Patents Represented by Attorney Andrew Alexander
  • Patent number: 6458733
    Abstract: A method for preparing a metal reinforced refractory body comprising the steps of providing a mold for containing a slurry of refractory material. A body of metal fibers is inserted into the mold, the metal fibers having a coefficient of thermal expansion of less than 10×10−6 in/in/° F. and a yield strength of greater than 35 KSI at 1200° F. The slurry of refractory material is introduced to the mold to provide the slurry in intimate contact with the metal fibers, the refractory material in the hardened condition having a coefficient of thermal expansion of less than 10×10−6 in/in/° F. The refractory material is hardened to provide a metal reinforced composite refractory body comprised of a reinforcing component and a refractory component having a coefficient of thermal expansion of less than 10×10−6 in/in/° F. to minimize cracking of the refractory body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Inventor: C. Edward Eckert
  • Patent number: 6444165
    Abstract: A method of heating molten aluminum flowing in a heated trough member comprising the steps of providing a source of molten aluminum and providing a rough member comprised of a first side and a second side, the first and the second sides having outside surfaces, the sides formed from a ceramic material resistant to attack by molten aluminum. The first side and second side have heating element receptacles provided therein with protection tubes provided in the receptacles. The protection tubes are comprised of a refractory selected from the group consisting of mullite, boron nitride, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, graphite, silicon aluminum oxynitride or a metal selected from Kovar® and titanium. Electric heating elements are positioned in the tubes. Molten aluminum is flowed along the trough member from the source and electric power is passed to the heating elements to heat the molten aluminum as it flows along the trough member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: C. Edward Eckert
  • Patent number: 6436272
    Abstract: A method of producing aluminum in an electrolytic cell containing alumina dissolved in an electrolyte. A plurality of non-consumable anodes are disposed substantially vertically in the electrolyte along with a plurality of monolithic hollow cathodes. Each cathode has a top and bottom and the cathodes are disposed vertically in the electrolyte and the anodes and the cathodes are arranged in alternating relationship. Each of the cathodes is comprised of a first side facing a first opposing anode and a second side facing a second opposing anode. The first and second sides are joined by ends to form a reservoir in the hollow cathode for collecting aluminum therein deposited at the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: Northwest Aluminum Technologies
    Inventors: Craig W. Brown, Patrick B. Frizzle
  • Patent number: 6419812
    Abstract: A method of producing aluminum in an electrolytic cell containing alumina dissolved in an electrolyte. The method comprises the steps of providing a molten salt electrolyte in an electrolytic cell having an anodic liner for containing the electrolyte, the liner having an anodic bottom and walls including at least one end wall extending upwardly from the anodic bottom, the anodic liner being substantially inert with respect to the molten electrolyte. A plurality of non-consumable anodes is provided and disposed vertically in the electrolyte. A plurality of cathodes is disposed vertically in the electrolyte in alternating relationship with the anodes. The anodes are electrically connected to the anodic liner. An electric current is passed through the anodic liner to the anodes, through the electrolyte to the cathodes, and aluminum is deposited on said cathodes. Oxygen bubbles are generated at the anodes and the anodic liner, the bubbles stirring the electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Northwest Aluminum Technologies
    Inventors: Theodore R. Beck, Craig W. Brown
  • Patent number: 6419813
    Abstract: Cathode connector means for low temperature aluminum smelting cell for connecting titanium diboride cathode or the like to bus bars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Northwest Aluminum Technologies
    Inventors: Craig W. Brown, Theodore R. Beck, Patrick B. Frizzle
  • Patent number: 6379512
    Abstract: An electrolytic bath for use during the electrolytic reduction of alumina to aluminum. The bath comprises molten electrolyte having the following ingredients: AlF3 and at least one salt selected from the group consisting of NaF, KF, and LiF; and about 0.004 wt. % to about 0.2 wt. %, based on total weight of the molten electrolyte, of at least one transition metal or at least one compound of the metal or both. The compound is, a fluoride; oxide, or carbonate. The metal is nickel, iron, copper, cobalt, or molybdenum. The bath is employed in a combination including a vessel for containing the bath and at least one non-consumable anode and at least one dimensionally stable cathode in the bath. Employing the instant bath during electrolytic reduction of alumina to aluminum improves the wetting of aluminum on a cathode by reducing or eliminating the formation of non-metallic deposits on the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Northwest Aluminum Technology
    Inventors: Craig W. Brown, Richard J. Brooks, Patrick B. Frizzle, Drago D. Juric
  • Patent number: 6368427
    Abstract: A method of casting an aluminum base alloy to provide a cast product having improved hot crack resistance in the as-cast condition, the method comprising providing a melt of an aluminum base alloy comprised of 4 to less than 5 wt. % Cu, max. 0.1 wt. % Mn, 0.15 to 0.55 wt. % Mg, max. 0.4 wt. % Si, max. 0.2 wt. % Zn, up to 0.4 wt. % Fe, the balance comprised of aluminum, incidental elements and impurities. The dissolved Ti in the melt is maintained in the range of about 0.005 to 0.05 wt. % to improve the resistance of the alloy to hot cracking. A nucleating agent selected from the group consisting of metal carbides, aluminides and borides is added to the melt to provide an undissolved nucleating agent therein, in the range of 0.002 to 0.1 wt. % for grain refining. The alloy is solidified to provide a cast product having a grain size of less than 125 microns and free of hot cracks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Inventor: Geoffrey K. Sigworth
  • Patent number: 6361695
    Abstract: A method and system for treating wastewater in an onboard ship sewage treatment system having controlled suspended solids, the method comprising the steps of collecting wastewater in a collection tank and transferring the wastewater to a bioreactor to oxidize organic material contained in the wastewater by adding oxygen-containing gas thereto. The bioreactor is operated to provide a mixed liquor having a solids concentration of at least 5 g/l and the solids concentration is continuously increased in the mixed liquor in the bioreactor to not greater than 30 g/l. When the solids concentration in the mixed liquor reaches at least 15 g/l, a portion of the mixed liquor is removed from the bioreactor. Thereafter, wastewater is added to the bioreactor to decrease the solids concentration of remaining or residual mixed liquor to not less than 5 g/l. The bioreactor is further operated to increase the solids content again.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Zenon Environmental Inc.
    Inventors: Hidayat Husain, Henry Behmann, Fernando A. Tonelli, Ming Gang Liu
  • Patent number: 6299828
    Abstract: A shaft for use in a method for treating molten aluminum using an impeller mounted on the shaft comprising a protective refractory sleeve resistant to attack by molten aluminum, the protective sleeve mounted on the shaft by casting to extend above and below the molten aluminum surface when the shaft is in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Inventor: C. Edward Eckert
  • Patent number: 6267891
    Abstract: A method of producing high purity water using weak acid cation exchange for dealkalization and a double pass reverse osmosis membrane system having enhanced membrane life.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Zenon Environmental Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony A. Tonelli, Eric Harrison, Susan Leanne Wesno, Hadi Husain, Andrew Benedek
  • Patent number: 6258278
    Abstract: A method of producing high purity water using dealkalization and a double pass reverse osmosis membrane system having enhanced membrane life.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Zenon Environmental, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony A. Tonelli, Eric Harrison, Susan Leanne Wesno, Hadi Husain, Andrew Benedek
  • Patent number: 6258247
    Abstract: An electrolytic bath for use during the electrolytic reduction of alumina to aluminum. The bath comprises a molten electrolyte having the following ingredients: (a) AlF3 and at least one salt selected from the group consisting of NaF, KF, and LiF; and (b) about 0.004 wt. % to about 0.2 wt. %, based on total weight of the molten electrolyte, of at least one transition metal or at least one compound of the metal or both. The compound may be, for example, a fluoride, oxide, or carbonate. The metal can be nickel, iron, copper, cobalt, or molybdenum. The bath can be employed in a combination that includes a vessel for containing the bath and at least one non-consumable anode and at least one dimensionally stable cathode in the bath. Employing the bath of the present invention during electrolytic reduction of alumina to aluminum can improve the wetting of aluminum on a cathode by reducing or eliminating the formation of non-metallic deposits on the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Northwest Aluminum Technology
    Inventors: Craig W. Brown, Richard J. Brooks, Patrick B. Frizzle, Drago D. Juric
  • Patent number: 6248302
    Abstract: A method for processing red mud to recover iron, aluminum, silicon and titanium metal values therefrom the method comprising the steps of adding the red mud to a digester containing an acid to provide a mixture of acid and red mud and heating the mixture to dissolve soluble compounds of at least one of iron, aluminum, silicon and titanium to provide a digest containing dissolved salts of the soluble compounds and to provide a gas component. Thereafter, the digest is treated with water to dissolve water soluble salts therein to provide a slurry comprised of a liquid containing water and the dissolved soluble salts and a solid component comprised of silica. The solid component is separated from the liquid and the pH of the liquid is adjusted to form an aluminate and an iron-containing precipitate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Goldendale Aluminum Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Barnett, Michael B. Mezner
  • Patent number: 6238633
    Abstract: A non-metallic product (NMP) substantially free of metallic aluminum and aluminum nitride which is utilized for making calcium aluminate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Aluminum Waste Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Pickens, Edward L. Morris
  • Patent number: 6231822
    Abstract: A method of recovering chloride and sulfate salts from spent potliner using acid digestion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: Goldendale Aluminum Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Barnett, Michael B. Mezner
  • Patent number: 6217632
    Abstract: A method of grain refining aluminum, the method comprising providing a molten aluminum body containing at least one of the metals selected from the group consisting of titanium, zirconium, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, silicon, tungsten, tantalum, niobium and beryllium. A material reactive with the titanium is introduced preferably in gaseous form to the aluminum body. The material has a component selected from the group consisting of boron, carbon, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus. The material and said metal form a grain refining compound adapted for grain refining the aluminum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Inventor: Joseph A. Megy
  • Patent number: 6217631
    Abstract: A method of heating a body of molten metal passing through a treatment bay. The method comprises providing a body of molten metal in a treatment bay and providing a baffle heater in the treatment bay to contact the molten metal. The baffle heater is comprised of a member fabricated from a material substantially inert to the molten metal, the member containing at least one heating element receptacle. An electric heating element is positioned in the receptacle for heating the member, the element protected from the molten metal by the material constituting the member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Inventor: C. Edward Eckert
  • Patent number: 6217840
    Abstract: A method for producing fumed silica and a fluorine-containing product from a source of silica in solid form and a solid material containing fluorine, the solid material selected from the group consisting of sodium aluminum tetrafluoride, cryolite, aluminum fluosilicate ammonium bifluoride, sodium aluminum silicofluoride, and sodium fluosilicate. The method comprises the steps of digesting the silica in solid form and the solid material selected from the group consisting of sodium aluminum tetrafluoride, cryolite, aluminum fluosilicate, ammonium bifluoride, sodium aluminum silicofluoride, and sodium flurosilicate in a sulfuric acid digester. The digestion step produces a first gas component comprised of silicon tetrafluoride, hydrogen fluoride and water vapor. The first gas component is removed from the digester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Goldendale Aluminum Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Barnett, Michael B. Mezner
  • Patent number: 6217836
    Abstract: Spent potliner from aluminum reduction cells is treated, for example, with sulfuric acid to recover carbon, silica and alumina or to recover a vitrified product of silca and alumina.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Goldendale Aluminum Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Barnett, Michael B. Mezner
  • Patent number: 6193944
    Abstract: Spent potliner from an aluminum reduction cell is subject to an acid digest and the digest may be adjusted to produce a first gas component comprised of at least one material selected from the group consisting of silicon tetrafluoride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide gas and water vapor, and a slurry component comprised of at least one material selected from the group consisting of carbon, silica, alumina, and sodium, iron, calcium and magnesium compounds. The first gas component is removed from the digester and heated to a temperature sufficiently high to convert said silicon tetrafluoride to fumed silica and hydrogen fluoride. Thereafter, the fumed silica is separated from the hydrogen fluoride to recover fumed silica from spent potliner material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: Goldendale Aluminum Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Barnett, Michael B. Mezner