US 894110 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
NEWELL W. BLOSS, OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, ASSIGNOR, BY MESNE ASSIGNMENTS,
TO THE COAL TREATING 00., OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA TERRITORY, AND BOSTON, MASSA- CHUSETTS, A CORPORATION OF ARIZONA TERRITORY.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented July 21, 1908.
Application filed May 16, 1908. Serial No. 433,234.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, NEWELL W. BLoss, a citizen of the United States, residing at Provi dence, in the county of Providence and State of Rhode Island, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Processes for Facilitating the Combustion of Fuel; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.
My invention relates to improvements in processes for facilitating the combustion of fuel and preventing smoke, and is applicable to all sorts of fuel; and especially to bituminous coals and graphitic anthracite coals which are otherwise combustible with difficulty.
In carrying out my invention, I coat the coal before combustion with a thin film of a chemical substance, which appears to act as a catalytic agent, and to supply oxygen to a portion of the coal being burned, while the air ap ears to constantly resupply the oxygen ta en from the film by t e coal. The coal then gives off a combustible gas, apparently CO, which is afterwards burned.
In carrying out my invention, in order to thoroughly coat the coal with this thin film, I preferably treat the same with a suitable chemical solution, such as a solution of crude nitrate of soda or Chile saltpeter. I have obtained the best results from using this particular compound, but I do not restrict myself to this, nor to a chemical in the state of a solution, as my invention may be carried out with other substances, and in a different physical condition which will act in a similar manner. In carrying out my invention, however, I preferably dissolve Chile galt peter in water in the proportion of one part of the former to twenty parts of the latter, making a dilute solution. But if the coal should happen to be wet, the solution could be stronger. For instance, in such cases I could use a solution of one part of Chile saltpeter to fifteen parts of water, and under favorable conditions the solution might be still more concentrated, while under other conditions it could be even more dilute than that first mentioned. This solution may be applied to the fuel either by sprinkling the coal with it, or by immersing said coal in a bath of this solution, then withdrawing the coal and allowing it to drain; the result being that a small quantity of the solution remains upon the coal, and in some instances soaks into the coal somewhat. burned in the usual manner.
I have made a long series of practical tests with various kinds of coal and find that by the method described above, a very greatly improved combustion is obtained. That is to say, the coal is more thoroughly consumed, and the amount of smoke produced is reduced to a minimum; thus rendering it possible, even in places where smoke prevention ordinances prevail, to use bituminous coals for fuel without evolving objectionable quantities of smoke. Furthermore, coals which have been almost useless, from a practical standpoint, on account of the difliculty of igniting them and regulating their combustion, a notable instance being the graphitic Rhode Island coals, are rendered by my process easily combustible; in fact burning as readily or even better than the ordinary free burning coals. I
It is diflicult, if not impossible, to state exactly the chemical reactions which take place when using my chemical solutions for controlling the combustion of fuels, but as nearly as I have been able to ascertain they are as follows :In the first place, it should be stated that the chemical substance employed is not added to the coal to act as an oxidizer; for the quantity of said substance added is not only so small that the oxidizing eiiect is negligible but chemical substances may be used with good results which contain no oxygen at all. In fact, in the tests actually made by me, the quantity of the chemicals containing oxygen which were added to the coal would not completely oxidize five pounds of carbon to the ton of fuel treated.
The reactions, as nearly as I have been able to ascertain them when I use Chile saltpeter, are as follows Carbonic oxid gas.
the final prodnot of the combustion of carbon.
The coal thus treated is E 4. 2Na O 2H O iNaOH Carbonate of soda.
Carbonic oxid set free.
It will thus be seen that a thin film the base Na O of the Chile saltpeter added, seems to act catalytically as a carrier of oxygen, as it were. In other words, the last three reactions appear to show that oxid of soda is constantly produced from the decomposition of the Chile saltpeter; that this oxid is probably converted into carbonate of soda; that this carbonate of soda is then decomposed or reduced by the red hot coal, setting free carbonic oxid CO and producing again the base Na O in its original condition and the oxygen of the air resupplying the oxygen taken by the coal. This action is repeated indefinitely until the coal upon which the chemical substance is lodged is completely consumed, and the ashes drop from the grate. The heat required for starting and keeping up these reactions and producing the CO gas, of course, comes out of the coal. If at any time, the amount of chemicals runs short the deficiency can be easily supplied by adding a fresh shovelful of the treated coal.
The carbonic oxid CO, set free in reaction 6, begins to be developed at a temperature of about 1000 F. to 1200 F. and with the liberation of much heat, it burns as set forth in Reaction 3, while the film of sodium oxid N a o, with which we started in Reaction 4, is formed and reappears in Reaction 6. Therefore the three probable Reactions 4, 5 and 6 are repeated over and over again; and as air and its contained moisture is constantly entering the furnace, there is a continual production of carbonic oxid CO from the last reaction, Which increases as the heat of the fire increases. Therefore even a badly burning coal can be made at will to generate a useful combustible gas, which burns in the furnace itself; the result being that the furnace gets hotter and hotter. The flame of the carbonic oxid CO necessarily gets longer and longer, and the circulation of this gas through the mass of even a poorly burning coal causes it to kindle readily and act while burning like a free burning coal.
In practical ex eriments with Rhocle Island graphitic coal, I ave found that under ordinary conditions without the use of chemicals, the flames roduced are only about four or five inches ong, While by the use of suitable chemicals in accordance with the method above described, I have produced under like conditions flames at least thirty six inches long, which were maintained for long periods of time.
The characteristic feature of my process is the employment of a thin film of a suitable chemical, to cause the continual setting free of a combustible gas in the presence of the fuel, under the influence of the draft, and at a temperature above 1000 F., which gas I suppose to be carbon monoxid CO, in very much larger quantities than could occur by the ordinary combustion of the fuel, under exactly the same conditions of firing and draft. The presence of this greater quantity of combustible gas or gases of necessity brings about the generation of a higher temerature in the furnace and a consequent essening of the amount of smoke given off, owing to its more perfect combustion.
The chief advantages of employing the chemical in the form of a solution, I believe to be the greater facility with which the solution penetrates the fuel mass; or coats the individual pieces of coal, thereby causing a more equal distribution of said chemical, and also permittin the same to enter the individual lumps. finely divided dry carbonate or other suitable salt, however, in contact with the red hot coal, would be included within the limits of my invention.
I do not desire to limit myself to thereactions stated above, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to state with exactness all the reactions which take place in a furnace; and it is quite ossible that under some conditions volati e hydrocarbons might beformed or set free, which burn freely and with abundant flame. I desire also not tolimit myself to Chile saltpeter, although I have obtained excellent results from the use of this material, the essential feature of my process being the provision of a base which will take up carbon from the coal, and then under the action of the red hot coal, will give up a combustible gas, these reactions being repeated almost indefinitely. Nor do I limit myself to the theory of catalytic action, because such actions are so little understood at the present time; but the various theories of such actions set forth in Chemical Statics and Dynamics by J. W. Mellor, and edited by Sir William Ramsay beginning on page 245, offers the only published authentic explanations for the remarkable results which I have repeatedly produced in practice, and therefore I believe the catalytic theory the most probable.
I claim 1. The process of facilitating the combustion of fuel, which consists in coating said fuel with a thin film of a soluble catalytic substance which when the fuel is burned, will enable carbon to be withdrawn from said fuel and to be set free in the form of a combustible gas, and then igniting said fuel, substantially as described.
2. The process of facilitating the combustion of fuel, which consists in treating said fuel with a solution of a salt of one of the metals of the alkalies, which when the fuel is burned will cause carbon to be drawn from said fuel and set free in the form of a combustible gas, and then igniting said fuel, substantially as described.
3. The process of facilitating the combustion of fuel, which consists in treating said fuel with a solution of Chile saltpeter, leaving thereon a thin film of the solution, and then igniting the fuel, substantially as described.
4. The process of facilitating the combustion of fuel, which consists in treating said fuel with a dilute solution of Chile saltpeter, leaving thereon a thin film, and then igniting the fuel, substantially as described.
5. The process of controlling the combustion of fuel, which consists in immersing said fuel in a dilute solution of Chile saltpeter, draining the fuel, and then igniting it, substantially as described.
6. The process of controlling the com- 25 bustion of fuel, which consists in immersing said fuel in a dilute solution of Chile saltpeter, in the proportions of about one part of saltpeter to twenty parts of water, al owing the fuel to drain, and then igniting the fuel, substantially as described.
7. The process of controlling the com bustion of fuel, which consists in coating said fuel with a solution of a catalytic agent, which does not volatilize to a substantial 35 degree in the fire, and then ig niting said fuel, substantially as described.
In testimony whereof, I affix my signature, in presence of two witnesses.
NEWELL W. BLOSS.
J. FRED. KELLEY, W. MAX. DUVALL.