Patents by Inventor Gerald H. Luttrell

Gerald H. Luttrell has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20150108044
    Abstract: What is claimed is a flotation separation system for partitioning a slurry. The slurry includes a hydrophobic species that can adhere to gas bubbles that form within the slurry. The flotation separation system includes a flotation separation cell. The flotation separation cell has a sparger unit and a separation tank. The separation tank is constructed to allow the bubble dispersion to form a froth at the top of the slurry contained in the separation tank. The sparger unit includes a slurry inlet, a slurry outlet, a sparging mechanism, a high shear element, and a gas inlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2014
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Jaisen Kohmuench, Eric S. Yan, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 8960443
    Abstract: A flotation separation system is provided for partitioning a slurry that includes a hydrophobic species which can adhere to gas bubbles formed in the slurry. The flotation separation system comprises a flotation separation cell that includes a sparger unit and a separation tank. The sparger unit has a slurry inlet for receiving slurry and a gas inlet to receive gas with at least enough pressure to allow bubbles to form in the slurry within the sparger unit. The sparger unit includes a sparging mechanism constructed to disperse gas bubbles within the slurry. The sparging mechanism sparges the gas bubbles to form a bubble dispersion so as to cause adhesion of the hydrophobic species to the gas bubbles substantially within the sparger unit while causing a pressure drop of about 10 psig or less across the sparging mechanism. The sparger unit includes a slurry outlet to discharge the slurry and the bubble dispersion into the separation tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Eriez Manufacturing Co.
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Jaisen Kohmuench, Eric S. Yan, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Publication number: 20080251427
    Abstract: A flotation separation system is provided for partitioning a slurry that includes a hydrophobic species which can adhere to gas bubbles formed in the slurry. The flotation separation system comprises a flotation separation cell that includes a sparger unit and a separation tank. The sparger unit has a slurry inlet for receiving slurry and a gas inlet to receive gas with at least enough pressure to allow bubbles to form in the slurry within the sparger unit. The sparger unit includes a sparging mechanism constructed to disperse gas bubbles within the slurry. The sparging mechanism sparges the gas bubbles to form a bubble dispersion so as to cause adhesion of the hydrophobic species to the gas bubbles substantially within the sparger unit while causing a pressure drop of about 10 psig or less across the sparging mechanism. The sparger unit includes a slurry outlet to discharge the slurry and the bubble dispersion into the separation tank.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2008
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Jaisen Kohmuench, Eric S. Yan, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 6920982
    Abstract: The magnetic susceptibility of one or more plastic articles is enhanced to enable their separation from a waste stream using magnetic separators. An amount of paramagnetic material is added to the plastic formulation to influence magnetic susceptibility without affecting the properties associated with the function of the plastic article. The material is preferably selected from a group consisting of magnetite, ferro-silicon and ferromagnetic particles (e.g., iron filings). The amount or material can be varied in the range of between 0.05% and 5% by weight of the plastic formulation. The plastic with altered magnetic susceptibility and a method separating that plastic from a waste stream are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2005
    Assignee: Eriez Magnetics
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Publication number: 20040035756
    Abstract: The magnetic susceptibility of one or more plastic articles is enhanced to enable their separation from a waste stream using magnetic separators. An amount of paramagnetic material is added to the plastic formulation to influence magnetic susceptibility without affecting the properties associated with the function of the plastic article. The material is preferably selected from a group consisting of magnetite, ferro-silicon and ferromagnetic particles (e.g., iron filings). The amount or material can be varied in the range of between 0.05% and 5% by weight of the plastic formulation. The plastic with altered magnetic susceptibility and a method separating that plastic from a waste stream are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 6425485
    Abstract: A process is described for separating particles based on differences in mass after the selective attachment of air bubbles to reduce the density of one or more of the components of the feed. A novel feature of this process is aeration of a hindered-bed of solids in a fluidized-bed separator to create particle/bubble agglomerates that can be separated based on the principal of gravity. This approach offers an improvement in process efficiency that cannot be achieved by other processes. Air and water are mixed in a shear device before the aerated fluidized water is introduced to the separation chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Eriez Magnetics
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 6264040
    Abstract: A process and a structure is described for separating particles in a fluid medium based on a difference in settling velocity. The feed is introduced tangential into the separation zone. The tangential feed system includes a transition box to reduce flow velocity and disperse the slurry across the separator eliminating the efficiency losses associated with other classifiers that introduce feed directly into the separation chamber. This approach offers an improvement in process capacity and efficiency. The fluidization water is introduced to the separation chamber below a baffle plate that disperses the water across the base of the separator. The feed system may include baffles in the upper separation chamber, and a stilling well with an impact plate adjustable side walls and adjustable baffle plates to reduce flow velocity and disperse the slurry across the separator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Inventors: Michael J. Mankosa, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5814210
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for the microbubble flotation separation of very fine and coarse particles, especially coal and minerals, so as to produce high purity and high recovery efficiency. This is accomplished through the use of a flotation column, microbubbles, recycling of the flotation pulp, and countercurrent wash water to gently wash the froth. Also disclosed are unique processes and apparatus for generating microbubbles for flotation in a highly efficient and inexpensive manner using either a porous tube or in-line static generators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gregory T. Adel, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5587085
    Abstract: Fine particles are dewatered in an energy efficient process in which a non-polar liquid or a mixture of different hydrophobic liquids are used to displace the water from the particle surface. Thermodynamically, this process is spontaneous. The only energy required for this process is to recover the hydrophobic liquid(s) for recycling purposes. The hydrophobic liquids are recovered in gaseous form either by lowering the pressure or by heating, and converted back to liquid form for re-use. The most economical reagents that can be used for this purpose include propane, butane, pentane, and ethane. Carbon dioxide may also be used for the dewatering process described in the present invention. The process of dewatering by displacement is capable of achieving the same or better level of moisture reduction as thermal drying but at substantially lower energy costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1996
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Property Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5522510
    Abstract: An apparatus for separating impurities from coal, includes a device for removing a predetermined amount of ash-forming substances from the coal and a device for removing a predetermined amount of high specific gravity (e.g., pyrite) from the coal having been processed by the ash-forming substance removing device. The ash-forming substance removing device and the high specific gravity material removing device each possess characteristics that allow them to more efficiently reject different types of mineral impurities from coal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald H. Luttrell, Roe-Hoan Yoon
  • Patent number: 5458786
    Abstract: Fine coals are dewatered in an energy efficient process in which a non-polar liquid or a mixture of different hydrophobic liquids are used to displace the water from the coal surface. This process works with higher rank coals that are naturally hydrophobic so that the coal surface from which the water is displaced has a stronger affinity for the hydrophobic liquid than the water. Thermodynamically, this process is spontaneous and, hence, requires no energy. The only energy required for this process is to recover the spent hydrophobic liquid(s) for recycling purposes. The hydrophobic liquids are recovered in gaseous form either by lowering the pressure or by heating, and coverted back to liquid form for re-use. The most economical reagents that can be used for this purpose include propane, butane, pentane, and ethane. Carbon dioxide can also be used for the dewatering process described in the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignees: The Center for Innovative Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5397001
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for the microbubble flotation separation of very fine and coarse particles, especially coal, and minerals so as to produce high purity and high recovery efficiency. This is accomplished through the use of a flotation column, microbubbles, recycling of the flotation pulp, and countercurrent wash water to gently wash the froth. Also disclosed are unique processes and apparatus for generating microbubbles for flotation in a highly efficient and inexpensive manner using either a porous tube or in-line static generators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1995
    Assignees: Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State U., Virginia Tech Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gregory T. Adel, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5396260
    Abstract: Mineral content in processed ore and coal content in coal slurries are determined using a video system. A video image is taken of a sample, the video image is digitized, and gray levels are assigned to points or areas on the video image. The distribution of the gray levels for the image provides an indication of the purity of the minerals in the ore sample. The mean gray level for the image provides an indication of the mineral content of interest in the sample. The video system should be calibrated using ores that normally occur in the process environment and using samples of controlled moisture content. The video system has particular utility in determining phosphate content and calcium ratio in phosphate ores.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignees: The Center for Innovative Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory T. Adel, Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5167798
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for the microbubble flotation separation of very fine and coarse particles, especially coal and minerals, so as to produce high purity and high recovery efficiency. This is accomplished through the use of a flotation column, microbubbles, recycling of the flotation pulp, and countercurrent wash water to gently wash the froth. Also disclosed are unique processes and apparatus for generating microbubbles for flotation in a highly efficient and inexpensive manner using either a porous tube or in-line static generators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gregory T. Adel, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 5161694
    Abstract: A process of selectively agglomerating coal in an aqueous environment while leaving the mineral matter dispersed has been developed. This process is autogenous for hydrophobic particles in that neither an agglomerating agent nor an electrolytic coagulant is needed. It is based on the finding that hydrophobic particles are pushed against each other by the surrounding water structure. This process, which is referred to as selective hydrophobic coagulation, is driven by the so-called hydrophobic interaction energy, which is not included in the classical DLVO theory describing the stability of lyophobic suspensions. The relatively small coagula formed by the selective hydrophobic coagulation process can be readily separated from the dispersed mineral matter by several different techniques such as screening, elutriation, sedimentation and froth flotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1992
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gerald H. Luttrell
  • Patent number: 4981582
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for the microbubble flotation separation of very fine particles, especially coal, so as to produce a high purity and large recovery efficiently. This is accomplished through the use of a high aspect ratio flotation column, microbubbles, and a countercurrent use of wash water to gently wash the froth. Also, disclosed are unique processes and apparatus for generating microbubbles for flotation in a high efficient and inexpensive manner using either a porous tube or an in-line static generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1991
    Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Roe-Hoan Yoon, Gregory T. Adel, Gerald H. Luttrell