Patents Represented by Attorney Brian R. Tumm
  • Patent number: 5405588
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of a metal, in particular, cadmium contained in scrap, in a stable form. The process comprises the steps of mixing the cadmium-containing scrap with an ammonium carbonate solution, preferably at least a stoichiometric amount of ammonium carbonate, and/or free ammonia, and an oxidizing agent to form a first mixture so that the cadmium will react with the ammonium carbonate to form a water-soluble ammine complex; evaporating the first mixture so that ammine complex dissociates from the first mixture leaving carbonate ions to react with the cadmium and form a second mixture that includes cadmium carbonate; optionally adding water to the second mixture to form a third mixture; adjusting the pH of the third mixture to the acid range whereby the cadmium carbonate will dissolve; and adding at least a stoichiometric amount of sulfide, preferably in the form of hydrogen sulfide or an aqueous ammonium sulfide solution, to the third mixture to precipitate cadmium sulfide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: James W. Kronberg
  • Patent number: 5404218
    Abstract: A fiber optic probe and a method for using the probe for light scattering analyses of a sample. The probe includes a probe body with an inlet for admitting a sample into an interior sample chamber, a first optical fiber for transmitting light from a source into the chamber, and a second optical fiber for transmitting light to a detector such as a spectrophotometer. The interior surface of the probe carries a coating that substantially prevents non-scattered light from reaching the second fiber. The probe is placed in a region where the presence and concentration of an analyte of interest are to be detected, and a sample is admitted into the chamber. Exciting light is transmitted into the sample chamber by the first fiber, where the light interacts with the sample to produce Raman-scattered light. At least some of the Raman-scattered light is received by the second fiber and transmitted to the detector for analysis. Two Raman spectra are measured, at different pressures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Stanley E. Nave, Ronald R. Livingston, William S. Prather
  • Patent number: 5402508
    Abstract: A fiber optic probe for detecting scattered light, with transmitting and receiving fibers having slanted ends and bundled together to form a bevel within the tip of the probe. The probe comprises a housing with a transparent window across its tip for protecting the transmitting and receiving fibers held therein. The endfaces of the fibers are slanted, by cutting, polishing and the like, so that they lie in a plane that is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the respective fiber. The fibers are held in the tip of the probe using an epoxy and oriented so that lines normal to the slanted endfaces are divergent with respect to one another. The epoxy, which is positioned substantially between the transmitting and receiving fibers, is tapered so that the transmitting fiber, the epoxy and the receiving fiber form a bevel of not more than 20 degrees. The angled fiber endfaces cause directing of the light cones toward each other, resulting in improved light coupling efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Patrick E. O'Rourke, Ronald R. Livingston
  • Patent number: 5398560
    Abstract: An inspection rabbit for inspecting piping systems having severe bends therein. The rabbit consists of a flexible, modular body containing a miniaturized eddy current inspection probe, a self-contained power supply for proper operation of the rabbit, an outer surface that allows ease of movement through piping systems and means for transmitting data generated by the inspection device. The body is preferably made of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing or, alternatively, silicone rubber with a shrink wrapping of polytetrafluoroethylene (TEFLON.RTM.). The body is formed to contain the power supply, preferably a plurality of batteries, and a spool of communication wire that connects to a data processing computer external to the piping system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: W. Thor Zollingger, D. Keith Appel, Larry R. Park
  • Patent number: 5389784
    Abstract: An ion cyclotron resonance cell having two adjacent sections separated by a center trapping plate. The first section is defined by the center trapping plate, a first end trapping plate, and excitation and detector electrodes. The second section includes a second end trapping plate spaced apart from the center plate, a mirror, and an analyzer. The analyzer includes a wavelength-selective light detector, such as a detector incorporating an acousto-optical device (AOD) and a photodetector. One or more ion guides, grounded plates with holes for the ion beam, are positioned within the vacuum chamber of the mass spectrometer between the ion source and the cell. After ions are trapped and analyzed by ion cyclotron resonance techniques in the first section, the ions of interest are selected according to their mass and passed into the second section for optical spectroscopic studies. The trapped ions are excited by light from a laser and caused thereby to fluoresce.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Robert R. Weller
  • Patent number: 5388446
    Abstract: An apparatus for use in one-hundred percent leak testing of food containers used in conjunction with a tracer gas. The apparatus includes a shell with entrance and exit air locks to create a controlled atmosphere through which a series of containers is conveyed by a conveyor belt. The pressure in the shell is kept lower than the pressure in the containers and the atmosphere is made to flow with the containers so that a tracer gas placed in the packages before sealing them will leak more readily, but the leaked tracer gas will remain associated with the leaking package as it moves through the shell. The leaks are detected with a sniffer probe in fluid communication with a gas chromatograph. The gas chromatograph issues a signal when it detects a leak to an ejector that will eject the leaking container from the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: James W. Kronberg
  • Patent number: 5384048
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for in situ remediation of contaminated subsurface soil or groundwater contaminated by chlorinated hydrocarbons. A nutrient fluid is selected to stimulate the growth and reproduction of indigenous subsurface microorganisms that are capable of degrading the contaminants; an oxygenated fluid is selected to create a generally aerobic environment for these microorganisms to degrade the contaminants, leaving only pockets that are anaerobic. The nutrient fluid is injected periodically while the oxygenated fluid is injected continuously and both are extracted so that both are drawn across the plume. The nutrient fluid stimulates microbial colony growth; withholding it periodicially forces the larger, healthy colony of microbes to degrade the contaminants. Treatment is continued until the subsurface concentration of contaminants is reduced to an acceptable, preselected level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Terry C. Hazen, Carl B. Fliermans
  • Patent number: 5380162
    Abstract: A pump having a split driveshaft for use in pumping hazardous fluids wherein only one driveshaft becomes contaminated by the fluid while the second remains isolated from the fluid. The pump has a first portion and a second portion. The first portion contains a pump motor, the first driveshaft, a support pedestal, and vapor barriers and seals. The second portion contains a second, self-lubricating driveshaft and an impeller. The first and second driveshafts are connected together by a releasable coupling. A shield and a slinger deployed below the coupling prevent fluid from the second portion from reaching the first portion. In operation, only the second assembly comes into contact with the fluid being pumped, so the risk of contamination of the first portion by the hazardous fluid is reduced. The first assembly can be removed for repairs or routine maintenance by decoupling the first and second driveshafts and disconnecting the motor from the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Thomas P. Evans, II, Jwalit J. Purohit, John M. Fazio
  • Patent number: 5376803
    Abstract: A device for testing a radiation detector system that includes at least two arrays of radiation detectors that are movable with respect to each other. The device includes a "shield plate" or shell, and an opposing "source plate" containing a source of ionizing radiation. Guides are attached to the outer surface of the shell for engaging the forward ends of the detectors, thereby reproducibly positioning the detectors with respect to the source and with respect to each other, thereby ensuring that a predetermined portion of the radiation emitted by the source passes through the shell and reaches the detectors. The shell is made of an hydrogenous material having approximately the same radiological attenuation characteristics as composite human tissue. The source represents a human organ such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, heart, liver, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, testes, prostate, or ovaries.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Matthew C. Mc Fee, Tim J. Kirkham, Tippi H. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5375457
    Abstract: A method and device for detecting the location of leaks along a wall or piping system, preferably in double-walled piping. The apparatus comprises a sniffer probe, a rigid cord such as a length of tube attached to the probe on one end and extending out of the piping with the other end, a source of pressurized air and a source of helium. The method comprises guiding the sniffer probe into the inner pipe to its distal end, purging the inner pipe with pressurized air, filling the annulus defined between the inner and outer pipe with helium, and then detecting the presence of helium within the inner pipe with the probe as is pulled back through the inner pipe. The length of the tube at the point where a leak is detected determines the location of the leak in the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Donald J. Trapp
  • Patent number: 5375530
    Abstract: A pipe crawler having a midsection that provides the stability and flexibty to allow the pipe crawler to negotiate curved and uneven segments of piping while traveling through piping systems. The pipe crawler comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a midsection with a gimbal at each end for connecting the midsection to the front and rear leg assemblies in a flexible manner, and an air cylinder for changing the distance between the front and rear leg assemblies. The pipe crawler moves in "inch worm" fashion with the front and rear leg assemblies alternating between an extended and a retracted position as the air cylinder moves the retracted leg assembly forward. The midsection has a plurality of legs extending radially for holding the midsection within a maximum displacement from the piping axis so that the gimbals are not pivoted to extreme angles where they might lock up or seize.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Energy
    Inventors: William T. Zollinger, Richard C. Treanor
  • Patent number: 5374403
    Abstract: An apparatus for incinerating wastes, including an incinerator having a combustion chamber, a fluidtight shell enclosing the combustion chamber, an afterburner, an off-gas particulate removal system and an emergency off-gas cooling system. The region between the inner surface of the shell and the outer surface of the combustion chamber forms a cavity. Air is supplied to the cavity and heated as it passes over the outer surface of the combustion chamber. Heated air is drawn from the cavity and mixed with fuel for input into the combustion chamber. The pressure in the cavity is maintained at least approximately 2.5 cm WC (about 1" WC) higher than the pressure in the combustion chamber. Gases cannot leak from the combustion chamber since the pressure outside the chamber (inside the cavity) is higher than the pressure inside the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Robert C. W. Chang
  • Patent number: 5373163
    Abstract: A high efficiency radiation detector for measuring X-ray and gamma radiation from small-volume, low-activity liquid samples with an overall uncertainty better than 0.7% (one sigma SD). The radiation detector includes a hyperpure germanium well detector, a collimator, and a reference source. The well detector monitors gamma radiation emitted by the reference source and a radioactive isotope or isotopes in a sample source. The radiation from the reference source is collimated to avoid attenuation of reference source gamma radiation by the sample. Signals from the well detector are processed and stored, and the stored data is analyzed to determine the radioactive isotope(s) content of the sample. Minor self-attenuation corrections are calculated from chemical composition data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Raymond A. Sigg
  • Patent number: 5370006
    Abstract: A pipe inspection instrument carriage for use with a pipe crawler for performing internal inspections of piping surfaces. The carriage has a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly and a central support connecting the two assemblies and for mounting an instrument arm having inspection instruments. The instrument arm has a y-arm mounted distally thereon for axially aligning the inspection instrumentation and a mounting block, a linear actuator and axial movement arm for extending the inspection instruments radially outward to operably position the inspection instruments on the piping interior. Also, the carriage has a rotation motor and gear assembly for rotating the central support and the front leg assembly with respect to the rear leg assembly so that the inspection instruments azimuthally scan the piping interior. The instrument carriage allows performance of all piping inspection operations with a minimum of moving parts, thus decreasing the likelihood of performance failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: William T. Zollinger, Richard C. Treanor
  • Patent number: 5354991
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for sampling the output signal of a radiation detector and distinguishing full-capture radiation events from Compton scattering events. The output signal of a radiation detector is continuously sampled. The samples are converted to digital values and input to a discriminator where samples that are representative of events are identified. The discriminator transfers only event samples, that is, samples representing full-capture events and Compton events, to a signal processor where the samples are saved in a three-dimensional count matrix with time (from the time of onset of the pulse) on the first axis, sample pulse current amplitude on the second axis, and number of samples on the third axis. The stored data are analyzed to separate the Compton events from full-capture events, and the energy of the full-capture events is determined without having determined the energies of any of the individual radiation detector events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Unites States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Daniel M. C. Odell
  • Patent number: 5354438
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for quantitatively and selectively separating metal ions from mixtures thereof in aqueous solution. The apparatus includes, in combination, a horizontal electrochemical flow cell containing flow bulk electrolyte solution and an aqueous, metal ion-containing solution, the cell containing a metal mesh working electrode, a counter electrode positioned downstream from the working electrode, an independent variable power supply/potentiostat positioned outside of the flow cell and connected to the electrodes, and optionally a detector such as a chromatographic detector, positioned outside the flow cell. This apparatus and its operation has significant application where trace amounts of metal ions are to be separated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1994
    Assignee: United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Amy C. Almon
  • Patent number: 5348396
    Abstract: A temperature probe and a method for using said probe for temperature measurements based on changes in light absorption by the probe. The probe comprises a first and a second optical fiber that carry light to and from the probe, and a temperature sensor material, the absorbance of which changes with temperature, through which the light is directed. Light is directed through the first optical fiber, passes through the temperature sensor material, and is transmitted by a second optical fiber from the material to a detector. Temperature-dependent and temperature-independent factors are derived from measurements of the transmitted light intensity. For each sensor material, the temperature T is a function of the ratio, R, of these factors. The temperature function f(R) is found by applying standard data analysis techniques to plots of T versus R at a series of known temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Patrick E. O'Rourke, Ronald R. Livingston, William S. Prather
  • Patent number: 5343607
    Abstract: A tool for installing a gasket and a snap ring including a shaft, a first plate attached to the forward end of the shaft, a second plate slidably carried by the shaft, a spring disposed about the shaft between the first and second plates, and a sleeve that is free to slide over the shaft and engage the second plate. The first plate has a loading surface with a loading groove for receiving a snap ring and a shoulder for holding a gasket. A plurality of openings are formed through the first plate, communicating with the loading groove and approximately equally spaced about the groove. A plurality of rods are attached to the second plate, each rod slidable in one of the openings. In use, the loaded tool is inserted into a hollow pipe or pipe fitting having an internal flange and an internal seating groove, such that the gasket is positioned against the flange and the ring is in the approximate plane of the seating groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: James M. Southerland, Jr., Curtis N. Barringer, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5345034
    Abstract: A barrier for reducing the spread of a plume of subsurface contaminants. The apparatus includes a well system for injecting a fluid, such as air, just outside and below the periphery of the plume. The fluid is injected at a pressure sufficient to lower the hydraulic conductivity of the soil from the point of injection to the surface thus establishing a curtain-like barrier to groundwater movement. The barrier is established upgradient of the plume to divert groundwater away, or preferably completely around the plume to reduce the flow of groundwater into or out of the plume. The barrier enables the remediation of the confined contamination and then, when the injection of the fluid is halted, the barrier quickly dissipates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: John C. Corey
  • Patent number: 5339694
    Abstract: A monitoring probe for detecting groundwater migration. The monitor features a cylinder made of a permeable membrane carrying an array of electrical conductivity sensors on its outer surface. The cylinder is filled with a fluid that has a conductivity different than the groundwater. The probe is placed in the ground at an area of interest to be monitored. The fluid, typically saltwater, diffuses through the permeable membrane into the groundwater. The flow of groundwater passing around the permeable membrane walls of the cylinder carries the conductive fluid in the same general direction and distorts the conductivity field measured by the sensors. The degree of distortion from top to bottom and around the probe is precisely related to the vertical and horizontal flow rates, respectively. The electrical conductivities measured by the sensors about the outer surface of the probe are analyzed to determine the rate and direction of the groundwater flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Brian B. Looney, Sanford Ballard