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Патент USA US2113114

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April 5, 1938.
Original Filed May 11, 1936
L udw7 z'y 7/L L'p/vmann
Patented Apr. 5, 1938
Ludwig Lippmann, Brissago, Switzerland
Original application May 11, 1936, Serial No.
79,097. Divided and this application April 15,
1937, Serial No. 137,116
1 Claim.
The invention relates to an apparatus in
which tobacco is subjected to fermentation in a
virulent alkaline liquor containing tobacco bac
teria while admitting air up to complete removal
of the nicotine.
The process is carried out as follows:—
First, the removal of the nicotine is accom
plished by the breeding of tobacco bacteria.
Under the action of air the removing bacteria
ll) at ?rst multiply slowly, and then more quickly,
substance-exchanging products of high alkalin
ity being produced.
The nicotine removal only takes place to a con
siderable degree after the lapse of a certain
When once a ?rst batch of tobacco has been
subjected to the above mentioned treatment and
has been denicotinized completely, the process
according to the invention proceeds continuously.
The liquor from the denicotinized tobacco batch
is always used for the next batch, the liquor
therefore becoming enriched with virulent bac
teria. The separate tobacco batches are always
introduced into the liquor as quickly as possible
while the removal process is still in full opera
tion, that is to say, while all the biological forces
are still at the maximum of virulency so that any
loss of active biological energy can be avoided.
Under particularly favorable conditions, i. e.,
with su?icient supply of air and, preferably, high
temperature, the alkalinity remains within al
lowable limits.
When this is not the case there
is added an organic acid, for example citric acid.
_ The acid is added preferably in the ?nest dis
tribution, while the added air is also with advan
tage kept free from oil.
When the liquor is used a number of times,
acid may be added immediately to each succeed
40 ing batch of tobacco. The quality of the de
nicotinized tobacco, especially taste and aroma,
does not suffer by the new process, probably be
cause the bacteria necessary for the removal of
the nicotine are extremely predominant.
When a number of batches of tobacco have
been denicotinized by means of the liquor, there
remains a nicotine-free liquor strongly enriched
with extractive substances. This may be added
to those batches of tobacco which have lost most
50 ly in extractive substances during the denico
tinizing. These in general are the ?rst tobacco
The same tobacco liquor will thus serve fre
quently for denicotinizing until at a substantial
65 ly prolonged duration of the denicotinizing proc
(Cl. 131-~6)
ess there is observed a deterioration of its ac- '
The new process may, for example, be carried
out as follows:
In about 250 hours over 40 batches of a Ken
tucky tobacco of 3.2% nicotine content may be
completely denicotinized, without the last batch
having exceeded the average denicotinizing pe
riod at the last about 5 hours.
For carrying out the process there is prefer
ably used a device wherein the air, and when
acid is supplied also this, reaches all the tobacco
parts uniformly distributed. In order that to
bacco parts which are already nicotine-free need
not remain exposed to the action of air (or acid) . r
until unfavorably located tobacco parts are de
nicotinized, an excess of acid is used. Further,
it is necessary to prevent the tobacco from
clogging together into a solid mass which cannot
be penetrated by the supplied air and the inject
ed acid.
Consequently the device for carrying out the
new process consists of a movable receiving body
for the tobacco leaves, for example a rotary drum,
divided into sectors by partitions, which is lo
cated inside a fermenting vessel, containing the
necessary quantity of water or liquor, under
which receiving body are located distributing
bodies for compressed air and in which ferment
ing vessel is provided a supply pipe for acid under
In many cases an immovable receiving device
may suffice when provision is made for a uni
form supply of air and acid to the tobacco by
a su?icient distribution of the tobacco, for ex
ample, on numerous, wide-meshed grids, which
are located above one another in the form of
The accompanying drawing shows an example
of construction of the device according to the in
Fig. 1 is an elevation of the invention with the
fermenting chamber open.
Fig. 2 is a vertical section of the fermenting
chamber, and
' Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of the
compressed air pipe and of the air distributing
An electric motor I is coupled to a rotary com
pressor 2, which sucks air through a ?lter 3 and
forces it through an oil separator 4. The acid
container 5, which is provided with a level indi
cator 6, is subjected to pressure by means of a
branch pipe 8 extending from the compressed
air pipe 1.
On the acid container is provided a 55
charging funnel 9. In the fermenting chamber
I D are provided two air distributing bodies II,
while the valves 21 and 29 are closed. After heat
ing the fermenting chamber ill, the drum I3 is
to which lead four branch pipes of the air pipe ‘I.
The air distributing bodies consist of porous
allowed to rotate and the compressor 2 is oper
ated with the valves 26 and 28 open.
The air then passes through the distributing
bodies H, in very ?ne division into the liquid of
the fermenting chamber and there forms a froth
ceramic material, known per se. In the ferment
ing chamber and above the air distributing bodies
II is located an apertured drum l3, adapted to
be rotated by electric motor l2, which drum con
sists of separate sector-like chambers [4. The
fermenting chamber has a removable closure wall
l5.- Into the compressed air pipe 1 there leads
an acid supply pipe I‘! which leads from the
acid tank 5. I6 is an inspection glass provided
in the pipe. From the pressure pipe 1 there is
branched a pressure pipe I8 which terminates
in a nozzle, directly above the nozzle of the acid
pipe [1, in the compressed air pipe ‘I. There is
thus formed an injector l9 which sucks in the
acid and atomizes it in the compressed air pipe
‘I. The pipes ‘l, 8, I ‘l and I 8 are controllable in
dependently of one another by the valves 26, 21,
28 and 29. It is important that the supply pipe
for the acid terminates at a considerable dis
tance from the receiving device for the mate~
rial in the fermenting vessel.
The temperature at which the bacteria in gen
eral can have the most favorable action is about
37° C. In order to maintain the temperature uni
form, the lower part of the fermenting chamber
30 is provided with double Walls. The hollow space
24 serves for the reception of hot water. A ther
mostat provides for the maintenance of the de
sired temperature, which is determined by a
thermometer 2|. The level of liquid in the fer
35 menting chamber is indicated by a level indicator
22. Escaping gases pass through the flue 22,
provided with a throttle valve 25, and if desired
which penetrates through the tobacco. After,
for example, six hours the alkalinity of the tobac
co and of the frothy liquor will have been in
creased considerably in consequence of the prog
ress of the fermentation. Then, by opening the
valves 21 and 29, the air can be charged with
acid. The tobacco is thus, for example, after ten
hours, free from nicotine and is removed from the
container and dried.
Into the same liquor there is now placed a sec
ond batch of tobacco. In this case the air can be
charged with acid from the commencement by
opening the valves 21 and 29. By reason of the
considerable enriching with bacteria, the time of
the re-action is reduced at the further stages of
the process and the tobacco is nicotine-free, for
example, in six hours and at the third and fur
ther stages of the process, even in about ?ve 25
The liquor which remains at the end is mainly
sprayed on the first tobacco part as this has given
up the most extractive substances.
This application is a division of my application 30
filed May 11, 1936, Serial No. 79,097.
What I claim is:
A device for denicotinizing tobacco comprising a
fem'enting vessel, said vessel being adapted to
receive the necessary quantity of alkaline liquor
containing virulent tobacco bacteria, a rotary
drum in said vessel, means for rotating said
through a cooler for the purpose of condensing
the escaping gases and aromatic substances.
The device is used as follows:
drum, partitions in said drum, said partitions
dividing said drum into sector-like sections, said
The tobacco is preliminarily moistened, pref
erably with liquor already nicotine-free. Into the
layers, distributing bodies for compressed air
located underneath said drum, a supply pipe for
acid under pressure having its delivery end lo
cated in said vessel, and means for supplying
compressed air to said distributing bodies.
separate removable sector 14 of the drum I3, is
placed the tobacco, then the closure wall [5 is
45 closed. The fermenting chamber i0 is supplied
with water. The container 5 is ?lled with acid,
sections being adapted to receive tobacco in thin -
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