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US 622936 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
No. 622,936. Patented Apr. ll, I899.
J. R. WHITING &. W. A. LAWRENCE.
APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING AND RECOVEBING VALUABLE VAPORS.
' (Application filed Jan. 19, 1898.)
TON. D- C. r: wnams PETERS w. womumou WASHING UNITE STATES PAT NT OFFICE.
JAMES R. WTIITING, OF STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, AND WILLIAM A.
LAWRENCE, OF WATERVILLE, NEW YORK.
APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING AND RECOVERING VALUABLE VAPORS.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 622,936, dated April 11, 1899. Application filed January 19,1898. Serial No. 667,140. (No model.)
T0 at whom it may concern.-
Be it known that we, JAMES R. WHITING, of Stamford, in the county of Fairfield and State of Connecticut, and WILLIAM A. LAW- RENCE, of \Vaterville, in the county of Oneida and State of New York, have invented a new and Improved Apparatus for the Separation and Recovery of Valuable Vapors, of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description.
'0 ur invention relates particularly to the separation of air from the hydrocarbons known as the lighter products of petroleum while they are inastateof vapor; but the invention isnot confined to the recovery of hydrocarbons, as it may be employed for the separation of air and condensation of other vapors which are of a greater or less specific gravity than air and largely insoluble in water or for separating other vapors from the more valuable vapors.
That the object and usefulness of our invention may be more clearly understood it is necessary to state that particularly in the use of the lighter products of petroleum as solvents for extracting various valuable substances it is necessary, after having brought the solvent in contact with the substance to be extracted and formed into a solution,to then evaporate the solvent, leaving the extract behind. The evaporated solvent is then condensed to a liquid form and brought back to the original receiver from which it was taken; but in this process some atmospheric air necessarily becomes mixed with the vapor, and this air, together with any air or vapor of the volatile solvent already in the receiver, must be allowed to escape by a vent as the receiver fills with liquid, or else therewill result from the cushion of mingled air and solvent at' the top of the receiver such a back pressure as will seriously impede or entirely stop the evaporation, condensation, and recovery of the solvent. Therefore there must be a Sllffi cient vent provided for the receiver, and in the present practice large quantities of mingled air and solvent vapor pass out of this vent. By conveying this aerated vapor in coils immersed in water or refrigerated to a temperature near zero (Fahrenheit) it is possible in ing-tank 20.
thecase of the lighter products of petroleum to condense and recover a considerable portion of the solvent vapor; but passing through the refrigerated coil is a swift current of air bearing with it in a mechanical mixture a valuable portion of still uncondensed solvent vapor which must pass into the open air and be wasted except for the intervention at this point of the apparatus embodied in our invention.
We will first describe an apparatus em bodying our invention and then point out the novel features in the appended claims.
Referenceis to be had. to the accompanying drawing, forminga part of this specification, in which the figure is a sectional elevation of an apparatus embodying our invention.
Referring to the drawing, 1 designates the main receiver, into which in the ordinary operation, as already described, condensed solvents flow from the pipe 2 and are withdrawn as required through a pipe 3. From the receiver 1 a valve-controlled pipe l leads to a coil 5 in a preliminary cooling-tank 6, to which Water is supplied from the pipe 7. The coil 5 connects with a coil 8 in a refrigeratingtank 9, designed to be packed with ice and salt. The coil 8 at its lower end communicates with a collecting refrigerating-receiver 10 within the refrigerator-tank, and from the lower end of this collecting-receiver a pipe 11 leads into the lower portion of a receiver 12, which we provide for receiving the solvent condensed and recovered by our invention. The. pipe 11 is provided with a valve 13, and it is also provided with a trap 14 below the collecting-receiver.
From the upper portion of the collecting receiver 10 a valve-controlled pipe '15 leads into the upper end of a vapor-receiver 16. The lower portion of the vapor-receiver 16 has a pipe connection 17 with a pump 18, from which a pipe 19 leads through the top and nearly to the bottom of an air-tight condens- The lower portion of the pipe 19 is extended horizontally, and this horizontally-disposed portion is provided with perforations 21 through its upper side.
Arranged in the condensing-tank 2O is a coil 22, having a valve-controlled pipe connection 23 with the refrigerating-tank 9. Therefore the drip or brine water will flow through said coiland cooltheliquidcontainedint-hetank20. From the upper portion of the tank 20 leads a valve-controlled air-outlet pipe 24, and from a point near the top of the tank and above the water-level a pipe 25 leads downward in the tank and thence outward and to the receiver 12. This pipe 25 is provided with a trap 26, audit is designed to convey the evaporated vapor to the receiver, as will be hereinafter described. The tank 20 is supplied with water from the tank 6 through a valvecontrolled pipe 27,and the water may be drawn off from the tank 20 through a pipe 28. A
valve-controlled pipe 29 leads from the bottom of the tank 20. This pipe is designed to carry off condensed vapors that may be heavier than the cooling liquid in the tank 20.
The operation is as follows: We admit a continuous supply of water to the preliminary cooling-tank 6, which, as here shown, is provided with an overflow 00, pack the refrigerating-tank 9 with ice and salt, open the valve, admitting the drip of brine from the tank 9 into the coil 22, and fill the condensing-tank 20 with the cooling liquid, which, as here shown, consists of water received from the tank 6. The water-level in the tank 20 should be slightly below the upper end of the pipe 25 say about six inches below. The controllingvalves of the pipes 2, 11, 15, 19, 24, and 26 are now to be opened. At this stage of the procedure the main solvent-receiver 1 is being filled with some lighter product of petroleum mingled, as hereinafter explained, with some air, the inflow being continuous, while the pipe 2 is supplied from the evaporating and condensing of solvent during the previous operation of extracting now going on. As the receiver lfills, a cushion of air and vapor of solvent forms, as heretofore mentioned, at
the top of the receiver. We now open the contr01ling-valve of the pipe 4 and start the air-pump 18 in motion; The current of mingled air and vapor passes through the pipe 4, through the cooling-coil 5, and thence into the receiver 10, surrounded, as described, with ice and salt. Here'a certain portion of the vaporized solvent is condensed to a liquid in the coil 8 and receiver 10 and recovered by passing down through the trapped pipe 11 into the receiver 12; but a valuable portion of the solvent vapor still remains Within a current of atmospheric air. This current of air bearing the vapor passes through the pipe 15 into the vapor-receiver 16, whence it is drawn by the pump and forced through the pipe 19 to the bottom of the body of cold liquid in the tank 20 and, being set free through the perforations, begins its ascent through the I valuable vapor brought thus intimately into contact with the cold liquid is condensed in its passage toward the top and collects at the top as a liquid. As soon as this stratum of liquid acquires sufficient height to overrun the top of the trapped pipe it will be steadily drawn off and recovered for use in the receiver 12, and from this receiver 12 it will fiow by gravity through the pipe into the main receiver 1, from which it may be drawn as required for use. At the close of the operation the entire stratum of condensed solvent can be drawn 01f through the pipe 25 by raising the column of water in the tank 20that is, this column of water should be raised sufficiently high to almost reach the top of the pipe 25. This may be ascertained by the water-gage 31 on the tank 20.
By this invention we save a valuable product heretofore Wasted by manufacturers.
By our invention also we are enabledto recover the said product not-only without detrimentto the previous very delicate operations of evaporation and condensation, from which our now-recovered product was pre viously and necessarily thrown off, but render positive assistance to the previous operations by removing from them all back pressure of this vapor, thus aiding in the perfect evaporation of a solvent whose complete elimination from the substances extracted by this solvent is of the utmost importance to the value of the extracts. In case of a vapor which when condensed is heavier than the cooling liquid the condensation can be drawn off at intervals from the bottom of the tank 20 through the' pipe 29 and conveyed to any suitable receiver, and the condensed vapor of bromine or mercury, for instance, being of a greater specific gravity than water, will sink to the bottom of the tank 20 and could be drawn therefrom. Further, in case of vapor other than that of the lighter products of petroleum and capable of being recovered by our invention the temperature of the coils and the nature, quantity, and temperature of the liquid in the tank 20 may be varied by any one skilled in the art to suit the condensation and recovery of such vapors.
Having thus described our invention, We claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent.
1. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination with a receiver for hydrocarbon vapors mixed with air, and a condenser with which the receiver is connected, and by means of which a portion of the vapors are condensed, of a second condenser, comprising a closed tank adapted to contain a liquid cooled to a temperature sufficiently low to condense vapors, and provided with an airoutlet at its top, a connection between the condensers, said connection leading. from the top of the first condenser to the bottom of the second condenser, and a pipe in the tank of the second condenser and extending above the liquid-level of the said tank, for conduct ing away the condensed vapors floating on the liquid, substantially as described.
2. In an apparatus of the character 'described, the combination with a receiver for hydrocarbon vapors mixed with air, and a condenser with which the receiver is connected and by means of which a portion of the vapors are condensed, said condenser containing a collecting vessel, of second condenser comprising a closed tank adapted to contain aliquid cooled to a temperature sufficiently low to condense vapors and provided with an airoutlet at its top, a receiver connected with the collecting vessel of thefirst condenser, a pump connected with the receiver and from which a pipe leads to the bottom of the tankof the second condenser, and a pipe leading into the side of the said tank near its bottom and extending up above the liquid-level of the tank for conducting away the condensed vapors fioatin g on the liquid, substantially as described.
3. An apparatus for recovering valuable vapors, comprising arefrigerating-tank, acollecting vessel in said tank, a trapped pipe leading from said vessel to a receiver for condensed vapor, a vapor-receiver having comm unication with the collecting vessel, an airtight tank for containing a cooling liquid, a pump for drawing vapor from the vapor-receiver and discharging it into the lower portion of the air-tight tank, an air-outlet pipe leading from the upper portion of said airtight tank, and a pipe for conveying away the condensed vapor, the said pipe extending from the upper portion of the liquid-tank to the receiver. g
4. An apparatus for recovering or restoring vapors to liquid form, comprising a main receiver, a refrigerator, a pipe leading from the main receiver into a coil in the refrigerator, a collecting vessel in said refrigerator, with the interior of which the coil communicates, a trapped pipe leading from the lower portion of said collecting vessel to another receiver, a vaporreceiver having a valve-controlled pipe connection with the upper end of the collecting vessel, a pump having a pipe connection'with the vapor-receiver, an air-tight tank for containing a liquid, a pipe leading from the pump to the bottom of said tank and having a perforated horizontally-disposed portion, a coil in said tank communicating with and receiving the drip from the refrigerator, an air-discharge pipe leading from the said tank, and a pipe leading from the upper portion of said tank to the said other receiver.
JAMES R. WHITING. WILLIAM A. LAWRENCE. Witnesses:
JNo. M. BITTER, O. R. FERGUSON.