_ Dec. 10, 1946. E. H. RECORDS. , 2,412,427 REFINING OF' LOW-GRADE HYDROCARBON OILS- Filed Ndv. 1o, 1944 „33) ' INVENTOR. f/mer H. Re’ c OrO/5 2,412,427 Patented Dec. 10, 1946 UNITED s HCE 2,412,427 REFINING 0F LOW-GRADE HYDROCARBON OILS Elmer H. Records, Tacoma, Wash. Application November l0, i944, Serial No. 562,838 6 Claims. (Cl. 196---51) l 2 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 retort. 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 2,412,427 . 3 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. Y Y 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 400° 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 Gi) 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. y ' 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, pre-heating or better andthe charging 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 5 2,412,427' 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 6 . 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 20 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. j 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 ELMER H. RECORDS. 50 ends.