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"Apparatus and Systems Having a Rotary Valve Assembly and Swing Adsorption Processes Related Thereto" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- A patent application by the inventors Tammera, Robert F. (Warrenton, VA); Anderson, Thomas N. (Mobile, AL), filed on February 27, 2012, was made available online on August 14, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx correspondents (see also Patents).

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Gas separation is useful in many industries and can typically be accomplished by flowing a mixture of gases over an adsorbent that preferentially adsorbs one or more gas components while not adsorbing one or more other gas components. The non-adsorbed components are then recovered as a separate product.

"One particular type of gas separation technology is swing adsorption, such as temperature swing adsorption (TSA), pressure swing adsorption (PSA), partial pressure swing adsorption (PPSA), rapid cycle pressure swing adsorption (RCPSA), rapid cycle partial pressure swing adsorption (RCPPSA), and not limited to but also combinations of the fore mentioned processes, such as pressure and temperature swing adsorption. As an example, PSA processes rely on the phenomenon of gases being more readily adsorbed within the pore structure or free volume of an adsorbent material when the gas is under pressure, i.e., the higher the gas pressure, the greater the amount readily-adsorbed gas adsorbed. When the pressure is reduced, the adsorbed component is released, or desorbed.

"PSA processes may be used to separate gases of a gas mixture because different gases tend to fill the micropore of the adsorbent to different extents. If a gas mixture, such as natural gas, is passed under pressure through a vessel containing a polymeric or microporous adsorbent that is more selective towards carbon dioxide than it is for methane, at least a portion of the carbon dioxide is selectively adsorbed by the adsorbent, and the gas exiting the vessel is enriched in methane. When the adsorbent reaches the end of its capacity to adsorb carbon dioxide, it is regenerated by reducing the pressure, thereby releasing the adsorbed carbon dioxide. The adsorbent is then typically purged and repressurized and ready for another adsorption cycle.

"TSA processes rely on the phenomenon that gases at lower temperatures are more readily adsorbed within the pore structure or free volume of an adsorbent material compared to higher temperatures, i.e., when the temperature of the adsorbent is increased, the adsorbed gas is released, or desorbed. By cyclically swinging the temperature of an adsorbent bed, TSA processes can be used to separate gases in a mixture when used with an adsorbent that is selective for one or more of the components of a gas mixture.

"In these swing adsorption processes, various adsorbent bed assemblies are coupled together with conduits and valves to manage the flow of fluids. Orchestrating these adsorbent bed assemblies involves coordinating the cycles for each of the adsorbent bed assemblies with other adsorbent bed assemblies in the system. A complete cycle can vary from seconds to minutes as it transfers a plurality of gaseous streams through the adsorbent bed assembly.

"However, swing adsorption systems do not properly manage the void space within the conduits of the system. Typically, these systems are distributed with various conduits being different lengths for the different adsorbent bed assemblies. This void space has a gas from the previous stream, which has to be displaced as part of the process. Accordingly, the conventional systems for swing adsorption are inefficient in managing the streams passing through the system in the various steps of the cycle.

"There remains a need in the industry for apparatus, methods, and systems that are more efficient and that can be constructed and employed on a smaller footprint than conventional equipment. The more efficient management of the streams along with more compact designs are beneficial when the swing adsorption apparatus is to be deployed in remote locations, such as off-shore production platforms, arctic environments, or desert environments."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one or more embodiments, a swing adsorption system is described that includes a rotary valve assembly; a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies and a plurality of adsorbent bed units. Each of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies is in fluid communication with the rotary valve assembly via a dedicated conduit; and each of the plurality of adsorbent bed units is in fluid communication with the rotary valve assembly via one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies. The system may also include at least one bellows coupled to the conduit disposed between the rotary valve assembly and the one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies, wherein the at least one bellows is configured to adsorb thermal expansion and contraction of the conduit. Each of the reciprocating valve assemblies may communicate with one of a plurality of apertures in the rotary valve assembly. Further, at least one of the plurality of adsorbent bed units may have a reciprocating valve assembly that is dedicated for each stream that passes through the adsorbent bed unit as part of the adsorption cycle.

"Other applications in the technical area include U.S. Patent Application Nos. 61/447,806, 61/447,812, 61/447,824, 61/447,848, 61/447,869, 61/447,835, and 61/447,877, each of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

"The rotary valve assembly may be disposed within a central housing, which is configured to support the rotary valve assembly, the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies and the plurality of adsorbent bed units. Further, each of the plurality of adsorbent bed units may be disposed substantially equidistantly from the central housing in a radial orientation. In certain embodiments, a first portion of the plurality of adsorbent bed units may be disposed equidistantly from the central housing by a first radii and a second portion of the plurality of adsorbent bed units may be disposed equidistantly from the central housing by a second radii.

"The swing adsorption system may also include additional rotary valve assemblies. For example, the system may include a second rotary valve assembly and a second plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies, wherein each of the second plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies is in fluid communication with the second rotary valve assembly via a dedicated conduit and is in fluid communication with one of plurality of adsorbent bed units. In this system, the rotary valve assembly and the second rotary valve assembly are each associated with different streams in the system. Alternatively, the system may include a second rotary valve assembly; and a second plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies, wherein each of the second plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies is in fluid communication with the second rotary valve assembly via a dedicated conduit and is in fluid communication with one of a second plurality of adsorbent bed units. The second rotary valve assembly may be disposed on a first tier and the rotary valve assembly is disposed on a second tier, wherein the second tier is at a higher elevation relative to the first tier.

"In certain embodiments, the rotary valve assembly may include additional components. For example, the rotary valve assembly may include a drive assembly configured to rotate an aperture plate to provide the fluid to one or more of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies. The drive assembly may include a drive shaft, a sealed collar and wherein the plurality of transmitter magnets are disposed along the drive shaft and configured to rotate with the drive shaft. Also, rotary valve assembly may include at least one transmitter magnet and a plurality of receiver magnets, wherein at least one of the plurality of receiver magnets is associated with one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies and is in communication with a sensor configured to transmit a signal to one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies.

"In one or more embodiments, a method of processing a feed stream is described. The method includes a) passing a feed stream through a rotary valve assembly; b) passing the feed stream from the rotary valve assembly to one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies based on the alignment of an aperture plate in the rotary valve assembly; c) processing the feed stream from the one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies in an adsorbent bed unit dedicated to the one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies to separate one or more contaminants from the feed stream to form a product stream; d) conducting away from the adsorbent bed unit the product stream; e) rotating one or more components in the rotary valve assembly to a subsequent alignment, wherein the subsequent alignment stops fluid flow to the one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies from the rotary valve assembly and permits fluid flow to a subsequent one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies; f) processing the feed stream from the subsequent one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies in a subsequent adsorbent bed unit dedicated to the subsequent one of a plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies to separate one or more contaminants from the feed stream to form a product stream; and g) conducting away from the subsequent adsorbent bed unit the product stream; and h) repeating the steps a-g for at least one additional cycle. The method may also include rotating at least one transmitter magnet relative to a plurality of receiver magnets, wherein at least one of the plurality of receiver magnets is associated with one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies and is in communication with a sensor configured to transmit a signal to one of the plurality of reciprocating valve assemblies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"FIG. 1 is an exemplary illustration of an elevation view of a portion of a fourteen adsorbent bed arrangement.

"FIG. 2 is an exemplary illustration of the plan view of one-tier level of the configuration of FIG. 1 having seven-adsorbent beds equally deployed around the central housing.

"FIG. 3 is an exemplary illustration of the portion of the fourteen adsorbent bed arrangement showing the rotary valve assemblies.

"FIGS. 4A and 4B are illustrations showing the exemplary magnetic transmitter and sensing device that may be utilized in accordance with an embodiment of the present techniques.

"FIG. 5 is an exemplary illustration of a rotating port valve and associated conduits in accordance with an embodiment of the present techniques."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Tammera, Robert F.; Anderson, Thomas N. Apparatus and Systems Having a Rotary Valve Assembly and Swing Adsorption Processes Related Thereto. Filed February 27, 2012 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=7370&p=148&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Chemicals, Chemistry, Carbon Dioxide, Inorganic Carbon Compounds.

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Source: Life Science Weekly


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