US 3862819 A
The energy output of a fossil fuel combustion system is increased by adding minute amounts of highly vaporized water and oil to the combustion air. In an oil gun such as used in home heating plants air pressure and vacuum is tapped off the gun compressor to bubble air through a sealed tank of water covered with an oil film and draw it back to mix with the combustion air flow.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Wentworth, Jr.
14 1 Jan. 28, 1975 FUEL CATALYZER  Inventor. Fred A. Wentworth, ,lr., Stratham,
 Assignee: WSJ Catalyzers, lnc., Exeter, N.H.
 Filed: Jan. 2, 1974  Appl. No.1 430,252
521 11s. c1 ..431/4, 261/18 A, 431/126 51 1111.0. F23j 7/00 581 Field of Search 431/4, 126, 190; 261/18 A;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Russell 431/4 Cook Tomlinson 123/25 R 3,767,172 10/1973 Mills 261/18 A 3,790,139 2/1974 Stephenson 011211.... 261/18 A 3,809,523 5/1974 Vurekamp 431/4 3,814,567 6/1974 Zink ct ul. 431/4 Primary L.\'uminerEdwurd G. Favors Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomus N. Tarrunt  1 ABSTRACT 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 12121 CONTROL SUPPLY PATENTED JAN 2 8 I975 SHEET 2 OF 2 FUEL CATALYZER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:
1. Field of the Invention:
The present invention relates to energy boosters for fossil fuel combustion systems and in particular to such boosters providing additional water vapor.
2. Description of the Prior Art:
It is well known that high humidity can improve the performance of an internal combustion engine. Various water injectors have been marketed with allegations of improved economy and performance for automobile engines. Commercial oil burners have long utilized steam to atomize oil for improved combustion.
In all of these arrangements, any additional energy produced must be due either to energy conversion from the additional mass provided or energy due to a more efficient or complete conversion of the fossil fuel. With water as the agent, either of these is possible and some combination is probable in most cases. Mostly, substantial quantities of moisture addition have been used. In automotive engines this has usually resulted in short engine life, burned valves and other difficulties. The cost of accessory equipment has apparently been a deterrent in home heating service.
It is also known that water vapor can act-as a catalyzer for combustion. See Van Nostrands Scientific Encyclopedia, fourth edition, page 1501. Useful implementation of thisphenomenon is strangely lacking in most commercial production of combustion devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention a method of utilizing water vapor as a catalystto increase combustion efficiency of fossil fuel is provided. The vapor is produced by bubbling air, using preexisting intake pressure, through water and a supernatant oil layer. The same intake pressure carries the vapor on to the combustion zone. Apparatus, provided for use with an oil burner gun, taps into the compressor housing both to obtain pressure for bubbling and to obtain a low pressure for carrying the vapor on into the gun. The two tapes are connected to an otherwise closed tank carrying water and oil. This apparatus for utilizing the invention is extremely economical.
Thus it is an object of the invention to provide a method of metering water vapor into combustion air as a catalyzer for improved combustion;
It is a further object of the invention to provide water vapor to a combustion mixture by bubbling a portion of intake air through water;
It is a further object of the invention to provide water BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of an air intake compressor for a combustion unit with a water vapor device connected in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of an oil furnace with the inventive vaporizer attached.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a detail drawing showing connection of the inventive vaporizer to the blower housing of an oil burner.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:
The catalyzer system of the present invention is useful with virtually every type of combustion apparatus.
It has particular advantage in low humidity environments such as is commonly the condition for operation of central heating units during cold weather. Thus a particular preferred embodiment to be described is an oil-fired central heating plant.
FIG. 1 depicts compressor 10 of a high pressure oil gun. Centrifugal blower element 14 is mounted on motor shaft 15 for rotation within housing 12. With blower element 14 spinning counterclockwise, air is brought in at center opening 16 ofelementl4, is forced out at the outer perimeter of element 14 and through barrel 11.
In accordance with the invention, hole 17 (see FIG. 4) is drilled in housing 12 near the top and aligned substantially with barrel 11. Pipe 18 is depicted as press-fit into hole 17. Open end 20 of pipe 18 inside housing I2 faces away from the motion of air provided by element 14 resulting in below atmospheric pressure at open end 20; Second hole 21 drilled near the bottom of housing 12 has fitted a second pipe 22. Open end 24 of pipe 22 inside housing 12 faces against the motion of air provided by element 14 resulting in above atmospheric pressure in pipe 22.
The location of pipes 18 and 22 will change with different types of oil guns or other combustion devices. For example the gun barrel may be: at the bottom of the blower instead of the top as depicted in which case the blower rotation and the positions of pipes 18 and 22 would be reversed. Pipes l8 and 22 may be a sc rew-in type or may be mounted by other suitable means. The basic requirementis to provide a pressure differential between the two pipes sufficient to produce bubbling in container 30 as will'be described. It is also essential that outlet opening 20 of pipe 18 be in the combustion intake air flow. It is preferred that the pressure differential between pipes 18 and 22 vary with combustion intake air flow.
Container 30, depicted in FIG. 2 as a translucent plastic container, has three exterior connections. Main cap 31 is a screw-on cap with an integral pipe 32 extending from outside the cap down approximately one inch below the liquid surface in container 30. The usable depth of pipe 32 does not appear critical, however, at greater depths a greater pressure differential is necessary and may not be available. The outside portion of pipe 32 is connected to a hose 34 which is force fed over the end of the pipe. The other end of hose 34 is force fed over pipe 22. Second connection 37 from container 30 is connected by hose 38 to pipe 18. Connection 37 is an opening extending from the top of container 30. Third capped connection 40 at the top of container 30 is for the purpose of connecting a continuous water supply. For oil guns in most home oil burners, the size of hoses 34 and 38 is desirably in the range of to k inch interior diameter. With large commercial oil guns and different types of combustion applications, the hoses would be varied'to suit the purpose. It has been found desirable to make hose 34 approximately of 50 percent greater inside diameter relative to hose 38 and install valve 35 as depicted in FIG. 1 to control metering. Container is filled with water up to a level approximately at the center of rotation of blower element 14. A layer of oil is poured over the surface of the water in container 30. This layer of oil should be a complete interface barrier between the water and the air space above it. The thickness of the oil layer is not critical and layers of approximately 1/16 inch have been used. Nor is the type of oil critical. Various lubricating and motor oils have been utilized. Petroleum based motor oils with SAE viscosity indexes in the range of five to forty have all been used succesfully. Other types of oil such as vegetable oil would also be operative. Where the combustion intake will come in contact with moving metallic parts, it is considered preferable to use lubricating oils since some of the oil vaporizes and enters the combustion stream helping to lubricate and prevent corrosion of the various moving parts.
The arrangement of pipes 18 and 22 shown is only exemplary as these pipes may be positioned any place in the combustion air intake stream that will provide the necessary below and above atmospheric pressure conditions. It is necessary that the pressure differential between the two pipes be sufficient to produce a steady stream of bubbles leaving the bottom of pipe 32 passing out through the water within container 30.
In most systems, valve 35 is unnecessary, but in some cases, especially where a kit is provided applicable for different sizes of burners, valve 35 has been found desirable in order to control the rate of bubbling through the water in container 30. While there is no known critical reason for the level of water in container 30 to be at a level with the rotational axis of the blower element, it has been found easy to produce the desired amount of bubbling at this level, and it has been used as a general rule of thumb. It has also been found that different water levels in container 30 change the pressure differential requirements for the desired bubbling and it is considered very desirable to maintain the water level as constant as possible. While there are many ways of maintaining a liquid level constant, one of the ways in which this is done satisfactorily is by installing a float in container 30 operating a needle valve in a connector attached to connector 40. Water pressure is then provided to the needle valve by connection from a house water main. FIG. 1 depicts water level control 41 connected by hose 42 to container 30. Water pressure to level control 41 is provided by water supply 44 such as a household water main.
In operation, it will be seen that with blower element 14 rotating, air is forced through open end 24 into pipe 22 through hoses 38 and 34 and down below the water surface in container 30. This air then produces bubbles 45 which bubble up through the water in container 30 passing through the oil interface and into the air space at the top of the container. Air bubbles 45 passing through container 30 pick up small quantities of water vapor. It is believed "that tiny particles of water'vapor up in this manner each become coated with a very thin layer of the oil interface. This water vapor, along with the air carrying it, passes out through hose 38 and through pipe 18 into the combustion intake air passing from blower 10 into gun barrel 11 and on to the combustion point.
FIG. 2 depicts a complete system with an oil gun connected to a furnace 51. The oil gun includes a motor 52, an air intake 54 and oil pump 55. Oil from a supply tank is piped to oil pump 55 by a supply line (not shown), and pipe 56 connects from oil pump 55 through compression housing 57 to a nozzle (not shown) at the end of the gun barrel inside the furnace.
FIG. 3 depicts the furnace and oil burner of FIG. 2, in side elevation showing barrel ll of the oil gun connected to furnace 51 by means of a flange 58. The oil gun is also supported on a stand 60. While container 30 is shown as a translucent plastic and the connections from it are shown as flexible hoses 34 and 38, container 30 may be opaque and may be metal, and the hoses 34 and 38 can be metal pipes. Similarly, the exterior connection to container 30 may all be made through a separable cap such as connection 31 or any other arrangement usual for connecting a fluid line to a container. Neither the amount of water in the container 30 nor the air space in the container over the liquid has been found critical. However, it is preferred that pressure 7 pipe 32 be immersed to a depth of approximately one inch to insure bubbling. A pint of water filling container 30 two thirds full has been found satisfactory.
The bubling should be controlled so as to provide a steady stream of bubbles without disturbing the surface of the water to a point where there is spraying or spattering of water droplets into the space above the liquid surface.
The system described in detail operates well with any types of combustion system utilizing an intake blower. The water covered with a supernatant layer of oil, according to the present invention, may be utilized with other types of combustion systems with proper adaptation. For example, in an internal combustion engine, engine vacuum can be used to draw atmospheric air through the liquid. For use with natural gas burners having no intake blowers, a small blower is readily provided to operate the vapor system. When the vaporizing system of the invention is to be used at below freezing temperatures, sufficient alcohol may be added to the water to prevent freezing. While it can be expected that the addition of alcohol has some definite effect on the operation of the system, the effect has proven too small to show any substantial statistical difference in the operation of the combustion devices tested. Thus it will be understood that while the invention has been described with respect to a specific embodiment, it is contemplated for use in other types of combustion systems and it is intended to cover the invention within the full scope of the appended claims.
1. A method of adding water vapor to the fuel mixture in combustion apparatus having a forced air intake comprising:
a. Placing a liquid comprising water in a container;
b. covering said liquid with a nonmiscible layer of oil;
c. bypassing a relatively small portion of the forced intake air through the liquid in said container and back to a downstream location in said air intake, whereby water vapor is entrained in metered quantity in said intake air as a combustion catalyst.
2. A method of adding water vapor according to claim 1 wherein said bypassing comprises bubbling said small portion of the forced intake air through said liquid in a steady stream of bubbles.
3. A method of adding water vapor according to claim 2 further comprising maintaining said liquid at a constant level whereby controlled metering is obtained.
4. Apparatus for adding water vapor to a fossil fuel combustion system having an intake air blower comprising:
a. A container for liquid;
b. a first connecting line connected to the top of said container and connected to said intake air blower;
c. a second connecting line connected to said container and to said intake air blower, the connection to said container opening into a location below the intended liquid level of said container, said first connecting line and said second connecting line being connected to said air blower in a manner to provide a pressure differential position in said second line relative to said first line.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said combustion system comprises an oil burner connected to a central heating unit.
6. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said blower is a centrifugal blower with both said first connecting line and said second connecting line connected proximate the periphery of the centrifugal element by devices for providing said pressure differential.
7. Apparatus according to claim. 6 wherein said container contains water with a level substantially at the rotational axis of said centrifugal element.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein the water in said container is less than one-half gallon and has a supernatant layer of oil.