US 3648629 A
The apparatus comprises an integration of structural elements to provide adjacent first and second zones for the destruction of refuse. The first zone is a heat generating zone in which fuel burning heating means are employed to heat a mass of material disposed therein thereby providing a high temperature environment for a second zone communicating therewith. The second zone is an incineration zone for soft refuse such as paper. Materials which do not readily combust fall to the heated mass of material and melt or are otherwise consumed and absorbed. The residue discharges from the incinerator intermittently either as a gas or in molten form by way of removal spouts located in the vicinity of the first zone.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Southwick  APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF REFUSE Kenneth J. Southwiek, Quincy, Mass.
Pym-Magnetics Corporation, Needham, Mass.
 Filed: July 9,1970  Appl.No.: 53,412
Related U.S. Application Data  Inventor:
 Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 786,685, Dec. 24,
1968, Pat. No. 3,527,178, Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 44,788, June 9, 1971, Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 46,694, June 16, 1970.
 U.S.Cl ....110/8 R, 110/8 C, ll0/18C  Int. Cl. ..F23g 5/00  Field otSearch ..1l0/7, 8, 18
 References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 3,386,394 6/1968 Heise...., ..110/7 X R COMBUSTION SUPPORTING FLUID SOURCE Mar. 14, 1972 3,412,696 1 l/ 1968 Ehrenzeller' et a1 ..1 10/8 3,417,717 12/1968 Jacobovici 1 10/18 X R 3,460,489 8/ 1969 Ehrenzeller et al ..1 10/8 Primary Examiner-Kenneth W. Sprague Attorney-James B. Lampert  ABSTRACT The apparatus comprises an integration of structural elements to provide adjacent first and second zones for the destruction of refuse. The first zone is a heat generating zone in which fuel burning heating means are employed to heat a mass of materia1 disposed therein thereby providing a high temperature environment for a second zone communicating therewith. The
second zone is an incineration zone for soft refuse such as paper. Materials which do not readily combust fall to the heated mass of material and melt or are otherwise consumed and absorbed. The residue discharges from the incinerator intermittently either as a gas or in molten form by way of removal spouts located in the vicinity of the first zone.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures COMBUSTION SUPPORTING FLUID SOURCE Patented March 14, 1972 3,648,629
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 3
INVENTOR KENNETH J. SQUTHWICK BY n) ATTORNEY APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF REFUSE CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. Number 786,685 filed Dec. 24, 1968, now US. Pat. No. 3,527,178, Ser. No. 044,788 filed June 9, 1971 and Ser. No. 046,694 filed June 16, I970 by Kenneth J. Southwick.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to the destruction and incineration of refuse material. More precisely, the invention disclosed herein relates to a refuse destruction device which can efficiently incinerate or otherwise dispose of a plurality of diverse materials such as garbage, paper, cans, bottles and the like.
2. Description of the Prior Art The elimination or destruction of refuse is an outstanding problem of critical proportions. Incinerators which provide means for burning refuse are known and routinely employed. However, known incinerators such as those employed in the home can dispose of soft refuse such as paper or the like but cannot conveniently dispose of hard refuse material such as bottles and cans or the like. Moreover, large scale incinerators such as those employed to destroy refuse collected from municipalities leave much to be desired. For example, some incinerators employed in such applications utilize low grade supplemental fuels which contribute to the increased pollution of the air. Moreover, many present incinerators are not capable of continuous operation over extended times. Instead, their operation time is somewhat limited by the accumulation of the incinerated residue which must periodically be discharged by way of grates or the like thereby interrupting continuous operation. It is to these and related problems outstanding in the art of incineration in general to which the present invention is addressed to provide a novel solution therefor.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, novel apparatus for incineration is presented. Essentially, the apparatus is an integration of structural elements combined in a fashion to provide two adjacent zones. In the first zone which functions as a heat generating zone, a mass of material is heated by combustion that is fuel burning means to provide heat for the incineration of refuse material charged to the second zone. The mass of material heated in the first zone can be any material rendered molten or semimolten at the temperatures supplied by the heating means. It may be a pure metal, metal alloy, or metal refuse, for example. The combustion heating means heats the mass to its melting temperature and maintains the mass in a semimolten or preferably molten state. The level of the melted mass approximately defines the boundary between the zones. The heat generating zone provides a high temperature environment in the second zone wherein the major portion of incineration occurs. Additionally, it provides a bath into which material which does not combust may be absorbed and melted. The second zone is provided with means to charge refuse material thereto and means to introduce a fluid thereto. The fluid which can be air or like fluids provides support for and/or promotes incineration of the material charged into the zone. The residue products of the device are continually removed during operation. The manner by which the product is removed depends primarily on the nature of the refuse material and the nature of the product resulting therefrom. For example, easily combustible material, i.e., soft refuse such as paper or the like will be rapidly burned and converted to gas and ash incineration products. The gases and some ash are easily discharged from the device by entrainment with gaseous products emerging therefrom. The ash may be screen filtered to prevent pollution of the atmosphere and/or recycled through the system for reburning. Heavier ash and less readily or noncombustible materials such as glass or metal which are introduced into the present apparatus are collected at the boundary between the first and second zones which is approximately defined by the level of the melted material in the first zone. At this boundary, the refuse is heated to a molten state or semimolten state and combines with or floated on the melted material. Here means may be provided to remove the accumulation of these products. For example, overflow spouts or the like may be positioned at or near the boundary to remove the excess melted material. The level of the material and the boundary are thereby maintained at a substantially constant level throughout the operation.
As described above, the apparatus comprising the invention incorporates a number of features which are not found in prior art incinerators. Foremost is the concept of a dual zone system wherein the lower zone is charged with a base mass which is heated to molten temperatures. The mass acts as a heat sink eliminating the need for large amounts of supplementary fuel or power at the incinerator site and provides a bath which absorbs and melts noncombustible refuse.
Combustion or fuel burning heating; means are used to raise the mass to the molten state. The exhaust gases are entirely contained within the incinerator providing a degree of efficiency and control over operating temperatures and power consumption unavailable in other fuel burning incinerators. Additionally, by locating the removal spout at a desired boundary in a further refinement of the basic invention the volume and level of the melted mass becomes self regulating through automatic overflow.
These and other advantages and benefits involved in the practice of the present invention will be set forth in detail hereinafter or will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a cutaway view in elevation of an arrangement of apparatus suitable for practicing the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along line AA of FIG. I; and
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along line BB of FIG. 1, which approximately defines the boundary between zones l and 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. ll, there is shown an incinerator solidly supported on supports 5. The incinerator has two adjacent zones; zone 1 and zone 2. Zone I is defined by a periphery wall 4 which is preferably fabricated of a heating conducting refractory material, a carbon graphite mixture for example. The lower boundary of zone I is defined by a layer 6 of a nonconductive heat resistant material preferably in particulate form such as foundry sand. In the operation of the incinerator, meltable material such as a metal and/or metal alloy is charged to zone 1. The charged material is then heated to its melting point by combustion heating means which as shown, is a plurality of gas jets 8 supplied by gas source 9 and combustion supporting fluid source 10.
The combustion supporting fluid used in the heating means will most commonly be air or oxygen enriched air delivered under pressure.
The jets are fixed in a super structure wall 111 generally surrounding zone 1 and the bottom portion of zone 2. A cavity 15 is formed between walls 4 and 11 which is sealed to the exterior of the incinerator but has ports I3 and 27 communicating with zone 2.
Combustion of the gases within cavity 15 raises the pressure within the cavity forcing a flow of unburned or residual gas and combustion products through ports 13 and 27 and into zone 2. Here the residual gas is combined with incoming refuse and additional combustion fluid introduced into zone 2 for the purpose of burning that refuse when it undergoes further burning. Utilizing this structure, combustion products and unburned gases are recycled within the incinerator rather than exhausted into the atmosphere resulting in greater efficiency and or lower pollution factor than other incinerators using combustion heating devices.
A fine degree of heat control is provided by the utilization of gas jets as will be appreciated by those familiar with ordinary gas burning devices such as cooking stoves or laboratory burners. Once the mass in zone 1 is melted much of the heat is supplied by the burning of the refuse itself. The amount of external heat provided by the jets may be decreased to precisely the point at which the process is self sustaining but immediately increased when conditions, i.e., the input of different kinds of refuse, require additional heat.
Typical temperatures which may be obtained from various gases are given in the chart below.
As will be understood by those skilled in the art, the jets may be ignited by any conventional means, electric spark devices for example.
Oftentimes means to purge or discharge the entirety of the heated material from zone 1 are desirable in incinerators of the present invention. One arrangement of such means is shown in FIG. 1 in which bottom plate 17 having plug 14 in the central regions thereof is supported by supports 19. Plug 14 can be removed from plate 17 by actuating lever 16. Layer 6 which is normally a heat resistant particulate material such as foundry sand can be drained from zone 1 together with the heater material. Alternately, supports 19 can be withdrawn thereby permitting the removal of plate 17 and discharge of the mass in zone 1. It is to be understood that the means to purge or discharge the entire heated mass from zone 1 normally need not be employed except in an extreme emergency or for replacing refractory material in zone 1. During normal operation the mass need not be removed. For example, if the operation is terminated for any particular interval of time, the operation can be resumed by merely reheating the mass in zone 1 to provide sufficient heat for the incineration of material charged to zone 2 as well as the molten bath for melting and absorbing noncombustibles.
Zone 2 defines the incinerator chamber and comprises a periphery of preferably refractory material 20 which is normally bounded by an insulating or reinforcing wall 22 also preferably fabricated of refractory. At the lower portion of zone 2, a series of tuyeres 26 are provided to introduce a fluid to zone 2 to promote and/or maintain the incineration of refuse material. The fluid is introduced to zone 2 such as from wind box 24 by way of tuyeres 26. As illustrated in FIG. 1, two tuyeres 26 are arranged concentrically one above the other about zone 2. The number of series and the concentric arrangement and the shape of individual tuyeres can vary and is dependent primarily upon such factors as the nature of the material incinerated and the particular fluid employed. Accordingly, modifications of these features can be employed to introduce sufficient fluid to promote and/or maintain incineration of the refuse material delivered to zone 2. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 3, tuyeres 26 are positioned approximately equidistant about zone 2 and arranged to direct fluid to the center of zone 2 along a line approximately parallel to the horizontal axis of zone 2. The positioning and arrangement shown can be varied. For example, tuyeres 26 and be arranged so as to introduce the fluid in a tangential fashion to zone 2 or to direct some or all of the fluid downward toward zone 1 or substantially upward through zone 2.
The fluid, which can be preheated, is introduced to zone 2 to promote and/or maintain the incineration of refuse material delivered thereto. Normally air or oxygen-enriched air is the fluid employed. However, other fluids can be employed sometimes alone or in combination with others. These can be combustible in nature such as the various lower boiling hydrocarbons or diverse other hydrocarbons normally employed as fuels. Also normally noncombustible fluids such as water vapor can be employed especially when high temperatures are generated within the incinerator chamber. Under such conditions the water vapor or like fluid can be broken down into its elemental components providing additional heat for incineration. Inert gases such as nitrogen and argon or the like which can ionize under conditions of high temperatures to generate heat can oftentimes be advantageously employed. Normally, the fluid is introduced to zone 2 under somewhat higher than atmospheric pressure to promote agitation of the refuse material delivered to zone 2 thereby promoting rapid and effi cient incineration. Also by employing high pressures which can be alternately or selectively regulated, removal of the products of incineration is enhanced. One arrangement of providing high agitation and efficient incineration involves a series of tuyeres arranged one above the other concentrically about the periphery of zone 2 with each series of tuyeres being connected to fluid sources under different pressures.
Chute 28 provides means to introduce the refuse material into the incineration zone 2. As illustrated in FIG. 1, chute 28 is arranged to direct the refuse material to that portion of zone 2 opposite slag spouts 30, e.g., to that portion of wall 4 bounded by MM of FIG. 2. This arrangement of chute 28 is preferable but as will be apparent from the further description, other arrangements of chute 28 can be employed. The refuse material delivered into zone 2 can include easily combustible material such as paper, leaves and garbage or the like as well as materials which are not normally readily combustible such as materials of metal (cans) or of glass (bottles). Accordingly, the nature of the refuse material will normally determine the area in zone 2 where the major incineration of the material occurs. For example, when temperatures above 2,000 F. are generated in zone 2 of FIG. 1, easily combustible material will undergo substantially complete incineration oftentimes almost immediately after being introduced to zone 2, e.g., well above the junction of zones 1 and 2 as indicated by line BB of FIG. 1. Moreover, the major portion of the products of the incineration of such materials are readily removed from zone 2 by the fluid flow therethrough.
The destruction of materials which are not readily combustible or which form incineration products of high density will normally occur closer to the junction of zones 1 and 2. Indeed in some instances, complete destruction of materials such as cans and bottles or the like will occur only after the material has contacted the molten mass in zone 1.
The products of materials which undergo incineration at or near the boundary of zones 1 and 2 are removed from the incineration apparatus by way of means to maintain the boundary substantially constant. One example which provides automatic leveling is shown as slag spout or spouts 30. As illustrated, slag spouts 30 are located below tuyeres 26 and are arranged so as to maintain the level of the melted mass of material heated in zone 1 substantially constant. The removal of the products of incineration by way of slag spout(s) 30 can be enhanced by assuring a difference in the density of the products and the material heated in zone 1. Also convection currents can be created in the mass of melted material in zone 1 to enhance removal of the products. For example, when high temperatures are employed, the heated material in zone 1 can resemble a boiling mass of molten lava. The products removed by way of slag spouts 30 are normally in a molten or semimolten state. Heating means are therefore helpful for the spouts to assure efficient discharge of products therethrough. The spouts are shown passing through cavity 15 and are thus exposed to the heat generated by the gas jets, providing a means to heat the spouts for this purpose. Obviously, the spouts must be fabricated of a suitable heat resistant material.
Alternatively, or additionally, removal spouts may be placed at various levels below the upper boundary between zone 1 and zone 2 which spouts have closure devices which may be opened occasionally to draw off part, but not all, of the melted mass. In FIG. 1, spout 40 having trap door 42, which may be held closed by mechanical, magnetic or similar devices known in the art, is located in the middle of zone 1 for this purpose. The door may be raised by a simple chain 44 and pulley 46 or by as elaborate a system as would suit the purposes of the user. For example, as described in detail in copending application Serial Number 44,788 by the inventor, sensing devices may be used to determine the level ofthe mass and the removal means activated in accordance with the information produced by these sensors In summary, many advantages of the apparatus discussed above will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the temperatures obtained in the incineration zone can be varied over a wide range by controlling the power or material input to the heating system. Although high temperatures are preferred, e.g., temperatures above about 2,000 F., low temperatures can be realized by employing low melting metals in the heat generating zone. Accordingly, incinerators of the present invention present features which permit close adjustment and control over such operating parameters as energy input and heat produced, These features permit design of large scale incinerators as well as small scale units which can be employed efficiently in remote areas for incineration of specific refuse.
Still another advantage of the present apparatus is the reduced volume of the products produced therein. Even noncombustible refuse material undergoes substantially complete destruction and is removed or extruded from the apparatus in a substantially molten state. The molten material can be molded into convenient shapes and disposed of in this form. Alternatively the molten material can be quenched, pelletized or ground up and employed as an inert filler useful in the construction of roads and like structures, Perhaps the most outstanding advantage of the apparatus is the continuous manner in which it can operate. This is in marked contrast to present incinerators which must be periodically shut down at frequent intervals to remove products of incineration therefrom.
Various equipment normally employed with present incinerators can be associated with the apparatus of the present invention. Such equipment includes precipitators and filters or like equipment normally employed to reduce pollution. Afterburners can also be employed as well as energy recovery and energy conversions means such as to generate electricity which can be utilized in the operations involved. The manners and methods of integrating such elements which the present invention need not be discussed in detail since such manners and methods are well known to those skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains.
ll. An incinerator for destroying refiuse and comprising:
a first zone defining a heat generating zone and comprising a stationary periphery wall of refractory material for retain ing a mass of material in said zone whereupon the upper level of said mass approximately defines the upper boundary of said first zone, and
combustion heating means arranged to apply heat exteriorly of said wall for heating said mass; and,
a second zone adjacent said first zone, said boundary approximately defining the lower boundary of said second zone, said zone defining primarily an incineration zone and comprising a periphery wall of refractory material,
means to introduce refuse material to said zone, and
means to introduce a fluid to said zone which in combination with heat from said first zone can cause incineration of material delivered to said second zone.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said combustion heating means comprises gas flame heating means.
3. The apparatus of claim ll wherein said gas flame heating means comprises a plurality of jets surrounding said first zone.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 including an overflow spout located at a selected boundary between said first and second zones for removing from said incinerator molten products produced therein.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the combustion products of said heating means are channeled to said second zone.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said overflow spout is heated by said combustion products.
a a a all:
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CDRRECTIUN Patent No. 3 4 ,629 Dated March l l 1972 Inventor(s) Kenneth J. Southwick It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Claim 1 line 21, after "said insert second-.
Signed and sealed this 15th day of August; 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOT'ISCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents ORM PC4050 USCOMMQDC scam-ps9 9 U.5, GOVERNMEMT PRINTING OFFICE I 195? 0"366334