CA 022ll~6l l997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95/01113 DescriPtion METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING FLUIDS
TO ALTER THEIR PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Technical Field The present invention pertains to a method of and apparatus for altering certain physical characteristics of liquids and gases by electrically charging the molecules of at least a portion of the treated liquid or gas.
Background Art We are the inventors of a device which we have named the Ion Collider~ on which we filed patent application Serial No. 08/350,849 in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 7, 1994. The Ion Collider was developed and has been successfully used to improve the process of separating particles entrained in a liquid from the liquid.
For example, when water containing oil particles is allowed to settle in a tank and then the layer of oil decanted off, the decanted oil contains about 15 percent water and the remaining water contains about 50 parts oil per one million parts water. However, .when the water containing oil particles was treated in our Ion Collider prior to entering the settling tank, the decanted oil contained less than one percent water and the remaining water contained about l0 parts oil per billion parts water.
Based upon tests recently conducted, we have found a new use for our Ion Collider. When certain liquids and gases are treated in our Ion Collider, the treated liquid or gas exhibits economically beneficial changes in its physical characteristics.
As an example of a change in the physical characteristics of a liquid treated in our Ion CA 02211~61 1997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95/01113 Collider, water run through the Ion Collider requires 15 percent less energy to convert a given volume of treated water to steam than it does to convert the same volume of untreated water to steam. Moreover, the hardness of the treated water will be measurably reduced.
While we are not nuclear physicists, we believe the changes we have observed in a number of Ion Collider-treated liquids and gases results from ionization, i.e., electrical charging, of a significant number of the molecules of the treated liquid or gas.
Disclosure of the Invention In brief, the invention comprises use of our Ion Collider to treat fluids to alter, in an economically beneficial way, physical characteristics of the treated liquids and gases. In its simplest form, the Ion Collider comprises two spaced apart concentrically arranged metal cylinders or pipes. Both pipes may be made of a copper-nickel alloy or, preferably, the outer pipe is made of a ferrous metal and the inner surface of the outer pipe is flame coated with a copper-nickel alloy.
The entire wall of the inner pipe contains a multiplicity of spaced apart radially bored, preferably identical, holes; and, the exit end of the inner pipe is capped. The opposite or entry end of the inner pipe is joined to the corresponding end of the axially aligned outer pipe so that the only entry into the Ion Collider is through the entry end of the inner pipe and the only exit from the Ion Collider is the opposite or exit end of the outer pipe. We call the elongated annular chamber between the inner and outer pipes bounded by copper-nickel surfaces, the CA 02211~61 1997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95/01113 electron exchange chamber. The entry end of the inner pipe may have a filter screen to prevent entry of gravel or other undesirable particles into the Ion Collider.
In operation, liquid or gas under pressure is pumped into the inner pipe causing a multiplicity of streams or jets of the fluid to issue from the radially bored holes in the wall of the inner pipe and bombard the copper-nickel walls of the chamber between the two pipes. Electrons freed from the copper in the walls of the electron exchange chamber combine with molecules of the liquid or gas, thereby altering certain physical characteristics of the entire body of fluid.
Brief Description of the Drawings The appended drawings illustrate a preferred form on the Ion Collider and are intended to supplement the description of the invention in the text of this application.
Figure l is a cross-sectional plan view taken through the center of two co-acting Ion Colliders;
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along line 2-2 of Figure l;
Figure 3 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along line 3-3 of Figure l.
Best Mode for Carryinq Out the Invention Referring to Figs. l and 3, Ion Colliders lO and 20 each include two spaced apart concentric elongated cylindrical metal pipes. Each pipe may be made of copper-nickel alloy or, preferably, the outer pipe 14 ~ is made of a ferrous metal with the inner surface of the outer pipe flame coated with an alloy preferably containing 90 percent copper and lO percent nickel.
CA 022ll~6l l997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95/01113 The wall of inner pipe 12 contains a multiplicity of spaced apart radially bored holes 12A and its exit end is closed by a cap 13 which may or may not include a single hole 13A in the center of the cap. The entry end of pipe 12 is joined to outer pipe 14 as shown in Figure 1 and a filter screen 16 of copper mesh shown in Figures 1 and 2 is fitted over the entry end of pipe 12 to prevent intrusion of unwanted solid particles into Ion Colliders 10 and 20.
When the diameter of outer pipe 14 is four inches (10.16 cm) or greater, the inner surface of outer pipe 14 is preferably spaced about one and one-half inches (4.31 cm) from the outer surface of inner pipe 12.
Both pipes 12 and 14 may be made of copper-nickel alloy in which the nickel comprises at least one percent and copper comprises at least 80 percent of the composition of the pipes. Preferably, pipe 14 is made of black iron and the inner surface of pipe 14 is flame coated with a copper-nickel alloy containing about 10 percent nickel and 90 percent copper.
We have found that for best results the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the multiplicity of holes 12A should equal or, preferably, be 1.2 times the cross-sectional area of inner pipe 12 in order to prevent any back pressure or flow restriction during operation of the Ion Collider. Moreover, the jet velocity, that is, the velocity of the liquid or gas jets as they exit from holes 12A, should be at least 0.025 feet (.0076 m) per second. The formula for computing the jet velocity in feet (m) per second of the liquid or gas existing from holes 12A is 4,085 times the gallons (3.785 liters) per minute divided by the square of the diameter of holes 12A.
Ion Colliders have been successfully operated in various sizes. When the diameter of outer pipe 14 CA 022ll~6l l997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95/01113 ranges from four to 14 inches (10.16 cm to 35.S6 cm), the distance between the outer surface of the inner pipe and the inner surface of the outer pipe should be about one and one-half inches (4.31 cm), thereby creating an elongated annular chamber whose surfaces consist of copper-nickel alloy such as electron exchange chamber 15 between pipes 12 and 14 as shown in Figure 1.
We have achieved excellent results using an inner pipe 12 made of copper-nickel alloy and an outer pipe 14 made of black iron and flame coating the inner surface of pipe 14 with a copper-nickel alloy. Flame coated pipe has a roughened irregular surface, thus presenting more surface area of copper to the turbulent action of the jetted liquid or gas in chamber 15 and causing the creation of more electrons freed from the copper or copper-nickel surface.
To increase turbulence and provide more contact surface area in chamber 15, a helix of copper or copper-nickel wire 17 is loosely wrapped around the length of the outer surface of inner pipe 12.
Although significant results have been achieved using only one Ion Collider lO as shown in Figure 1, increased results are often obtained by using a pair of co-acting Ion Colliders such as lO and 20 shown in Figure 1. In such cases, the liquid or gas treated in Ion Collider lO is passed through a deceleration tube 18 whose function is to create an abrupt decrease in the momentum of the fluid exiting from chamber 15.
The cross-sectional area of tube 18 is preferably equal to the cross-sectional area of outer pipe 14.
We have used various sizes of our Ion Collider to treat a wide variety of liquids and gases to produce economically beneficial changes in the physical characteristics of the liquids and gases. Fluids CA 02211~61 1997-07-2~
W096/22946 PCT~S95101113 treated include hydrocarbon fuels, numerous oils, crude oil storage tank "bottoms," water, blood, plasma, and gases such as freon used as refrigerants.
When gasoline, diesel fuel, propane and other hydrocarbon fuels are treated in our Ion Collider, the treatment disassociates the fuel, reduces its molecular weight, and increases its vapor pressure.
This results in more complete combustion, better engine efficiency, reduced emissions and up to a lO
percent increase in engine torque and horsepower.
Treatment of crude oils, lubricating oils and hydraulic oils in the Ion Collider breaks up the long chain hydrocarbon molecules in the oil, making the oil "slicker" and less capable of transporting suspended solids. Treatment of crude oils in the Ion Collider increases their American Petroleum Institute specific gravity by at least two to three points and also breaks up the long chain hydrocarbon and paraffin molecules in the crude oil, thereby increasing the marketability of the treated crude oil.
In a recent demonstration, when crude oil field storage tank "bottoms" which were too dense to have an American Petroleum Institute specific gravity measurement were run through an Ion Collider, the resulting product had an American Petroleum Institute specific gravity of 35~, thereby converting the solid bottoms into a refineable liquid. The Ion Collider used in this demonstration had an outer black iron pipe 2.35 inches (5.96 cm) in diameter whose inner diameter had been flame coated with copper-nickel alloy and a copper-nickel alloy inner pipe or cylinder 0.75 inches (l.9l cm) in diameter, with a 0.125-inch (.318 cm) diameter copper wire helix 17 loosely wound around the length of electron exchange chamber 15.
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W096/2294~ PCT~S95101113 Ion Collider treatment of used hydraulic oils eliminates pump varnish, precipitates suspended particles and turns brown, used hydraulic oil back to its original pink color. Treatment of virgin or new hydraulic oils eliminates its tendency to accumulate pump varnish and other suspended particles.
Treated lubricating oils exhibit greater lubricity and reduce friction between the lubricated components.
Water used in boilers which is first treated in an Ion Collider reduces its boiling point and, thus, the energy required to convert the water into steam.
Treatment also "softens" the water, reducing or eliminating the need for water-softening chemicals, and inhibits the formation of scale and removes existing scale. In addition, treatment of the water prevents corrosion in the boiler tubes by inducing an anode to act more like a cathode.
Ion Collider treatment followed by filtration softens drinking water, enhancing the taste, odor and color of the drinking water.
Treated water used in irrigation penetrates the soil, creating an ion exchange in the soil resulting in a breakdown of salts in the soil which prevents tip burn and salt poisoning in plants and trees while at the same time enhancing the plants' ability to absorb nutrients from the soil and fertilizers. When irrigation run-off water is treated, any nitrates and phosphates that have been introduced by fertilizers will be broken down thereby reducing the contaminating effects of run-off on stream, rivers and estuary waters.
Experiments with an Ion Collider used in conjunction with a dialysis machine showed that use of CA 02211~61 1997-07-2~
W096122946 pcT~s9slolll3 the Ion Collider removed unwanted fats from blood plasma.
Ion Collider treated refrigerants such as Freon 134a exhibit enhanced thermodynamic characteristics including increased vapor pressures, thus making these refrigerants more marketable.
Treatment of pure liquids in an Ion Collider lowers the molecular weight of the liquid without creating new compounds or substances.
While we have illustrated and described preferred embodiments of our invention, such disclosures should not be regarded as any limitation of the scope of our invention. The true scope of our invention is defined in the appended claims.