Patents by Inventor Mark R. Fernald

Mark R. Fernald 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).

  • Patent number: 10835905
    Abstract: An engineered collection medium for use in mineral separation is described. The engineered collection medium has a solid phase body configured with a three-dimensional open-cell structure like foam or sponge to provide collection surfaces. The surfaces are functionalized with a hydrophobic chemical having molecules with a functional group for attaching mineral particles to the collection surfaces. The engineered collection medium can be a foam block, a filter or conveyor belt to be placed in a slurry to collect mineral particles in the slurry. The engineered collection medium carrying the mineral particles is provided to a release apparatus where the mineral particles can be released by using mechanical agitation, sonic agitation and so forth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: CIDRA CORPORATE SERVICES INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Douglas H. Adamson, Paul Dolan, Timothy J. Bailey, Michael Ryan
  • Patent number: 10807105
    Abstract: Apparatus uses engineered collection media to recover mineral particles in a slurry. The apparatus has a tumbler cell and a rotation device to rotate the tumbler cell. The tumbler cell has a container to hold a mixture of the engineered media and the slurry containing the mineral particles. The container is turned such that at least part of the mixture in the upper part of the container is caused to interact with at least part of the mixture in the lower part of the container. As such, the contact between the engineered media and the mineral particles is enhanced. The surfaces of the engineered media are functionalized with a chemical having molecules to attract the mineral particles to the surfaces so as to form mineral laden media. After the mineral laden media are discharged from the tumbler cell, the mineral particles can be separated from the engineered media by stripping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATION SERVICES LLC
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Peter A. Amelunxen, Paul Dolan, Timothy J. Bailey, Michael Ryan
  • Patent number: 10774400
    Abstract: A copper/molybdenum separation processor is provided featuring a slurry/media mixture stage configured to receive a conditioned pulp containing hydrophobic molybdenite and hydrophilic copper, iron and other minerals that is conditioned with sodium hydrosulfide together with an engineered polymeric hydrophobic media, and provide a slurry/media mixture; and a slurry/media separation stage configured to receive the slurry/media mixture, and provide a slurry product having a copper concentrate and a polymerized hydrophobic media product having a molybdenum concentrate that are separately directed for further processing. The slurry/media mixture stage include a molybdenum loading stage configured to contact the conditioned pulp with the engineered polymeric hydrophobic media in an agitated reaction chamber, and load the hydrophobic molybdenite on the engineered polymeric hydrophobic media.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services LLC
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Peter A. Amelunxen
  • Patent number: 10751693
    Abstract: Apparatus or recovering a mineral particle of interest from a slurry in a mineral extraction process, featuring a core or substrate; and multiple layers arranged on the core or substrate, each layer of the multiple layers configured with a respective outer surface having a plurality of molecules attached thereto, the molecules comprising a functional group selected for attracting and attaching one or more mineral particles of interest to the molecules. Each layer is made from a polymer having a thickness of less than or equal to about 125 microns. The polymer is selected from a group consisting of polydimethylsiloxane or dimethyl siloxane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2020
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Service Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Christian V. O'Keefe, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Publication number: 20200261924
    Abstract: Apparatus uses engineered collection media to recover mineral particles in a mineral extraction process, e.g., for processing a tailings stream at the end of a flotation separation process. The engineered collection media are added to slurry/tailings containing the mineral particles. The engineered collection media have collection surfaces coated with a chemical selected for attracting the mineral particles to the collection surfaces so the engineered collection media becomes mineral laden media in the slurry/tailings in a loading stage. The apparatus include three stages: removing unwanted material from mineral laden media; using a stripping agent to strip the mineral particles from the mineral laden media; and separating the engineered collection media from the mineral particles and the stripping agent. The stripping agent is reused for stripping, and the engineered collection media are returned to the loading stage. The engineered collection media can have a smooth or foam-like surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Publication date: August 20, 2020
    Inventors: PAUL J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Peter A. AMELUNXEN, Paul DOLAN, Timothy BAILEY, Michael RYAN
  • Publication number: 20200070074
    Abstract: A substrate for use in an aqueous slurry has a polymeric coating to provide a compliant and sticky surface. The polymer coating has a chemical to render the surface hydrophobic so as to attract hydrophobic or hydrophobized mineral particles in the slurry. The substrate can take the form of a conveyor belt, a bead, a mesh, an impeller, a filter or a flat surface. The substrate can also be an open-cell foam. The polymeric coating can be modified with tackifiers; plasticizers; crosslinking agents; chain transfer agents; chain extenders; adhesion promoters; aryl or alky copolymers; fluorinated copolymers and/or additives; hydrophobicizing agents such as hexamethyldisilazane; inorganic particles such as silica, hydrophobic silica, and/or fumed hydrophobic silica; MQ resin; and/or other additives to control and modify the properties of the polymer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2017
    Publication date: March 5, 2020
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Paul DOLAN, Michael RYAN, Michael D. COPPOLA, Kevin Rodney LASSILA, Allison K. GREENE
  • Publication number: 20200030819
    Abstract: A substrate for use in an aqueous slurry has a polymeric coating to provide a compliant and sticky surface. The polymer coating has a chemical to render the surface hydrophobic so as to attract hydrophobic or hydrophobized mineral particles in the slurry. The surface has a surface roughness structure in the nano-scale to micro-scale range. The substrate can take the form of a conveyor belt, a bead, a mesh, an impeller, a filter or a flat surface. The substrate can also be an open-cell foam. The polymeric coating can be modified with tackifiers; plasticizers; crosslinking agents; chain transfer agents; chain extenders; adhesion promoters; aryl or alky copolymers; fluorinated copolymers and/or additives; hydrophobicizing agents such as hexamethyldisilazane; inorganic particles such as silica, hydrophobic silica, and/or fumed hydrophobic silica; MQ resin; and/or other additives to control and modify the properties of the polymer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2018
    Publication date: January 30, 2020
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Paul DOLAN, Michael Stephen RYAN, Michael D. COPPOLA, Kevin Rodney LASSILA, Allison K. GREENE
  • Patent number: 10427166
    Abstract: A transportable modular system for enhanced minerals recovery from tailings lines and deposits, features two transportable mineral recovery modules (TMRM), each TMRM for transporting as a truck mounted module to a remote site as an independently-operable mineral recovery module, each TMRM to couple to another TMRM on-site at the remote site and used together to provide enhanced minerals recovery. One TMRM having a central engineered polymer mineral recovery module that receives tailings fluid having a mineral particle of interest, processes the tailings fluid using an engineered polymer configuration, and provides recovered mineral processing fluids having the mineral particle of interest and a tailings disposal fluid. One other TMRM is selected from a group of TMRMs that includes another central engineered polymer mineral recovery module, a tailings fluid management module, an additive/chemical treatment polymer management module, a tailings disposal module and a recovery mineral processing module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Francis K. Didden, Alan D. Kersey, Mark R. Fernald, Paul J. Rothman
  • Publication number: 20190291121
    Abstract: Apparatus uses hydrophobic synthetic beads to recover mineral particles in a slurry. The synthetic beads and the slurry are mixed into a mixture for processing. The apparatus has an interaction vessel installed in a section of pipeline. The interaction vessel is made from a pipeline folded or coiled into a compact struction having a continuous flow path. The interaction vessel has an input to receive the mixture of slurry and synthetic beads. The folded or coiled structure is used to increase the residence time of the mixture in the flow path, allowing more time for the mineral particles in the slurry to attach to the surface of the synthetic bead, while maintaining a small footprint. The interaction vessel may be formed from a number of loops of pipe section. The interaction vessel may be formed from one or more folded structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2017
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Mark R. FERNALD, Paul J. ROTHMAN, Alan D. KERSEY
  • Publication number: 20190275533
    Abstract: A reactor system has a number of stations arranged to recover mineral particles in a slurry. The system includes a hopper to receive the slurry and barren media having hydrophobic coating to attract the mineral particles. The hopper provides a mixture of barren media and slurry to a tumbler arranged to stir the mixture in order to increase the contact between the slurry and the barren media so as to allow the mineral particles to attach to the barren media to form mineral laden media. The mineral laden media are conveyed to a rinsing station where water jets are used to wash the gangue materials off the mineral laden media. The rinsed mineral laden media are mixed with a surfactant so that the mineral particles are released from the mineral laden media. High-pressure water and air jets are then used to remove remaining surfactant from the released media.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2017
    Publication date: September 12, 2019
    Inventors: Mark R. FERNALD, Paul J. ROTHMAN, Paul DOLAN, Kirk JOHNSON, Patrick TUXBURY, Sandeep BALASUBRAMANYAM, Peter A. AMELUNXEN, Timothy J. BAILEY, Adam JORDENS, Joseph NORD
  • Patent number: 10357782
    Abstract: Apparatus, such as a flotation separation device, features a flotation cell or column configured to receive a mixture of water, valuable material and unwanted material; receive polymer-based materials, including polymer bubbles or beads, configured to attach to the valuable material in the mixture; and provide enriched polymer-based materials, including enriched polymer bubbles or beads, having the valuable material attached thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services LLC
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Publication number: 20190201914
    Abstract: A synthetic bead for use in mineral separation is described. The synthetic bead has a surface made of a synthetic material such as polymer and the synthetic material is functionalized with molecules having a functional group for attaching mineral particles to the surface in a separation process. The synthetic beads can be placed in flotation cell containing a mixture of water, valuable material and unwanted material or in a pipeline where the mixture is transported from one location to another. The enriched synthetic beads carrying the mineral particles are separated from the unwanted materials in the mixture. The mineral particles are then released from the synthetic beads by means of low pH treatment, ultrasonic agitation, thermal or electromagnetic treatment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 12, 2018
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Francis K. DIDDEN, Christian V. O'KEEFE, Douglas H. ADAMSON
  • Patent number: 10309887
    Abstract: Apparatus features a signal processor or processing module configured at least to: receive signaling containing information about acoustic emissions resulting from particles impacting a solid sensor element configured in a process pipe having a process fluid flowing therein, including a slurry; and determine particle sizes of solids in the process fluid, based at least partly on the signaling received. The signal processor module may also be configured to provide corresponding signaling containing information about the particle sizes of solids in the process fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: David V. Newton, Mark R. Fernald
  • Patent number: 10245597
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided featuring a first and second cells. The first cell receives an ore slurry having mineral particles of interest, receives unexpanded polymer microspheres comprising a surface having mineral collector chemistry attached thereto with molecules for attaching the mineral particles of interest, causes the unexpanded polymer microspheres to expand substantially in volume into expanded polymer microspheres having a substantially increased sphere surface area, and provides an expanded polymer microsphere foam layer comprising the expanded polymer microspheres with attached mineral particles of interest. The second cell receives the expanded polymer microsphere foam layer, and causes the expanded polymer microspheres to collapse substantially in volume into collapsed polymer microspheres having a substantially reduced sphere surface area that results in a mechanical shearing off of the attached mineral particles of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Francis K. Didden, Alan D. Kersey, Michael A. Davis, Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Christian V. O'Keefe, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Publication number: 20190009280
    Abstract: Apparatus uses engineered collection media to recover mineral particles in a slurry. The apparatus has a tumbler cell and a rotation device to rotate the tumbler cell. The tumbler cell has a container to hold a mixture of the engineered media and the slurry containing the mineral particles. The container is turned such that at least part of the mixture in the upper part of the container is caused to interact with at least part of the mixture in the lower part of the container. As such, the contact between the engineered media and the mineral particles is enhanced. The surfaces of the engineered media are functionalized with a chemical having molecules to attract the mineral particles to the surfaces so as to form mineral laden media. After the mineral laden media are discharged from the tumbler cell, the mineral particles can be separated from the engineered media by stripping.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2016
    Publication date: January 10, 2019
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Peter A. AMELUNXEN, Paul DOLAN, Timothy J. BAILEY, Michael RYAN
  • Patent number: 10099251
    Abstract: The present invention provides apparatus, including a pigging tool, that comprises a spraying mechanism configured to move along an inner surface of a pipeline, including a slurry transport pipeline in a minable oilsands facility or plant, and to spray a coating on the inner surface of the pipeline; and a curing source, including an ultraviolet (UV) light source, a microwave source or an RF source, configured to cure the coating sprayed on the inner surface of the pipeline in situ as the spray mechanism moves along the inner surface of the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Alan D. Kersey, Mark R. Fernald, John Viega, Francis K. Didden
  • Publication number: 20180272359
    Abstract: A selective recirculation circuit has a loading stage, a stripping stage and a filtering stage for use in processing a feed stream or slurry containing mineral particles. The stripping stage forms a first loop with the loading stage, and a second loop with the filtering stage. The loading stage has a loading mixer and a loading washing screen. The stripping stage has a stripping mixer and a stripping washing screen. The loading mixer receives the slurry and causes barren media in the circuit to contact with the slurry so that the mineral particles in the slurry are loaded onto the barren media. The media is directed to the stripping stage where the mineral particles are removed from the media. The barren media is recycled to the loading stage. The stripping solution recovered from the filtering stage is returned to the stripping stage and the mineral particles are discharged as concentrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Peter A. AMELUNXEN
  • Publication number: 20180274060
    Abstract: A copper/molybdenum separation processor is provided featuring a slurry/media mixture stage configured to receive a conditioned pulp containing hydrophobic molybdenite and hydrophilic copper, iron and other minerals that is conditioned with sodium hydrosulfide together with an engineered polymeric hydrophobic media, and provide a slurry/media mixture; and a slurry/media separation stage configured to receive the slurry/media mixture, and provide a slurry product having a copper concentrate and a polymerized hydrophobic media product having a molybdenum concentrate that are separately directed for further processing. The slurry/media mixture stage include a molybdenum loading stage configured to contact the conditioned pulp with the engineered polymeric hydrophobic media in an agitated reaction chamber, and load the hydrophobic molybdenite on the engineered polymeric hydrophobic media.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Peter A. AMELUNXEN
  • Publication number: 20180200730
    Abstract: Apparatus for use in, or forming part of, a separation process to be implemented in separation processor technology, the apparatus comprising synthetic bubbles or beads configured with a polymer or polymer-based material functionalized to attach to a valuable material in a mixture so as to form an enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto, and also configured to be separated from the mixture based at least partly on a difference in a physical property between the enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto and the mixture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2017
    Publication date: July 19, 2018
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Francis K. DIDDEN, Christian V. O'KEEFE, Alan D. KERSEY, Douglas H. ADAMSON
  • Patent number: 9995609
    Abstract: A signal processor receives a signal containing information about a sensor that is spirally wrapped at a known pitch or separation down a pipe having a flow; and determines a flow velocity based at least partly on the information contained in the signal received by applying an autocorrelation function that depends on a relationship between the time between a repeating pattern and the known pitch or separation of the spirally wrapped sensor. The signal processor provides a corresponding signal containing information about the flow velocity. The sensor includes a strain sensor, including a piezo-electric polymer strain sensor fabricated from PVDF, and/or two or more equally spaced spirally wound sensors. The determining includes correlating output signals of two or more equally spaced spirally wound sensors to determine a time delay, and determining the flow velocity based on the time delay and the known pitch or separation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Mark R. Fernald