I l I I i FIG. I
T I; H 8 i: H I I: I: 5: I I H 1| I II II II H II l n FIG. 2 0
INVENTOR Joseph Donald Elam ATTORNEY United States This invention relates to the distillation of liquids and is applicable to the production of potable water from saline solutions such as sea water.
This device makes use of the principle that paper containers for hot liquids permit the passage of water vapor through their walls. This vapor or free water molecules may be condensed on a cool surface if the outer wall of the paper container and the cool surface are suitably proximate and the air and space between the two surfaces re properly controlled.
e device consists of metal chambers having a V ape as seen in side view (FIG. 1) and rectangular as seen in top plan view (-FIG. 2). The walls of the metal chambers define the cool plates or condenser means for the apparatus. The container for the liquid to be distilled includes rigid walls 1 formed of paper stock. This paper stock is placed inside the metal containers with the rigid paper walls of the paper container parallel to the cool plates by alternately rolling the paper over rod 5 and under rod 9 which are employed for spacing the rigid paper stock from the cool plates. A frame 8, together with a gum rubber edging deposited on the rigid paper stock seals the paper container water tight.
A perforated pipe 6 is provided for spraying coolant on the cool plate, While a shaped perforated pipe 4 is employed for introducing hot liquid to the paper chamber. The pipe 4 also acts as a support for a cover 3. The cover 3 is formed with a lens that is shaped as a section of a cylinder, and can be used during periods of sunlight to focus the rays of the sun on the filter subject to maintain a temperature most expeditions to the distilling process. An electric immersion-type heater element 10 may be used for temperature maintenance in the absence of sunlight. A chamber 7 is located at the lowermost end of the metal chamber and is provided for the collection of liquid which condenses on the cool plates.
This invention is particularly applicable to the distillation of sea water at sub-boiling point temperatures. Sea water may be used as the coolant when unheated and as the distillation subject when heated.
Dimensions are not critical except between the gas permeable wall and the cool plate. This distance probably must not exceed one inch.
Since the formed paper chambers are enclosed the residue of the dehydration or deliquefying process is recoverable at various stages of concentration.
1. Apparatus for distilling a pure liquid from an imatent 0 pure liquid at atmospheric pressure and at temperatures below the boiling point of the impure liquid, comprising an enclosed space containing a pool of the impure liquid therein, said enclosed space having at least a portion of 5 its Walls formed of a relatively rigid liquid-proof gas permeable material having the pool of impure liquid in contact therewith, a non-absorbent cooling surface located exteriorly of each gas permeable wall of said enclosed space, each said cooling surface enclosing a major portion of the adjacent gas permeable wall and spaced in proximity thereto to form an unobstructed passage therebetween, a collecting chamber located below said passage and communicating therewith adapted to receive the pure liquid, means for increasing the temperature of the impure liquid to a temperature less than the boiling point thereof, and means for cooling the exterior surfaces of said cooling surfaces, whereby vapor passing through said gas permeable walls condenses on said cooling surfaces as the pure liquid and flows downwardly by gravity into said collecting chamber.
2. Apparatus for distilling a pure liquid from an impure liquid at atmospheric pressure and at temperatures below the boiling point of the impure liquid, comprising a plurality of enclosed spaces each containing a pool of the impure liquid therein, said enclosed spaces having their side walls formed of a continuous strip of a relatively rigid liquid proof gas permeable material extending from one enclosed space to the next, the pools of impure liquid being in contact therewith, a non-absorbent cooling surface located exteriorly of each gas permeable side wall of said enclosed spaces, said cooling surfaces enclosing a major portion of said gas permeable side walls and spaced in proximity thereto to form an unobstructed passage between each gas permeable side wall and its adjacent cooling surface, a collecting chamber located below said passages for each enclosed space and communicating with said passages and adapted to receive the pure liquid therein, means for increasing the temperature of the impure liquid to a temperature less than the boiling point thereof, and means for cooling the exterior sur faces of said cooling surfaces, whereby vapor passing through said gas permeable walls condenses on the interior surfaces of said cooling surfaces as the pure liquid and flows downwardly by gravity into said collecting chambers.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,577,653 Nugent Mar. 23, 1926 1,881,041 Benjamin Oct. 4, 1932 2,445,350 Ginnings July 20, 1948 2,712,386 Jones et al July 5, 1955 2,793,174 Smith May 21, 1957 2,881,116 Siegfried Apr. 7, 1959