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Патент USA US2121517

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. June-21, 1938"
Filed May 16, 19321
Patented June 21, 1938
` 2,121,517
David G. Brandt, Westfield,
J., assigner to "
Power Patents Company, Hillside, N.' J., a cor
' poration' of Maine
Application May 16, 1933, Serial No. 671,317
5 Claims.
(Cl. 196-13) `
ber, or other chamber from which the oil is With
drawn through the line 4 in a heated condition
at a temperature for example of from 450° to
'750° F. This oil containing a substantial pro
portion of asphalt is'forced by means of a pump
6 anda line 8 through a heat exchange coil I0,
`This invention relates to a process and appa
. ratus for removing asphalt or bituminous mate
rials from asphaltic petroleum oils, and more par
ticularly for the recovery of valuable oil con
5 g stituents and the production of marketable as
The asphalt used for making roads and for
various purposes in the arts, is derived either from
natural sources or from selected asphaltic pe
I troleum oils. The usual procedure for obtain
ing asphalt from petroleum oils containing the
same, is to distill the oil down to a heavy 4residue
and use the whole of the residue after blowing
with air, or other treatment, for the production
15 of road. asphalt Vor other` asphaltic products.
Such processes however, have been very wasteful
of valuable cil constituents, particularly paraffin
hydrocarbons, which are `suitable for the manu
facture of lubricating oils.
'I'he primary'object of thevpresent invention is
the production of a high grade asphalt and the
recovery of valuable oil constituents which have
been heretofore waste.
‘ y
A further object of the invention is the provi
25 sion of a process for removing asphalt from pe
mounted‘in‘the‘lower portion of apressure still
I2, wherein the heat of the oil passed through
the coil_ I0 is used for vaporizing the low molecu
lar weight hydrocarbon from the asphalt-free oil 10
produced inthe process. `'I'he oil leaving the coil
I3 is then conducted .through a heat exchanger
I4, a pipe I6, and then through a cooler I8 from
which the oil passes at a temperature of from
50° to 130° F., through a pipe 20, in which is
mount-ed a recording flow meter 22, or measuring
device, and a branch pipe 24, into a mechanical
mixer 26. In the pipeg24 and mixer 26, the as
phalt-bearing oil is intimately mixed with a pre
determined'quantity vof a vlow molecular weight 20
hydrocarbon suchfas liquid propane, and the Vmix
ture is conducted' by meansof >pipes 28 and 30
andv a ‘branch pipe 32 'into the first of a series of
pressure-settling chambers 34, '36 and 3B. The
, chambersv 36 and 38 are connected with pipe 30 25
troleum oil residues such as are formed froml
by means of valved branch‘pipes 4I] and 42 respec
the distillation of asphalti'c petroleum oils (mixed
Weight hydrocarbon diluent l at a superatmos
`The diluted oil mixture containing from 10%
to 75% liquidv propane by volume, is conducted
under pressure through the line 32 into one end 30
offthe'chamber 34 and allowed to completely ñll
the chamber, so that“` thereafter the diluted oil
flows .thrOugh'the chamber' in a quiet manner,
thus permitting the‘asphalt to settle out. Under
these conditions, experiments have shownrthat
pheric pressure and at a temperature suitable for>
because ofZ _the low‘vis'cosity and gravity of the
base or asphalt base oils) or produced in the
cracking of petroleum oils.
The process of the present invention includes a
relatively simple and effective procedure for re
moving asphalt from asphalt-containing oils
which includes the steps of forming> a-mixture
of thel oil to be .tre-ated with a low molecular
lthe precipitation of the asphalt, passing the mix
oil ‘,blend, the asphalt settles in a manner com
ture into a settling >zone in which the asphalt is
allowed to precipitate or settle out, and there
parable to the settling of sand from Water. The
oil mixture in the chamber 34 is `completely freed
of asphalt andthe clear asphalt-free oil blend
after separating- the hydrocarbon diluent from
the oil separated from the asphalt.
The present invention also includes the use of
a novel apparatus as well as other features, ob
jects and advantages which will be apparent from
46 the following detailed description taken in con
nection . with
The ligure is a diagrammatic view partly in
section of an apparatus-adapted to carry out the
steps and features of the improved process.
The oil from which the asphalt is to be removed
and which may be mixed base or purely asphalt
base oil, is withdrawn from a chamber 2 through
a line 4. The chamber 2 may represent the lower
55 portion of a cracking chamber, distilling cham
is conducted from the chamber through an over
flow line 44, into a valved discharge line 46 by
which the oil is conducted to a pump 48 and
forced through' a connecting line 5U, a heat ex
changer 52 and heat exchanger I4 into the upper
mid-portion of pressure still I2. The asphalt
free oil IblendY passing through the heat> exchang
ers 52V andV I4`is heat-ed to asubstantial extent
and thenî discharged on to av distributor tray 53
so that the oil mixture is rained or sprayed over 50
the coils Ill mounted in the lower part of pressure
still’ I2. The heat derived from the heat ex
changers 52 and I4 andthe coil I0 is sufficient
to vaporize substantially all of the propane con- .
tained in the oil blend.
The propane vapors are conducted from the
still I2 through a vapor line 54 and passed
through condensers 56 in which the propane is
condensed under a suitably high pressure, and
Ui from which the condensate is conducted through
a line 58 into a receiver 60. This receiver is pro
Y vided with an automatic pressure relief line 62
and with a float valve controlled line 64 through
which the liquid propane is conducted into apro
10 pane storage tank 66. 'I'he outlet temperature
from the pressure still I2 may be controlled by
conducting liquid propane from. receiver 60
through a line 68 into the upper part of the
still |2 onto one of the upper trays therein.
The petroleum oil recovered in the process, and
ducted from the line 94 through the branch
lines 96 and 32 into the chamber 34, and distrib
uted into the body of asphalt therein, for the
purpose of Washing the oil therefrom. The wash
liquor overñows from the chamber 34 through
the discharge line 44, a valved branch line |02
and a line |04, into the line 24, where the pro
pane Wash is mixed with the oil stock to be
deasphalted. The quantity of oil washed from
the asphalt in chamber 34 or any of the other
chambers 36 and 38, is not sufficient to material
ly alîect the propane as a blending agent in
chamber 26. In fact, the quantity of propane,
suñicient for later use in the process, would be
so great compared to the oil removed from the 15
which is of particular value for lubricating pur
asphalt body, that the oil would have no appre
poses, is discharged at a reduced pressure from
the lower part of pressure still |2 through a liquid
level valve controlled line 10 into a steam strip
ciable affect on the blend formed in mixer 26.
'I'his operation however is very effective for re
20 ping contact chamber 12, in which the last traces
of propane are removed. 'I'he asphalt- and pro
pane-free oil is conducted from stripper 12
through a liquid level valve controlled line 14 and
passed to storage through heat exchanger 52
25 where the heat contained in the oil is used to
preheat the oil being introduced into still I2. The
propane vapors and steam separated in stripper
12 arefconducted through a vapor line 16 and a
condenser 18 into a water separator 80. 'I'he pro
30 pane remains uncondensed in the condenser 18
and is conducted from separator 80 throughl a
line 82, placed under pressure by means of a
compressor 84 and forced through a line 86 into
the upper part of pressure still I2, where the
35 propane is mixed with the vapors produced di
rectly from the oil. vIt will be understood that a
superatmospheric pressure up to 400 pounds or
more per square inch is maintained in the still
|2,:conden`sers 56 and receiver 60, according to
49.. the
hydrocarbon usedas diluent, while a rela
tively low pressure of slightly more than at
mospheric may be maintained in the stripper 12.
As soon as settling chamber 34 is filled suili
ciently with settled asphalt, the stream of oil
45 asphalt-diluent mixture flowing through lines
28 and 30 is turned into chamber 36 by opening
the valve in branch pipe 40, and closing the valve
in branch line 32. The oil blend thereupon con
tinues Vto flow into settling chamber`36 until it
50 is sufliciently filled with asphalt after which the
valve in branch line 42 is opened and the valve
in branch line 40 is closed. From the chamber
36 the asphalt-free oil blend is conducted through
the overflow line 44 and va valved connecting line
55 41 into the line 46.V When the chamberv38 is cut
moving the oil from the asphalt in chamber 34.
The chambers 34, 36 and 38 are cut into the sys 20
tem successively as asphalt precipitation cham
bers, and then cut into the leaching system for
removing the oil from the precipitated asphalt.
Chamber 36 is connected with the line 94 by
means of valved line 98 for the admission of 25
liquid propane, and the extract is removed there
from- through overilow line 44 and a valved con
necting line |06 which connects into line |04.
Similarly'in the leaching of asphalt in chamber
38, the liquid propane is admitted through valved 30
line |00 and the wash liquor discharged through
overflow 44 and a valved branch line |08 which
connects with the line |04.
In the continuous operation of the system, the
proportion of liquid hydrocarbon conducted 35
through the lines 83 and |04 to be mixed with
the oil flowing through the line 20 may be au
tomatically regulated by means of an automatic
proportioning regulator ||0 which is connected
into the flow meter or measuring device 22 and 40
automatic valve 92. The regulator may be set
to properly proportion the amounts passed
through lines 20 and 88.
The body of asphalt collected in the chamber
34 following the washing with liquid propane 45
contains some propane and a small amount of oil.
The propane is removed from the asphalt by clos
ing the valves in lines 96 and |02 (the valves in
lines 32 and 46 are closed), and opening the
valves in the vapor discharge line ||2 which dis 50
charges into a main vapor line ||4 leading to a
tower ||6. The asphalt mixture is then heated
under a superatmospheric pressure to a temper
ature of from 400° to 500° F., or to a temperature
sufiicient to vaporize all of the propane and low 55
into thesystem,- the asphalt-free oil blend passes
boiling oil constituents Vwhich may be present.
through the overflow line 44 and a valved con
These vapors are conducted into the tower ||6
in which the propane is separated as a vapor and
necting line 49 into the> line 46. When the as
phalt-free oil is being conducted through the line
60 41 the valves in lines 46 and 49 are closed.
Assuming that the stream of oil blend from
the mixer 26 is being conducted into chamber
36 after completing the chamber 34, it will be
apparent that the body of asphalt in the latter
65 chamber will contain a substantial amount of
occluded oil. This oil is washed from the asphalt
with fresh liquid propane. Liquid propane to be
used in the process is therefore withdrawn from
storage 66 and conducted through a line' 88, in
70 which is mounted-a pump 90 and a flow control
valve 92, and passed into a distributing line 94.
This line 94 is provided with valved branch lines
V96, 98 and |00 which connect respectively into
settling chambers 34,36 Y‘and v38 through branch
76 lines 32, 40, and 42. 'I'he liquid propane is con
conducted through a vapor line ||8, condensers
|20, and into a receiver |22. The oil condensed 60
in tower i |6 may be withdrawn to storage through
a valved discharge line |24. The chamber |22 is
provided with a float valve controlled discharge
line |26 (part not shown) for conducting liquid
propane to storage 66 and with a vapor line |28 65
which may connect into compressor 84. An auto
matic pressure relief line |30 also connects into
the chamber |22 through the line |28. The out
let temperature in tower | I6 may be controlled by
passing regulated amounts of liquid propane from 70
receiver | 22 through the return line |32.
The asphalt mixture in chamber 34 is heated
by means of an indirect heating medium passed
through a heating coil |34 mounted therein. This
coil is supplied with a iluid heating medium such 75
as a high boiling point oil or other suitable fluid
which is circulated through a heating coil ‘|36 of
a pipe still heater |38. The heating medium
is passed through lthe coil |36 by means of a pump
`|40 and a valved connecting pipe |42, and dis
liquid propane as a precipitating or diluting me
dium, it is to be understood that the invention
charged from the heater through valved pipes
|44, |40, |48, apipe |50, and a valved connecting
pipeV |52, which connects with the inlet of the
is not limited to this particular hydrocarbon, but
that low molecular weight hydrocarbons such as
methane, ethane, propane, the butanes, the
pentanes, the corresponding oleiins and naph
thenes and mixtures thereof may be used. Fur
thermore, a mixture of any of these constituents
with other hydrocarbons, may be used as a diluent
coil |34 in chamber 34. The oil is circulated con
10 tinuouslythrough the coil and heater untilfthe
necessary heating is completed. The oil from the
provided the specific gravity of the diluent is not
higher than that of pentane. The diluent may
be blended with -the asphalt-containing oil in any
`coil' |34 passes through a valved connecting pipe
suitable manner, for example, the diluent may
be absorbed intothe oil under pressure while cool
` |54 and through a pipe |56 to' the pump |40.
Each of the chambers 30 and 38 is provided
Where a mixture 1.5.
15 with vapor outlets | |3 and l I5 which connect with Y ing the absorption mixture.
diluent, a mixtureI
vapor line H4, and is also provided with coils
|34 and. connected into the heating coil`|36 by
suitable pipe connections. The coil |34 in cham
ber 36 is provided with a valved inlet pipe |51
20 which connects into the pipe |50, and with valved
outlet pipe |58 which connects into-the inlet of
the pump |40. The coil |34 in chamber 38‘is pro
of relatively narrow boiling range is preferred
because of the greater ease in controlling the tem
peratures and pressures which are necessary inv
carrying out the process. Such a mixture may
`comprise one of the commercial products now pro
duced by the fractionation of natural gas or
` vided with 'a valved inlet pipe |60 which connects
into the pipe |50, and with a valved outlet `pipe
' |62 ,whichconnects into the pump inlet pipe |56.
By suitably setting the valves in the various pipes
referred to, any one of the chambers may be con
nected into the heating system.
After the asphalt in chamber 34 .has been
heated for a sufficient time to removey substan
Le C:
cracking still gases.
The process of the present invention may` be
varied in many respects without departing from
the spirit and scope thereof, and the apparatus
may be altered to suit the particular conditions
which may be encountered in the treatment of
any particular asphalt-bearing stock. 'I'he oil
produced by they process, if removed from the 30
tially all the propane and oil, the asphalt may be
asphalt at aV comparatively high temperature,
stripped with steam, introduced through a per
forated distributor pipe |64. Each of the cham
bers 36 and 38 is also provided’with a similar
may contain some wax or petrolatum which may
distributor pipe. Following this stripping, the
asphalt in ‘chamber 34 may be withdrawn while
hot through a valved discharge line |66, or the
asphalt may Vbe first blown with air admitted
through the valved line |64 for the purpose of
40 producing a road asphalt, and then discharged
through the line |66.4 In the blowing operation,
the vapors and air may be vconducted through
the lines ||2 and ||4 into the tower ||6 and the
air or gases vented from receiver |22. In this
operation of course, it will be understood that re
ceiver |22 will not be connected into the propane
storage 66 or with the compressor 84. Instead
of conducting the air and vapor constituents into
the tower | i6 they may be bypassed from the line
lli» into other suitable condensing or treating
During the blowing operation in chamber 34
considerable heat may be developed, but the tem
perature of the asphalt may be controlled by cir
55 culating arcooling medium through the coil |34.
This may be accomplished by using the same fluid
which is used for heating, cutting out the heating
coil |36 by closing the valves in lines |742 and |44,
and passing the fluid from the pump |40 through
line |46 and a valved branch line |68, into a>
cooler |10. The cool fluid is discharged from
cooler |10 through a valved branch line |12 and
into the lines |50 and |52. In this operation it
will be understood that the valve in line |48 will
be closed, and that the valves in lines |52 and
|54 are open, so that the fluid may be circulated
continuously through the cooler |10 and the
As the chambers 36 and 38 are cut into the sys
tem for removing the hydrocarbon from the as
not precipitate. This may 4be removed in a sub
sequent operation at a lower temperature so as
to completely prepare the oil for lubricating pur 35
poses. In the foregoing description three asphalt
separating chambers have been described but
any number may be used in the system accord->
ing to the specific cyclic operation to be `carried
out. Instead of settling the asphalt from, the oil 40
by gravity, it may be removed by filtration or
by centrifugal separation.
Having thus described the invention in its Y
preferred form, what is claimed as new is:
l 45
1. The process of separating asphalt >'from
asphalt-bearing oils, which comprises continu
ously mixing a stream of oil to be treated with a
substantial proportion of a low gravity blending
agent 'comprising a hydrocarbon diluent selected 50
from the group of hydrocarbons: consisting of
methane, ethane, propane, the butanes, the
pentanes, the corresponding oleñnes and naph-V
thenes, and mixtures thereof, passing a stream
of the resulting mixture into one of a plurality 55
of enlarged settling Zones in which the asphalt
contained in the oil is precipitated therein until
a substantial quantity of asphalt is contained in
said zone, thereafter diverting said stream of oil
mixture from said enlarged zone into another 60
zone of said plurality of enlarged zones to de
posit asphalt therein, introducing fresh blending
agent into the precipitated asphalt contained in
said first-mentioned zone following said precipi
tation to wash any occluded oil therefrom, re
moving the washed asphalt from thel enlarged 65
zone, utilizing the wash liquor from said wash
ing operation for blending with said fresh as
phalt bearing oil introduced into the process to
. supply at least in part the blending agent, and
continuing the operation by using the plurality
phalt, the cooler |10 may be‘cut into the system
of enlarged Zones separately and successively as
at the proper time in the manner referred to above
asphalt-precipitation Zones.
in, conection with chamber 34.
While the process of the present invention has
75 been described in connection with 4the use` of
2. The process defined by claim 1 in which the
asphalt mixture contained in each settling zone
is cooled during the precipitation of asphalt and
the washing" of the precipitatedasphalt therein,
and thereafter heating theasphalt mixture in
` each settling zone following the Washing of the
oil therefrom to vaporize and thereby remove
the blending agent from the precipitated and
washed asphalt.
3. The method of separating asphalt from a
hot asphalt-containing residuum produced in a
distilling operation, which comprises passing the'
hotv residuum in indirect heat exchange with an
oil mixture being distilled in a distilling zone to
heat the oil mixture and effect distillation of a
portion thereof, thereafter mixing a low gravity
blending agent with said residuum to» substan
tially dilute said residuum and precipitate theV
asphalt contained therein, said agent compris
ing a hydrocarbon or mixture of hydrocarbons
selected from the group consisting of methane,
ethane, propane, the butanes, the pentanes, the
corresponding oleñns and naphthenes, passing
the mixture of residuum and blending agent
alternatively into the respective chambers of a.
plurality of asphalt settling chambers and there
in permitting the settling of the asphalt from
the diluted oil mixture, decanting separated oil
and blending agent from the mixture in each
settling chamber during the time the mixture is
supplied thereto and conducting it into said
distilling Zone wherein the blending agent is
vaporized and distilled from the oil thereby re
covering an asphalt-free oil as a product of said
asphalt-containing residuum.
4. An apparatus for removing asphalt from as
phalt-containing oils, comprising means for mix
ing asphalt-containing oil with a 10W gravity 10
blending agent, a plurality of asphalt settling
chambers, and means for separately conducting
the asphalt oil-blending agent mixture into any
one of s-aid chambers, means for separately intro
ducing blending agent into each of said cham
bers to Wash the asphalt deposited therein while
asphalt is being precipitated in another cham
ber, and means for conducting the Wash liquor
from each of said chambers to the means for
mixing-the blending agent with asphalt-con 20
taining oil.
5. The apparatus defined by claim 4 in which
means is provided for heating and for cooling
the contents of said settling chambers.
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