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Publication numberUS3659096 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 25, 1972
Filing dateJun 16, 1970
Priority dateJun 16, 1970
Also published asCA934521A1, DE2116481A1
Publication numberUS 3659096 A, US 3659096A, US-A-3659096, US3659096 A, US3659096A
InventorsKompanek Andrew Joseph
Original AssigneeControlex Corp America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for irradiating a liquid
US 3659096 A
Abstract
An apparatus and method are provided wherein a liquid to be irradiated is formed into the shape of an unsupported thin stream; the stream is irradiated from a source of radiation which is disposed in spaced relationship to the liquid stream. The apparatus has numerous utilities such as, for example, disinfecting contaminated liquids by subjecting them to ultra-violet or infra-red radiation. Oxygen can be supplied to the radiation zone of the apparatus in the case of ultra-violet radiation to produce an oxidizing atmosphere of ozone in contact with the liquid. The apparatus possesses numerous advantages over previously described apparatus as discussed in greater detail in the attached specification.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Kompanek [54] APPARATUS FOR IRRADIATING A LIQUID [72] inventor: Andrew Joseph Kompanek, Lansdale, Pa.

Controlex Corporation of America, North Salem, Croton Falls, N.Y.

[22] Filed: J 16,1970

[ Appl.No.: 46,644

[73] Assignee:

52 use! ..2s0/43,250/44,2so/49 51 met. ..H01j37 00 5s FieldoiSearch ..2s0/43,44,4s,49

[15] 3,659,096 [451 Apr. 25, 1972 Primary Examiner-James W. Lawrence Assistant Examiner-C. E. Church Attorney-Lawrence W. Flynn 57 ABSTRACT An apparatus and method are provided wherein a liquid to be irradiated is formed into the shape of an unsupported thin stream; the stream is irradiated from a source of radiation which is disposed in spaced relationship to the liquid stream. The apparatus has numerous utilities such as, for example, disinfecting contaminated liquids by subjecting them to ultraviolet or infra-red radiation. Oxygen can be supplied to the radiation zone of the apparatus in the case of ultra-violet radiation to produce an oxidizing atmosphere of ozone in contact with the liquid. The apparatus possesses numerous advantages ovcr previously described apparatus as discussed in greater detail in the attached specification.

29 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 5 I972 SHEET 10F 3 FIGI.

PATENTED APR 2 5 m2 SHEET 2 OF 3 ML ///M%/ a w FIGB.

PATENTED APR 2 5 1972 SHEET 3 BF 3 FIG.4.

FIG.6.

IHH/ H APPARATUS FOR IRRADIATING A LIQUID BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an apparatus for irradiating a liquid with various types of radiant energy in a variety of useful applications.

A number of devices have been heretofore described for the purpose of irradiating liquids. Liquids are subjected to radiation such as, for example, infra-red radiation or ultra-violet radiation for numerous reasons. It is known, for example, that a liquid containing pathogenic organisms can be disinfected by subjecting the liquid to ultra-violet or infra-red radiation, and devices have been described for this purpose.

In one such device, an ultra-violet lamp is directly-immersed in the liquid to be disinfected. A disadvantage of this device is the reduced efficiency of the ultra-violet radiation which occurs because the lamp is cooled by the liquid flowing past it. Moreover, if the liquid is water or another material which contains dissolved minerals, it is known that the minerals deposit out of the liquid on to the lamp surface to form a coating on i the surface of the lamp. As the coating builds up, it reduces the efficiency of the ultra-violet radiation by absorbing some of the radiation and blocking the passage of radiation into the liquid; the coating must be removed at periodic intervals for efficient operation and devices have been described to effectuate removal of this coating.

In another device, the ultra-violet lamp is enclosed in a sheath or is otherwise physically separated from the liquid which it irradiates. While such devices avoid the problem resulting from cooling the lamp, mineralsdissolved in the liquid still depositout upon the sheath or other separator layer to form a coating thereon which reduces the efficiency of the radiation and necessitates undesirable periodic cleaning of the sheath. Moreover, the sheath itself will frequently absorb the radiation, further detracting from the efficiency of the radiatron.

In many ultra-violet radiation devices, the loss of efficiency described above limits the device to use with liquids having rather low coefficients of radiation absorption such as, for example, clear liquids or liquids with little, if any, solids content. Moreover, since such devices must often irradiate relatively thick masses of liquid, and since the efficiency of the radiation is inversely proportional to the thickness of the liquid irradiated, it again becomes necessary to limit the liquids to those having low coefficients of radiation absorption in order to make effective use of the radiation in, example, a water disinfecting device.

In some devices, it is necessary to provide means for agitating the liquid during exposure to the radiation or'to provide cumbersome baffle plates or other arrangements to provide a circuitous or tortuous path for the liquid as it passes through the radiation zone. 4

A further disadvantage of previously described irradiating devices is that often no provision exists for supplying oxygen to the liquid during the course of the irradiation. The presence of oxygen is desirable, especially in devices which are disinfecting waste streams such as sewage, in order to supply at least a portion of the chemical oxygen demand of the liquid as it passes through the radiation device; moreover, the oxygen provides a source of ozone when the oxygen is subjected to radiation such as ultra-violet radiation of an appropriate wave length; the presence of ozone assists in ridding the liquid of various organic taste and odor molecules by the expedient of oxidizing these molecules into relatively tasteless and odorless molecules, a feat ordinarily not achievable using radiation alone.

It is a general object of this invention, therefore, to provide an apparatus of simple construction for continuously irradiating a liquid which eliminates or minimizes the various disadvantages of previously described devices.

It is another object of thisinvention to provide an apparatus wherein the source of radiation is not directly immersed, or otherwise in contact with, the liquid it is irradiating so as to avoid loss of radiation efficiency due to the combined effect of the cooling of the radiation source and the formation of undesirable deposits upon the outer surface of the radiation source.

it is still another object of this invention to provide an apparatus which provides for the elimination of a sheath or other physical separating layer between the radiation source and the liquid so as to eliminate the loss of radiation efficiency caused by the sheath itself as well as the deposits upon the sheath or layer.

it is another object of'this invention to provide an apparatus which permits'effective radiation of liquids of widely varying coefficients of radiation absorption and, in particular, liquids having'relatively high coefficients of radiation absorption.

It is another object of this invention to provide an apparatus wherein the radiation is employed in an efficient manner so as to reduce the quantity of radiation required in any given application.

It is another object of this invention to provide an apparatus wherein it is not necessary to agitate the liquid or to insure that the liquid follows a circuitous or tortuous route as it passes through the radiation zone.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an apparatus whereby a contaminated liquid can be supplied with oxygen while simultaneously being irradiated so as to provide oxygen to reduce the biochemical oxygen demand 'of the liquid and, furthermore, to supply oxygen for conversion into ozone in the case where the radiation is capableof transforming oxygen into ozone. in the latter case the apparatus not only disinfects the liquid but also simultaneously destroys undesirable organic molecules by oxidizing these molecules into less noxious forms. v I

It is a further object of this invention to provide a device of simple construction for continuously irradiating a liquid in a variety of applications employing a variety of sources and types of radiation.

These and other objects of this invention will be apparent from a complete reading of this specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION in accordance with this invention, the above enumerated advantages are obtained by providing an apparatus which comprises means for forming an inlet feed stream of the liquid to be treated into an unsupported layer or stream, preferably of thin thickness, which is then contacted with radiation from an ionizing radiation source which is disposed adjacent to the unsupported stream of liquid, but in spaced relationship to the stream, so as to eliminate any contact between the radiation source and the liquid. The stream of liquid is separated from the radiation source by a gaseous atmosphere such as, for example, air or oxygen. The thin stream of irradiated liquid is then discharged from the apparatus or, optionally, collected and then discharged.

By employing a thin stream of liquid which does not contact the radiation source and which is separated from the radiation source only by air or another gas, it is seen that the radiation source is not immersed in the liquid nor is any surface provided upon which minerals or other constituents present in the liquid can deposit to form a radiation barrier layer between the radiation source and the liquid. Moreover, since the liquid is maintained in the configuration of a thin layer, the effectiveness of the radiation in the liquid is greatly enhanced to the point where, not only is less radiation intensity required in a given application, but also, because of the efficiency, liquids with relatively high coefficients of radiation absorption can be effectively penetrated by the radiation. Thus, colored liquids,

'unclear'liquids, and liquids containing dissolved solids or finely divided suspended solids can be effectively processed through the apparatus. Moreover, the presence of the gaseous atmosphere between the radiation source and the stream of liquid provides a convenient means for introducing an oxygen containing vapor such as air or oxygen into the apparatus to contact both the radiation and the liquid so as to permit conversion of the oxygen into ozone, at least in the presence of appropriate ultra-violet radiation, thereby providing means for oxidizing undesirable organic molecules to less noxious forms. The presence of oxygen within the apparatus can also supply at least a portion of the biochemical oxygen demands of the liquid passing through the apparatus in the case of a disinfecting or sewage treating operation.

In a typical apparatus, a liquid such as water which contains pathogenic organisms is continuously fed to a nozzle assembly which transforms the liquid feed stream into an annular unsupported stream of liquid which cascades from the nozzle assembly and surrounds a source of radiation such as one or more ultra-violet lamps. The ultra-violet lamps transmit ultraviolet radiation through the gaseous atmosphere separating the lamps from the liquid stream and into liquid stream during its cascade. If oxygen is present, and the required ultra-violet wave-length is employed, ozone is generated which contacts the cascading liquid stream to oxidize organic molecules contained therein. The irradiated liquid stream is then collected in a receptacle at the bottom of the apparatus and withdrawn therefrom.

The term liquid stream as used herein is employed in a broad connotation and is meant to designate liquid in any configuration which presents a thin layer or film for the radiation to impinge upon and includes a continuous film of liquid, discontinuous or segmented films of liquid, and aerated streams of liquid such as typically emanate from a nozzle assembly.

In addition to the use of the apparatus in ultra-violetly disinfecting contaminated liquids such as, for example, sewage or swimming pool water, the apparatus is also useful in any application which requires efficient irradiation of a liquid. For example, it is eminently suitable for continuously subjecting a liquid comprising one or more ingredients to infra-red radiation for purpose of catalyzing a chemical reaction or for disinfecting the liquid. Generally, ultra-violet radiation is preferred for disinfecting applications because of its relatively simpler ease of operation.

The term radiation source as used herein is employed broadly and means any suitable means forcreating radiation for transmission into the liquid stream. It includes, for example, sources of ultra-violet and infra-red radiation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view taken generally along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing only the nozzle assembly of the apparatus.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the outer dome of the apparatus of FIG. 1 showing means for supplying oxygen to the interior of the apparatus.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are fragmentary side sectional views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 illustrating means for effectively contacting the liquid with oxygen.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A preferred embodiment of an apparatus of this invention, suitable for irradiating a thin, unsupported stream of liquid, is shown in FIGS. 1 through 3. Referring to these Figures, and FIG. 1 in particular, it is seen that the apparatus comprises a bottom cylindrical receptacle chamber 10 which is adapted to receive and collect the irradiated liquid 10a prior to its discharge from the apparatus through the discharge conduit 11 which communicates with the interior of chamber 10. Resting atop chamber 10, and affixed thereto by a fastening device 12, is a cover dome 13 having frustoconical walls 13a which taper inwardly as they recede from receptacle chamber 10 to enclose the upper portion of the apparatus.

integrally attached to the bottom surface 14 of chamber 10 is a hollow housing 15 which functions to provide access into the apparatus for liquid feed conduit 16 and electrical cable 17 which energizes the radiation source of the apparatus.

Conduit l6 proceeds horizontally through the cavity 15a of housing 15 until it communicates with the bottom of vertical feed conduit 18 which directs the incoming liquid feed stream to nozzle assembly 19 at the top of the apparatus. The bottom 20 of conduit 18 rests on top of an apertured circular base plate 21 which is disposed within external circular recess 22 in the bottom surface 14 of chamber 10 and is rigidly afiixed thereto by screws 23. Conduit 18 has its lower end 20 inserted into the vertical cylindrical chamber 24 integral with housing 15, vertical chamber 24 communicating with horizontal chamber 15a.

Nozzle assembly 19 comprises a cylindrical block 25 containing therein a vertical axial conduit 26. As best seen in FIG. 3, the base of conduit 26 is provided with a counterbore 27 which contains a peripheral groove 28 into which an O-ring 29 or other suitable sealing means is insertable in order to provide effective sealing between conduit 18 and conduit 26. The top of conduit 18 is seated against counterbore 27.

Block 25 further includes a plurality of substantially evenly spaced, upwardly inclined, conduits 30 which communicate with axial conduit 26 and extend radially outward therefrom to direct liquid feed from conduit 26 to the outside surfaces of block 25. Block 25 further includes a plurality of vertical conduits 31, as best seen in FIG. 3, each containing a counterbore 32 which defines an upper vertical chamber 33 commu nicating with conduit 31, chamber 33 containing disposed therein a conventional socket means 34 which rests atop counter-bore 32 to receive and electrically communicate with male prongs 35 of ultra-violet lamps 36 which extend upwardly through the conduit 31.

Noule assembly 19 further includes an inverted hollow frustroconical cup 40, the wall 41 of which circumscribes the outer circular surface 42 of block 25 and tapers inwardly toward surface 42 as it recedes from the bottom 43 of cup 40. The outer surface 42 of block 25 and the inner surface 44 of wall 41 of cup define a chamber 45 of a tapered annular configuration which communicates with radially extending conduits 30 of block 25. Chamber 45 narrows at its bottom to define a thin annulus 46 from which the liquid fed to chamber 45 through conduits 30 emanates as an annular cascading thin stream 47 (see FIG. 1) which passes through the zone of radiation 48 emanating from lamps 36. Cylindrical block 25 has integrally attached thereto at its bottom a protruding peripheral lip 46a adapted to project the annular liquid stream 47 radially outward from the nozzle assembly 19 to insure physical separation of stream 47 from lamps 36. Stream 47 is unsupported and falls under the influence of gravity in spaced relationship from lamps 36, with the irradiated liquid of stream 47 plunging downwardly into receptacle chamber 10 where it is collected and then withdrawn through conduit 11. The atmosphere within dome 13 is usually air or oxygen so that stream 47 is separated from lamps 36 by a gas gap 48a whose width varies vertically through the apparatus.

Cup 40 is affixed to block 25 by means of screws 49. Cup 40 further includes a plurality of vertical conduits 50, as best seen in FIG. 3, each of which communicates with a chamber 33 of block 25 to provide electrical communication of electrical cable 17 with the ultra-violet lamp socket 34 disposed in chamber 33. 7

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, it is seen that feed conduit 18 contains a coaxially aligned second conduit which functions to carry electrical cable 17 from its inlet to the apparatus up to sockets 34. Conduit 60 extends, at its upper end, beyond the end of conduit 18 and through vertical axial conduit 61 of member 25, conduit 61 communicating with conduit 26 of block 25 and vertial axial conduit 62 of cup 40, emerging with a threaded end 63 through the bottom 43 of cup 40. As best seen in FIG. 3, conduit 61 is provided at its top with a peripheral groove 64 containing an O-ring 65 or other suitable sealing means which funtions to prevent liquid leakage out of conduit 26. Threaded end 63 has attached thereto a nut 66 which is fastened against bottom 43 of inverted cup 40 to firmly align conduit 60 within vertical conduit 61. Cable 17 enters conduit 60 at its bottom, passes the entire length of conduit 60 and emerges at the top of the conduit whereupon it passes through conduits 50 of cup 40 into chambers 33 of block 25 to electrically communicate with sockets 34. Referring to FIG. 2, it is seen that a sufficient number of cables 17 must be provided to electrically energize the plurality of sockets 34 which can exist in the apparatus.

Cover dome 13 has a circular peripheral projection 70 rising from its inner surface 71 at the top portion of the dome which is adapted to fit in a circular recess 72 of cup 40. Projection 70 is provided with a peripheral groove 73 in its surface adjacent cup 40 which contains an O-ring 74 or other suitable sealing means to prevent contact of liquid from the interior of dome 13 with electrical cables 17.

Lamps 36 can comprise one or more conventional ultraviolet radiation source means such as, for example, mercury vapor cold cathode lamps or hot cathode lamps of the mercury vapor type. In a preferred embodiment, a plurality of U- shaped mercury vapor cold cathode lamps are employed in a configuration which circumscribes conduit 18 as shown in the accompanying drawings. In such a case, the lamps are disposed within the cascading curtain 47 of unsupported liquid. In another embodiment, the radiation sources may be disposed peripherally around the cascading liquid stream in spaced relationship to the stream. The lamps may be of a variety of geometric configurations; for example, they can be of a helical or delta shape or they may comprise a nest of straight tubes mounted in a frustoconical pattern.

It is known that ultra-violet radiation is effective in destroying pathogenic microorganisms in liquids to thereby disinfect the liquids. Substantially any wavelength of emitted radiation falling within the ultra-violet range is sufficient for this purpose although it is known that maximum effectiveness is obtained at a wave-length of about 2537 Angstrom units.

The lamps 36 are ordinarily maintained at a temperature of about 105F. plus or minus F. for maximum effectiveness. The distance between the lamps 36 and liquid stream 47 can vary considerably depending upon a number offactors such as the thickness of stream 47, the intensity of radiation available from lamps 36, and the radiation absorption coefficient of the liquid. In general, a distance of about l to 6 inches between the surfaces of lamps 36 and stream 47 is desirable, with a distance of about 2V2 to 3 /2 inches preferred. Distances greater than 6 inches can, of course, be employed but usually require higher intensity lamps.

The ultra-violet radiation travels in a direction which is substantially 90 straight out from the vertical lamps 36 so as to permit exposure of liquid stream 47 to ultra-violet radiation for substantially the entire vertical length of the lamps. The exposure time of stream 47 to the ultra-violet radiation can be varied with the length of the lamp, again depending upon the intensity of radiation, the distance between the lamps and the liquid, and the nature of the liquid being irradiated.

The ultra-violet lamps are conveniently energized by electrically connecting them to a conventional l 10 V. power supply at electrical junction 75 although a ballast or transformer should be disposed at some point between the power supply and the apparatus.

For most effective results, stream 47 is maintained as thin as possible. The thickness of stream 47 can be readily controlled by simply increasing or decreasing the thickness of annulus 46 from which the liquid emanates. The thinner the stream is maintained, the higher are the radiation absorption coefficients of the liquids which can be effectively processed. Generally, it is preferable to use thinner streams with colored liquids or liquids containing suspended or dissolved solids since such liquids ordinarily possess high radiation absorption coefficients. In general, liquid stream thicknesses between about I mm. and 2 mm. are preferred.

It should be noted that stream 47 is not agitated nor is it subjected to a circuitous or tortuous route as it passes through radiation zone 48. v

It is known that if the wave-length of the ultra-violet radiation employed is about l849 Angstrom units, and there is oxygen present in contact with the radiation, the ultra-violet radiation will convert at least some of the oxygen to ozone which can then be employed to oxidize undesirable organic components of liquid stream 47. As can be seen from FIG. 1, in ordinary operation there will always be some oxygen present within the interior dome 13 by virtue of the air present therein so that if the appropriate wave-length of ultra-violet radiation is employed, liquid stream 47 will be exposed to both ultra-violet radiation and ozone. To further increase the supply of ozone and/0r oxygen available within dome 13, the wall 13a of dome 13 is provided with an oxygen supply conduit such as is shown in FIG. 4 to inject additional oxygen in the form of pure oxygen, air or other oxygen containing vapor into the interior of dome 13.

Referring to FIG. 4, it is seen that conduit 80 extends through cascading liquid stream 47 and into proximity with ultra-violet lamps 36 whereupon conduit 80 bends upwardly at an approximately angle to discharge a stream of oxygen containing vapor vertically upward into radiation zone 48. The discharge end 81 of conduit 80 is preferably disposed in proximity to the lower portion of of lamps 36 so as to maximize exposure of the discharged vapor to the radiation emitted from lamps 36. It is preferable that the discharge end 81 of conduit 80 be disposed within radiation zone 48 for most efficient conversion of oxygen to ozone; this eliminates the necessity for the oxygen containing vapor to penetrate liquid stream 47 in order to enter radiation zone 48. It is likewise preferable that the vapor be discharged from conduit 80 in close proximity to lamps 36 in order to render ozone generation more efficient.

Dome 13 is provided with aperture 82 (see FIG. 1) which contains disposed therein a piece of mesh screen 83. Aperture 82 prevents an undesirable buildup of pressure within the apparatus particularly in the case where vapor is injected by conduit 80 into dome 13. Screen 83 functions as a filter.

Cover dome 13, while not essential, is provided as a means for shielding persons in proximity to the apparatus from the ultra-violet radiation, and is preferably fabricated from a material which will reflect the ultra-violet or other radiation being employed. Aluminum is a suitable material for ultraviolet radiation shielding; similarly, dome 13 could be fabricated from a plastic having deposited on its surface a metallic reflective coating. The dome 13 can also be fabricated from stainless steel which offers added protection against the corrosive effects of ozone.

The particular geometric configuration of dome 13 is of no special significance. The lower portions of the dome can be interiorly adapted to collect the cascading stream 47 of irradiated liquid in a manner which minimizes splashing or spattering of the liquid at the surface of the liquid 10a contained in receptacle chamber 10.

As an additional feature of the apparatus of this invention, it is desirable to provide means for effecting a high interfacial surface area contact between the liquid fed to the apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere within the apparatus. This insures intimate contact between the liquid and the gaseous atmosphere which, in turn, makes the most efficient use of the oxygen or ozone present in the apparatus to either supply at least a portion of the biochemical oxygen demand of the liquid or to oxidize undesirable organic molecules contained in the liquid, respectively.

Typical means for effectuating such contact between the liquid and the gaseous atmosphere within the apparatus are exemplified in FIGS. 5 and 6. Referring to FIG. 5, an annular mesh screen 90 containing a circular aperture 91 rests atop peripheral lip 92 which extends inwardly from the wall of receptacle chamber 10. Screen 90 is disposed above the surface of the liquid 10a contained in chamber 10. As cascading liquid stream 47 contacts screen 90, it fragments to result in a high interfacial surface area contact between the fragmented liquid and the gaseous atmosphere within the apparatus.

Referring to FIG. 6, a rigid annular perforated basket 100 having vertical side walls 101 rests atop lip 92. Basket 100 contains a typical high surface area packing material 102 such as Rashig rings, Pall Rings, or finely divided spheroidal particles. The packing material functions in the same manner as described hereinabove for screen 90 of FIG. 5.

Screen 90 or packing material 102 can be disposed at any convenient location within the apparatus.

The collection and retention of the liquid in chamber 10 for atleast a brief period before discharging it from the apparatus through conduit 1 l is desirable because it provides additional time for the liquid to contact the ozone or oxygen present within the apparatus which permits further oxidation of organic matter in the liquid and for the liquid to satisfy more of its biochemical oxygen demand.

The apparatus of this invention is eminently suitable for processing liquids containing therein suspended solids provided the solids are sufficiently small as to not interfere with the effective operation of the apparatus. In particular, the solids must be of sufficiently small size as to not plug annulus 46.

It is readily seen that it is a simple expedient to replace the ultra-violet source means 36 with any other known radiation source means such as, for example, a source of infra-red radiation, so as to irradiate stream 47 in substantially the same manner as in the case of ultra-violet irradiation. in such a case, the dome 13 is fabricated from a material adapted to provide shielding for the appropriate type of radiation being employed.

It is likewise apparent that liquid stream 47 need not flow in a substantially vertical pattern as illustrated in the drawings but can also flow in any type of a pattern providedthat it is maintained in spaced relationship to the radiation source. For example, the apparatus described in the drawing could be tilted somewhat from its vertical position and still be operable.

The specific embodiments of the apparatus of this invention described hereinabove are illustrative only and such alterations and modifications thereof as would be suggested to one skilled in the art are contemplated to fall in the scope and spirit of the claims appended hereto.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for irradiating a liquid comprising:

a. means for forming an unsupported film of said liquid;

b. liquid feed conduit means communicating with said means for forming an unsupported liquid film;

c. ionizing radiation source means disposed adjacent to, but in spaced relationship to, said formed unsupported liquid film so as to impinge radiation upon said liquid film, said film separated .from said radiation source means by a gaseous atmosphere; and

d. means for energizing said radiation source means.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said radiation source means comprises an infra-red radiation source.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further including a receptacle means for collecting said unsupported liquid film, said receptacle means communicating with a liquid discharge conduit means.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further including radiation shielding means enclosing said radiation source and said unsupported liquid film.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means for forming said unsupported liquid film comprises an annular nozzle assembly.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means for forming an unsupported film of said liquid comprises:

a. a block containing therein (i) an axial conduit communicating with said liquid feed conduit means, (ii) a plurality of radially extending conduits providing communication between said axial conduit and the outer surface of said block, and (iii) a plurality of vertical conduits, said vertical conduits having disposed therein electrical sockets means adapted to receive said radiation source means; and

b. an inverted frustroconical cup, the bottom of said cup 5 resting upon the top surface of said block and affixed thereto, the frustroconical wall of said cup circumscribing the outer surface of said block and tapering inwardly towards said outer surface, said outer surface of said block and said frustroconical wall of said cup defining a chamber which communicates with said radially extending conduits, said chamber narrowing at its bottom to define a thin nozzle from whence said liquid, fed to said chamber emanates as a thin film, said cup further containing (i) a plurality of non-axial conduits each of which communicates with one of said socket means of said block and (ii) an axial conduit, and wherein said means for energizing said radiation source means comprises (iii) an electrical feed conduit enclosed within said liquid feed conduit means, said electrical feed conduit assing through said axial conduit of said cup, and (iv) an electric cable, which is connectable to a power source, disposed within said electrical feed conduit, said cable electrically communicating with said socket means of said block by passage through said non-axial conduits of said cup.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said block further includes below said thin nozzle, a peripheral lip adapted to direct the liquid discharged from said annular nozzle radially outward.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said radiation source means comprises an ultra-violet radiation source means.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the thickness of said unsupported liquid film ranges from about 1 millimeter to about 2 millimeters.

10. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the wavelength of the ultra-violet radiation emitted from said radiation source converts oxygen to ozone and further including means for supplying oxygen to contact (1) both sides of said unsupported film, and (2) the ultra-violet radiation impinging upon said film.

11. The apparatus of claim 8 further including ultra-violet radiation shielding means enclosing said radiation source and said unsupported liquid film.

12. The apparatus of claim 10 further including means for effecting contact between said liquid fed to said apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere in said apparatus.

13. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the distance between said ultra-violet radiation source and said unsupported liquid film ranges from about 1 to about 6 inches.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein said distance is from about 2% to about 3% inches.

15. Apparatus for irradiating a liquid comprising:

a. nozzle means for forming an unsupported film of said liquid; 55 b. liquid feed conduit means communicating with said nozzle means;

c. source means for ultra-violet radiation, said source means disposed adjacent to, but in spaced relationship to, said formed unsupported liquid film so as to impinge ultraviolet radiation upon said liquid film, said film separated from said radiation source means by a gaseous atmosphere;

(1. means for energizing said ultra-violet radiation source means;

e. receptacle means for collecting said unsupported liquid film; and

g. ultra-violet radiation shielding means enclosing said ultraviolet source means and said unsupported liquid film.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said source means for ultra-violet radiation comprises a plurality of quartz lamps.

17. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said nozzle means comprises means for forming a thin annular liquid film, and wherein said source means for said ultra-violet radiation is 75 disposed within said thin annular liquid film.

18. The apparatus of claim 15 further including means for supplying oxygen to contact (1) both sides of said unsupported film, and (2) the ultra-violet radiation impinging upon said film.

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the wave-length of the ultra-violet radiation emitted from said ultra-violet source means converts oxygen to ozone.

20. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said nozzle means comprises: 1

a. a block containing therein (i) an axial conduit communicating with said liquid feed conduits means, (ii) a plurality of radially extending conduits providing communication between said axial conduit and the outer surface of said block, and (iii) a plurality of vertical conduits, said vertical conduits having disposed therein electrical socket means adapted to receive said ultra-violet radiation source means; and

b. an inverted frusto-conical cup, the bottom of said cup resting upon the top surface of said block and affixed thereto, the frustoconical wall of said cup circumscribing the outer surface of said block and tapering inwardly towards said outer surface, as they recede, said outer surface of said block and said frustoconical wall of said cup defining a chamber which communicates with said radially extending conduits, said chamber narrowing at its bottom to define a thin nozzle whence said liquid fed to said chamber emanates as a thin film, said cup further containing (i) a plurality of non-axial conduits each of which communicates with one of said socket means of said block and (ii) an axial conduit, and wherein said means for energizing said ultra-violet source means comprises (ii) an electrical feed conduit enclosed within said liquid feed conduit means, said electrical feed conduit passing through said axial conduit of said cup, and (iv) an electric cable, which is connectable to a power source, disposed within said electrical feed conduit, said cable electrically communicating with said socket means of said block by passage through said non-axial conduits of said cup.

21. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein said block further includes below. said thin nozzle, a peripheral lip adapted to direct the liquid discharged from said annular nozzle radially outward.

22. The apparatus of claim 18 further including means for effecting contact between said liquid fed to said apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere in said apparatus.

23. The apparatus of claim 19 further including means for effecting contact between said liquid fed to said apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere in said apparatus.

24. The apparatus of claim 22 wherein said means for effecting contact between said liquid fed to said apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere in said apparatus is an open mesh screen.

25. The apparatus of claim 24 wherein said open mesh screen is horizontally disposed above the liquid level in said receptacle means.

26. The apparatus of claim 15 further including means for effecting contact between said liquid fed to said apparatus and the gaseous atmosphere in said apparatus.

27. A method for irradiating a liquid which comprises:

1. forming said liquid into an unsupported film;

2. maintaining a gaseous atmosphere between said film and an ionizing radiation source to separate said film from said radiation source; and

3. impinging radiation from said radiation source upon said film.

28. The method of claim 27 wherein said radiation is ultraviolet radiation.

29. The method of claim 28 wherein said ultra-violet radiation has a wave-length which converts oxygen to ozone, and further including the step of supplying oxygen to contact the ultra-violet radiation impinging upon said film.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE ()F CORRECTIQN Patent No. 33 593 96 Dated April 25, 1.972

Inventor(s) Andrew Joseph Kompanek It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col. 4, line. 72, vertial should be vertical ----3 Col. 8, line 67, delete "and";

Col. 8, line 6?, insert between subsections (e) and (g) of claim 15 "(:f) liquid discharge conduit means communiceting with said receptacle means; and

Col. 9, line 32 "(11) should be (iii) Signed and -sealed this 15th day of. August 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M. FLETCHER JR. v ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents F (mm o-10510 (10-09) USCOMM-DC scam-mo fi U.5, GOVERNMENY I'uINHNG OFHC! 1969 0-4604

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2485267 *Aug 2, 1945Oct 18, 1949Ellner George GApparatus for sterilizing liquids by irradiating means
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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification422/24, 422/22, 210/764, 250/434
International ClassificationB01J19/12, A61L2/08, C02F1/32
Cooperative ClassificationC02F2201/3221, A61L2/08, B01J19/122, C02F1/325
European ClassificationA61L2/08, C02F1/32D, B01J19/12D