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: 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
  • Patent number: 9989453
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided featuring a signal processor or processing module configured at least to: receive signaling containing information about the conductivity of a fluid contained, processed or flowing in a pipe, tank, cell or vessel having electrodes around the circumference of the pipe, tank, cell or vessel in an irregular configuration; and determine a scale build-up in the pipe, tank, cell or vessel using a tomographic processing technique, based at least partly on the signaling received. The signal processor module may be configured to provide corresponding signaling containing information about the scale build-up in the pipe, tank, cell or vessel using the tomographic processing technique, e.g., including where the corresponding signaling contains information about a chemical to be injected to control the scale build-up, including in a closed loop manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Alan D. Kersey, Mark R. Fernald
  • Patent number: 9981272
    Abstract: Apparatus featuring synthetic bubbles or beads and a flotation stage. The synthetic bubbles or beads are configured with a polymer or polymer-based material functionalized to attach to the valuable material in a mixture to form at least some enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto, and also configured to be transported through the mixture based at least partly on a characteristic of the synthetic bubbles or beads. The flotation stage has the mixture containing valuable material, and is configured to receive the synthetic bubbles or beads and to provide the at least some enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto based at least partly the characteristic of the synthetic bubbles or beads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9981271
    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: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES LLC
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'keefe, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9943860
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for collecting mineral particles in the tailings is disclosed. The apparatus may take the form of a filter, a conveyor belt, a collection plate or an impeller configured to contact with tailings of a flotation process, before and/or after the tailings are discharged into a pond. The filter, conveyor belt, collection plate or impeller has a collection area or surface made of, or coated with, a synthetic material having a functional group, e.g., having an ionizing bond to attract the mineral particles of interest. Alternatively, the synthetic material has hydrophobic molecules to render the collection area hydrophobic. When the mineral particles of interest in the tailings are combined with collector molecules, the mineral particles of interest may also become hydrophobic. The hydrophobic mineral particles of interest are attracted to the hydrophobic collection area or surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9880095
    Abstract: The present invention provides a technique that uses discrete wavelengths of illumination of an ore sample, and through the use of optical filters and laser illumination the signal-to-noise ratio of the measurement can be greatly improved, and may take the form of apparatus featuring a signal processor configured to: receive signaling containing information about a spectral reflectance caused by discrete wavelengths illuminating an ore sample; and determine information about a bitumen content of the ore sample based at least partly on the signaling. The signal processor may provide corresponding signaling containing information about the bitumen content of the ore sample, including for further processing, printing or displaying.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael A. Davis, Mark R. Fernald
  • Publication number: 20170361333
    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: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Publication date: December 21, 2017
    Inventors: Francis K. DIDDEN, Alan D. KERSEY, Mark R. FERNALD, Paul J. ROTHMAN
  • Patent number: 9833763
    Abstract: Apparatus features a container and a transducer. The container is made of a selected material and has a container wall with a selected thickness, and configured to hold a fluid therein. The transducer is configured on the outside of the container wall, and is also configured to provide a standing wave into the fluid. The selected thickness and material of the container wall is chosen to ensure about a ½ wavelength of a desired frequency exists within the container wall, so as to substantially reduce back reflections toward the transducer due to any mismatch in acoustic impedance at the interface between the container wall and the fluid, and so as to substantially maximize the amount of energy delivered to the fluid, thus improving the operating efficiency of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey
  • Patent number: 9827574
    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: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9810665
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided featuring an acoustic driver and a transducer. The acoustic driver is configured to provide an acoustic driver signal having a frequency that can be adjusted to yield a given wavelength, which in turn, will selectively capture a particular particle size of particles in a fluid, mixture or process flow. The transducer is configured to respond to the acoustic driver signal and provide an acoustic signal having a standing wave at the frequency in order to yield the given wavelength that will selectively capture the particular particle size of the particles in the fluid, mixture or process flow, in order to determine the mass of the particles having the particular particle size in the fluid, mixture or process flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey
  • Publication number: 20170232451
    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: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Publication date: August 17, 2017
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Francis DIDDEN, Christian V. O'KEEFE, Douglas H. ADAMSON, Paul DOLAN, Timothy J. BAILEY, Michael RYAN