US 3607104 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors Tibor Blickle 1,871,302 8/1932 Carroll 261/123 Budapes 2,520,391 8/1950 Findlay... 23/310 Laszlo Balla,Veszprem; Laszlo Bacs, 2,629,654 2/1953 Olney... 23/310 Budapest, allofl-lungary 2,735,795 2/1956 Weiss... 23/31OX  App1.No. 748,404 2,762,692 9/1956 Spitz..... 23/270X  Filed July 29, 1968 2,851,396 9/1958 Myers 23/270.5 X  Patented SepLZl, 1971 2,853,405 9/1958 Heinrich. 23/310 X  Assignee Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Muszaki 2,866,553 12/1958 SchmehL. 209/359 KemiaiKutato lntezete 2,921,842 l/1960 List 23/310 X Y Veszprem, Hungary 2,949,348 8/1960 Pfann 23/310  Priority Aug. 1, 1967 3,005,691 10/1961 Griffiths 23/273 X  Hungary 3,231,251 1/1966 ScheibeL. 23/270.5 X  MA-1745 3,231,252 1/1966 Reed 261/123 3,414,248 12/1968 lwanaga 55/256 FOREIGN PATENTS  355321358: INTENSIFIED CONTACTING F 538,316 3 1957 Canada 23/267 754,337 8/1956 Gre'atBritain 23/270.5 6 Cmms4 Drawmg 769,641 3/1957 Great Britain..... 23/270.5  U.S.Cl 23/267, 919,401 2/1963 Great Britain.. 23/310 23/270, 23/310, 55/256, 210/320, 210/321, 121,781 7/1958 U.S.S.R. 23/270  I t Cl 210, ga f gg Primary Examiner-Norman Yudko'ff n Assistant Examiner s' J Emery Bold 13/00 EMU/O4 AttorneyYoung & Thompson  Field ofSearch 209/359, 360; 23/267 2 70 270. 5 271, 272, 273, 309, 310;
ABSTRACT: Different fluids are fed to equipment having at 346 least two chambers separated by a wall having fine perforations, further preferably also separated spaces. The operation  References cued is effected by contacting these streams of different com- UNlTED STATES PATENTS ponents through the partition wall. Liquids are preferably 1,407,258 2/1922 Connors 261/123 transformed into foams and solids fluidized during the 1,441,560 1/1923 Connors 261/123 process.
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INVENTORS Fl 4 7760K .54 mm E Z A1524 0 6/) 4 40746 fines BY Y- 07% ATTORNEYS APPARATUS FOR INTENSIFIED CONTACTING OF PLURAL FLUIDS For processes taking place in a liquid and/or gaseous phase, such as the washing of suspensions, dissolution from solid ma e' ials, partial and complete precipitation, crystallization, extraction, absorption and desorption, drying, condensing etc. numerous procedures and equipments are known. Most of these procedures use several steps, they have a low output and are tiresome, whilst the associated equipment is bulky, expensive and of poor efficiency.
Dialysis a physical process, is known and used for the separation of materials consisting of large molecules or in colloidal suspension, from small molecules by making use of the differences in diffusion through certain filters, such as parchment, animal skins, etc. This process is, however, too slow and therefore cannot be rendered continuous. Hence it is unsuitable for large scale industrial use.
No method or apparatus has been known so far by which these operations could be performed in a single step, continuously and at high flow rate.
The main aim of our invention is the development of such apparatus.
The object of the present invention is the provision of apparatus for the intensification of liquid and/or gas phase contact.
The invention is based on the recognition that if in a chamber divided in two by a partition wall having fine perforations two different media are caused to flow, a very fast mass transfer takes place between the two media without the two media being mixed through the perforations of the partition wall. This phenomenon is independent from the ways of interaction of the media, and takes place even if the same medium is flowing on both sides of the partition wall. By the variation of the thickness of the wall and the size of the perforations, and by the selection of the flow parameters the mass transfer can be continuous.
Another discovery of particular importance was that the intensity of liquid-phase contact processes can be increased to an exceptionally high degree by making foam out of the liquid, while that of gas-phase processes can be similarly intensified by fluidizing a bed consisting of fine particles.
The essence of the process developed by us based on said discovery may be illustrated in connection with an example of the extraction of dry substances from suspensions. The conventional method for this operation includes several filterings and repeated resuspension by way of recharging. According to the invention-instead of these operations-the mud is transformed into a foam, e.g. by means of an inert gas, and caused to flow on one side of the said perforated partition wall, whilst washing water, likewise transformed into foam, is conducted along the other side of the partition wall. The two media are kept continuously in counterflow. The exit liquid phase of the suspension leaving the equipment will not contain contaminations any more, even with relatively short equipment.
The procedure according to the invention for the intensifiation of contact operations in the nOnsolid i.e. liquid and/r gaseous phase consists in causing the solid and/or liquid and/or gaseous materials taking part in said operation split into different operational components to flow in continuous streams simultaneously through at least two chambers arranged parallel to each other separated at least n-l perforated partition walls (wherein n designates the number of chambers) having fine perforations and causing the operation to be effected by contacting the said streams of different operational components through the said perforated partition walls.
By operational components" materials or groups of materials are understood which take part in the operation, irrespective of whether the said operation is merely a physical or a chemical one or a combination of both and irrespective whether said materials are per se solid, liquid or gaseous materials. By different operational components" operational components are understood which differ from each other at least in one characteristic, such as in respect of material or its physical properties. Hence, groups of materials forming an operational component are considered different if they differ from each other in respect of only one material of the group, or regarding any or all the physical properties of said group. According to the invention, such different operational components flow in each of the said chambers.
The term fine perforations indicates perforations no larger than a few millimeters. The minimum size of such perforations is given by the perforating technique and is actually a few microns. Should smaller sizes be produced at some future time, these may be similarly used.
The number of streams can be higher than the number of chambers, i.e. two streams of different operational components can enter one of the chambers or even all of the chambers.
Should the operation take place in the liquid phase, it is often advantageous to transform said liquid into a foam by means of a gas, e.g. an inert gas. In such cases said gas stream is one of the operational components, although it can be regarded as an auxiliary component.
Should a solid material be among the operational components (whether a chemical reagent in said operation or only a solid bed of inert material) it is preferable to fluidize the same by means of a gaseous or a liquid operational component, even if the same should be regarded only as an auxiliary component.
A distinctive feature of the equipment according to the invention is that it consists of at least two parallel chambers separated by at least n-l partition walls having fine perforations (n denominating the number of chambers) wherein each of said chambers have inlet and outlet connections.
The simplest construction of the equipment consists of two adjacent chambers with a single perforated partition wall between them, and at least one inlet and one outlet to each chamber. The number of chambers may, however, be e.g. three with a partition wall between each and can have one or more connections (inlet or outlet ones, as the case may be) for each chamber.
A further variant of the equipment can consist in that the chambers or at least one of them contain perforated plates between their bottom and their center positioned perpendicular to said partition walls, thus forming a separated space within said chamber, and the outlet and inlet connections may be mounted so that at least one of these forms an inlet or outlet to said separated space too. The chambers can thus have inlets or outlets leading directly to them as well as leading through said separated spaces or only the latter ones. Moreover two of these spaces may also have a common conmotion.
The equipment according to the invention can be mounted for operation in a vertical or horizontal or inclined position. Should the size of one piece of equipment be insufficient for the desired operation, more than one piece of equipment of the same shape and size can be used, connected in series. Disposing bafile plates vertically to the partition wall gives a similar result.
As to the operation itself, the streams in the chambers can move either in counterflow or in unidirectional flow. Due to this, if more than one piece of equipment is used, these can also be connected in cascade.
If necessary, heating and/or mixing can be effected within the chambers by heating and/or mixing means.
It should also be mentioned that in some cases the top of each chamber may be open, and these openings replace the connections. Hence, in the term connection this variant is also included.
Processes in vacuo or under pressure can be also effected in the equipment according to the invention.
The method as well as the equipment according to the invention shall be described below in more detail with reference to the attached drawings by way of illustrative examples.
FIG. 1 FIGS. equipment suitable for washing, dissolution and extraction and concentrating. FIGS. 2 to 4 are schematic representations of variants of the equipment suitable for different operations, shown in vertical sections.
Referring to FIG. 1 perforated partition wall 2 divides equipment 1 into two chambers 3 and 4. The suspension or liquid to be treated enters through pipe connection 5 into chamber 3 and leaves after treatment through pipe connection 6. 7 and 8 form inlets or outlets (as the case may be) for chamber 4, i.e. if counterflow is desired 7 should be the inlet and 8 the outlet. If, however, the flow in this chamber is intended to be the same as in chamber 3, connection 8 will be the inlet and 7 the outlet. Space 9 is formed in both chambers 3 and 4 by means of a perforated bottom plate 10. Pipe connection 11 leads to said space 9 and is adapted to form an inlet for gas, e.g. an inert gas for the purpose of forming a foam or fluidizing the phases to be treated above the plate 10. The function of baffles 12 is to control the flow and to increase turbulence. At the same time these baffles divide the chambers into smaller chamber units. An equipment equipped with such dividing baffles is in practice equivalent to a row of units connected in series.
13 and 14 are gas outlets. Each chamber unit may have such outlets.
The partition wall 2 has fine perforations. It may also consist of a sieve or a mesh or a perforated plate or of any other material having holes (openings) in the range up to a few millimeters and down to the micron range. The actual size of the perforations is dependent on the materials to be handled, in case of solids taking part in the process the size will be generally determined so that solid grains should not move from one chamber into the other, or should only do so below a predetermined grain size. In case of foams the size of perforation is generally chosen to be smaller in order that the foamforming gas should not pass through the wall. When only liquids are present in the equipment, larger sized perforations may be chosen. It is advantageous to use a partition wall which has the largest possible free surface" i. the ratio of perforations to nonperforated parts should be as large as possible.
As to the perforated bottom plate the perforations of these differ from that of the partition wall. The perforations of this plate serve only for the distribution of gas or fluid in their inlet or outlet flow, and not for effecting the operation, hence any perforated plate used for such purposes can be equally well used in the equipment.
In order to show by the Examples some possible sizes of the equipment itself, a, b and dimensions have been marked in FIG. 1.
FIG. 2 represents a schematic illustration in the form of a vertical section of a variant of the equipment shown in FIG. 1. As may be seen from FIG. 2, this equipment has a smaller number of inlets an outlets than that of FIG. I, and no baffle plates are provided.
In FIG. 2 the equipment 20 is divided by a perforated partition wall 21 into chambers 22 and 23. Bottom plate 28 forms spaces 24 and 25. Pipe connections 26 and 27 form inlets through said spaces 24 and 25 to chambers 22 and 23 for gases and-if necessary-outlets through the same way for liquids. Pipe connections 29a and 29b form outlets for gases from chambers 22 and 23 or inlets for liquids into these chambers. If required, these two connections may be united into a single connection but leading into both chambers. In some cases the diameter of the pipe connection can be equal to that of the chamber, i.e. the chambers can be open at their top.
220 and 23a designates foam formed in both chambers.
The simplified variant according to FIG. 2 can be mainly used if no solid materials take part in the operation.
FIG. 3 shows another variant of the equipment according to FIG. 1 in a schematic representation in vertical section. This variant is advantageous where combined operations with solid materials are to be effected in the nonsolid phase.
Equipment 30 is divided by perforated partition wall 31 into chambers 32 and 33, and perforated bottom plate 36 forms spaces spaces 34 and 35. Each chamber has several inlets and outlets, and these are following:
Inlet 37 serves for feeding solid, e.g. with the aid of a feeding screw into chamber 32. Pipe connection 38 is an inlet for liquids into the same chamber. 39 and 41 are lead-in pipe connections for gas to chambers 32 and 33 via spaces 34 and 35, respectively. 43 is an inlet pipe connection for liquids into chamber 33. Pipe connections 40 and 42 are outlets from chambers 32 and 33 for solid materials or liquid-solid suspensions, respectively. They should preferably have cocks. Pipe connections 44a and 44b are gas outlets from chambers 32 and 33. They can be united into a single connection for both chambers. 32a and 33 a designate the foam formed.
The variant according to FIG. 4 (which is also a schematic representation in a vertical section) shows equipment with three chambers and with an open top. Perforated partition walls 51 and 52 form chambers 53, 54 and 55 in the equipment 50. Pipe connections 56 and 58 form inlets and/or outlets to chamber 53, pipe stubs 57 and 59 to chamber 54. By the bottom plate 64 spaces 62 and 63 are formed. 60 is a common gas lead-in pipe connection for these spaces. 61 is a solids outlet pipe connection from chamber 55. 53a and 54a designate the foam, 55a the solids in the respective chambers. The equipment is open at the top thus allowing the gas to leave there.
The operation of the equipment will be seen in more detail in connection with the Examples. Other variations-not illustrated-may be designed according to the requirements of the desired operation.
Equipment according to FIG. 1 has a total length (dimension 12) of 330 cm, with a height (dimension 4) of 50 cm, and a width (dimension c) of 4 cm. It is equipped with 32 pairs of baffles thus forming 33 chamber units connected in series, each having a length of 10 cm. The partition wall 2 is a fine sieve with S-micron holes. The upper part of this wall need not be perforated, e.g. about 15-20 centimeters at the top may be nonperforated plate.
Into this equipment at a flow rate of lm./hr. a phosphoric acid solution of a concentration of 30 percent containing 200 g./l. of gypsum (originating from dissolving phosphate rocks with sulfuric acid) is fed in through pipe connection 5 in a continuous stream. The gypsum has a grain size of e.g. 6-100 microns. Into the other chamber 4 washing water is fed in through pipe connection 7 in a continuous flow of l m./hour. In order to form a foam 240 mflhour air is admitted through pipe connection 11. This gas stream is at a pressure of 410 millimeters of water.
The operational components flowing in counter current in the chambers contact with each other along the wall 2. In both chambers these components will be present in form of a foam. All operational components are at room temperature.
Due to the contacting of said operational components phosphoric acid will pass through the wall 2 from chamber 3 in direction of chamber 4. This phosphoric acid will leave chamber 4 at outlet 8, diluted to a concentration of 28.5 percent, at a flow rate of l m. /hour, whilst the gypsum washed out from the phosphoric acid leaves the chamber 3 at outlet 6. The phosphoric acid content of the departing gypsum mud will be about 1.5 percent.
Foaming gas leaves the chamber at gas outlets l3, 14.
An even lower phosphoric acid content of the gypsum mud can be achieved by using a longer equipment with e.g. 5O chamber units if such a lower content is desired from the economical point of view.
In the same equipment as in example 1 but with a length (dimension b) of 400 cm. (i.e. 4O chamber units) 1 m. /hr. of an aqueous mud containing g./l. chromium oxide green pigment (grain size 6100 microns) and potassium sulfate is fed in through inlet 5 in a quantity to form a solution of 50 percent concentration. lnto the other chamber simultaneously washing water is led in through pipe connection 7 in countercurrent with a speed of l mslhr. Both operational components are at room temperature. Foam is formed as in example 1 by 288 m. /hr. lair passing with a pressure of 440 mm. of water column 1 mflhr. mud having a content of 150 g./l. chromium oxi e green and only 2 percent of potassium sulfate leaves chamber 3 through outlet 6 whilst potassium sulfate solution with a concentration of 48 percent leaves outlet 8. Gas leaves at outlets l3 and.
Into the equipment shown in FIG. 2 having the dimensions a=50 cm., b=6 cm., c=4 cm. and a perforated partition wall 21 having a perforated surface of 25 cm. (rest unperforated) with perforations sized 30 microns the following operational components are fed in:
Chamber 22 is filed with 50 cm. nitrobenzene and chamber 23 with 50 cm. 0.1 normal iodine solution having a 25 g./1. KJ content. Air is fed in through inlets 26 and 27 in a continuous stream with a speed causing a continuous stream in the chambers 22 and 23 having a speed of 0.5 m./sec. fast. After an hour of operation half of the total iodine content of chamber 23 will pass into the nitrobenzene in chamber 22 without forming a nitrobenzene-water emulsion in either of the chambers. Air leaves the chambers continuously through outlets 29a and 29b, while after finishing the operation and having stopped the foam forming air stream the contents of each chamber is let out through pipe connections 26 and 27.
The same process can be carried out also an equipment similar to that of FIG. 1 in which case the nitrobenzene and the iodine solution can be fed in in a continuous stream.
Equipment is used which has the following dimensions: a=50 cm., b=300 cm., c=l50 cm., and is equipped with inlets and outlets according to FIG. 3. The partition wall 31 has micron holes throughout a surface of l m? and is mounted so that chamber 32 is smaller than chamber 33 in such a manner that from the total dimension of c" 70 cm. refers to chamber 32 and 80 cm. to chamber 33.
Into chamber 32 a residual product achieved by burning 10 tons/hour of a 5 percent copper-containing ore in the socalled sulphating roasting process is fed in through lead 37 to replenish the losses. The mud is foamed at a rate of 10,000 mP/hour air at a temperature of 130 C., led in through pipe connection 3. In this chamber the cupric sulfate is dissolved from the mud. The inactive residue of the process is discharged with a 500 g./l. concentration through connection 40.
The dissolved Cu(SO gets into chamber 33, and a foam is formed there, with the aid of a dry airstream having a temperature of C. Due to the cooling and vaporization CuSO .5 H O crystals are formed. These leave chamber 33 through connection 42 with a concentration of 500 g./l.
The crystals are filtered, dried and the liquid recirculated in the equipment (e.g. through connection 43). Connections 44a and 44b are air outlets.
The residue leaving by connection 40 can be washed e.g. by the method according to Example 2, and this washing water can be used as water in chamber 32, fed in through connection 38.
The output of the process is a quantity of cupric sulfate corresponding to 1,250 kg. water-free product.
A burnt pyrite-residue containing 2 percent of copper content is reburnt according to the so-called sulphating roasting. The product of 50 kg. raw material of this procedure is led into chamber 32 of equipment according to FIG. 3 having the following dimensions: a=50 cm., b=60 cm., c= cm. and a wall 31 made out of a sieve with 20-micron openings. Water is continuously replenished. In chamber 32 the copper content is dissolved, and the solution will have a copper concentration of 30 percent.
A mud of 200 g./l. iron-grating is fed into 6. 33 which serves for the cementation of the copper content of the solution. For the compensation of the iron losses 900-950 grams of irongrating are added, and in both chambers a foam is formed by a 0.7 m./sec. fast air stream. Through connection 42, 1 kg./hour of cemented copper can be taken out in the form of a 500 g./l mud, whilst the inactive mud is removed in the" same concen tration (through connection 40.) The mud leaving connection 42 is filtered, washed and dried, that from connection 40 filtered. The liquid residue of both filter processes can be used as washing water in chamber 32.
In equipment according to Fig. 2 with dimensions of a50 cm., b=6 cm., c=4 cm., and a wall 21 with a sieve surface of 25 cm. and holes of 45 microns, 100 ml. of water is fed in. A foam is formed with the aid of a residual gas of sulfuric acid production containing 3 percent S0 in chamber 22. This gas enters through connection 26 with a speed of 2 mflhr. and leaves chamber 22 at connection 29b with an S0; content of 1.7 percent.
The water carries the absorbed SO content over into chamber 23. In this chamber a foam is fonned by an airstream of 2,000 l./hr. through connection 27. The air leaving chamber 23 at connection 29a will have an SO content of 1.3 percent. The pressure drop of the residual gas will be -100 mm. of water.
In equipment according to FIG. 3 with dimensions F50 cm., b=6 cm., c=4 cm. a mud containing iron oxide red pigments of micron grain size in a 100. g./l. concentration is fed in with a 48 l./hr. speed. 8 l. ofa 600 g./l. mud can be taken off at the bottom of the chamber in which this mud was fed in. 40 1./hr. of water can be taken off from the other chamber, 5 m. /hr. air was used for foaming.
In equipment as described in example 1 but having 20- micron openings instead of 5-micron openings the following operation is effected.
l mP/hr. of a mud containing 200 g./1. sand and clay at a sand-clay ratio of 10:1 or more is fed into chamber 3. Through chamber 4, l mF/hr. water flows in countercurrent. Foaming is effected as in example 1. The grain size of the sand was about 100 micron, that of the clay below 20 microns.
Due to the operation the clay content of the mud in chamber 3 decreases to 2 percent of the original, and l m. /hour of such clay-poor mud leaves this chamber. The clay is enriched in chamber 4, and water containing clay but not sand leaves chamber4.
As can be seen from the examples the method according to the invention can be used in different technical fields and for different purposes. According to the purpose and in conformity with the circumstances a part of the materials taking part in the operation may be put into the chambers and their continuous flow is only secured by leading in foaming air. This, however, does not alter the fact that from the point of view of the operation they form a continuous flow, hence in the present specification and claims this expression is to be understood accordingly.
It has to be noted that although different examples are described for the process and for the equipment we do not limit the scope of the present invention to these. So e.g. in equipment according to FIG. 4 lead chromate can be produced by introducing lead nitrate into chamber 53', potassium chromate into chamber 54 and inert gas at connection 60. The lead chromate itself is formed in chamber 55 and leaves this chamber through connection 61. According to other examples, besides foaming air other auxiliary materials,
eg silica gel can also be used. With the aid of air not only foams but also fluidized solid beds can be formed. All these and similar embodiments naturally also fall within the scope of the present invention We claim:
1. Apparatus for intensified contacting of plural fluids, comprising a substantially horizontally elongated column, said column being divided into two elongated flow chambers by a substantially vertical finely perforated plate extending longitudinally therethrough, a substantially horizontal perforated plate spaced above the bottom of said column and extending longitudinally therethrough, and a gas inlet connection to the space below said horizontal plate, each of said chambers above said horizontal plate having a gas outlet connection to the upper portion thereof and a fluid inlet connection and a fluid outlet connection to the ends thereof.
2. Apparatus for intensified contacting of plural fluids, comprising a substantially horizontally elongated column, said column being divided into a plurality of elongated flow chambers by at least one substantially vertical finely perforated plate means extending longitudinally therethrough, a substantially horizontal perforated plate spaced above the bottom of said column and extending longitudinally therethrough, and a gas inlet connection to the space below said horizontal plate, a plurality of said elongated flow chambers above said horizontal plate having gas outlet connections to the upper portions thereof and fluid inlet connections and fluid outlet connections to the ends thereof.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, there being a plurality of said elongated columns interconnected for series flow of fluids therethrough.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, there being a plurality of said elongated columns disposed in parallel for cascade flow of fluids therethrough.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, there being a plurality of said elongated columns interconnected for series flow of fluids therethrough.
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, there being a plurality of said elongated columns disposed in parallel for cascade flow of fluids therethrough.