Separation Below Surface Of Earth Or Water Patents (Class 299/8)
  • Patent number: 10738612
    Abstract: A submarine shallow hydrate exploitation device, including an exploitation unit and a collection unit. The exploitation unit includes: a submarine ship working on a seabed; a drain chamber arranged on the submarine ship, wherein a pressure valve is arranged at a top of the drain chamber, one-way drain holes are formed in a bottom of the drain chamber, and water from massive hydrates is controlled to be discharged out of the drain chamber; a high-speed spiral bit configured to mine and convey sediments; a rotary ring arranged at an inlet end of the drain chamber and configured to connect the drain chamber with the high-speed spiral bit to provide rotation power for the high-speed spiral bit; a steering arm arranged on the submarine ship and configured to realize a rotation of the high-speed spiral bit; a crusher arranged on the submarine ship and configured to crush dried massive hydrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: QINGDAO INSTITUTE OF MARINE GEOLOGY
    Inventors: Nengyou Wu, Gaowei Hu, Changling Liu
  • Patent number: 10596053
    Abstract: The inflatable assist chair comprises a chair and a compressor. The chair may be inflated and deflated using the compressor to more air into and out of the chair. The deflated chair may be placed next to a supine person and the supine person may be moved onto the deflated chair. The compressor may then be activated to inflate the chair, lifting the supine person off the ground and eventually into a seated position. Once the occupant of the chair has been moved to a wheelchair or o a standing position, the direction of airflow through the compress may be reversed an the compressor may be used to deflate the chair. In some embodiments, support ridges on the side of the chair may prevent the supine person form rolling off of the chair as it inflates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Inventor: Jan Street
  • Patent number: 10508413
    Abstract: System for removing sediments from a bed of a liquid environment such as a harbor or a pond, characterized in that it comprises a conduit (30), the lower extremity of which forms a moving suction mouth (31) that is to be placed substantially at the level of the bed, and the upper extremity of which leads into the open air so that said mouth (31) is under atmospheric pressure, said system comprising means for carrying out a local stirring operation (41, 42, 43, 44, 53) within said mouth and discharging means (50, 51, 52) connecting said mouth (31) to the surface of said liquid environment, in which these sediments circulate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Inventors: Guylène Le Guen, Philippe Petard
  • Patent number: 10260344
    Abstract: A deep sea mining method includes providing a deep sea mining system for mining matter from a bottom of a body of water, the mining system including: a slurry line coupled with a pump system to transport the slurry from the bottom of the body of water; and a return line in fluid communication with the slurry line and distinguishable from the slurry riser, for transporting non valuable slurry part to the bottom of the body of water, the return line having a return line outlet proximate the bottom. The deep sea mining method further includes spreading the non valuable slurry part over the bottom of the body of water in a controlled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: IHC Holland IE B.V.
    Inventors: Johannes Bartholomeus Van Doesburg, Pieter Abraham Lucieer
  • Patent number: 10202739
    Abstract: A system and method of off shore mining for retrieval and extraction of heavy mineral concentrate from placer deposits or other suitable materials. The system comprises a dredge vessel and a barge, coupled in conjunction to the dredge vessel. The dredge vessel having thereon a dredging unit, at least one gravity separator and spiral separators for procurement of total heavy minerals from dredged sediment and debris. The barge is configured to acquire and process the total heavy minerals, wherein the barge has thereon at least one magnetic separator, electro-magnetic separators, and density separators for separation of desired minerals based on their physical properties. The system further comprises at least one discharge conduit for tailing of wastes, leftover after extraction and separation of desired minerals, back into water bodies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: DORIS MINERAL RESOURCES PRIVATE LIMITED
    Inventor: Ayyalasomayajula Varaha Subrahmanyam
  • Patent number: 10006187
    Abstract: A seafloor nodule concentrating system is provided. The seafloor nodule concentrating system has a surface vessel and an undersea steering vehicle secured to the surface vessel. The undersea steering vehicle is adapted to be towed by the surface vessel. The seafloor nodule concentrating system also has a nodule collecting apparatus connected to the undersea steering vehicle. The nodule collecting apparatus is located on the seafloor. The seafloor nodule concentrating system also has a position determination device adapted to determine the position of the nodule collecting apparatus and communicate position information of the nodule collecting apparatus to the undersea steering vehicle and surface vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: NAUTILUS MINERALS SINGAPORE PTE LTD
    Inventors: Malcolm Leishman Roper, Sean Michael Plunkett, John Michael Parianos, Roland Gunter Berndt
  • Patent number: 9334734
    Abstract: A robot for mining a manganese nodule on a deep sea floor. The apparatus includes a plurality of moving apparatuses detachably disposed in parallel with each other; a mining apparatus installed to a front end of the moving apparatuses to mine a manganese nodule; a transferring apparatus installed to an upper portion of the moving apparatuses to crush the manganese nodule in a constant size or less such that the manganese nodule is transferred to an external; a power control measuring unit installed to an upper portion of the moving apparatuses for providing power to the moving apparatuses and controlling operations of the mining apparatus and the transferring apparatus; a structure frame for connecting the moving apparatuses to each other and for supporting the mining apparatus, the transferring apparatus and the power control measuring unit; and a buoyancy unit installed to a top end of the structure frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
    Inventors: Sup Hong, Hyung-Woo Kim, Jong-Su Choi, Tae-Kyeong Yeu
  • Patent number: 9316064
    Abstract: A riser system for transporting slurry from the seabed to the sea surface. The riser system comprises a first and second riser, a slurry pump system (17) to transport slurry up one of the risers, and a waste water pump system (107) to return waste water down one of the risers. The slurry pump system and the waste water pump system are selectively connectable to each of the risers to allow each riser to be either a slurry riser (1) or a waste water riser (2). With this arrangement, if a slurry riser develops a leak partway along its length the waste water riser can be converted into a slurry riser such that operation can continue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Marine Resources Exploration International BV
    Inventor: Dan Costache Patriciu
  • Patent number: 8931852
    Abstract: A method of mineral fuel beneficiation with subsequent delivery to the consumer by pipeline transportation relates fuel and energy complex and can find application in coal and slate energetics. Invention main objective is security of solid fuel delivery from mine (or an open cut coal mine) in already enriched form, with its subsequent through delivery to the consumer by pipeline on any distances in stream mode, without any intermediate transshipment operations. For this purpose use liquid with set complex physical, sanitary-and-hygienic and ecological properties, simultaneously, in 4 qualities: As environment for grinding material that needed further reduction of size; As separation environment for the subsequent, after reduction of size, deep underground gravitational enrichment of combustible mineral, As motionless filler of the vertical pipeline, for buoyancy in it ready product from mine on terrestrial surface: As carrying medium for final drift of end-product to the consumer by main pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Inventors: Chuluun Enkhbold, Brodt Alexander
  • Patent number: 8678514
    Abstract: A method for producing hydrocarbons wherein hydrates are excavated from the sea bottom and mixed into a transportable slurry, the slurry being pumped to a support vessel, using near sea bottom positive displacement hydraulic pumps, where the hydrates are converted into a hydrocarbon containing stream, with excavation tailings being pumped down to hydraulic motors to drive the hydraulic pumps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Michalakis Efthymiou, Ulfert Cornelis Klomp, Thomas Alexander Pasfield, Kjeld Aaby Sorensen
  • Patent number: 8623107
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a gas hydrate conversion system is provided comprising a floating factory, an appendage for harvesting a gas hydrate from an oceanic hydrate deposit, and one or more storage tanks. The floating factory comprises one or more heat exchange assemblies, one or more heat pump assemblies and an engine. In another embodiment, a method for harvesting hydrocarbon hydrate deposits is provided, the method comprising providing a gas hydrate conversion system; inducing release of methane from an oceanic hydrate deposit; capturing the methane from a primary methane capture zone and/or a secondary methane capture zone; and converting the methane to hydrogen and carbon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: McAlister Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Roy E. McAlister
  • Patent number: 8550568
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a collecting device (1) for solids material which is moved by means of a fluid from a first location on a seabed, on an offshore installation or on land to a second location, the fluid carrying the solids material in through an inlet portion (7) of the collecting device (1), the collecting device (1) being provided with one or more permeable portions arranged to retain the solids material exceeding a predetermined size. The invention also relates to a method of using the collecting device (1), the method including the abandoning of a filled collecting device (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: OTT Subsea Bag Technology AS
    Inventor: Arne Incoronato
  • Publication number: 20130099552
    Abstract: A method of mineral fuel beneficiation with subsequent delivery to the consumer by pipeline transportation relates fuel and energy complex and can find application in coal and slate energetics. Invention main objective is security of solid fuel delivery from mine (or an open cut coal mine) in already enriched form, with its subsequent through delivery to the consumer by pipeline on any distances in stream mode, without any intermediate transshipment operations. For this purpose use liquid with set complex physical, sanitary-and-hygienic and ecological properties, simultaneously, in 4 qualities: As environment for grinding material that needed further reduction of size; As separation environment for the subsequent, after reduction of size, deep underground gravitational enrichment of combustible mineral, As motionless filler of the vertical pipeline, for buoyancy in it ready product from mine on terrestrial surface: As carrying medium for final drift of end-product to the consumer by main pipeline.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Inventors: Chuluun Enkhbold, Brodt Alexander
  • Patent number: 8256846
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a lifting pipe which is used in a manganese nodule mining system including a collection device for collecting deep-sea manganese nodules and a lifting pump and which has a structure in which dimples are formed on the surface of the lifting pipe so as to reduce drag so that the lifting pipe is less influenced by flows of ocean current. The dimpled lifting pipe includes dimples that are formed on the outer circumferential surface of the dimpled lifting pipe, so that turbulent flows are generated, thereby reducing drag caused by ocean currents of a deep sea.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
    Inventors: Chi-Ho Yoon, Jong-Myung Park, Yong-Chan Park
  • Patent number: 8240775
    Abstract: A non-motorized apparatus for collecting particulate materials, including gold, in stream placer deposits, comprising a first tubular member, a second tubular member, a riffle tray with perforated ridges, a skirt for enveloping the tubular members and directing stream flow, and a fibrous matting held entirely inside the second tubular member. The second tubular member is connected to one end of the first tubular member in a way that a high velocity stream flowing into the first tubular member creates suction pressure in the second tubular member. The particulate matter settles in grooves formed by the ridges in the riffle tray and passes through perforations to become trapped in the fibrous matting as the stream is drawn into the second tubular member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Inventor: Brian Rothery
  • Patent number: 8165722
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a velocity and concentration adjustable coupling pipe apparatus equipped between a lifting pipe and a collector. The apparatus includes a coupling pipe having a lower inlet and an upper outlet which are different in diameter from each other. A seawater inlet pipe passes through a side surface of the coupling pipe to permit inflow of seawater. A slurry flow control valve is provided in the coupling pipe to control the inflow of slurry. A seawater flow control valve is provided in the seawater inlet pipe to control the inflow of the seawater. A first sensor measures concentration of slurry discharged through the upper outlet. A second sensor measures velocity of the discharged slurry. A third sensor measures velocity of slurry introduced into the lower inlet. A control panel controls the opening ratio of each of the slurry and seawater flow control valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience And Mineral Resources (KIGAM)
    Inventors: Chi-Ho Yoon, Byung-Sik Ahn, Jong-Myung Park
  • Publication number: 20100019562
    Abstract: A non-motorized apparatus for collecting particulate materials, including gold, in stream placer deposits, comprising a first tubular member, a second tubular member, a riffle tray with perforated ridges, a skirt for enveloping the tubular members and directing stream flow, and a fibrous matting held entirely inside the second tubular member. The second tubular member is connected to one end of the first tubular member in a way that a high velocity stream flowing into the first tubular member creates suction pressure in the second tubular member. The particulate matter settles in grooves formed by the ridges in the riffle tray and passes through perforations to become trapped in the fibrous matting as the stream is drawn into the second tubular member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2009
    Publication date: January 28, 2010
    Inventor: Brian Rothery
  • Patent number: 7597401
    Abstract: A non-motorized apparatus for collecting particulate materials, including gold, in stream placer deposits, comprising a first tubular member, a second tubular member, a third tubular member with perforated ridges, a skirt for enveloping the tubular members, and a fibrous matting disposed over the third tubular member. The third tubular member with the fibrous matting is held entirely inside the second tubular member. The second tubular member is connected to one end of the first tubular member in a way to have high velocity stream flowing into the first tubular member, creating a suction pressure in the second tubular member. The particulate matter settles in grooves formed by the ridges in the third tubular member and passes through the perforations to be trapped in the fibrous matting as the stream is sucked into the second tubular member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Inventor: Brian Rothery
  • Patent number: 7546880
    Abstract: A process for extracting hydrocarbon gases from marine sediment hydrates. In one embodiment, the process includes drilling from a sea floor into a hydrate rich subsea sediment to form at least one opening therein. Electrical heaters are inserted into the opening or openings. The hydrate rich subsea sediment is heated with the electrical heaters in order to release hydrocarbon gas therefrom. The released hydrocarbon gas is collected in an overhead receiver. The hydrocarbon gas forms hydrates again when moving through the cold sea water and inside the overhead receiver. The overhead receiver is raised to a sea depth where pressure and temperature permit the hydrates to dissociate and to release the hydrocarbon gas. The hydrocarbon gas is then gathered from the top of the overhead receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2009
    Assignee: The University of Tulsa
    Inventors: Hong-Quan Zhang, James P. Brill, Cem Sarica
  • Publication number: 20080315665
    Abstract: An apparatus for assembling a liner from a plurality of longitudinal sections of flexible material having longitudinal edges adapted to be joined one to another to form the liner includes a path means along which the longitudinal sections of flexible material can be conveyed in a laterally reduced condition, an assembly zone at which the longitudinal edges can be joined together to form the liner, and a guide structure about which the flexible material can turn upon exiting from the path means to provide an inner section and an outer section turned back with respect to the inner section. The guide structure presents a guide, surface over which the longitudinal sections of flexible material can pass, the surface being configured to facilitate spreading of each longitudinal section from the laterally reduced condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2008
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Applicant: SORD RESOURCES LIMITED
    Inventor: Neil Deryck Bray GRAHAM
  • Patent number: 7461901
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to the separation of bitumen, such as by the Clark process or by a countercurrent de-sander, in an underground excavation machine, such as a tunnel boring machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: OSUM Oil Sands Corp.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Patent number: 7448692
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to the separation of bitumen, such as by the Clark process or by a countercurrent de-sander, in an underground excavation machine, such as a tunnel boring machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: OSUM Oil Sands.Corp
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Publication number: 20080135257
    Abstract: A process for extracting hydrocarbon gases from marine sediment hydrates. In one embodiment, the process includes drilling from a sea floor into a hydrate rich subsea sediment to form at least one opening therein. Electrical heaters are inserted into the opening or openings. The hydrate rich subsea sediment is heated with the electrical heaters in order to release hydrocarbon gas therefrom. The released hydrocarbon gas is collected in an overhead receiver. The hydrocarbon gas forms hydrates again when moving through the cold seawater and inside the overhead receiver. The overhead receiver is raised to a sea depth where pressure and temperature permit the hydrates to dissociate and to release the hydrocarbon gas. The hydrocarbon gas is then gathered from the top of the overhead receiver. In another embodiment, the process includes partitioning subsea marine sediments and loading the sediments into a container covered with an overhead receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2006
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Applicant: THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
    Inventors: Hong-Quan Zhang, James P. Brill, Cem Sarica
  • Publication number: 20070267913
    Abstract: A lifting pump for manganese nodules includes: a cylindrical body that is sealed at upper and lower portions thereof by a semi-spherical upper cap having a fluid outflow port and a cable insertion tube, and by a semi-spherical lower cap to which an inflow case of a pump unit is coupled; a pumping motor that has a fluid passage formed between an inner surface of the body and an outer surface thereof, is vertically fixed in the body, and drives the pump unit using electric power supplied through a cable; a cover that provides a seal around a shaft of the pumping motor; the pump unit that is installed between the shaft of the pumping motor and the semi-spherical lower cap, is driven by the rotation of the pumping motor, and lifts seawater together with the manganese nodules; a sealing means that provides a seal between the pumping motor and the pump unit; and a reducer that is coupled to the bottom of the pump unit and guides the seawater including the manganese nodules to the pump unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2007
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventors: Chi-Ho Yoon, Young-Ju Kim, Yong-Chan Park, Seok-Ki Kwon, Tae-Yual Yang
  • Patent number: 7192092
    Abstract: The present invention is directed generally to the combined use of slurry mining and hydrocyclones to recover hydrocarbons, such as bitumen, from hydrocarbon-containing materials, such as oil sands, and to selective mining of valuable materials, particularly hydrocarbon-containing materials, using a plurality of excavating devices and corresponding inputs for the excavated material. The excavated material captured by each input can be switched back-and-forth between two or more destinations depending on the value of the stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Oil Sands Underground Mining Corporation
    Inventor: John David Watson
  • Patent number: 7128375
    Abstract: The present invention is directed generally to the combined use of slurry mining and hydrocyclones to recover hydrocarbons, such as bitumen, from hydrocarbon-containing materials, such as oil sands, and to selective mining of valuable materials, particularly hydrocarbon-containing materials, using a plurality of excavating devices and corresponding inputs for the excavated material. The excavated material captured by each input can be switched back-and-forth between two or more destinations depending on the value of the stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Oil Stands Underground Mining Corp.
    Inventor: John David Watson
  • Patent number: 7097255
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to the separation of bitumen, such as by the Clark process or by a countercurrent de-sander, in an underground excavation machine, such as a tunnel boring machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Oil Sands Underground Mining Corp.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Patent number: 7082270
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the remote activation of a system diagnostic for a customer. The system so activated is resident at the customer location. The activation is initiated at a location remote from the customer location. The activation of the diagnostic may also include correction and optimization of the system if it is determined that it is needed. Any such initiated system activity would most typically be performed after hours. The system then communicates locally to the customer the diagnostic results as found, as well as any other action taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: Stephen J. Nichols
  • Patent number: 7013937
    Abstract: Apparatus for transporting mineral from a point of mining to a remote location, the apparatus including a mobile mineral breaker rig (MBR) having a mineral outlet, the rig including a fluid inlet pipe for receiving conveying fluid, a mineral inlet for introducing mineral from said mineral outlet into said fluid pipe and a fluid outlet pipe for conveying said fluid mixed with mineral received from said mineral outlet, an extensible pipeline assembly (EPA) connected at one end to said inlet and outlet pipes and being adapted for connection at its opposite end to one end of a static pipeline communicating with said remote location, said extensible pipeline assembly being expandable to enable said mobile rig to move away from said one end of the static pipeline whilst maintaining fluid communication therewith, said extensible pipeline assembly comprising a series of elongate pipe assemblies (90a, 90b, 90c) which are articulated at adjacent ends to one another in a zig-zag manner via an articulated joint, each elo
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: MMD Design and Consultancy
    Inventor: Alan Potts
  • Patent number: 6994159
    Abstract: A system for extracting natural gas from natural gas hydrates utilizing a first conduit positioned in the natural gas hydrate containing strata. A flowable heat containing medium is urged through the first conduit and contacts the natural gas hydrate in the strata. The natural gas vapor produced is directed through a second conduit to a collector located adjacent the exit of the second conduit the natural gas is directed to storage or use facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Inventor: Charles Wendland
  • Patent number: 6929330
    Abstract: The present invention is directed, inter alia, to devices and methods for excavating valuable materials, particularly soft ores such as oil sands, oil shales, and the like, that use one or more of a number of features, including backfilling for ground support, a small trailing access tunnel, processing of the valuable material in the excavation with the tailings optionally being used as backfill and the valuable material being transported to the surface, a plurality of movable shields for ground support, and/or a movable tail shield to provide interim support to the backfill while additional liner sections are installed and/or formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2005
    Assignee: Oil Sands Underground Mining, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Patent number: 6869147
    Abstract: The present invention is directed, inter alia, to devices and methods for excavating valuable materials, particularly soft ores such as oil sands, oil shales, and the like, that use one or more of a number of features, including backfilling for ground support, a small trailing access tunnel, processing of the valuable material in the excavation with the tailings optionally being used as backfill and the valuable material being transported to the surface, a plurality of movable shields for ground support, and/or a movable tail shield to provide interim support to the backfill while additional liner sections are installed and/or formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Oil Sands Underground Mining, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Publication number: 20040262980
    Abstract: The present invention is directed generally to the combined use of slurry mining and hydrocyclones to recover hydrocarbons, such as bitumen, from hydrocarbon-containing materials, such as oil sands, and to selective mining of valuable materials, particularly hydrocarbon-containing materials, using a plurality of excavating devices and corresponding inputs for the excavated material. The excavated material captured by each input can be switched back-and-forth between two or more destinations depending on the value of the stream.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2004
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Inventor: John David Watson
  • Publication number: 20040251731
    Abstract: Apparatus for transporting mineral from a point of mining to a remote location, the apparatus including a mobile mineral breaker rig (MBR) having a mineral outlet, the rig including a fluid inlet pipe for receiving conveying fluid, a mineral inlet for introducing mineral from said mineral outlet into said fluid pipe and a fluid outlet pipe for conveying said fluid mixed with mineral received from said mineral outlet, an extensible pipeline assembly (EPA) connected at one end to said inlet and outlet pipes and being adapted for connection at its opposite end to one end of a static pipeline communicating with said remote location, said extensible pipeline assembly being expandable to enable said mobile rig to move away from said one end of the static pipeline whilst maintaining fluid communication therewith, said extensible pipeline assembly comprising a series of elongate pipe assemblies (90a, 90b, 90c) which are articulated at adjacent ends to one another in a zig-zag manner via an articulated joint, each elo
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2004
    Publication date: December 16, 2004
    Inventor: Alan Potts
  • Patent number: 6824224
    Abstract: A method and system for recovering coalbed methane are disclosed. The method involves tunneling along a seam of coal to a point below a water table and at a depth below the water table sufficient for dissolved methane to be present in the water; separating a portion of the water containing dissolved methane while below the water table; reducing pressure on the separated portion for extracting dissolved methane; removing the extracted methane; and discharging the separated portion of water after extracting dissolved methane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Cimarron Technology, Ltd.
    Inventor: J. Richard Guadagno
  • Publication number: 20030214175
    Abstract: The present invention is referring to a procedure and a apparatus of extraction of methane gas from the bottom of the sea, consigned to the extraction of methane gas from marine sediments found in the sea's and ocean's depthless and with which came to produce in the end, methane liquefied gas. The procedure, in accordance with the invention consists of lowering a take out enclosure to a depth of over 500 m., followed by a take out of a quantity of cryohydrate sediment from the bottom of the sea and the elevation of enclosure until is reached a level at which the water pressure and its temperature create conditions which allowed the beginning of a process of releasing of methane gas from cryohydrate crystals. The following operation is the releasing of methane from the entire quantity of take out cryohydrate, methane that is collected in a room from where is raised through a tube and captured into an enclosure and then liquefied.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2003
    Publication date: November 20, 2003
    Inventor: Petru Baciu
  • Publication number: 20030160500
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to the separation of bitumen, such as by the Clark process or by a countercurrent de-sander, in an underground excavation machine, such as a tunnel boring machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2003
    Publication date: August 28, 2003
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Publication number: 20030151297
    Abstract: Apparatus for assembling a liner (25) from a plurality of longitudinal sections of flexible material (161, 162) having longitudinal edges adapted to be joined one to another to form the liner. The apparatus comprises a path means along which the longitudinal sections of flexible material can be conveyed in a laterally reduced condition, an assembly zone at which the longitudinal edges can be joined together to form the liner, and a guide structure (165) about which the flexible material (161, 162) can turn upon exiting from the path means to provide an inner section (171) and an outer section (173) turned back with respect to the inner section. The guide structure (165) presents a guide, surface (167) over which the longitudinal sections (161, 162) of flexible material can pass, the surface (167) being configured to facilitate spreading of each longitudinal section (161, 162) from the laterally reduced condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Publication date: August 14, 2003
    Inventor: Neil Deryck Bray Graham
  • Patent number: 6554368
    Abstract: The present invention is directed, inter alia, to devices and methods for excavating valuable materials, particularly soft ores such as oil sands, oil shales, and the like, that use one or more of a number of features, including backfilling for ground support, a small trailing access tunnel, processing of the valuable material in the excavation with the tailings optionally being used as backfill and the valuable material being transported to the surface, a plurality of movable shields for ground support, and/or a movable tail shield to provide interim support to the backfill while additional liner sections are installed and/or formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Oil Sands Underground Mining, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Publication number: 20020030398
    Abstract: The present invention is directed, inter alia, to devices and methods for excavating valuable materials, particularly soft ores such as oil sands, oil shales, and the like, that use one or more of a number of features, including backfilling for ground support, a small trailing access tunnel, processing of the valuable material in the excavation with the tailings optionally being used as backfill and the valuable material being transported to the surface, a plurality of movable shields for ground support, and/or a movable tail shield to provide interim support to the backfill while additional liner sections are installed and/or formed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Publication date: March 14, 2002
    Inventors: Ronald D. Drake, Michael Helmut Kobler, John David Watson
  • Patent number: 6299256
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for recovering a gas from a gas hydrate on the ocean floor includes a flexible cover, a plurality of steerable base members secured to the cover, and a steerable mining module. A suitable source for inflating the cover over the gas hydrate deposit is provided. The mining module, positioned on the gas hydrate deposit, is preferably connected to the cover by a control cable. A gas retrieval conduit or hose extends upwardly from the cover to be connected to a support ship on the ocean surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Energy
    Inventor: Douglas E. Wyatt
  • Patent number: 6209965
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for mining of hydrocarbons from a hydrocarbon-containing clathrate such as is found on the ocean floor. The hydrocarbon containing clathrate is disaggregated from sediment by first disrupting clathrate-containing strata using continuous mining means such as a rotary tilling drum, a fluid injector, or a drill. The clathrate-rich portion of sediment thus disrupted from the sea floor strata are carried through the apparatus to regions of relative lower pressure and/or relative higher temperature where the clathrate further dissociates into component hydrocarbons and water. The hydrocarbon is recovered with the assistance of a gas that is injected and buoys the hydrocarbon containing clathrate helping it to rise to regions of lower pressure and temperature where hydrocarbon is released. The sediment separated from the hydrocarbon returns to the ocean floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: David J. Borns, Thomas E. Hinkebein, Richard W. Lynch, David A. Northrop
  • Patent number: 6152356
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the hydraulic removal of bitumen from a tar sand deposit comprises forming a borehole into the tar sand deposit and securing a casing into the borehole. Into the casing is inserted a mining tool having a water/diluent channel and a slurry exit channel. Through the casing the borehole is charged with crushed aggregate. At the lower end of the tool are nozzles through which high pressure hot water/diluent is injected as a jet from the water/diluent channel into the tar sand deposit causing a cavity to form in the tar sand deposit. The heat of the water/diluent jets and dissolving action of the diluent softens the tar sand contacted and the impact of the jets and the scouring action of the aggregate, as impinged upon by the jets, removes the tar sand from the surface of the developing cavity into a water phase. A bitumen/diluent phase rises to the surface of the water phase and is removed from the cavity through the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Inventor: Carl S. Minden
  • Patent number: 6145223
    Abstract: A dredging apparatus for the removal of cuttings gathered around a bore hole mouth on the seabed has an ejector coupled to a suction hose and a conveyor pipe, respectively, for moving the cuttings to another place on the seabed. The dredging apparatus comprises a drive motor, a pumping device and an ejector, the drive motor being adapted to drive the pumping device which, in turn, is adapted to deliver a forced flow of water to the ejector in order to establish and maintain the ejecting effect. The ejector, pumping device and drive motor are assembled to form a unit. A cable delivers energy to the motor from the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: AGR Ability Group AS
    Inventor: Steinar Flesen
  • Patent number: 5950732
    Abstract: A system for recovering liquid hydrocarbons from hydrates on an ocean floor includes a vessel, a positioning subsystem coupled to the vessel for holding the vessel in a desired location over a hydrate formation, a hydrate recovery subsystem coupled to the vessel for delivering hydrates from an ocean floor to the vessel and separating gas from hydrates removed from an ocean floor, a gas conversion subsystem coupled to the hydrate recovery subsystem for converting gas to liquids, and a storage and removal subsystem. Excess energy from the gas conversion subsystem is used elsewhere in the system. A method of recovering hydrates from an ocean floor is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Syntroleum Corporation
    Inventors: Mark A. Agee, Larry J. Weick, Kenneth L. Agee
  • Patent number: 5451315
    Abstract: An ore pass rush eliminator is disclosed which includes, in the ore pass shaft, a channel formed in the base of the shaft whereby excess water can pass to waste to avoid any build up of such water. Further described are means whereby the channel may be kept clear of build up of ore by means of an endless chain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1995
    Inventor: Barry J. Miller
  • Patent number: 5328250
    Abstract: A self-propelled machine has an internal chamber having a conveyor mechanism extending through an opening in a wall. A buoyancy control allows admission of pressurized air into the chamber to allow adjustment of the buoyancy of the machine. A series of conveyors within the chamber convey material into the chamber which is washed to leave behind sediment and other materials. Washed nodules are conveyed to a transport machine and are stacked in the transport machine. The transport machine may be disconnected from the self-propelled machine to allow nodules to be brought to the surface. Sensors are provided in the self-propelled machine to control attitude, direction, and movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Inventor: Ronald Upright
  • Patent number: 5199767
    Abstract: Heavy media, which are heavier than the bulk density of nodules of raw deepsea mineral resources, are used to discharge the nodules on a marine ship through a lifting pipe from a sea floor U-tube connecting with a downstream pipe laid to the deepsea bottom, by operating a piston pump on the marine ship. The heavy media are fed through the downstream pipe, and when nodules mined at the deepsea floor, mainly manganese nodules and cobalt-rich crusts which contain useful heavy metal, are fed into the sea floor U-tube through feeding devices, the nodules are continuously lifted with the heavy media through the lifting pipe from the sea floor to the marine ship, by buoyant force yielding from the heavy medium. This method requires much smaller power consumption than any conventional method of lifting nodules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1993
    Inventor: Kenjiro Jimbo
  • Patent number: 5020858
    Abstract: A method of transporting mud, in which mud agitated and fluidized is supplied, while being pressurized by a pressurizing vane, through a check valve to a mud supply portion, and in which pressurizing air is supplied to the mud supply portion in a mud transporting direction to transport the mud in the mud supply pipe by the air pressure. According to this method, the mud can be continuously transported without large discharge noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1991
    Assignee: Toa Corporation
    Inventor: Yutaka Nishikawa
  • Patent number: 4932144
    Abstract: An underwater excavator in which when energized by a supply of hydraulic oil or other means a propeller is set in motion with water being drawn through a water intake into a cylindrical tube and expelled at the water outlet to create a flow of water of sufficient volume and velocity to blow away seabed materials. Thrust and torque are counteracted by the suction force developed at the water intake. Optional filter nets or sieves may be fixed to a foot of the machine to capture samples of the material washed out of the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 12, 1990
    Assignee: Consortium Resource Management Limited
    Inventor: Nicholas V. Sills