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Magnegas / Aquafuel

US Patent # 6,540,966

Apparatus and Method for Recycling Contaminated Liquids

U.S. Class 422/186.21 ~ Intl. Cl.B01J 019/08 ~ April 1, 2003

Santilli; Ruggero Maria (Palm Harbor, FL)

Abstract ~

Reactors for the total recycling of contaminated liquid waste, which produce a clean burning combustible gas, usable heat, and solid precipitates. Different embodiments include the efficient recycling of automotive antifreeze and oil waste, a new method for the production of a fuel from crude oil, for desalting seawater and for recycling biologically contaminated liquid waste, such as town sewage, into a clean burning combustible gas, nutrient rich water useful for irrigation, and solid precipitates useful for fertilizers.

References Cited ~
U.S. Patent Documents:
603058 ~ Apr., 1898 ~ Eldridge et al.
3992277 ~ Nov., 1976 ~ Trieschmann et al. ~ 204/172
4054513 ~ Oct., 1977 ~ Windle ~ 209/214
4229307 ~ Oct., 1980 ~ Lowe et al. ~ 250/543
4369102 ~ Jan., 1983 ~ Galluzzo et al. ~ 204/228
5026484 ~ Jun., 1991 ~ Juvan ~ 210/717
5069765 ~ Dec., 1991 ~ Lewis ~ 204/173
5159900 ~ Nov., 1992 ~ Dammann
5319176 ~ Jun., 1994 ~ Alvi et al. ~ 219/121
5417817 ~ May., 1995 ~ Dammann et al.
5435274 ~ Jul., 1995 ~ Richardson, Jr.
5692459 ~ Dec., 1997 ~ Richardson, Jr.
5792325 ~ Aug., 1998 ~ Richardson, Jr.
5826548 ~ Oct., 1998 ~ Richardson, Jr. ~ 123/3
6113748 ~ Sep., 2000 ~ Richardson, Jr. ~ 204/170
6183604 ~ Feb., 2001 ~ Santilli ~ 204/172
6299656 ~ Oct., 2001 ~ Richardson, Jr. et al. ~ 44/603

Other References ~
David Braaten, `Ridiculously` easy test yields claim of energy triumph, The Washington Times, p. A5, Mar. 1989.*
Wada et al., Nuclear Fusion in Solid, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 28, No. 11, p. L2017-L2020, Nov. 1990.*
Kim, Neutron Burst From a High-Voltage Discharge Between Palladium Electrodes in D2(sub) Gas, Fusion Technology, vol. 18, p. 680-681, Dec. 1990.*
Foundations of Hadronic Chemistry with Applications to New Clean Energies and Fuels by Ruggero Maria Santilli, (Date Unknown).

Primary Examiner: Diamond; Alan ~ Attorney, Agent or Firm: LaPointe; Dennis G. Mason Law, P.A.

Description ~


The present invention is dramatically more efficient than those disclosed in prior art, such as U.S. Pat. Nos. 603,058 to H. Eldridge; 5,159,900 to W. A. Dammann and D. Wallman; 5,435,274 to W. H. Richardson, Jr.; 5,417,817 to W. A. Dammann and D. Wailman; 5,692,459 to W. H. Richardson, Jr.; 5,792,325 to W. H. Richardson, Jr.

The processes as per the latter prior art patents have the following main drawbacks which have prevented their being suitable for industrial and consumer applications: 1) the gas produced is environmentally unacceptable, because, according to numerous measurements, its exhaust contains 4% to 8% more carbon dioxide than fossil fuel exhaust; and 2) the gas produced is industrially unacceptable, because, also according to various measurements, its production rate is excessively slow due to the burning by the arc of the hydrogen and oxygen back to water, as illustrated by the typical large glow of underwater arcs.


This invention includes: a new process for flowing the liquid waste through electric arcs; equipment and process for the total recycling of liquid waste which cannot be even partially disposed in the environment, into a usable clean burning gas, a usable large source of heat, and solid precipitates usable for industrial applications; equipment and process for recycling biologically contaminated liquid waste, such as town, municipal, farm, industrial or consumer sewage, for the production of usable combustible gas, nutrient rich water usable for irrigation, and solid precipitates usable as fertilizers.

Car dealers, automotive service stations, municipalities, industries, farms, and any other entity releasing liquid waste are turned by this invention into a producer of clean fuel via an equipment which has essentially the dimension of a desk.

Water is known to be one of the best electric insulators. Yet, under an electric arc, the resistance of water collapses to values of the order of fractional Ohms, which low value of the resistance further decrease with the increase of the Kwh. It is evident that, under these conditions, the electric arc within water is one of the best known superconducting conditions at high temperature.

In fact, the flow of the liquid waste to be recycled through the electric arc, pushes a plasma created by the energized arc away from the arc on a continuous basis. Following the displacement of said plasma from the immediate vicinity of the electrodes tips, estimated to be a displacement of the order of 1/8", the plasma instantly cools down because the surrounding liquid is relatively very cold, implying a transition from 7,000 degrees F. to about 200 degrees F.

The present invention provides equipment and processes for producing a clean burning combustible gas and further provides heat energy from the large amount of heat acquired by the liquid, which can be captured and utilized with heat exchangers, radiators and other means known in the art.

For the case of the separation of the water via the PlasmaArcFlow Reactor with carbon anode, the cooled down plasma is formed by atoms of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. Due to the much bigger affinity of carbon and oxygen, as compared to those of hydrogen and oxygen or hydrogen and carbon, the carbon instantly removes all available oxygen by forming the combustible gas CO. The PlasmaArcFlow then prevents CO to be oxidized by the electric arc into CO2. When the impurity in the water and in the carbon rod is ignorable, and under the maximal possible use of the PlasmaArcFlow, the resulting combustible gas is composed of a mixture essentially 50% of H2 and 50% CO, by volume. For the total recycling of liquid waste of fossil fuel origin, such as automotive antifreeze and oil waste, the principal constituents of the produced combustible gas remain H2 and CO, although in different proportions, such as 40% H2, 50% CO, 5% O2 and the remaining components being inert gases. Alternatively, the principal constituents of the produced combustible gas are about 40% H2, about 55% CO, about 3% CO2, and about 2% O2.

The combustion exhaust of the produced combustible gas from pure water composed 50% of H2 and 50% CO is therefore made of water vapor in approximately 60%, 20% carbon in solid form, 4% to 6% CO2, the balance being given by atmospheric gases, including nitrogen and possible impurities. In this way, the exhaust has no carcinogenic or other toxic substances, contains from 1/2 to 1/3 the CO2 of fossil fuel exhaust, and the oxygen consumption is dramatically less than the alarming oxygen depletion caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, currently running at the equivalent of about 72 million of oil barrels per day.

The exhaust of the combustible gas produced by the recycling of contaminated liquid waste is considerably better than that from the separation of the water, due to the larger O2 content. In fact, the exhaust is given by about 50% water vapor, 20% carbon in solid form, 15% oxygen, 4% to 6% CO2, and the rest is given by atmospheric gases. Alternatively, the exhaust can be about 60% water vapor, about 15% oxygen, about 15% carbon in solid form, about 5% CO2, and the rest, being general atmospheric gases.

In conclusion, the combustible gas produced by the invention herein is an environmentally best available fuel, which can be used in any application currently served by fossil fuels, including metal cutting, heating, cooking, automotive and truck uses.

As also indicated earlier, the heat produced by the inventive apparatus and process is acquired by the liquid waste during its recirculating flow through the electric arc, and can be utilized by separately flowing said liquid waste in an outside radiator, heat exchanger, or other conventional utilization of heat. For this reason, apparatus according to this invention generally have two different and independent recirculating systems individually served by pumps, one for the flowing of the liquid waste through the electric arc, and a separate one for the flowing of the same liquid waste through an outside heat utilization system.

Extensive experimentation and tests have established that the inventive systems are more effective operationally when the liquid waste is hot as compared to the same operation when the liquid waste is kept cold. Therefore, the system is operated at a minimal temperature of the liquid waste which depends on the desired application.

When operating at atmospheric pressure, the present invention for the total recycling of liquid waste is run at a constant liquid waste temperature of about 180 degrees F., while all heat in excess of that temperature is utilized with said external systems. In this case, the inventive system can be used as heaters of rooms or of buildings either via radiators with fans directly connected to the reactors as indicated above, or via the use of the equipment to heat up water via heat exchangers which hot water is then pumped through conventional heaters in individual rooms.

This invention can also be used to produce steam. This application is achieved by operating the system at pressures of 15 to 20 psi for the recycling of liquid waste such as automotive antifreeze or oil waste, in which case said liquid waste can be kept at the minimal temperature of 400 degrees F. without boiling, while dissipating via a heat exchanger all heat in excess of said temperature. Since, under the above conditions, the heat exchanger operates at a temperature bigger than the boiling temperature of water, the system can indeed produce steam in a continuous basis.

When the system is operated at atmospheric level, the production of the combustible gas is almost explosive since we have the conversion of one unit of volume of the liquid into about 1,800 units of volume of the gas, as per established knowledge in the transition of state from liquids to gas. It then follows that the production of the gas displaces the liquids, and the arc occurs for about 60% of the time within the gas, rather than within the liquid.

The increase of the pressure in the vessel implies the corresponding proportional decrease of the size of the bubbles of the gas produced, with corresponding increase of the period of time the arc occurs within the liquid. As illustrations, the operation of the equipment at 20 psi implies the decrease of the size of the gas bubbles of at least one tenth, while an operating pressure of 200 psi is expected to imply a reduction of the gas bubbles of the order of 1/100th.

The volume of gas produced is directly proportional to the gap between the electrodes. Unlike the case of electric arcs in air, the gap of electric arcs within liquids can be appreciably increased only with the increase of the Kwh.

Further, an operator can increase the flow of the liquid through the arc. In fact, the faster the flow of the liquid through the arc, the bigger the volume of the combustible gas produced. Also, the large glow of underwater arcs originates from the burning of hydrogen and oxygen back to water immediately following their creation, as triggered by the arc itself. For the case of stationary arcs within water according to the prior art patents quoted earlier, about 80% of the gases produced by the arcs burn back to water. The present invention reduces such a waste

It should be stressed that, for a number of technical or practical limitations, it is impossible to utilize with current technology all the energies produced by electric arcs within liquids. The first limitation is the impossibility to utilize all the gases produced by said under liquid arcs, because the increases of the flow beyond a threshold value for each given electric energy extinguishes the arc itself. Additional limitations are due to the known impossibility to increase the electrodes gap for a given value of the electric energy, the lack of availability of conductors practically usable as electrodes for very large electric energies, and other factors.

The systems or apparatus described above have been built by this inventor according to the specifications further described below, which are completely automatic, including the automatic initiation, control and optimization of the electric arc, and the automatic reloading of the consumable carbon rods. Particular care has been devoted to the conception and construction of systems to minimize waste of electric energy when propagating in electrodes of low conductivity, such as carbon electrodes. This can be achieved via copper cables of large current capacity delivering the electric current to copper bushing sliding under pressure on the carbon rods at a position as near as practically possible to the electric arc.

In summary, this invention establishes the achievement with current technology of a system served by 300 Kwh, operating at 200 psi, with a PlasmaArcFlow of about 3000 g/h, and the recycling of liquid waste of fossil origin kept at the constant temperature of 400 degrees F. via a heat exchanger. Alternatively, the invention provides new means for the production of steam. In turn, the availability of steam permits revolutionary new applications, such as the production of electric energy via steam-driven conventional electric generators, or the desalting of sea water via conventional evaporating means.

Additional novel applications are the following. First, the invention is particularly suited to produce a clean burning combustible fuel from crude oil in a way which is environmentally, logistically, and financially more advantageous than currently used refineries. The environmental advantages are evident from the preceding analysis. The logistic advantages are also evident because, refineries notoriously require large area, thus requiring the oil to be shipped to them, while the present invention is light and mobile, and can therefore be shipped directly to the oil well.

Yet another important application is the use of sea water as liquid to be processed within the equipment. In this case the gas produced has high energy content due to the various elements in the sea water, and the heat acquired by the liquid is consequently high. The invention working on sea water can then be used for a variety of.applications, including a new method of desalting sea water via steam obtained through heat exchanges.

Another application of the above invention is in the recycling of dense liquid waste of animal origin. In fact, the liquid waste can be recirculated through the electric arc until all bacteria are eliminated, as well as until that point in which all bacteriological contaminants are based, thus no longer in solution in the water, at which point the contaminants can be removed with a centrifuge or a filter. This application produces an excellent, clean burning combustible fuel, heat acquired by the liquid waste, solid precipitates usable for fertilizers, and residual water good for irrigation.

Still another application of the invention is that for the complete recycling of paints, paints residues, heavy industrial waste, and other wastes.

The above description refers to total recyclers, that is, equipment for the complete recycling of liquid waste which cannot be disposed in the environment not even in part.

A second class of recyclers permitted by this invention is that for the partial recycling of liquid waste, that is, the removal of contaminants for the production of a usable final liquid. A representative application among several possible ones is that for the recycling of biologically contaminated waters, such as city, town, farms, industrial or consumer sewage, into: 1) clean burning gas; 2) solid precipitates useful for fertilizers; and 3) nutrients rich water usable for irrigation. The latter systems are also called linear recyclers, to denote the single passage of the liquid waste though the arc without recirculation.

The main aspects of this new recycling process is the following. Thanks to the use of a venturi as per FIG. 1B which is further described below, the sewage is forced to pass through the immediate vicinity of the incandescent electrode tips, thus being exposed to a temperature of about 7,000 degrees F., the extremely intense light of the electric arc; electric current of 1,000 A and more, the very strong electric and magnetic fields associated to said electric current, and other factors. These combined conditions eliminate any bacteria in the original sewage by therefore rendering the liquid sterile. Jointly, the original organic substances are partially decomposed into volatile and solid substances, and partially baked into sterile, nutrient rich substances in solution or suspension in the water. The degree of purity of the final water suitable for irrigation is then turned into technical features suitable to meet the requirement by environmental regulatory agencies, including appropriate filtering, if requested.

It should he stressed that, as far as farmers are concerned, there is the clear need of reducing filtration at an absolute minimum, evidently upon achieving complete sterilization of the original biological contaminants. In fact, the elimination of nutrient rich substances produced by the linear reactor implies the requirement that farmers have to purchase instead chemical fertilizers, which are environmentally much less desirable, besides being more expensive. At any rate, an important advantage of the sewage recycling by this invention is that the nutrient rich waters suitable for irrigation qualify for organic produce, thus permitting crops of higher quality, since the original biocontaminants are of human or animal origin.

Extensive tests and experimentation, as well as chemical analyses conducted by independent laboratories, have established the capability by a linear reactor powered by 50 Kwh to render sterile liquid sewage with about 5% biological contaminants at the rate of about 1,000 g/h. A complete recycling station contemplates the use of a minimum of three reactors put in series with individual bypasses, so as to permit the servicing of one station while the other two are operational. In this way, the linear recycler has one primary reactor for the sterilization of the biological contaminants, plus one second identical station as a safety backup, the third station being useful to further refine the final irrigation water.

In the event that more than 1,000 g/h are needed, the above described three linear reactors can be put in parallel in any desired numbers. The increase of the electric power over 50 Kwh also permits an increase of the flow of recycled sewage. In this way, this invention permits the recycling of small flow of sewage of the order of 1,000 g/h or very large flow of the order of 1,000,000 g/h via a suitable combination of linear reactors in series, for the desired quality of the final irrigation water, as well as in parallel, for the desired flow of recycling, under an electric power per station which can be computed depending on the desired flow.

It should be noted that the biological contaminants present in city sewage generally are of the order of 5%, as indicated above. Very heavy sewage as available in farms can also be recycled with the technology of this invention in a two-fold way. First, by processing them without dilution in the total recyclers of FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 3, and 4, that is, by recirculating them until all biological contaminants are recycled and the liquid is sterilized. Second, the same dense liquid sewage can be recycled with the linear reactor of FIG. 5 following dilution of their concentration with tap water, and/or increase of electric power delivered to the arc proportionate to the increase of the contaminants percentage.

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