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Publication numberUS3840055 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 8, 1974
Filing dateAug 15, 1973
Priority dateAug 15, 1973
Publication numberUS 3840055 A, US 3840055A, US-A-3840055, US3840055 A, US3840055A
InventorsE Onyon, A Snow, H Trapp, W Wostl
Original AssigneeAtlantic Richfield Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vapor recovery apparatus
US 3840055 A
Abstract
A nozzle assembly including a nozzle and means for preventing escape of liquid and vapor from the area adjacent the nozzle outlet. In one preferred form, a nozzle has a closure plug adjacent its discharge outlet and has means for biasing the closure plug to close the inlet of the receiver into which the nozzle discharge outlet is placed. Liquid coming out the receiver inlet, for example due to splash-back, is urged by the closure plug to return to the receiver inlet. Preferably, also, a fluid collector is provided adjacent the closure plug to temporarily retain liquid fuel in excess of that which can immediately be returned to the receiver inlet so that such excess is held in the fluid collector until it can drain back into the receiver inlet. If desired, fluid coupling means can be provided to provide fluid communication from the fluid collector to a fluid disposal. Excessive liquid in the fluid collector and vapors can thus be drawn to the fluid disposal.
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United States Patent [191 Wostl et al.

[ VAPOR RECOVERY APPARATUS [75] Inventors: Wolfgang J. Wostl, South Holland;

Edward W. Onyon, Park Forest; Adolph I. Snow, Matteson, all of 111.; Harold D. Trapp, Dyer, Ind.

[73] Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company, New

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,528,696 11/1950 Logan et al l4l/382 X 2,850,049 9/1958 Lomax 141/310 X 2,908,299 10/1959 Gosselin 141/290 X 3,165,339 l/l965 Faccou 285/263 3,566,928 3/1971 Hansel l4l/392 X 3,581,782 6/1971 Onufer l4l/59 3,739,988 6/1973 Kisor et al. 141/392 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 793,560 1935 France l4l/392 [451 Oct. 8, 1974 France 1963 Japan l4l/392 l4l/392 [5 7] ABSTRACT A nozzle assembly including a nozzle and means for preventing escape of liquid and vapor from the area adjacent the nozzle outlet. In one preferred form, a nozzle has a closure plug adjacent its discharge outlet and has means for biasing the closure plug to close the inlet of the receiver into which the nozzle discharge outlet is placed. Liquid coming out the receiver inlet, for example due to splash-back, is urged by the closure plug to return to the receiver inlet. Preferably, also, a fluid collector is provided adjacent the closure plug to temporarily retain liquid fuel in excess of that which can immediately be returned to the receiver inlet so that such excess is held in the fluid collector until it can drain back into the receiver inlet. If desired, fluid coupling means can be provided to provide fluid communication from the fluid collector to a fluid disposal. Excessive liquid in the fluid collector and vapors can thus be drawn to the fluid disposal.

18 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENIEuum 815174 3,840,055 SHEET 20F 2 "Hey VAPOR RECOVERY APPARATUS The present invention pertains to a nozzle. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a nozzle for dispensing fuel and including means for preventing the escape of liquid fuel and fuel vapors.

Motor vehicles are generally provided with fuel at service stations equipped to pump fuel from a fuel supply to a fuel tank within the vehicle. The fuel is generally passed through a fuel pump to a hose which terminates in a nozzle. The nozzle delivery spout is inserted into the vehicle fuel tank inlet, and the pump and nozzle are actuated to cause delivery of fuel from the service station storage to the vehicle fuel tank.

Most fuel nozzles in use include means for maintaining the nozzle in a fuel-delivery condition without the necessity of an attendant holding the nozzle in such condition. Such automatic nozzles include means to cut off the flow of fuel therefrom when the vehicle fuel tank has reached its full condition. In going from the nozzle to the vehicle fuel tank, the fuel passes through a fuel filler pipe on the vehicle tank. The fuel is frequently supplied at a relatively high rate, for example a rate in the order of twelve gallons per minute. As a consequence, considerable agitation of the fuel takes place as the fuel is received in the vehicle fuel tank. This agitation frequently results in a splash-back of fuel through the fuel filler pipe of the vehicle. The splashback is often so great that fuel spills onto the ground and onto persons in the vicinity of the vehicle. The splash-back is particularly heavy when the fuel tank has reached its full condition and an automatic nozzle is caused to cut off. The fuel spilling on the ground creates a hazardous and undesirable condition. Not only does it present a danger of fire but also its evaporation results in pollution of the air.

In addition, as fuel is being supplied to a vehicle, fuel vapor escapes from the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe, and this vapor adds to the air pollution. Air pollution is increasingly becoming a cause of concern. Numerous governmental jurisdictions are requiring control or elimination of causes of air pollution. An increasing number of jurisdictions are requiring minimization or elimination of escape of both liquid fuel and fuel vapor from vehicles which are being supplied with fuel. While the reduction of the fuel delivery rate helps to reduce the escape of liquid fuel caused by splashback, it does not prevent escape of fuel vapors and, in fact, because of the longer time required to fill the vehicle fuel tank, the reduction of the delivery rate may increase the escape of fuel vapors during the filling of the tank.

The present invention is a nozzle for delivery of fuel to vehicles and including means for substantially preventing the escape of liquid fuel and fuel vapors as fuel is being delivered to the vehicle fuel tank. In accordance with the present invention a fuel nozzle is provided including a nozzle assembly of relatively standard design and equipped with closure means for preventing escape of liquid fuel and fuel vapor from the area adjacent the nozzle outlet. The closure means closes the vehicle fuel filler pipe with the nozzle delivery spout inserted thereinto. A fluid collector communicates through the closure means to temporarily retain liquid fuel in excess of that which can be immediately returned to the filler pipe by the closure means. The present invention additionally can include fluid coupling means to provide fluid communication from the fluid collector to a fuel disposal so that excessive liquid fuel form of the present invention, the closure means comprises a resilient plug of a size to close the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe inlet. Alternatively the closure means can comprise a funnel fitted about the nozzle delivery spout and adapted to encircle the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe inlet. The fluid collector in turn preferably takes the form of a bellows surrounding the nozzle delivery spout over a substantial portion thereof and biasing the closure means into contact with the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe inlet. Alternatively the fluid collector can comprise a flexible tube surrounding the nozzle delivery spout and means for biasing the flexible tube and the closure means to retain the closure means in closing contact with the vehicle fuel filler pipe inlet. As a further alternative, the fluid collector can comprise simply a tube communicating through the closure means. The fluid coupling means can be simply a tube and/or pipe coupling the fluid collector to the fuel disposal. The fuel disposal can be any device capable of disposing of liquid fuel and fuel vapor, for example a catalytic reactor, a small internal combustion engine, or an adsorbing filter with a liquid fuel trap.

These and other aspects of the present invention are more apparent in the following detailed description and claims, particularly when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like parts bear like reference numerals.

IN THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is a view, partially in section, depicting a preferred embodiment of a nozzle in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates utilization of a nozzle in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a view, partially broken, depicting an alternative embodiment of a nozzle in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a further alternative embodiment of a nozzle in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a broken sectional view depicting details of the nozzle embodiment of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is an end view depicting further features of the nozzle embodiment of FIG. 4.

FIG. 1 depicts a preferred form of nozzle assembly 10 in accordance with the present invention. Assembly 10 includes a fuel nozzle 12 of a standard configuration including a housing 13 and a delivery spout l4. Characteristically, delivery spout 14 is slightly curved, having a convex upper surface 38 adjacent the upper surface 40 of housing 13. Control handle 22 in housing 13 of nozzle 12 determines whether fuel is being delivered by the nozzle. Control handle 22 can be retained in its fuel-delivery position by retainer 24. It is conventional for such fuel nozzles to include an orifice 16 near the discharge outlet 18 of delivery spout 14. A tube 20 communicates from orifice 16 to a control mechanism within housing 13 to sense whether orifice 16 is surrounded by gas or by a liquid. With control handle 22 held in its fuel-delivery position by retainer 24, the covering of orifice 16 by a liquid results in the control mechanism within housing 13 causing control handle 22 to be disengaged from retainer 24. Such automatic fuel nozzles are well known in the art.

The major portion of delivery spout 14 is enclosed by bellows 30, the forward end of which terminates in closure plug 21. As seen in FIG. 1, closure plug 21 includes first shell member 32 which is preferably integrally formed with bellows 30, liner 36, and second shell member 29 which is preferably integrally formed with mounting member 28 to hold plug member 26. First shell member 32 and second shell member 29 are free to move longitudinally along the major axis of delivery spout 14 and relative to each other rotationally about that major axis. Hook 42 is fastened to the upper surface of delivery spout 14 to engage the inner lip of a vehicle fuel tank filler pipe inlet, thus retaining nozzle assembly in a fuel-delivery position. The resilience of bellows 30 urges first shell member 32 and liner 36 into contact with second shell member 29, and hook 42 prevents closure plug 21 from coming off the end of delivery spout 14. Bellows 30 together with its first shell member 32, and mounting member 28 together with its second shell member 29 can be made, for example, of a light gauge stainless steel or brass, in which case liner 36 provides sufficient lubricity to permit free rotational movement between first shell member 32 and second shell member 29. Shell members 29 and 32 thus provide a rotational interface between bellows 30 and closure plug 21. Liner 36 can be made of tetrafluoroethylene polymer (available under the trademark Teflon), for example. Alternatively, bellows 30, first shell member 32, mounting member 28 and second shell member 29 might be formed of a material such as a cast neoprene so that sufficient lubricity exists between first shell member 32 and second shell member 29, in which case liner 36 might be omitted. Preferably, plug member 26 is formed of a somewhat resilient material which is resistant to fuels, for example neoprene or polytetrafluoroethylene. Hook 42 is mounted on delivery spout 14 in a position which ensures that orifice 16 is within the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe when hook 42 engages the filler pipe lip so that orifice 16 is normally surrounded by gas, but when liquid fuel fills the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe orifice 16 is surrounded by that liquid fuel to sense that the fuel tank is filled, whereupon the control mechanism within housing 13 causes delivery of fuel to be terminated.

Closure plug 21 does not encircle delivery spout l4 tightly. Instead, a passageway 27 exists between delivery spout l4 and plug member 26, and a passageway 34 exists between delivery spout 14 and shell members 29 and 32 and liner 36. When nozzle assembly 10 is retained by hook 42 in a fuel-delivery position with discharge outlet 18 within a vehicle fuel tank filler pipe and nozzle assembly 10 is supported solely by the fuel tank filler pipe, the weight of housing 13 causes nozzle assembly 10 to sag or rotate about its point of contact with the filler pipe. The resilience of bellows 30 causes plug member 26 to remain snugly against the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe inlet, and so as housing 13 rotates, due to this sagging, first shell member 32 rotates with respect to second shell member 29, and delivery spout 14 moves within passageways 27 and 34 as necessary. Consequently, plug member 26 remains in closing contact with the filler pipe inlet. Should the resiliency of bellows 30 not be sufficient for this purpose, a spring can be provided encircling delivery spout 14 within bellows 30 to give additional bias.

Chamber 37 is defined within closure plug 21 between second shell member 29 and mounting member 28. As fuel is supplied to a vehicle fuel tank by nozzle assembly 10, fuel vapors coming from the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe pass through passageways 27 and 34 to the interior of bellows 30. Should splash-back occur, the liquid fuel is blocked by plug member 26 and so is directed back by gravity into the fuel tank. If the splash-back is great, some liquid fuel passes through passageway 27 to chamber 37 and to the interior of bellows 30. Much, if not all, of this fuel subsequently returns along discharge spout 14 to the fuel tank filler pipe.

Nozzle 10 is connected to the discharge end of fuel delivery hose 44, the inlet end of which is connected to the outlet of a fuel pump. Adjacent the connection of bellows 30 to housing 13 a small orifice 46 provides communication from the interior of bellows 30, through housing 13 to flexible tube 48 which can be enclosed within fuel delivery hose 44.

FIG. 2 illustrates a vehicle 50 receiving fuel at a service station 51 having one or more fuel pumps, each equipped with a hose 44 and nozzle assembly 10. The flexible tube 48 within hose 44 is coupled within pump 52 to pipe 54 which is connected to fuel disposal 56 which can dispose of liquid and/or vapor fuel. Thus, by means of passageways 27 and 34, bellows 30, orifice 46, tube 48 and pipe 54, fluid communication is provided to fuel disposal 56 from the area adjacent discharge end 18 of delivery spout 14.

Delivery spout 14 is inserted into the fuel tank filler pipe of vehicle 50, and hook 42 is engaged on the lip of that filler pipe to retain nozzle assembly 10 in this fuel-delivery position. Control handle 22 is then moved to a fuel-delivery position, and if desired retainer 24 is moved to retain control handle 22 in such position. As fuel is delivered through nozzle assembly 10 to the vehicle fuel tank, air and fuel vapors pass from the vehicle fuel tank. Plug member 26 substantially closes the fuel tank filler pipe inlet, preventing passage of such gases into the surrounding atmosphere. Instead the air and fuel vapors from the fuel tank pass through fluid passageways 27 and 34 into bellows 30. A mild vacuum is drawn through pipe 54 and flexible tube 48 to draw the air and fuel vapors from bellows 30 to fuel disposal 56. Should splash-back occur, plug member 26 likewise prevents escape of liquid fuel onto the ground. If the splash-back is so great that plug member 26 is unable to return all of the liquid fuel to the vehicle fuel tank, the excess liquid fuel passes through passageways 27 and 34 to chamber 37 and the interior of bellows 30. This excess fuel slowly drains along delivery spout 14 back into the vehicle fuel tank. If liquid fuel remains within chamber 37 or bellows 30 after the fuel delivery is completed, upon return of nozzle 10 to its retention position, as illustrated at pump 58, in which position orifice 46 is at the lower end of bellows 30, the liquid fuel drains through orifice 46, flexible tube 48 and pipe 54 to fuel disposal 56. An opening 57 can be provided in bellows 30 adjacent plug member 26 to permit entry of air to satisfy the vacuum requirements of fuel disposal 56 should there be insufficient air and vapor entering through openings 27 and 34.

Fuel disposal 56 can be any device capable of removing fuel vapors from gas passing through it. By way of illustration, fuel disposal 56 can include a solid adsorbent, for example charcoal, to filter the fuel vapor from the gas, and a liquid fuel trap. Alternatively, it could be a catalytic reactor to cause substantially complete combustion of the fuel liquid and vapor with air to give exhaust products such as carbon dioxide and water. Such a catalytic reactor would include an air inlet 60 and an exhaust 62 to take in air from the surrounding atmosphere and to let out the exhaust products. As a third alternative, fuel disposal 56 could be a small internal combustion engine in which the fuel liquid and/or vapor is combusted with an excess of oxygen, permitting substantially complete combustion at a low combustion temperature. The power from such an engine could be utilized to provide the vacuum that draws the vapor and liquid fuel from bellows 30.

FIG. 3 depicts an alternative form of nozzle assembly 64 in accordance with the present invention. Closure plug 21 encircles delivery spout 14 of nozzle 12 adjacent hook 42, just as in the embodiment of FIG. 1. The bellows of FIG. 1 is replaced by flexible tube 66 and biasing spring 68. Spring 68 biases closure plug 21 against the inlet of a vehicle fuel tank filler pipe when nozzle assembly 64 is in use. Opening 70 is provided through the end of flexible tube 66 adjacent housing 13 to communicate with hose 72. Within fuel pump 52, hose 72 communicates with pipe 54. Opening 76 is provided through tube 66 adjacent closure plug 21 to permit entry of air into tube 66 to ensure satisfying the vacuum requirements of fuel disposal 56. Tube 66, by way of example, can be formed of a flexible fuelresistant plastic such as neoprene. Liquid fuel, air, and vapor escaping from the vehicle fuel tank fill pipe pass through the passageways of closure plug 21 to the interior of tube 66 from which they are drawn through hose 72 and pipe 54 to fuel disposal 56.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrate another embodiment of nozzle assembly 77 in accordance with the present invention. The smaller diameter end of a funnel 78 is retained by ring 80 about delivery spout 14 of nozzle 12 between hook 42 and housing 13. The upper portion 79 of funnel 78, adjacent surface 38 of delivery spout 14, has its larger diameter end 81 flared outwardly, while the opposite, lower portion 83 of funnel 78 has its larger diameter end 85 folded up to a position engaging ring 82 which encircles delivery spout 14 between hook 42 and retainer 87. Flexible hose 84 passes through opening 86 in ring 80 and enters housing 13 within which it is coupled to flexible tube 48 within fuel delivery hose 44 to provide communication between the interior of funnel 78 and fuel disposal 56. Spring 88 encircles delivery spout 14 and acts against housing 13 to urge funnel 78 toward discharge outlet 18 of delivery spout l4. Funnel 78 can be formed of a flexible, fuelresistant plastic such as neoprene.

With nozzle assembly 77 having its delivery spout l4 retained within the filler pipe of a vehicle fuel tank by hook 42, spring 88 urges funnel 78 forward to engage the filler pipe inlet. The lower surface 83 of funnel 78 blocks the lower portion of the tiller pipe inlet, while upper larger diameter end 81 of funnel 78 encircles the upper surface of the tiller pipe inlet. Fuel vapors and air coming from the fuel tank filler pipe pass through the upper portion 79 of funnel 78, hose 84, flexible tube 48 and pipe 54 to fuel disposal S6 in which the vapors are disposed of. Should mild splash-back occur, lower surface 83 prevents the liquid fuel from leaving the filler pipe. If greater splash-back occurs, the liquid fuel passes into funnel 78 and is retained within the lower portion 83 of the funnel until it drains along delivery spout 14 to return to the vehicle fuel tank filler pipe.

The present invention has been disclosed with reference to a fuel delivery system. Such a system might deliver any liquid fuel such as gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene. In addition, the nozzle assembly of the present invention can be used to prevent escape of liquid and vapors in systems for the delivery of liquids other than fuels. It is thus seen that in accordance with the present invention there is provided a nozzle assembly for the delivery of liquids and including means for substantially preventing escape of liquid and vapor during such delivery. Although the present invention has been disclosed with reference to preferred embodiments, numerous rearrangements and modifications could be made, and still the result would be within the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A nozzle assembly for delivery of liquid from a source to a liquid receiver having an inlet, said nozzle assembly comprising:

a nozzle including a nozzle inlet adapted for connection to a source of liquid, a nozzle outlet, a nozzle housing coupling said nozzle inlet and said nozzle outlet, and control means for controlling liquid flow from said nozzle inlet through said nozzle housing to said nozzle outlet;

closure means coupled to said nozzle adjacent said nozzle outlet for substantially closing a liquid receiver inlet, with the nozzle outlet within the liquid receiver inlet for delivery of liquid thereinto;

a fuel collector adjacent said closure means for retaining liquid passing said closure means from the area adjacent said nozzle outlet, said fuel collector includes a first shell member and a second shell member cooperating with said first shell member to provide a rotational interface between said fuel collector and said closure means; and

means defining a fluid path communicating through said closure means and to said fuel collector and I adapted for connection to a fluid disposal for providing fluid communication from an area adjacent said nozzle outlet to the fluid disposal.

2. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said fuel collector comprises a bellows encircling a portion of said nozzle and first fluid passage means for providing fluid communication from the area adjacent said nozzle outlet through said closure means and to the interior of said bellows, and in which said defining means comprises second fluid passage means connected to said bellows and adapted for connection to a fluid disposal for providing a fluid path from the interior of said bellows to the fluid disposal.

3. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 2 in which said closure means comprises a resilient plug means and biasing means for biasing said resilient plug means toward said nozzle outlet. 1

4. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 2 in which said closure means comprises a funnel having a funnel inlet adapted to at least partially encircle the liquid receiver inlet, and biasing means for biasing said funnel toward said nozzle outlet for receipt of fluid from the area adjacent the nozzle outlet. i

5. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 2 in which said fluid disposal includes a solid adsorbent for filtering fuel vapors from fluid passing therethrough.

6. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein said nozzle is a gasoline nozzle and the liquid is gasoline.

7. A nozzle assembly of claim 2 further comprising a friction-reducing liner cooperating between said second shell member and said first shell member.

8. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said closure means comprises a resilient plug means and biasing means for biasing said resilient plug means toward said nozzle outlet.

9. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a fluid disposal connected to said defining means for receipt of fluid therefrom.

10. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said closure means comprises a funnel having a funnel inlet adapted to at least partially encircle the liquid receiver inlet, and biasing means for biasing said funnel toward said nozzle outlet for receipt of fluid from the area adjacent the nozzle outlet.

11. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said fluid disposal includes a solid adsorbent for filtering fuel vapors from fluid passing therethrough.

12. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said nozzle is a fuel nozzle and in which said fluid disposal includes combustion means for combusting fuel fluid to carbon dioxide and water.

13. A nozzle assembly as claimed in claim 12 in which said combustion means comprises an internal is made from a tetrafluoroethylene polymer.

050 UNITED- STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION patent 3,840,055 Dated October 8, 1974 lvpliqen .Airmail,,Esiwa onyon, Adolph Snow and Harold D. Trapp It is certified that error appears in the above-idehtified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shewn below:

In the Title .Page: No. [22] should read:

Filed: August 15, 1972 Cdlumn 8,- line 17, delete the no. "19" and insert in place thereof 1 Signed and. sealed this 14th day of January 1975.

(SEAL) Arrest:

McCOY M. GIBSON JR. c'. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3946771 *Apr 23, 1975Mar 30, 1976Braun Raymond EGasoline nozzle assembly
US3989072 *Mar 31, 1975Nov 2, 1976Atlantic Richfield CompanyNozzle sealing device and assembly
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Classifications
U.S. Classification141/44, 141/97, 141/52, 141/392
International ClassificationB67D7/54, B67D7/42
Cooperative ClassificationB67D7/54
European ClassificationB67D7/54