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Патент USA US2119538

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Patented June 7, 1938
William Henry Hampton, Berkeley, Calif., as
signor to Standard Oil Company of California,
San Francisco, Calif., a corporation of Dela
No Drawing. Application March 28, 1934,
Serial No. 717,795
4 Claims. (Cl. 214-152)
nary bulk ?uid handling devices at ordinary tem
This invention pertains to a new and advan
tageous method of commercially distributing as
phalts and the like and relates more particularly
to an improved method of transporting the
higher melting asphalts in bulk form.
My herein disclosed invention utilizes and ex
tends this discovery to a general system of pro
cedure whereby it now becomes possible in e?ect 6
to transport any asphalt in bulk containers, any
As is well known, a very large proportion of
all the asphalt marketed at the present time in ' desired distance, with a facility and at an ex
regions distant from the point of manufacture is pense substantially identical with that involved
packaged in either metal or wooden barrels orv in the transportation of an equal volume of an
drums. This practice has long been recognized inherently ?uid liquid such as water.
The broad object'of this invention is to make
as being decidedly uneconomical and thoroughly
unsatisfactory in a number of ways. The lack of available to the producer and to the consumer of
economy in marketing a relatively low value asphalts the inherent economies of bulk trans
product in containers which approach in cost portation.
Another object of the invention is to provide
the value of the contained product is quite ob
vious and becomes impressively so when, as is a method whereby high melting asphalts and
usually the case with, asphalts, the containers other solid hydrocarbons may by handled at
are non-returnable. The cost of transferring ordinary temperatures by ?uid handling devices.
packaged goods and especially barreled goods is
Still another ‘object of the invention is to pro
i always high as compared to bulk handling, while vide a procedure by which regions ‘remote from 20
a source of supply of asphalts may. be provided '
the space wastage in transport is also substan
tially at a maximum with barrel shaped packages. with a limited number of, usually two, bulk mate
Many and varied have been the attempts to rials from which asphalts of a wide range of
?nd a method whereby the ever increasing vol
characteristics can be easily prepared to meet
ume of asphalt'consumed could be distributed in the exact requirements of the job in hand.
bulk form, but each such proposal has encoun
Further objects of the invention will be readily
tered di?iculties so considerable as to preclude
apparent from the description and discussion
adoption on more than a very limited scale under
certain very specialized conditions inspite of the
enormous potential savings possible to a really
operable procedure.
The veryvhard natural asphalts and asphaltites
In the general practice 01 producing asphalts
from petroleum, the tar remaining after the more
volatile constituents of the crude oil have been
removed by distillation at atmospheric pressure
have been shiped in coarsely broken or lump form
is run to steam stills often operated under re
similar to coal. This procedure has, however, duced pressure, whereupon distillation is con
been found impracticable when applied to the , tinued until the bottoms remaining in the still 0: 5
lower melting asphalts derived from petroleum.
'The broad idea of dissolving asphalt in an
appropriate solvent to give a ?uid pumpable at
ordinary temperatures has not proven feasible
because of the cost of the solvent and/or the
di?iculties and expense of its removal with a
satisfactory re-procluction of the originalasphalt.
The practice of pumping even the lower melt
ing asphalts in molten condition into and out of
the bulk shipping container has. due to the very
great di?iculty of returning the asphalt to a
molten condition at its destination, proven ap
plicable to only a very limited extent when the
bulk container to be used was a tank car or truck
and never at all with larger containers such as
tank ships.
vI have now discovered that, asphalts and par
ticularly the higher melting asphalts may be pro
duced in or converted to a form in which they
may be transferred from vessel to vessel byordi
possess the required physical properties, pene
tration, melting point, etc. The lower the pene
tration and the higher the melting point de
sired, the greater is the amount of distillate which
it is necessary to take o?. The residuum is then
run from the still, while still hot, into containers
for marketing, which, for local distribution, may
consist 01' either heated and/or insulated tank
cars or trucks, while for distant consumption,
wooden or steel barrels are almost invariably
In the production of a very hard “A” grade
asphalt having a melting point well above 200° F.,
which ‘approaches the practical limit to which
such distillation may be carried without cracking
the residuum, asphalts of all lower melting points
progressively exist in the still, commencing with
the “E" grades of 80° F. or lower melting point
and passing in order to "D", "C”, “B” and ?nally
as. o
to‘ “A’! grades, as more and more of the distill
able components are removed. ' ,
It is a fact, ‘long recognized but little used, that
if the distillate produced is going from any lower
melting'zjasphaltjg Q'gone- higher, inqthe scale is
collected-1 separa't‘ely-i'v it ~may "at" any subsequent
time be recombined with such higher member
by simply heating the two together, in roughly
the proportions in which they originally occurred,
10 with the result that the lower melting asphalt
may thus be re-produced with substantially its
original properties.
I have now discovered that if a high melting
asphalt such as the “B” or preferably the “A”
grade is properly subdivided and properly sluiced,
it may be pumped or blown and generally han
dled and transferred in bulk form by the usual
types of ?uid transferring equipment and may
thus be transported in any desired type of bulk
liquid containers.
For instance, if an “A” grade asphalt is run
hot from the still through a properly constructed
ori?ce plate into relatively cold water, it assumes
the form of “shot" particles which, while tending
25 more or less toward a “tear-drop” form, retains
the essential characteristics of spheres to the
point that their suspensions in ordinary ?uids
such as water or air are readily handled by ?uid
asphalt heating equipment which would ordi
narily be employed in melting the ?nished asphalt
shipped in conventional package form prior to
It is heated to 350°-400°'F. and the “A"
grade shot,'from which the water has been drained
and/or blown as completely as possible,v are slow
ly added. Upon striking the hot oil, the slight
amount of water still adhering to the shot is ?ash
vaporized and the hard asphaltwill passv readily
into solution and an “E” grade asphalt of more
or less the same properties as that existing in
the still at the time segregation of the distillate I
was started, will result.
In addition to the economies and convenience
accruing from the bulk shipment of two such
asphalt components, over the ordinary package
shipment of ?nished asphalts, another'vadvan
tage of almost equal magnitude results'from" my
method of procedure in that the vtwo compo
nents may be recombined in any desired propor-'
tions. Thus, an asphalt of any desired proper-.
ties intermediate between the “E” grade existing
in the still at the start of segregating the distil
late and the “A’? grade actually shipped may be
reproduced at the‘ will and option of the con
I have thus found that when asphaltic shot or
tear-drops averaging from 2 to 5_millimeters in
diameter are produced and admixed with suf?~
cient water, usually more than 30% of their gross
volume, a slurry results which may be pumped
by a centrifugal pump or transferred by other
suction or blowing systems with a facility sub
stantially equal to that possible in handling water
universal ‘at 130° F., may be shipped in bulk by
the usual methods. Upon arrival at the point of
consumption, this distillate is charged to the
Such a slurry may be pumped into ‘and out of
40 the hold of a tank ship and since the shot in such
condition shows little or no tendency to coalesce
or stick together, particularly so long as the voids
between particles remain substantially ?lledwith
water, a high melting asphalt in this form may
45 be stored for any desired time or shipped any
desired distance with all of the advantages and
economies inherent in bulk storage and shipment.
Since the higher melting “A” and “B” grades
of asphalt are utilized in much smaller quantities
50 than the softer “C”, “D” and “E” grades which
comprise the bulk of the road building and gen
eral construction asphalts, the foregoing discové‘
The extreme simplicity and convenience of a
method whereby a‘ whole range ofasphaltic prod
ucts of a given type may be distributed through
the economical bulk shipment of but two mate
rials and its supreme ?exibility so far as the
consumer is concerned will readily be understood
and appreciated by those skilled in the art.
In general any asphalt, natural 'or prepared,‘
steam re?ned or air blown, or in fact any similar
hydrocarbon which is solid at normal tempera
tures may be transported in bulk entirely free
from all the disadvantages of package distribu
tion by 'a proper application of the foregoing pro
cedure. Asphalts or other products of less than
about 170° F. melting point being handled by
the two component method, while asphaltsi of
greater than about 170° F. melting point may
be shipped directly in shot or other appropriate
subdivided form.
> '
While the shot form herein described will usu
ally be found to be the easiest ‘and most eco 50
nomical form of ‘subdivision to produce as well
as- being most free ?owing and having the least _ ,.
ery will ?nd its'widest application in making pos- \ tendency to coalesce or agglomerate, under cer
sible the economical distribution of these softer
products. The shipment~of a low melting asphalt.
by my method is, of course, indirect since it is
not the low melting asphalt as such that is
shipped, but "rather the componentsfrom which
it may be re-produced upon arrival at the point
of ultimate consumption.
In the distillation of a typical California crude,
if, when the contents of the still approximates a
65 300 penetration or “E” grade asphalt,‘ the distil
late passing over isv segregated and collected un
til an ‘.‘A’’ grade,‘approximately 220—240° F. melt
ing point, residuum remains in the still, roughly
particles. The size‘ of particles is likewise op
tional, being dependent upon the nature of the
?uid handling‘ means‘ subsequently to be em
ployed, rather than upon. any principle of the
broad method-herein contemplated. Similarly, 60
‘My invention may be well understood by refer
ence to the following speci?c example.
tain conditions it may be more desirable to adopt
some other form such as ground ‘or extruded
while water will, for obvious reasons, usually con
stitute the ?uid medium, other liquids and even
other ?uids such as air may, ‘under certain con- . -
ditions, be'substituted.
While it might occa- -
sionally be vdesirable to ship less water than nec
essary to ?ll the voids and with the higher melt
ing products it might be found entirely practica-‘
ble so to. do it will, in general; be found to be
75% of distillate and 25% of asphalt, “A” grade,v good insurance against ‘the highly undesirable
70 'will ‘result. vThe “A”v grade asphalt, --having a
that would attend coalescence or ag
speci?c gravity slightly greater than unity, may results
lomeration to keep the voids full of water or other
then beconverted to shot vby proper injection similar liquid at all times.
intowater, as previously described, and will ‘thus
In such application of this invention as con- '
be inform for‘ bulk shipment. The distillate, ‘a’ templates the use of my two component method, '
v75 viscous liquid of viscosity about 1600 sec. Saybolt '
the point at which collection of the distillate
should be begun will, in general, depend upon
the softest grade of asphalt which it is desired
to provide to a given region or locality.
Certain other modi?cations of the procedure
herein described will be apparent to those skilled
in the art and will be readily recognized as a
part of my invention in its broadest scope.
Having now described my invention and the
methods whereby it may be utilized to advan
tage, what I claim is:
1. The method of transporting to' a region re
mote from the point of its production, an as
2. The method of transporting asphalt as in
claim 1, wherein the voids between asphalt par
ticles are maintained full of water during trans- -
3. A method for the bulk transportation of as
phalt over long distances and in the absence of
any solvent therefor, which comprises the steps
of reducing asphalt of melting point above about
to 5
F. to free ?owing shot-like particles oi’ 2'
millimeters average diameter, of transfer 10
said particles by ?uid handling means to a
container, of maintaining said particles
phalt of melting point greater than about 170°
E which comprises the steps of pumping said
in said container wet with an aqueous medium
asphalt in the form of free-?owing, shot-like par
ticles of substantially uniform size and several
millimeters in average diameter admixed with
water into the hold of a tank ship, of maintain
said asphalt from said container by ?uid han
dling means at substantially atmospheric tem
ing said particles in said hold continually wet
with water at substantially atmospheric tempera
ture during transport and of ?nally pumping
said asphalt particles, admixed with water, from
said ship’s hold at substantially atmospheric
during transport and of subsequently removing
4. K method for the bulk transportation of
asphalt as in claim 3 wherein the voids between
particles are maintained substantially ?lled with 20
the aqueous medium.
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