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Патент USA US3055518

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Sept. 25, 1962
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
Filed July 1, 1959
Sept. 25, 1962
Filed July 1, 1959
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
W Wig/?14%
Sept. 25, 1962
A. LAwsoN
Filed July 1, 1959
3 Sheets-Sheet 3
United States Patent 0 ice
simultaneously obtained. Maximum output can be
Archibald Lawson, Staatsburg, N.Y., assignor to Lawson
achieved in all elements equally. Relatively large change
in position of one element with respect to another has no
apparent client on either gross output or e??iciency. The
apparatus can be constructed and installed with standard
Products Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation
of New York
techniques. Moreover, it is [fully reversible. E?icient
Filed July 1, 1959, Ser. No. 824,296
2 Claims. (Cl. 210-335)
This invention relates generally to improvements in ap
paratus tor separating mixed non-miscible liquids of dif 10
terent speci?c gravities, and especially for separating oil
from water in boiler ?feed water and like mixtures.
Apparatus of the type here concerned have a number
of separator elements spaced from one another and
Patented Sept. 25, 1962
liquid separation will be obtained with flow in either di
rection, thus providing for more ?exible use of the appa
Brie?y, this is accomplished by providing an apparatus
having a closed housing divided by vertical partitions into
sections. A separator element with a hollow interior
and with foraminous walls is positioned within each sec
tion and extends vertically ?from the bottom to the top
through which the liquid mixture is made to ?ow. Each 15 of the housing to form 1a well outside of the separator ele
of the separator elements is provided with a foraminous
ment in each section. The housing is provided with an
body or mass of interstices which causes one constituent
inlet ori?ce ?for entry of the liquid mixture on one of its
of the mixture to coalesce into coarse globules. These
sides adjacent a section. This inlet opening communi
globules, being of diiferent speci?c gravity than the other
cates with the interior of the forami-nous separator ele
constituent, either rise to the top or fall to the bottom of 20 ment (preferably at the bottom thereof) in that section.
the apparatus Where they can be drawn o?. For exam
The partition separating that section from the next adja
ple, with oil particles of speci?c gravity less than one, dis
cent or succeeding section has transfer ports at the bot
persed in water, the separator coalesces the oil particles
tom of the partition leading ?from the well in the ?rst sec
into ?globules which rise to the top of the apparatus and
tion, and which communicate with a closed duct in the
can be drawn o??.
A number of such separator elements customarily are
25 next section.
The duct leads to the bottom and interior
of the toraminous separator element in the next succeed
provided because one element alone does not remove all
ing (second) section. In turn, the partition separating
of the constituent to be separated trom the other constitu
the second section from the next succeeding or third sec
ent of the mixture, but only a portion thereof. The por
tion is provided with transfer ports at its bottom leading
tion; of one constituent separated by the element divided
trom the well in the second section. These transfer ports
by the total amount of that constituent entering the ele
in turn communicate with a closed ?duct leading to the bot
ment represents the element?s ?ei?ciency.? Additional
tom and interior of the foraminous separator element in
separator elements are used to separate further portions
the next succeeding or third section. This arrangement of
of the constituent left in the mixture by the ?rst separator
transfer ports and closed ducts is repeated through to the
35 last section. The last section is also provided with an
It is common in the present practice to use at least
outlet opening adjacent the bottom of the housing ?for pas
three circular separator elements in boiler teed water ap
sage of the liquid of higher speci?c vgrtW-ity to a point out
plications, with the elements concentrically arranged.
side the housing; and all of the sections have outlets at the
This is because, in such instances, it is desired that less
top of the housing for the passage of the liquid of lower
than 50 parts of oil be le?t in one million parts of water. 40 speci?c gravity to a point outside the housing.
Three circular elements concentrically arranged allow a
Preferably, the closed housing is of cylindrical shape
swirling action of the mixture and produce separation of
and is provided with partitions to form three sections.
the desired extremely high e?i-ciency. Apparatus of this
Preferably, the separator elements have a circular cross
type is disclosed in my patent with Young, No. 2,432,317.
With mixtures having the same proportions of constitu 45 An illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown
in the accompanying drawings.
ents, it has been \found that the gross output of the appa
ratus is a function ot the velocity ot the liquid mixture as
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the apparatus of the
it passes through the separator element, but a large in
crease in velocity to achieve large gross output may result
FIGURE 2 is a plan section View through the super
in decreasing the ef?ciency so markedly as to be imprac 50 structure of the apparatus on the line 2?2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a plan section view through the central
When the separator elements are concentrically ar
body portion of the apparatus on the line 3-3 of FIG
URE 1;
ranged to obtain extremely high efficiency, as is common
in present practice, the velocity of the liquid mixture is
FIGURE 4 is a detailed perspective View, partly in
greater in the innermost element as compared to the out 55 section, of one of the foraminous separator elements com
ermost element. The velocity and consequently the out
prising a part of the apparatus of the invention;
put of the outer elements must be maintained at a low
FIGURE 5 is a vertical section view on the line 5?-5
of FIGURE 3;
level lest the velocity in the inner element reach the point
where the inner element?s e?iciency drops off. Conse
FIGURE 6 is a vertical section view on the line 6?6
of FIGURE 3; and
quently, the gross output of the apparatus as a whole is
FIGURE 7 is a vertical section view on the line 7-7
Still further, with such apparatus, each of the separator
Referring now to the preferred embodiment of the
elements must be designed and installed with sensitive
invention shown for illustration in the drawings, wherein
tolerances. The position of each element with respect to
the others has substantial sheet on efficiency and output. 65 three sections for separation are assumed, and the direc
tion of liquid ?ow from the ?rst section to the third sec
Consequently, construction and installation involve ex
tion is assumed, the reference character 10 indicates a
pensive techniques and labor.
closed housing, preferably cylindrical in form. It is
The above difficulties are obviated by the present inven
by a bottom wall 11 and by a top or cover member
tion. Speaking generally, the present invention provides 70
12; the latter being preferably secured by bolts 13.
a relatively simple apparatus in vwhich both the extremely
high desired e?iciency .and high levels of gross output are
Arranged within the interior of the housing 10 are
three partitions 14, 15 and 16 which extend vertically
from the bottom to the top of the housing to provide three
sections sealed one from the other except as hereinafter
described. A separator element (17, 18 ?and 19) is posi
tioned in the interior of each of the sections. Each sep
arator element has a spool-like structure (FIGURE 4)
with a hollow interior and with walls of circular cross
section. The elements have spool heads 20, to which
forces the mixture to penertate the foraminous body of
the walls. The liquid mixture moves laterally through
the foraminous body of the separator element 17 and
passes into the well 25 in the ?rst section. Any large
bodies of oil existing ?in the oil-water mixture generally
do not penetrate the foraminous mass but ?oat upwardly
where they are collected in reservoir 36. The remainder
of the mixture passes through the separator element,
are secured upright rods 21. The walls have a forami
where the smaller particles of oil in the mixture are to a
ous body structure consisting of strands of mesh wound
around the rods between the spool heads. This mesh 10 considerable extent retarded by contact with the mesh
material of the foraminous mass. Many of them gather
has a plurality of interstices and, preferably, a thin hard
together and coalesce, thus forming large oil globules
carbonaceous layer is applied to the mesh in accordance
or bodies, which upon emergence ?from the separator ele
with the teachings of my Patent Number 2,651,414.
ment ?oat to the surface of the liquid in well 25 of the
Each of the separator elements is secured to the housing
by means of nuts 22 on the rods 21. A liquid tight ring 15 ?rst section. In addition, a substantial portion of the
coalesced oil rises upwardly through the foraminous mesh
23 is provided between the top spool head of each ele
and escapes radially outwardly at the top of the separator
ment ?and the top 12 of the housing to seal the interior
element. This oil ?oats on top of the liquid in the well
of the element from the rest of the section. Similarly, a
of the ?rst section and eventually collects in the dome 37
liquid tight ring 24 is provided between the bottom spool
of the ?rst section along with the other coalesced oil in
head of each element and the bottom 11 of the housing
the well.
to seal o? the interior of the separator element. Thus,
The remaining portion of the liquid mixture, having
each separator element provides a well 25 in that portion
passed into the well 25 of the ?rst section, is forced by
of the section outside of the separator element.
the pressure through transfer ports 29 in partition 14,
The side of the housing has an inlet ori?ce 26 near
the bottom 11 ?adjacent to one of the sections, hereinafter 25 thence through duct 30 in the second section, thence
through ori?ces 31 and into the hollow interior at the
called the ?rst section. This inlet 26 communicates to
bottom of separator element 18. The continuing pres
the bottom ring 24 of the separator element 17 in that
sure forces a further separation of the liquid mixture in
section by means of a closed duct 27. Entrance ports
passing through the walls of the second separator element
28 in bottom ring 24 of element 17 permit passage of
liquid from the duct 27 to the interior of separator 17. 30 18 similar to that described in connection with separator
element 17 . A substantial portion of oil is coalesced into
Transfer ports 29, consisting of ori?ces at the bottom of
globules and separated and rises to the surface in the
partition 14, communicate from the well in the ?rst section
well 25 of the second section to be collected in its dome
to the second section. A duct 30 positioned on the bot
37; another portion of separated oil similarly rises within
tom 11 of the housing in the second section separates
transfer ports 29 from the well in the second section 35 separator element 18 itself and is collected in its reser
voir 36.
and leads to the bottom ring 24 of the separator element
Continued pressure forces the remaining liquid mixture
18 in the second section. Ori?ces 31 in the bottom ring
through transfer ports 32 in partition 15, thence through
24 of separator element 18 permit liquid to pass from
duct 33 in the third section and through ori?ces 34 to
duct 30 into the interior of separator element 18. Sim
ilarly, partition 15 has transfer ports 32 communicating 40 the bottom interior of element 19. The separation effect
is repeated in this section, and any remaining oil in the
between the well in the second section and the third sec
mixture is separated and collected in dome 37 and rescr~
tion. A duct 33 positioned on the bottom 11 in the third
voir 36 of the third section.
section separates transfer ports 32 from the well in the
The liquid in well 25 of the third section is substan
third section and communicates with the bottom ring 24
of separator element 19. Ori?ces 34 in the bottom ring 45 tially oil free and the water is drawn off near the bottom
11 of the housing in the third section through outlet
24 of separator element 19 permit passage of liquid from
pipe 35.
the duct 33 to the bottom and interior of the element 19.
It is to be understood that the liquid mixture is con
The third section (the last section of this illustrative
forced through the apparatus.
embodiment of the invention) contains a vertical pipe 35
suspended with its opening adjacent to the bottom 11 50 Separation of the mixture occurs simultaneously in all
three sections. Velocity of the mixture and ef?ciency
of the housing to form an outlet in the section for the
passage of the liquid of higher speci?c gravity to the
outside of the apparatus.
Above the interior of each separator element 17, 18 and
.19 and communicating therewith is a reservoir 36 extend
ing upwardly from the top 12 of the housing. See FIG
URE 5. Similarly mounted on the top 12 of the housing
is a liquid delivery dome 37 above the well in each section
and communicating therewith for additional collection of
liquid of lower speci?c gravity-with at least one such
dome for each section. See FIGURE 7. All of the
domes 37 and the reservoirs 36 have suitable drain lines
of the separation is the same in all three sections so that
high gross output and e?iciency is achieved.
Additional use of the apparatus of the invention illus
trated and described above is provided by placing it in
an upside down position. The same results of high e?i
ciency and high gross output are achieved. With some
commercial applications it may be desirable to so posi
tion and operate the apparatus, particularly when it is
desired to separate oil-water mixtures in which the oil
has a higher speci?c gravity than Water. In such an up
side down position, the transfer ports are at the top of
the partitions, the closed ducts communicate with the
separator elements at the tops thereof, the collection and
(not shown) for passage of the liquid of lower speci?c
gravity therefrom to a desired place outside of the hous
outlet domes 37 and reservoirs 36 are located at the
ing, as will be understood.
of each section, and the ?nal discharge outlet 26
Each reservoir 36 and dome 37 also has air vent means
is at the top of the last section. The operation of the
39 extending upwardly for desired venting.
device in this position proceeds as described above, as
In the operation of the apparatus, e.g. to separate oil
will be understood, except that the heavy liquid constitu
from boiler feed water wherein the oil is of lower speci?c
gravity than the water, the mixture of water and oil is 70 ent, e.g. oil, collects and ?ows downwardly for discharge
through the reservoirs 36 and domes 37 at the bottom
delivered into the interior of the housing 10? through the
of the sections .and the lighter liquid constituent, e.g.
inlet 26, thence through the duct 27 and ori?ces 28 into
water, is drawn off and discharged at the top of the last
the interior of the separator element 17 at the bottom
section through outlet 26.
thereof in the ?rst section. As the liquid mixture ac
cumulates within the separator element, the pressure 75 An equivalent form of the apparatus illustrated and
described above may be used in an equivalent operation
details thereof but is expressed by the following claims
and their equivalents.
wherein the liquid mixture is introduced into the third
section and flows in a reverse manner through the ports,
I claim:
ducts and separators with ?nal discharge from the ?rst
section. With this equivalent reverse operation, the mix
ture of liquids to be separated is introduced into the
1. Apparatus for breaking and separating small
amounts of oil from large amounts of water in an oil
water mixture comprising a closed housing divided by
vertical partitions into a ?rst section and a plurality of
in the third section which in this operation is an inlet.
successive sections, a foraminous separator-coalescer ele
The liquid mixture enters the well therein, passes in
ment of substantial wall thickness in each section extend
wardly through the walls of the separator 19 to the 10 ing vertically from the bottom to the top of the housing
interior thereof and thence through ori?ces 34 into duct
to form a well within the interior of each section around
33. During such passage, the same separation described
the separator element, the walls of the separator element
above occurs with the liquid of lower speci?c gravity
having a circular cross-section, inlet means for the intake
collecting in dome 37 and reservoir 36 of the third sec
of the liquid mixture in the side of the housing adjacent
tion (if the apparatus is positioned right side up). The 15 the ?rst section and communicating with the interior of
remaining mixture passes through transfer ports 32 in
the separator element in said ?rst section at the bottom
partition 15 into the well 25 of the second section, thence
thereof, transfer ports at the bottom of the partition
inwardly through the walls of the second separator ele
between the ?rst section and the next succeeding section,
ment 18 thereby undergoing more separation as will be
a closed duct in said next succeeding section leading from
understood from the foregoing, thence into duct 30 and 20 said transfer ports to the interior of the separator ele
through ports 29? in partition 14 into well 25 of the ?rst
ment at the bottom thereof, transfer ports at the bottom
section, and thence through the walls of the ?rst separator
of each partition separating the remaining succeeding
element 17 undergoing ?nal separation. The mixture is
sections and closed ducts leading from said transfer ports
to the interior of the separator element at the bottom
now essentially free of the lighter liquid constituent and
passes through duct 27 and is discharged by ori?ce inlet 25 thereof in each such succeeding section, outlet means at
the top of each section communicating with the interior
26, which in this operation is an outlet.
of each separator element to pass oil outside of the hous
After a suitably prolonged period of use, it is desirable
ing, outlet means at the top of each section communicat
to cleanse the interior of the housing sections and espe
ing with the top of the well of each section to pass oil
cially the foraminous bodies or interstitial masses of the
outside of the housing, and outlet means adjacent the
separator element walls. This may be done by ?rst
bottom of the well in the last succeeding section to pass
shutting off liquid mixture supply inlet 26 and all dis?
water outside of the housing.
charge outlets. Then live steam is discharged under
2. The subject matter of claim 1 characterized by the
pressure from a pipe 75 which is suitably disposed with
fact that the apparatus has three sections.
its outlet within the bottom interior of the housing. The 35
steam will churn the liquid within the interior of the
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
housing through the previously described outlet pipe 35
housing with strong washing and cleansing effect. Drain
pipes 76 may also be provided to lead outwardly from
the bottom of the housing 10, which when opened may
be utilized to drain away the liquid.
Since variations may be made in the embodiments of
the invention illustrated and described above, it is to be
understood that the invention is not restricted to the
Grant et al ___________ _.. Dec. 29, 1959
Great Britain _________ __ Mar. 11, 1898
Lawson et al __________ __ Dec. 19, 1947
Mankin ______________ .. Nov. 3, 1953
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