US 3645093 A
Pollution control system for an internal combustion engine includes a combustion chamber assembly having a combustion chamber and an igniter in the chamber to burn the exhaust gases from the engine. Air is pumped to the gases in the chamber and a cooling chamber surrounds the combustion chamber for cooling purposes. An upstanding baffle in the combustion chamber imparts an upwardly swirling motion to the exhaust gases to direct them against a depending arch having a cavity therein for receiving the swirling gases, whereby a back pressure is created to facilitate combustion of the gases.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Thomas Feb. 29, 1972  AIR POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM 2,953,898 9/1960 Cornelius ..60/30 FOR INTERNAL COMBUSTION 3,031,824 5/1962 Court ENGINES 3,088,271 5/1963 Smith.....
3,261,161 7/1966 Sawyer ..60/30  Inventor: William L. Thomas, 146th 8L Calumet Expressway, Calumet City, lll. 60409 primary Examine,- DOug|as Hart 22 F 5 1970 Atrorney-Bemard L. Kleinke  Appl. No.: 8,774  ABSTRACT Pollution control system for an internal combustion engine in-  U.S. Cl. ..60/30, 23/277 C cludes a combustion chamber assembly having a combustion  q CI 3/14 chamber and an igniter in the chamber to burn the exhaust  Field of Search ..60/30,29;23/277C gases from the engine Air is pumped to the gases in the 56 R t ed chamber and a cooling chamber surrounds the combustion 1 e f chamber for cooling purposes. An upstanding baffle in the UNITED STATES PATENTS combustion chamber imparts an upwardly swirling motion to the exhaust gases to direct them against a depending arch hav- 9 5 11/1933 QE ing a cavity therein for receiving the swirling gases, whereby a 2,038,567 1 936 mnel' back pressure is created to facilitate combustion of the gases. 2,203,554 6/1940 Uhri.......... ..60/30 2,492,947 l/1950 Bellstedt ..23/277 C 10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures RADIATOR Patented Feb. 29, 1972 3,645,093
RADIATOR l2 k FIQr 2,4
33 I I I2 INVENTOR WILLIAM L. THOMAS BY A. 5 gag W Atti a- AIR POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES The present invention relates to an air pollution control systeinfor internal combustion engines, and it more particularly relates to a pollution control system which ignites the combustible components of incompletely burned exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine and which is external of theengine.
Air pollution abatement legislation has been to a great extent directed to the removing of objectionable and toxic gases from exhaust gases of motor vehicles. In response to the current widespread interest in controlling this type of air pollution, many difl'erent types of devices have been developed for the treating of exhaust gases of internal combustion engines, however none of them have been entirely satisfactory. Many devices have been overly complex and thus too expensive to manufacture. Other devices are more simple in design, but they have been unsuccessful in meeting the many requirements of an effective and efficient pollution control device. In this regard, while unburned hydrocarbons and other combustible components in the exhaust gases must be removed or converted under many different conditions of the engine, the device should not adversely effect the performance and efficiency of the engine. Thus, it would be highly desirable to provide a pollution control device which meets all of the foregoing requirements and which is substantially the same size and shape as a conventional muffler for a motor vehicle so that the device can be substituted for conventional mufflers in new and existing motor vehicles.
Therefore, the principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved air pollution control system.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved pollution control system which is adapted to replace existing mufflers on existing motor vehicles and adapted to be used in place of conventional mufflers on new motor vehicles.
Briefly, the above and further objects of the present invention are realized in accordance with the present invention by providing a combustion chamber and an igniter positioned within the chamber for igniting the exhaust gases. An upstanding baffle imparts an upwardly swirling motion to a portion of the gases to divert the upwardly swirling gases against adepending arch having a cavity therein for receiving the swirling gases, whereby back pressure is created to aid in combustion. Both the upstanding baffle and the depending arch extend less than half the distance across the chamber so that a portion of the exhaust gases are substantially unaffected by either the baffle or the arch, whereby efficient combustion of the exhaust gases is accomplished without applying an excessive back pressure on the gases and thus the efficiency of the internal combustion engine can readily be maintained or improved. The arch is integrally formed of a liner composed of refractory material and, afterseveral ignitions by the igniter, becomes heated to incandescence to aid the ignition of the gases. Moreover, air is pumped into the combustion chamber upstream of the igniter to further aid combustion, and a cooling chamber surrounds the combustion chamber for cooling purposes.
The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an air pollution control system incorporating principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the combustion chamber assembly of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 2
5 taken substantially along the line 33 thereof.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown an air pollution control systemIO which embodies the principles of the present invention and which includes a cylindrical combustion chamber assembly 12, having an inlet 14 which is adapted to be connected in fluid .communication with the exhaust manifold of an internal combustion engine (not shown), and having an outlet 16. The combustion chamber assembly 10 is utilized externally of the engine, and can be used in place of a conventional muffler. The combustion assembly 10 includes a generally cylindrical combustion chamber 18 connecting the inlet 14 and the outlet 16 in fluid communication, an igniter 20 which extends into the chamber 18 to ignite the unburned combustibles, such as unburned hydrocarbons, contained in the exhaust gases, a pipe 22 which extends into the chamber 18 near the inlet 14 upstream of the igniter 20 to convey air to the chamber for mixing with the exhaust gases to improve combustion thereof, and an annular cooling chamber 24 surrounding the chamber 18 for cooling purposes. The combustion chamber 18 includes a downwardlydepending baffle or arch 26 disposed slightly downstream .of the igniter 20 and an upstanding baffle 28 disposed upstream of the arch 26 for imparting an upwardly swirling motion to at least a portion of the gases and thus for diverting the exhaust gases against the arch 26 to create a back pressure on a portion of the gases to further improve combustion. A pump 31 recirculates water or other suitable cooling fluid by recirculating'it into an inlet pipe 33 of the cooling chamber 24 and out an outlet pipe 35. A radiator 37 is disposed in line with the outlet pipe 35 for cooling the water leaving the cooling chamber and for permitting water or other additives to be added to the recirculating water passing through the cooling chamber, the radiator 37 being an auxiliary radiator, or in some applications being the main radiator for the internal combustion engine. A source of electrical energy, such as the ignition system for the internal combustion engine, is electrically connected to the igniter 20 for igniting the exhaust gases. The igniter may be a spark plug or the like, or the igniter 20 may be a nonelectric source of heat, such as a gas pilot light. An air pump 41 pumps air from the atmosphere into the combustion chamber 18 and is belt driven by the internal combustion engine. The pipe 22 extends from the pump 41 along the exhaust manifold (not shown) for preheating the air and through aligned openings in the cooling chamber and into the combustion chamber 18, the pipe 22 being sealed in place by any suitable technique.
Considering now the combustion chamber assembly 12 in greater detail with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, the assembly 12 includes a generally tubularshaped lining 43 composed of refractory material and defining the combustion chamber 18, a pair of annular end plates 45 and 47 surrounding the respective inlet 14 and the outlet 16, and a pair of inner and outer concentric tubular walls 49 and 50 joined at their ends by a pair of annular end plates 52 and 54 to define the cooling chamber 24. In assembling the unit, the inner wall 49 fits over the refractory lining 43, and the end plates 45 and 47 are fixed and sealed to the respective end plates 52 and 54 and the inner wall 49 by any suitable technique, such as welding and then grinding the welds smooth. The inlet pipe 14 and the outlet pipe 16 are fixed and sealed to the respective end plates 45 and 47 by any suitable technique, such as welding and grinding the welds. In the same manner, the end plates 52 and 54 are also fixed and sealed to the'outer wall 50. The refractory material serves to insulate the surroundings from the heat produced by the combustion of the exhaust gases. If desired, to reduce the weight of the assembly 12, the front portion of the liner 18 may be composed of fiber glass, since the frontend portion between the baffie 28 and the inlet 14 does not become heated as much as the rear end portion of the liner 18.
A cylindrical entrance portion 56 of the combustion chamber 18 is approximately the same diameter as the diameter of the opening in the end plate 45 and is. aligned with the opening in the plate 45. The air pipe 22 extends into the combustion chamber I8 at the entrance portion 56 thereof to inject air into the exhaust gases entering'the chamber 18. A tapered portion 58 of the chamber l8extends from the entrance portion 56 to an enlarged generally cylindrical portion 61 to serve as a Venturi so that the back pressure on the internal combustion engine is reduced.
As best shown in FIG. 3, the upstanding baffle 28 extends rearwardly and transversely across the chamber 18 at an angle relative to the axis of the chamber 18 and, as best seen in FIG. 2, is rearwardly inclined at an angle, such as an angle of 45", relative to the axis of the chamber 18. The baffle is integrally formed of the refractory material. As a result of the position of the baffle 28, at least a portion of the exhaust gases are imparted with an upwardly swirling motion against the arch 26.
The depending arch 26 includes a cavity 63 having a mouth 65 which is substantially aligned with the igniter 20 and faces the inlet 14. The cavity 63 receives the upwardly swirling portion of the exhaust gases, whereby back pressure is created on the upwardly swirling gases to facilitate combustion of the gases, The upstanding baffle 28 and the arch 26 extend slightly less than half the distance across the chamber 18 so that a portion of the gases are unaffected by either the baffle 28 or the arch 26, whereby efficient combustion of the exhaust gases is accomplished without applying an excessive back pressure on the gases and thus the efficiency of the internal combustion engine can readily be maintained or improved. A rearwardly and upwardly sloped portion 67 of the arch 26 guides the burned gases past the arch 26 to the outlet 16. The arch 26 becomes heated to incandescence after several ignitions of the exhaust gases to aid in further ignitions.
While the present invention has been described in connection with a particular embodiment thereof, it will be understood that many changes and modifications of this invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope thereof. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Air pollution control apparatus for afterbuming internal combustion engine exhaust gases comprising:
means defining a combustion chamber having an inlet and an outlet,
means defining a cavity disposed in said chamber and having a mouth facing said inlet,
a baffle disposed in said chamber and spaced a substantial distance upstream of said cavity for diverting at least a portion of said exhaust gases into said cavity, and
an ignitor near said mouth of said cavity upstream of said cavity for igniting said exhaust gases in said chamber.
2. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 1, further including means defining a cooling chamber surrounding said combustion chamber, and means for recirculating a coolant through said cooling chamber.
3. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 2, further including a conduit extending into said combustion chamber and having its exit end disposed near said inlet to said combustion chamber, said conduit being adapted to be connected in fluid communication with a source of air under pressure for conveying air to the exhaust gases in said combustion chamber to mix therewith to aid in the combustion of said exhaust gases.
4. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said means defining a combustion chamber, said means defining a cavity and said baffle are each composed of a refractory material.
5. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said combustion chamber includes a rearwardly diverging tapered portion near said inlet to reduce the back pressure on the exhaust gases entering said combustion chamber.
6. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said baffle extends rearwardly and transversely across said combustion chamber and is rearwardly inclined.
7. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said baffle is an upstanding baffle and said means defining a cavity is a downwardly depending cavity.
8. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 7,
wherein said combustion chamber includes a rearwardly diverging tapered portion near said inlet to reduce the back pressure on the exhaust gases entering said combustion chamber.
9. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim I, wherein said means defining a cavity is tapered rearwardly to reduce the back pressure on the ignited exhaust gases.
10. Air pollution control apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means defining a cavity extends less than halfway across said chamber from one side thereof, said baffle extending less than halfway across said chamber from the opposite side thereof.