|Publication number||USRE40407 E1|
|Application number||US 11/251,634|
|Publication date||Jul 1, 2008|
|Filing date||Oct 14, 2005|
|Priority date||May 24, 1999|
|Publication number||11251634, 251634, US RE40407 E1, US RE40407E1, US-E1-RE40407, USRE40407 E1, USRE40407E1|
|Inventors||Eugene M. Natarius|
|Original Assignee||Vortex Flow, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (55), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (13), Classifications (26), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/561,999 filed May 1, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,419,843 B2 which claimed the benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/135,476 filed May 24, 1999.
The invention relates generally to applications whereby it is desirous to introduce or reintroduce gas with liquid flowing through pipes, and/or mix two fluids within a pipe. In particular, this method can be used, but is not so limited, to mix and entrain air and other odorous gas emissions into sewage to reduce odorous gas emissions and to reduce hydrogen sulfide corrosion and abrasive wear in waste water conveyance, collection and treatment systems.
Throughout past decades, sewers have been utilized to efficiently transport waste water or sewage from locations where it was generated to waste water treatment plants and other destinations. These sewers consist generally of pipelines locate below ground level and oriented with a slight downward grade in the direction of the sewage flow. Gravity acts upon the sewage to cause it to flow within the pipelines toward its ultimate destination. These pipelines are sometimes interconnected by “drop structures” that allow the sewage to flow from one line into the drop structure, drop vertically therewithin, and then to flow out of the drop structure into additional pipes or other structures.
One problem that occurs during the transport of sewage is the release of sulfides from the sewage. Sulfides form as a result of bacterial reduction of sulfates within the sewage in an anaerobic environment. As sewage ages, the level of sulfides increases. Drop structures within a sewer system can provide a beneficial aeration of the sewage flow by introducing additional dissolved oxygen into the flow. The dissolved oxygen reacts with the sulfides, resulting in less chemical volatility in the sewage. This aeration is particularly beneficial where the sewage is fresh and contains a relatively small amount of dissolved sulfides, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
Unfortunately, in most practical applications, sewage contains a significant amount of potentially volatile dissolved molecular hydrogen sulfide gas. Turbulence within the sewage flow can cause this dissolved gas to be released into the surrounding air. Significant sources of turbulence in sewage flow, and hence the emission of hydrogen sulfide gas in a sewer, occur in drop structures such as interceptor drop maintenance holes, joint structures, forcemain discharges and wet well drops in sewer pumping stations. Thus, while drop structures can reintroduce dissolved oxygen into the sewage flow, lowering the level of hydrogen sulfide gas, they can also cause the release of hydrogen sulfide gas. The hydrogen sulfide emissions often cause corrosion with the drop structures and adjacent sewer lines, and cause odor problems even the most elegant, pristine neighborhoods.
One known type of drop structure comprises an influent line, a maintenance hole and an effluent line. The influent line runs almost horizontally at a relatively shallow depth below the ground surface in the form of a pipe. The maintenance hole is located below the street level maintenance hole manhole cover. The maintenance hole is generally cylindrical in shape with a vertical longitudinal axis. The effluent line is another almost horizontal pipe that exits slightly above the bottom of the maintenance hole. Turbulent waste water flow is created when the sewage, which has a substantial amount of potential energy, exits from the influent line near the top of the maintenance hole and tumbles down like a waterfall to the side wall and base of the maintenance hole. Then the sewage pools and eventually flows out the effluent line. This turbulent action releases hydrogen sulfide gas into the air. To reduce the problem of gas release, while still allowing beneficial aeration of the sewage, the potential and kinetic energy in the sewage must be dissipated.
One known method is to create a wall hugging spiral flow down the maintenance hole to dissipate the energy by friction. The spiral flow is generated by the insertion of a vortex form connected to the influent line near the top of the maintenance hole. The vortex form is generally helical in shape and is placed directly below the manhole cover near the top of the maintenance hole. The vortex form channels and diverts the flow from its languid state into a spiral flow descending down the cylindrical wall of the maintenance hole. The vortex form can be made of concrete with applied protective coating, or made of a noncorrosive material, metal or plastic, such as PVC, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or other like materials. The vortex form may be manufactured at the factory or on-site.
Two problems remain to be solved when applying this known method of using a vortex form in a drop structure for sewage flows. First, the upstream flow velocities within the influent line are usually not large enough to create a stable spiral flow on the vertical wall of a typical maintenance hole. Thus, the flow, rather than continuing to spiral down the cylindrical wall of the maintenance hole, will generally revert to a turbulent descending flow similar to waterfall, losing the effective energy dissipation of the spiral flow and releasing significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas into the air. Second, quite often the maintenance hole is used for additional lateral influent connections at elevations lower than the main influent pipe. Consequently, the lateral influent connections disrupt the spiral flow and create a turbulent waterfall of sewage to the bottom of the maintenance hole, again releasing significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas into the air. The additional influent pipe may run in any direction, but at a lower depth than the main influent pipe.
It, therefore, is an object of this invention to provide a method for reducing gas emissions of a fluid through the entraining and mixing of gas with the liquid.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a method for mixing gas with one or more fluids in a conduit.
Another object of this invention is to provide a method for use in sewer drop structures that significantly reduces odorous gas emissions from the sewer.
A further object of the invention is to reduce hydrogen sulfide corrosion in waste water conveyance, collection and treatment systems.
A benefit of this invention is the improved way in which the method helps to protect conveyance or collection systems from abrasive wear.
Another benefit is the way the invention in particular improves the quality of wastewater by wastewater aeration.
The foregoing objects and benefits of the present invention are provided by a method for reducing gas emission and for entraining and mixing gas with liquids. The method comprises channeling a fluid flow though one or more pipes, introducing the flow from the pipe(s) into a conduit or chamber through the use of spiral flows of predetermined radii, reducing such radii to increase centrifugal forces acting upon the flow, introducing gas into the reduced radius flow and continuing the reduced radius flow within the conduit until the gas is substantially entrained within the flow. This method can be implemented through the use of a maintenance hole and an influent line for carrying liquid to the maintenance hole, a vortex form which accepts the liquid from the influent line, the vortex form comprising a spiral channel of decreasing radius disposed substantially within the maintenance hole, and a conduit also disposed within the maintenance hole and fluidly connected to the vortex form and extending substantially downwardly from the vortex form to a flow exit near the maintenance hole base. The fluid flowing from the influent line enters the vortex form and is channeled by the vortex form into a spiral flow with a radius smaller than the maintenance hole wall radius. The reduction in the radius of the channel outer wall causes the centrifugal forces acting upon the fluid flow to increase, forcing the flow to continue in intimate contact with the outer wall of the channel. The fluid then flows from the reduced radius of the vortex channel into the conduit and, aided by gravity and the flow's acquired rotational velocity, continues its spiral descent towards the maintenance hole base, in substantially intimate contact with the conduit wall. The spiral flow then exits the conduit near the maintenance hole base into an energy dissipating pool.
The method creates an accelerated fluid flow sufficient to create substantial intimate contact with the vortex form and conduit wall throughout the fluid flow's descent in the maintenance hole. This intimate contact creates frictional forces that reduce the kinetic energy of the flow and inhibit turbulent flow. The reduction in turbulent flow in turn reduces the release of gases, including hydrogen sulfide. In addition, the spiral flow in the conduit creates an air core with reduced pressure in the center of the conduit, inhibiting the escape of any hydrogen sulfide gas into the environment and encouraging the reintroduction of any escaped gas back into the spiral flow and the energy dissipating pool.
In another embodiment of the invention, two influent lines may be used to channel the same or separate flows into the same conduit at two different but proximate locations. The influent lines can originate from a single line or from two distinct lines and may contain the same or different fluids. The flows are then introduced into the conduit through reducing-radius vortices in opposing rotational direction.
In certain embodiments of the invention, it may be advantageous to utilize a vortex form channel with a downwardly sloping base sufficient to create an accelerating spiral flow. The method may also utilize a vortex form incorporating an entrance flume designed to accept the fluid flow from the influent line and more gently direct the flow into the vortex channel. This entrance flume may also incorporate a slope to create an accelerating flow into the vortex channel.
The invention also contemplates utilizing in certain applications of the invention various conduit base configurations for allowing the fluid flow to exit the conduit into the energy dissipating pool. These flow exit paths vary based on the desired fluid flow rates, the energy dissipating pool depth, and the existence and configuration of any effluent lines running from the conduit.
While this invention is particular useful in wastewater conveyance systems, it is not so limited, and can be applied to any system where one desires to mix and entrain one or more gases, including air, into one or more fluid flows within a conduit. Additional applications for the present invention include aeration and/or purification of water in wastewater treatment plants, fishery basins, and natural streams, lakes and bays, and heat transfer in power plant cooling basins. This invention may also be applied to mix food and beverage liquids; to mix constituents in pharmaceutical applications, including applications to suspensions and emulsions; and to mix construction materials including insulation materials, fillers, and high-air concentration mortars and concrete. Thus, the particular embodiments discussed below are not exhaustive and are not intended to limit the scope of this invention.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of certain embodiments, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawings in which:
The maintenance hole 30 in which the vortex form 20 is disposed may be identified from street level as being below a manhole cover 32.
As illustrated in
Referring again to
The vortex form 20 may be made of concrete with applied protective coating, or made of a noncorrosive material, metal or plastic, such as PVC, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or other like materials. The vortex form 20 may be made in advance at the factory or on-site. As shown in
As noted, while the embodiment shown in
To allow the sewage flow to enter the conduit 40, inner wall 27 must include a height transition section 29 (identified on
Referring again to
Still referring to
The flow exit path 50 may comprise any structure that allows the sewage flow to exit the conduit 40 at a predetermined flow rate. One example of a flow exit path is shown in
Once the flow has reached the energy dissipating pool 72, it may be drawn away for further transport though an effluent line 60, as shown in FIG. 1. In another embodiment, shown in
As illustrated in
Referring to the embodiment illustrated in
The sewage flow then spirals downwardly against the inside wall of the conduit 40, creating a low pressure air core running longitudinally in the center of the conduit 40. The low pressure air core draws air from the maintenance hole 30 above the vortex form 20 into the conduit 40. Some of the oxygen in the air core mixes with and becomes entrained in the sewage flow, reacting with the potentially volatile dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) in the liquid sewage to produce hydrogen sulfate (H2SO4) in the solution. This reaction prevents hydrogen sulfide gas from being released into the air and then onto sewer surfaces where corrosion can occur or into the above ground neighborhood as a foul gas. The conduit 40 also helps to dissipate the high velocities and kinetic energy of the sewage flow by friction between the descending spiral flow and the conduit wall 45. This energy reduction through friction reduces flow turbulence and thus hydrogen sulfide gas emission from the waste water liquid into the surrounding air. Without losing the flow's integrity, the gravity flow is transformed into a flow with combined gravity and centrifugal forces.
The sewage flow completes its downward spiral near the conduit base 46, where the most intensive processes of flow mixing and aeration occur. The sewage air-flow mixture then flows out of the conduit base 46 through a flow exit 50 into an energy dissipating pool 72 for further internal mixing and friction. At the top surface of the energy dissipating pool 72 is a generally tranquil flow that leaves the maintenance hole 30 via the effluent line 60.
As shown in
The influent line 12 is fluidly connected to both vortex forms 102 and 112. Each vortex form 102 and 112 is positioned to receive a portion of the flow from influent line 12 and each is generally shaped to create a spiral flow about the centerline 122 of conduit 120. Vortex form 112 is positioned proximate to and downstream of vortex form 102. In practice, it is beneficial to direct the spiral flow of vortex form 112 in a direction opposing the spiral flow created in vortex form 102. As described in the previous embodiments, the vortex form 102 directs the fluid into a spiral of a predetermined radius (shown as R3) greater than the radius (shown as R7) of the conduit 120 and subsequently reduces the radius of the spiral flow (shown as R4) to be equal to or less than radius R7 of the conduit 120 to increase the centrifugal forces acting upon the fluid. Vortex form 112 directs the flow in a similar manner, creating spiral flow of predetermined radius (shown as R5) and reducing the radius of a that spiral flow (shown as R6).
Conduit 120 is fluidly connected to vortex forms 102 and 112 and extends downstream away from the vortex forms 102 and 112. The downstream extension of conduit 120 may be oriented in any position from substantially horizontal to downwardly vertical, depending upon the application. Conduit 120 may also extend upstream of vortex form 102. Conduit 120 includes an air intake 124 upstream of vortex form 102 that allows air or other gases to enter into conduit 120 and mix with flows delivered by vortex forms 102 and 112 within conduit 120. In
The embodiment in
This description is intended to provide specific examples of individual embodiments which clearly disclose the present invention. By way of example only, and without limitation, the present invention could find use in drop structures having other than a circular or cylindrical configuration, thus freeing designers to construct such structures according to need. This invention can also be used in non-sewer applications where one seeks to mix gas and fluid within a conduit. Accordingly, the invention is not limited to the described embodiments, or to the use of the specific elements described therein. All alternative modifications and variations of the present invention which fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims are covered.
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|U.S. Classification||210/788, 55/459.3, 210/787, 366/338, 210/170.01, 366/341, 55/459.1, 210/304, 95/269, 366/336, 210/170.08, 210/800, 210/806, 95/271|
|International Classification||E03F5/00, B01D21/26, C02F1/72|
|Cooperative Classification||E03F3/04, E03F5/08, C02F2303/08, C02F2303/02, C02F1/74, B01F5/0062, B01F3/04503, B01F3/04751, B01F2005/0017|
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|May 22, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
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|Oct 5, 2015||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 11