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_ Dec. 10, 1946.
, 2,412,427
Filed Ndv. 1o, 1944
f/mer H. Re’ c OrO/5
Patented Dec. 10, 1946
Elmer H. Records, Tacoma, Wash.
Application November l0, i944, Serial No. 562,838
6 Claims. (Cl. 196---51)
This invention relates to the reñning of hydro
carbon oils, and is directed particularly to the
body until an approximate 200 p. s. i. (pounds
per square inch) vapor pressure obtains in the
dome of the retort, and augmenting hot oil is
then pumped through the admission nozzle to
project the same in a une spray horizontally of
the dome, this step of spraying an injection of
provision of a new process, semi-intermittent in
nature, permitting advantageous working of the
heavier oil bodies-heavy crudes, used crankcase
drainings, tank bottoms, residuum, coal tars, shale
mechanically broken hot oil through the lighter
oils and the like heretofore or at least prior to
volatiles present in the vapor chamber being
the publicizing of the process of my co-pending
found to materially aid conversion of the heavy
application ñled October 13, 19e-3, Ser. No.
506,109, considered within the industry as being 10 oil into lighter products. As this spraying step
proceeds the vapor pressure is maintained at
entirely unworkable or, at best, giving such a
200i p. s. i. by partially opening the discharge
low yield in products of distillation as to preclude
valve ior the gas take-oli line, the liberated gases
profitable reñning. More especially, it is an ob
passing to a condenser. The yield from this step
ject of the present invention to devise a process
which, while it may perforce be applied' in the 15 will run between 30% and 60% of total input,
relining of high-grade hydrocarbon oils, peculiar
ly lends itself to low-grade stock and, in working
gravity being about ¿l0 A. P. I.
Spray introduction of hot oil continues until
the distillation conversion ceases and which is
same, gives a return in low-boiling high-gravity
evidenced by a dropping pressure, recourse being
products of distillation commensurate with, if
not exceeding, the recoveries obtainable from 20 had to a gauge-fone >of three (pressure, tempera
ture and level) necessarily carried by the‘retort
even the lightest crudes under customary
and whereupon the pumping is stopped. The gas
“cracking” techniques.
discharge valve is now fully opened until the
The invention further aims to provide an in
vapor pressure drops to zero. Closing this valve,
expensive and eñicient plant for carrying the
process into effect, a plant which is quite flexible 25 heating is continued and further conversion takes
place until the pressure of the light volatiles
as to design, and which admits to profitable op
formed builds up to 850 p. s. i., the heating being
eration Whether engineered to accommoder-œ small
or large volume runs.
According to the presentv invention there is
employed a horizontal retort quite similar to the ~
still which is embodied in the plant used to carry
my said prior process into effect. This retort
may be of any desired capacity and, considered
in more particularity, is or may be of cylindrical
form heated through the instrumentality of elec- "
trically energized bayonets received within the
retort, running lengthwise thereof, and occupy
ing positions in spaced parallel relation above
the ñoor but below a given ñlling level which
approximates 33% of capacity. An inlet pipe
terminally litted with a nozzle extends into an
end of the retort above said liquid level, and a
gas take-off leads from the ceiling limit, there
being also provided and connecting with the re
tort at its low limit a pipe which gives communi
cation between the retort and a subjacent up
right holding tank, In carrying the process into
effect, the material to be treatedis brought to
then stopped and these vapors being also allowed
to escape through the take-01T line to the con
denser. This step of the process gives a further
recovery, in light ends of around 4‘0 A. P. I. grav
ity, of from 25% to 35% of the charge in the
The operator now drops the stock left in the
retort to the subjacent holding tank, the retort
and the tank are again isolated, and the still is
replenished with fresh oil stock and the described
steps repeated, theresidue from a severalty of
these conversion operations being successively
dropped `to the holding tank which iskept at a
temperature of about 600° F. Within the holding
tank, the very heavy ends of the dropped charges
together with contained sludge, dirt and free car
bon settle into a sump and may be drawn off at
intervals. This draw-oit is or may be supplied
to an oil-fired burner to function, at least in
part, as fuel therefor and which burner serves
as the agency for pre-heating the fresh stock
within the latter to said 30%, or an approximate
and maintaining the holding tank at its said 600°
F. temperature.
The cleaner portions oi the oil contained in
the holding tank, as the contents near capacity
-by successive charging from the overlying retort,
30%, of capacity, All outlets being closed, heat
from the electric bayonets is applied to the oil
. `tity bringing the liquid level within the latter to
a pre-heated temperature of between 400° F. and
700° F. depending upon the determined vaporiza- »
tion point and this pre-heated oil is pumped into
the retort in sufficient quantity to bring the level
are now pumped back into the retort in a quan
4 Y'
said given 30%, or an approximate 30%, of
capacity and, closing all outlets, heat from the
electric bayonets is applied until there is again
residues therefrom, vthe low-boiling volatiles re
covered by the former procedure run between
developed. a vapor-pressure condition approxi
mating 850 p. s. i. The produced volatiles from
this step are also released from the retort to the
tional low-boiling volatiles recovered in the high '
30% and 60% of the oil treated While the addi
pressure treatment will be between 30% and 470%.
The process can be profitably carried on wheth
condenser, and the liquid body remaining is re
turned to the holding tank, this operation showing
afurther yield approaching 35% of the retort’s
charge. The steps Of allowing settling of the 10
er practiced with a large or a small capacity .
plant, the plant being such as ltocallfor a com
currently returned oil from the retort, removing ‘
paratively small investment and needing but lit
tle ground area, relatively speaking, for laying
‘out the same. Aside therefrom, however, it be
the very heavy ends from the sump, re-charging
the retort with cleaner portions, and again drop
. comes not only possible, but highly practical, to
nworkV oil bodies which, previous to this and the
continuous process of my prior filing, have found
` Y ping the residue from the repressuring treatment
of these charges is repeated until substantially
a market outlet'only as low-grade fuel oils, road Y
all of the oil possible of conversion into volatiles
surfacing, and the like, markets which can ab- '
. is recovered.
sorb but a small part of the available heavy oils,
with the result that this class of hydrocarbons
Another series of distillation con
versions from fresh stock is then performed.
Where ra battery of" stills or, more properly,
repressuring retorts are employed, it becomes
possible to closely approximate a continuous proc
ess in that distillation conversions and pressure
.conversions may be carried on simultaneously.
have been largely dumped.' Dis’regarding the fire . `
hazard, and the unsightly and smelly conditionsY
created by this dumping, the more serious con- ~
sequence is an increasing depletion of petroleum
crudes due to a failure to extract from the vreiin- ,
In- Figur‘è 1 of the accompanying drawing I
have illustrated, schematically, a plant for the
working of the present process and, referring
ery stock anything approaching the contained
quantity of volatiles.
The process perforce admits to some variations y
thereto, it will be seen that heat from an oil
?lred furnace denoted by the numeral 2 is ap
plied to `coils 3 through which fresh stock to be
before set forth, albeit my findings show that any
treated is passed, the pump indicated at ¿el car- '
adversely afîect- returns. It is my intention that '
from the particular pressures and heats herein- .
rying this pre-heated oil through a supply pipe 5
material departures therefrom noticeably and
no limitations be implied Yother than thosev ex
pressly brought into the hereto annexed claims
to distinguish the Yadvanced teachings y of the
process, and the apparatus for> practicing same. ,
What I claim is:
to the retort 6 which, as shown, is placed hori
zontally and, by preference, overlies the furnace.
Said supply line feeds into an end of the retort
and is disposed proximate to the latter’s ceiling
limit, and upon its delivery end is fitted with a
.nozzle 5’. The form and placement of this noz
zle, »as with the electrically-heated bayonets 1,
_desirably follows the teachings of my said prior
. 1. The new method of refining low-grade Vhy
drocarbon oils and which comprises the steps of
pre-heating the oil to a temperature of between
F. and 700° F. depending upon the deter
` ~ filing, Ser. No. 506,109. Fig. 2 is a'fragmentary 40
mined vaporization point and supplying this pref
vertical sectional view portraying such nozzle.
-Denoted by 8 is the valved discharge pipe for
heated stock to a retort in quantity sufficient to `
charge the latter to approximately one-third of '
the take-off of the gases connecting with the re
its tota] capa-city; sealing the charge and apply
tortat the ceiling limit of the latter’s vapor dome,
and branching into this pipe and with the lat
ter leading to a condenser 9 is a gas pipe I0 simi
ing heat to develop a pressure condition ofVv ap
proximately 200 p. s. i. and then injecting a spray
of supplementing hotY oil through the'ïproduced
gases while passing off and condensing such-por
larly ñtted with a closure valve and extending
from the head end of an upright vessel I I which
_lies subjacent to the retort. VThis vessel is the re
ferred-to holding tank and, given a compara
y „tively large capacity, is desirably placed in the
tion of the evolved vapors as beco’mes'necessaryV
to maintain said given pressureV condition; termi
nating the spray injection as pressurer drops on”,
and passing off and condensing the remaining
vapors »while continuing to' apply heat; again
path of the delivered heat of the furnace Z or,
otherwise stated, in a breeching I2. There is
provided a sump I3 for said holding tank, and a
sealing the oil contained in the retort and allow
ing pressure to buildup to approximately 850
cllëaw-off line I4 therefrom equipped with a pump
p. s. i., whereupon vapors evolved from Vsuch
high-pressure treatment are passed off and con
Designated f I6, a valved pipe connects with the
densed and the residue dropped to a subjacent
.bottom of the retort, and running from this pipe
and giving a' gravity flow to the holding tank is a
valved pipe I'I, there being also provided and
`likewise connecting with but normally isolated
by a valve from such pipeV I6 a return line I 8
equipped with a pump I9.
Giving a summation of the recoveries, and
which-have been established through extensive
treatment of the very heaviest stocks obtainable-`
oils deemed to be practically unworkable by gen
eral consensusvof-the industry-the total yield
from the process considered in terms of the oil
volume treated has quite frequently approached ”
l 90% and consistently runs better than '70%. On
holding tank held at a temperature approximat
ing 600° F.; performing the described steps re
petitivelyand, from the aggregate of the dropped
residues, periodically drawing off the very heavy
settlings; and repeatedly kprocessing lighter por
tions of the dropped residues by performing cy
kclic operations of returning successive charges of
said lighter portions to the retort, repressuring
the same therein toan approximate 850 p. `s. i.,
passing 01T and condensing the evolved vapors,
and again dropping the residue from each >said
repressuring step to the holding tank.
2. The new method of refining loW-gradexhy
drocarbon oils andwhich?comprises the steps of
a break-down basis, and whichis to say separat
ing the process into its two component phases,
or better andthe
oil to same
a temperature
to a retort . in
of a400i"
quan1l'.` Y
the initial distillation conversion of fresh'stock
and the following high pressure treatment Qf the
tity suiiìcient to lill the latter to approximately
a third of total capacity; sealing the charge 'and
applying heat to develop a pressure condition of
approximately 200 p. s. i. and thereafter spray
ing an injection of supplementing hot oil through
the produced gases while coincidently passing 01T
and condensing such portion of the evolved va
pors as becomes necessary to maintain said pres
5. The new method` of refining low-grade hy'-v
drocarbon oils and which comprises the steps of
charging a body of the oil into a retort to ap
proximately a third of the latter’s capacity and,
applying heat while sealing the retort against
escape of the produced vapors, creating a pres
sure condition of approximately 200 p. s. i.; spray
as pressure drops off, and passing 01T and con
ing hot oil into the retort to have the augment
. densing‘ the remaining vapors while continuing to
ing oil traverse the vapor dome which lies above
apply heat; again sealing the residue of the 10 the liquid level and coincidently passing off and
charge and repressuring to an approximate 850
condensing such portion of the produced gases as
p. s. i.; passing oi‘r" and condensing the vapors
becomes necessary to maintain said pressure con
evolved in this high-pressure step; and treating
dition; terminating the spray injection as pres
the residue by withdrawing the same from and
sure drops 01T, and releasing and condensing the
thereafter returning lighter portions to the re
remaining vapors; and continuing the application
tort in successively performed operations during
of heat'while again closing the retort until a
which the returned lighter portions are repres
high-pressure condition of approximately 850
sured to said 850 p. s. i., the evolved vapors passed
p. s. i. is developed, thereupon passing oiî and
01T and condensed, and the very heavy ends of
condensing the additional vapors evolved thereby,
the withdrawn residues allowed to settle out.
6. In a system for reiining low-gradefhydro
3. The method of claim 2 in which the residue
carbon oils, Ithe plant therefor comprising, in
from the repressuring treatments is maintained
combination: a furnace having a breeching; a
-at an approximate 600° F. temperature through
coil pressure-fed from a supply of the oil and 0c
out the period of its cyclic withdrawal from and
cupying a position within the breeching to act
return to the retort.
as a pre-heater for the oil passed therethrough;
4. The new method of reñning low-grade hy
an upright holding tank of comparatively large
drocarbon oils and which comprises the steps of
capacity likewise disposed within the breeching,
charging the oil to a retort in such a quantity as
kformed with a sump for oil settlings, and having
will leave a vapor dome of relatively large Ca
a draw-01T line for removal of the latter; a retort
pacity above the liquid level therein, and sealing :J of extended length disposedhorizontally in ele
the charge and applying heat to develop a pres
vated relation to the tank, and arranged to be
sure condition approximating 200 p. s. i.; pass
charged with oil to approximately one-third of
ing off and condensing the vapors evolved from
capacity leaving a vapor dome above the liquid
sure condition; terminating the spray injection
this heat-and-pressure step; sealing the remain
level therein; an oil-_supply pipe from the coil
ing liquid of the charge within the retort and by 35 into the vapor dome of the retort fitted upon its
continued application of heat stepping up‘the
delivery end with a nozzle arranged to project
pressure condition to an approximate 850 p. s. i.;
the hot oil longitudinally and inthe form of a
passing off and condensing the vapors evolved
spray; a heating instrumentality functional Ato
from the repressuring step; taking the resi
the oil -contained in the retort; a condenser; a
due from this and corresponding treatment per 40 valved connection from the ceiling limit of the
formed upon other charges of oil and, while
vapor dome to the condenser; a valved gravity-maintaining in a hot state, allowing the very
flow connection from the bottom of the retort
heavy portions to settle out; and subjecting the
for dropping the residues of successive retorting
lighter portions of the aggregate of these residues
treatments into the holding tank; and a valved
to repetitive cyclic treatment in which the said 45 connection equipped with a pump and forming a
lighter portions are again made subject to said
return conduit from the tank to the retort for
repressuring, the evolved vapors passed off and
reprocessing lighter portions of the oil bodies
condensed, and the residues in each instance
contained in the tank.
returned for the settling out of the very heavy
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