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Energy Conserving Distillation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108107D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 4 page(s) / 147K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Greschner, J: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A distillation method is described which utilizes the different vapor pressures of an acutely curved drop-shaped surface of the liquid to be distilled and the planar surface of the distillate. Technical quantities are distilled in an extensive arrangement.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Energy Conserving Distillation

       A distillation method is described which utilizes the
different vapor pressures of an acutely curved drop-shaped surface of
the liquid to be distilled and the planar surface of the distillate.
Technical quantities are distilled in an extensive arrangement.

      Conventional technical processes distilling large quantities of
liquid at high speed in a limited space require much energy.  The
substance to be distilled is preferably evaporated at boiling point.
Condensation of the correspondingly large quantities of distillate
necessitates low temperatures.

      The basic concept of the described method is to provide the
energy for evaporating or condensing the substance to be distilled as
surface energy (generated from potential energy), rather than as
heat, and to obtain the desired distillation throughput by a suitable
geometry of the arrangement employed.

      Fig. 1 is a sectional view of a cell of the distillation means.
The cell is filled with liquids and assumed to be in the operative
state.  Fig. 1A is a perspective view of the same cell but without
liquids.

      The cell of Fig. 1 consists of an upper and a lower container o
and u.  The upper container o is filled with the liquid to be
distilled (brine) up to a height h.  The brine forces through a fine
hole at the bottom of the upper container, forming a suspended drop
which at a suitable liquid height h has a curvature radius of about
half the hole diameter.  According to the surface curvature of the
brine drop, the vapor pressure of the distillate contained therein
exceeds that of the same liquid volume with a planar surface.
Consequently, more distillate evaporates from the brine drop than
from the distillate with a planar surface, which condenses in the
lower container u.  As a result, distillate is transferred from the
brine drop to the lower container.

      A suitable geometry and appropriate materials ensure that the
condensation heat occurring in the lower container is immediately
returned to the brine drop so that the temperature difference slowing
down distillation is kept sufficiently small.

      The distillation which initially proceeds at an extremely slow
pace but without the application or removal of thermal energy is
increased to technical quantities by a number of measures.
      1.   A very large number of the described cells are arranged
adjacent to each other in an area.
      2.   The holes provided for generating the drops have a very
small diameter.  The curvature of the drop surface matches this
diameter and the vapor pressure is correspondingly high.
      3.   Each cell comprises a plurality of holes instead of only
one hole.
      4.   The distance between the drop apex and the planar
distillate surface is reduced to a minimum so that the path of the
vapor molecules from the curved drop surface to the physically planar
regions of the distillate su...