US20150137394A1 - Air Humidification Injection Apparatus - Google Patents

Air Humidification Injection Apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150137394A1
US20150137394A1 US14083022 US201314083022A US20150137394A1 US 20150137394 A1 US20150137394 A1 US 20150137394A1 US 14083022 US14083022 US 14083022 US 201314083022 A US201314083022 A US 201314083022A US 20150137394 A1 US20150137394 A1 US 20150137394A1
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
air
container
humidity
relative
apparatus
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14083022
Inventor
Keith S. Reed
Original Assignee
Keith S. Reed
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F25/00Devices used by the smoker for controlling the moisture content of or for scenting cigars, cigarettes or tobacco
    • A24F25/02Moistening devices

Abstract

The invention is an apparatus that humidifies air to a selected relative humidity and injects the humidified air into a container to establish the selected relative humidity throughout the container. The apparatus facilitates ambient supply air into a vessel for humidification to a selected relative humidity. The resulting humidified air is purged from the vessel and routed for injection into the container. The injected humidified air infiltrates the container and sustains the selected relative humidity throughout the container. Contents of the container are thus maintained at the selected relative humidity.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    Proper humidification is essential for cigars or other items that have storage recommendations requiring specific relative humidity levels. Passive methods of humidification include the natural evaporation of ambient moisture. In devices that use passive humidification methods, moisture naturally evaporates from a solid state medium, typically a porous membrane, such as a sponge or foam-type material, a fibrous grid or matrix, a hygroscopic salt, or a polymer designed to expand and contain moisture, as exhibited in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,975,288; 7,892,327; 5,936,178; and 8,087,645 respectively. The rate of evaporation is not able to be controlled, thus a precise and consistent relative humidity cannot be achieved. Furthermore, the relatively slow rate of natural evaporation is not sufficient to rapidly establish a selected relative humidity in an enclosure, specifically a cigar humidor or other enclosure that is repeatedly opened and needs to be repeatedly humidified.
  • [0002]
    Active methods of humidification have been designed to accelerate natural evaporation. Existing practices of active humidification employ the use of a humidity sensor and a fan working in conjunction to accelerate the process of passive humidification, as exhibited in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,400,612; and 5,651,262. The humidity sensor activates the fan at a set point, generating a release of humidified air with a non-specific relative humidity. The humidified air typically has a relative humidity level that is much higher than the set point at which the sensor is triggered. The humidified air is emitted until the set point of relative humidity is reached, as detected by the sensor, at which point the fan is deactivated. As humidity dissipates and the sensor detects a relative humidity level below the set point, the fan turns on and the emission of humidified air is reactivated. The result is an environment with a cyclic fluctuation of relative humidity and an atmosphere in which the relative humidity of a location is dependent on proximity to the tan or sensor of the humidification device.
  • [0003]
    An apparatus that controls the relative humidity of emitted air can actively establish and sustain a selected relative humidity inside a storage container. Humidity sensitive materials benefit from storage conditions that are not subject to the humidity variations associated with uncontrolled moisture release and proximity to the humidification source or sensor.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The disclosed air humidification injection apparatus generates a source of air that is humidified to a selected relative humidity and injects the humidified air into a container, thus establishing and sustaining the selected level of relative humidity throughout the container. The continual injection of air that is humidified to a selected relative humidity maintains a stable storage environment inside the container. The apparatus is intended for, but not limited to, the storage and preservation of tobacco products, specifically cigars, or other botanicals, organisms, pharmaceuticals, minerals, chemical preparations, or other specialty items that benefit from an environment that has a specific level of relative humidity. The disclosed air humidification injection apparatus is specifically advantageous in the cigar industry for maintaining cigars at a selected relative humidity.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1 shows the components of the apparatus and the action of each said component.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 shows an alternate configuration of the apparatus using a variation of component placement.
  • [0007]
    The drawings are provided to illustrate the interaction of individual components in the apparatus and facilitate the understanding of how the invention operates. The drawings are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The disclosed air humidification injection apparatus establishes and sustains a selected level of relative humidity in a container. Ambient air enters the apparatus for humidification and exits the apparatus at a specific selected level of relative humidity. The apparatus is designed to he used in conjunction with a container, wherein the humidified air is routed into said container. The selected relative humidity of the humidified air is thus established and maintained inside the container.
  • [0009]
    The apparatus comprises a vessel (3) containing a liquid medium (4); an inlet Channel (5); an outlet channel (6); an air movement mechanism (7); and a container (8) having an exhaust ventilation port (9).
  • [0010]
    Ambient supply air is facilitated into the vessel (3) through the inlet channel (5) by an air movement mechanism (7). In a preferred embodiment, the air movement mechanism (7) is an electrically operated pump. The inlet channel (5) extends from the air movement mechanism (7) into the vessel (3), terminating beneath the surface of the liquid medium (4) contained in the vessel (3). The supply air travels through the inlet channel (5) and is submerged in the liquid medium (4), wherein the surface area of said supply air is exposed to the liquid medium (4). The liquid medium (4) comprises both a substrate and water. Moisture from the liquid medium (4) diffuses into the submerged supply air, transforming the supply air into resulting humidified air.
  • [0011]
    The liquid medium (4) in a preferred embodiment is a polyhydric alcohol substrate, specifically propylene glycol, and water, wherein the substrate exhibits hydrogen bonding properties with the water. The amount of moisture imparted on the supply air, and the subsequent relative humidity of the resulting humidified air, is determined by the substrate to water ratio of the liquid medium (4). An example; the liquid medium (4) comprising 70% propylene glycol and 30% water humidifies the submerged air to 75% relative humidity at room temperature. A second example; the liquid medium (4) comprising 75% propylene glycol and 25% water humidifies the submerged air to 71% relative humidity at room temperature. A third example; the liquid medium (4) comprising 67% propylene glycol and 33% water humidifies the submerged air to 78% relative humidity at room temperature. An increase or decrease of water content in the liquid medium (4) correlates to a relative increase or decrease in humidity transferred to the submerged air. The relative humidity of the resulting humidified air is selected by adjusting the substrate to water ratio of the liquid medium (4).
  • [0012]
    The resulting humidified air is released from the liquid medium (4) as it bubbles to the surface of said liquid medium (4). Said resulting humidified it is purged from the vessel (3) through the outlet channel (6) as facilitated by the air movement mechanism (7) introducing supply air into the vessel (3) through the inlet channel (5). The outlet channel (6) extends from the vessel (3) and terminates inside the container (8), thus routing the humidified air for injection into the container (8).
  • [0013]
    The vessel (3) is external of the container (6) as shown in FIG. 1. The vessel (3) can be internal of the container (8) with the outlet channel (6) as an inherent part of the vessel (3) as shown in FIG. 2. In a preferred embodiment, the container (8) comprises a base and lid, both made of impervious material, in another preferred embodiment, the container (8) is a large enclosure inside which the components of the apparatus reside.
  • [0014]
    The container (8) has an exhaust ventilation port (9) to relieve excess pressure from the container (6) while maintaining a condition of positive pressure inside the container (8). The exhaust ventilation port (9) is any route of airflow exit from the container (8), more specifically any opening that renders the container (8) not sealed. The exhaust ventilation port (9) restricts airflow to limit the escape of air from the container (8) at a rate that does not exceed the entry rate of resulting humidified air injected into the container (8). In a preferred embodiment, the exhaust ventilation port (9) is an inherent characteristic of the container (8), specifically the gap between the base and lid of said container (8).
  • [0015]
    Air in the container (8) is continually purged through the exhaust ventilation port (9) because of the incoming humidified air from the outlet channel (6), thus the relative humidity throughout the container (8) will be equivalent to the selected relative humidity of the injected humidified air. Contents of the container (8) are subsequently maintained at the selected relative humidity.

Claims (15)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. An apparatus that humidifies air to a selected relative humidity comprising:
    a vessel containing a liquid medium;
    an air movement mechanism to facilitate ambient supply air and resulting humidified air through the apparatus;
    an inlet channel to direct the supply air for submersion in the liquid medium for humidification;
    an outlet channel to direct the resulting humidified air from the vessel into a container;
    the container having an exhaust ventilation port.
  2. 2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the liquid medium is a substrate and water.
  3. 3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the substrate to water ratio determines the relative humidity of the resulting humidified air.
  4. 4. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the level of relative humidity is selected by adjusting the substrate to water ratio of the liquid medium.
  5. 5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the submerged supply air is humidified by the diffusion of moisture from the liquid medium.
  6. 6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the vessel is external of the container.
  7. 7. The apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the outlet channel extends from the vessel and terminates inside the container.
  8. 8. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the vessel is internal of the container.
  9. 9. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the outlet channel is an inherent part of the vessel.
  10. 10. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the container is comprised of an impervious material.
  11. 11. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the container is comprised of a base and a lid.
  12. 12. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the exhaust ventilation port inherent characteristic of said container.
  13. 13. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the exhaust ventilation port restricts airflow to limit the escape of air from the container.
  14. 14. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the exhaust ventilation port maintains positive air pressure inside the container.
  15. 15. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the selected relative humidity is established and maintained throughout the container.
US14083022 2013-11-18 2013-11-18 Air Humidification Injection Apparatus Abandoned US20150137394A1 (en)

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US14083022 US20150137394A1 (en) 2013-11-18 2013-11-18 Air Humidification Injection Apparatus

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US14083022 US20150137394A1 (en) 2013-11-18 2013-11-18 Air Humidification Injection Apparatus
US14946632 US9491973B2 (en) 2013-11-18 2015-11-19 Method of air humidification and injection delivery

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US14946632 Division US9491973B2 (en) 2013-11-18 2015-11-19 Method of air humidification and injection delivery

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US14946632 Active US9491973B2 (en) 2013-11-18 2015-11-19 Method of air humidification and injection delivery

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9888682B2 (en) * 2016-03-15 2018-02-13 Jay Michaels Composition and method for the treatment of plant matter

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9888682B2 (en) * 2016-03-15 2018-02-13 Jay Michaels Composition and method for the treatment of plant matter

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US9491973B2 (en) 2016-11-15 grant
US20160128383A1 (en) 2016-05-12 application

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