Plasma Patents (Class 75/10.19)
  • Patent number: 9801266
    Abstract: An apparatus and method sinters or partially sinters green pellets in a selected temperature range to make proppant particles as the green pellets pass between an electrical arc and a gas flowing in the vortex path and exit an underflow of a vessel. The vessel has an overflow disposed in a first end, an underflow disposed in a second end, a middle portion having a circular cross-section disposed between the first end and the second end, and a tangential inlet proximate to the first end such that a gas from the tangential inlet flows along a vortex path from the first end to the second end of the vessel. A first electrode extends through the overflow and a second electrode extends through the underflow. The electrodes are used to create the open electrical arc. One or more feed tubes extend through the overflow proximate to the first electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Foret Plasma Labs, LLC
    Inventor: Todd Foret
  • Patent number: 9481584
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system, method and apparatus for treating a liquid by providing a santitary type stainless steel hydrocyclone, flowing the liquid through the hydrocyclone, and turning on a plasma torch attached to the hydrocyclone such that a plasma arc irradiates the liquid. The hydrocyclone can be a forward flow hydrocyclone, a reverse flow hydrocyclone, a through flow hydrocyclone, a hydrocyclone pump or a volute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: Foret Plasma Labs, LLC
    Inventor: Todd Foret
  • Patent number: 9162281
    Abstract: The continuous casting device according to the present invention enables at least some of a plurality of hearths (3) to be converted between being hearths (13) used for titanium, which are used during the continuous casting of titanium ingots, and being hearths (23) used for titanium alloy, which are used during the continuous casting of titanium alloy ingots. The number of hearths (23) used for titanium alloy is greater than the number of hearths (13) used for titanium. Also, the total capacity of the hearths (23) used for titanium alloy is greater than the total capacity of the hearths (13) used for titanium. Thus, titanium ingots and titanium alloy ingots can each be continuously cast by means of a single piece of equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takehiro Nakaoka, Kazuyuki Tsutsumi, Eisuke Kurosawa, Hideto Oyama, Hidetaka Kanahashi, Hitoshi Ishida, Daiki Takahashi, Daisuke Matsuwaka
  • Patent number: 9057118
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method, and apparatus for the recovery of precious metals. Accordingly, it provides a continuous process for obtaining a precious metal composition from a feedstock material, the process comprising the steps of: (i) heating a feedstock material in a plasma furnace to form an upper slag layer and a lower molten metal layer; (ii) removing the slag layer; (iii) removing the molten metal layer; (iv) allowing the removed molten metal layer to solidify; (v) fragmenting the solidified metal layer to form fragments; and (vi) recovering a precious metal composition from the fragments; wherein the feedstock material comprises a precious metal containing material and a collector metal, said collector metal being a metal or an alloy that is capable of forming a solid solution, an alloy or an intermetallic compound with one or more precious metals. This allows for high recovery yields of precious metals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: Tetronics (International) Limited
    Inventors: David Deegan, Tim Johnson
  • Publication number: 20150021174
    Abstract: Provided is a high-purity titanium ingot having a purity, excluding an additive element and gas components, of 99.99 mass % or more, wherein at least one nonmetallic element selected from S, P, and B is contained in a total amount of 0.1 to 100 mass ppm as the additive component and the variation in the content of the nonmetallic element between the top, middle, and bottom portions of the ingot is within ±200%. Provided is a method of manufacturing a titanium ingot containing a nonmetallic element in an amount of 0.1 to 100 mass ppm, wherein S, P, or B, which is a nonmetallic element, is added to molten titanium as an intermetallic compound or a master alloy to produce a high-purity titanium ingot having a purity, excluding an additive element and gas components, of 99.99 mass % or more.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2013
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventors: Kazuto Yagi, Eiji Hino, Yuichiro Shindo
  • Publication number: 20140318312
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for the treatment of metal-containing waste, the method comprising: (i) introducing a particulate metal-containing waste into a plasma treatment unit; (ii) plasma treating the particulate metal-containing waste to form a layer of slag and, optionally, a layer of metal beneath the layer of slag; and (iii) recovering slag and/or metal from the plasma treatment unit; wherein the plasma treatment unit comprises an electrically conductive hearth for holding the layer of slag and optional layer of metal, one or more inlets for the particulate metal-containing waste arranged above the hearth, and an electrode arranged above the hearth so that, in use, a plasma arc is formed between the electrode and the hearth, and wherein the one or more inlets for the particulate metal-containing waste are arranged so that, in use, the particulate metal-containing waste introduced into the plasma treatment unit is heated by the plasma arc before contacting the slag layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: TETRONICS (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED
    Inventors: David Deegan, Matthew Slinn
  • Publication number: 20140311286
    Abstract: In the present pelletizing apparatus, the induration of iron ore concentrate pellets is achieved in a tunnel furnace heated by plasma torches, wherein the generation of by the conventional iron ore pelletizing processes is reduced by using electricity powered plasma torches instead of burning natural gas, heavy oil or pulverized coal in burners, thereby reducing considerably industrial pollution of the atmosphere.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventors: Michel G. Drouet, Pierre Carabin
  • Patent number: 8852460
    Abstract: Methods and compositions for the deposition of a film on a substrate. In general, the disclosed compositions and methods utilize a precursor containing calcium or strontium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignees: Air Liquide Electronics U.S. LP, American Air Liquide, Inc.
    Inventors: Olivier Letessier, Christian Dussarrat, Benjamin J. Feist, Vincent M. Omarjee
  • Publication number: 20140230605
    Abstract: A method of processing a metallic material includes introducing an electrically conductive metallic material comprising at least one of a metal and a metallic alloy into a furnace chamber maintained at a low pressure relative to atmospheric pressure. A first electron field having a first area of coverage is generated using at least a first ion plasma electron emitter, and the material within the furnace chamber is subjected to the first electron field to heat the material to a temperature above a melting temperature of the material. A second electron field having a second area of coverage smaller than the first area of coverage is generated using a second ion plasma electron emitter. At least one of any solid condensate within the furnace chamber, any solidified portions of the electrically conductive metallic material, and regions of a solidifying ingot to the second electron field, is subjected to the second electron field, using a steering system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2014
    Publication date: August 21, 2014
    Applicant: ATI PROPERTIES, INC.
    Inventor: Robin M. Forbes Jones
  • Publication number: 20140182416
    Abstract: A system and method for melting a raw material. The raw material is fed into an electrically conductive vessel. A plasma arc torch melts at least some of the raw material within the vessel to thereby create a molten material. An inductor, physically disposed adjacent the vessel, and electrically disposed in series with the vessel in operation, effects electromagnetic stirring of the molten material by interacting with the current of the plasma arc torch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Retech Systems LLC
    Inventors: Robin A. Lampson, Robert E. Haun, Paul G. Meese, Matthew A. Charles, Edward C. Strout, Todd R. Telfer
  • Patent number: 8662310
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for increasing the concentration of platinum group metals in urban waste material. The method comprises obtaining particles of urban waste material; screening the particles of urban waste material by size,—selecting particles of urban waste material that lie within a defined size range; and processing the selected particles using at least one physical or chemical technique whereby to increase the concentration of platinum group metals to at least 5 ppm. The invention also relates to an apparatus for increasing the concentration of platinum group metals in particulate urban waste material. The apparatus comprises: a drying unit (4), a particle size screening unit (5); and one or more processing units for effecting platinum group metal concentration of the particulate urban waste material by physical and/or chemical techniques, in particular a magnetic separation unit (7) and a froth flotation cell (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: The University of Birmingham
    Inventor: Angela Janet Murray
  • Patent number: 8530088
    Abstract: A method of preparing nanoparticles includes using low-temperature plasma and a pulsed second process gas. Nanoparticles having uniform sizes and nanoparticles having a core-shell structure may be formed. A lithium battery includes an electrode that includes the nanoparticles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Sungkyunkwan University Foundation for Corporate Collaboration
    Inventors: Jin-hwan Park, Tae-sung Kim, Kwang-su Kim
  • Patent number: 8471170
    Abstract: A plasma processing apparatus for producing a set of Group IV semiconductor nanoparticles from a precursor gas is disclosed. The apparatus includes an outer dielectric tube, the outer tube including an outer tube inner surface and an outer tube outer surface, wherein the outer tube inner surface has an outer tube inner surface etching rate. The apparatus also includes an inner dielectric tube, the inner dielectric tube including an inner tube outer surface, wherein the outer tube inner surface and the inner tube outer surface define an annular channel, and further wherein the inner tube outer surface has an inner tube outer surface etching rate. The apparatus further includes a first outer electrode, the first outer electrode having a first outer electrode inner surface disposed on the outer tube outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Innovalight, Inc.
    Inventors: Xuegeng Li, Christopher Alcantara, Maxim Kelman, Elena Rogojina, Eric Schiff, Mason Terry, Karel Vanheusden
  • Publication number: 20130118304
    Abstract: A plasma system including a plasma source or torch such as an ICP torch acting on a granulated feed material containing a desired product is presented. Methods for employing the system are described including a process for extracting the desired product from a reaction in the plasma system, recovery of otherwise wasted heat energy, and separation of useful materials from mixed mineral substances is discussed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2012
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Applicant: ADVANCED MAGNETIC PROCESSES INC.
    Inventor: Advanced Magnetic Processes Inc.
  • Patent number: 8394168
    Abstract: A process for manufacturing Ti alloy structures using a SFFF manufacturing process with a welding torch as a high energy source, which comprises using as a feed a feed wire made from Ti sponge and alloying powders, or forming a Ti alloy in-situ in the melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Materials & Electrochemical Research Corp.
    Inventors: James C. Withers, Roger S. Storm, Raouf O. Loutfy
  • Patent number: 8241391
    Abstract: A process for the treatment of loads or residues of non-ferrous metals and their alloys includes the steps of loading of scraps or dross to be processed and heating the load and melting the metal. The process additionally includes revolving the heated load, tapping the molten metal and emptying a cavity of the furnace. Heating of the load or residues to a temperature above the melting temperature of the metal or non-ferrous alloy to be recovered is carried out by a free burning convective arc which is independent from the supply of external gas to the process, and which may dispense with the use of melting salts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignees: Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo-FAPESP, Instituto de Pesquisa Technologicas do est, S. Paulo S/A-IPT
    Inventors: Antonio Carlos da Cruz, Oskar Wessel Bender
  • Publication number: 20120198964
    Abstract: This invention relates to a waste treatment furnace and method comprising: Generating a molten metal bed, which moves in a forward direction, such as to define a closed circuit in a cyclical and continuous manner, the surface of said bed comprising at least one essentially-slag-free segment. Loading waste onto the aforementioned essentially-slag-free segment, the waste being dragged by the molten metal bed such that it floats in the mentioned forward direction. Retaining the waste on the surface of the molten metal bed as it moves in the mentioned forward direction. Treating the waste under the effect of the constant and continuous heat exchange generated by the movement of the molten metal bed beneath the waste retained thereon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2012
    Publication date: August 9, 2012
    Applicant: FUNDACION INASMET
    Inventor: Luis Cobos Jimenez
  • Publication number: 20120160059
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing metal bearing gases involves generating a toroidal plasma in a plasma chamber. A metal bearing gas is introduced into the plasma chamber to react with the toroidal plasma. The interaction between the toroidal plasma and the metal bearing gas produces at least one of a metallic material, a metal oxide material or a metal nitride material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2011
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Applicant: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: William M. Holber, John A. Smith, Xing Chen, Donald K. Smith
  • Patent number: 8110019
    Abstract: The present invention is based on a novel electric induction furnace design that enables the removal of zinc-containing filter dust (FD) originating from the production of steel (alloy or non-alloy) and the production of cast iron with galvanized steel scrap, using a novel process based on the carbothermal reduction of the metal oxides present in the FD, performed at the temperature at which the materials are melted inside the electric induction furnace. The electric induction furnace of the invention incorporates an electric arc or plasma beam generator to melt all the inorganic non-metallic material. The incorporation of this generator also enables the use of large volumes of molten slag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas
    Inventor: Miguel Fernández López
  • Patent number: 8092570
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for producing titanium metal is described herein. The process comprises generating an RF thermal plasma discharge using a plasma torch provided with an RF coil; reducing titanium tetrachloride to a titanium metal by supplying titanium tetrachloride and magnesium into the RF thermal plasma discharge; and collecting or depositing the titanium metal at a temperature not lower than the boiling point of magnesium chloride and not higher than the boiling point of the titanium metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignees: Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Tekna Plasma Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Maher I. Boulos, Jiayin Guo, Jerzy Jurewicz, Gang Han, Shujiroh Uesaka, Hiroshi Takashima
  • Patent number: 8088192
    Abstract: A process for recovering non-ferrous metals, in particular copper, nickel and cobalt, from metallurgical residues containing these non-ferrous metals at an oxidation state of greater than or equal to zero, in an alternating current type plasma arc electric furnace comprising a plurality of electrodes, containing a liquid copper heel covered by a fluid slag comprising at least one fusion-reduction phase, comprising charging of metallurgical residues comprising the non-ferrous metals onto the heel contained in the plasma arc electric furnace, fusion of the metallurgical residues in the fluid slag or at the slag-metal bath interface, reduction of at least the non-ferrous metals to oxidation state zero, and intense stirring of the copper heel by injection of inert gas, preferably nitrogen and/or argon, so as to avoid crust formation and to accelerate the reduction reaction and to cause the copper-miscible non-ferrous metals to pass into the copper heel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Paul Wurth S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Luc Roth, Christophe Solver
  • Publication number: 20110203412
    Abstract: A method for smelting steel scrap in a furnace is described, a working gas being blown into the furnace via a flow channel in order to supply melting energy and being guided through at least one electrodeless plasma torch, the plasma being produced by at least one inductive heating coil that coaxially encloses the flow channel and forms a heating zone. Further a melting furnace with at least one heating device that extends through a wall of the furnace is described, for supplying melting energy. The heating device has a tubular body which encloses a flow channel. A longitudinal section of the tubular body is configured as an electrodeless plasma torch, said torch having an inductive heating coil that coaxially encloses the flow channel and forms a heating zone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2007
    Publication date: August 25, 2011
    Inventor: Thomas Matschullat
  • Publication number: 20110167959
    Abstract: A method for introducing dust into a molten bath of a pyrometallurgical installation is described. According to the method, a carrier gas containing dust particles is guided through a heating zone of an electrode less plasma torch, the gas being converted to a plasma by inductive heating prior to being blown into a region of the installation which receives the molten bath.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2007
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Inventors: Werner Hartmann, Günter Lins, Thomas Matschullat
  • Publication number: 20110067524
    Abstract: A tantalum or tantalum alloy which contains pure or substantially pure tantalum and at least one metal element selected from the group consisting of Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt, Mo, W and Re to form a tantalum alloy that is resistant to aqueous corrosion. The invention also relates to the process of preparing the tantalum alloy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2010
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Applicant: H.C. Starck Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. Aimone, Evan Hinshaw
  • Patent number: 7905941
    Abstract: This invention relates to a single-step pyrometallurgical process for the recovery of non-ferrous metals from zinc bearing residues, in particular from by-products of the zinc and lead industry such as goethite and jarosite. A process for the recovery of metals from industrial Zn residues containing Zn, Fe and S is defined, wherein Zn is fumed, Fe is slagged, and S is oxidized to SO2, characterized in that the Zn fuming, the Fe slagging, and the S oxidation are performed in a single step process, by smelting the residues in a furnace comprising at least one submerged plasma torch generating an oxidizing gas mixture, and by feeding a solid reducing agent to the melt. The process achieves the oxidation of S and the slagging of Fe, while simultaneously achieving the reduction and the fuming of metals such as Zn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Umicore
    Inventors: Maurits Van Camp, Peter Verguts
  • Publication number: 20110041650
    Abstract: A niobium or niobium alloy which contains pure or substantially pure niobium and at least one metal element selected from the group consisting of Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt, Mo, W and Re to form a niobium alloy that is resistant to aqueous corrosion. The invention also relates to the process of preparing the niobium alloy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2010
    Publication date: February 24, 2011
    Applicant: H.C. Starck Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. Aimone, Prabhat Kumar
  • Patent number: 7888284
    Abstract: An absorbent includes a ferromagnetic nucleus with a one-layer or two-layer shell or devoid thereof and the nucleus is embodied in the form of a plate with a planar size that ranges from 500-5000 ?m and the thickness is equal to 0.1-1000 ?m. The method for producing the inventive magnetically-operated absorbent includes evaporating and/or melting a magnetic material powder in a low-temperature plasma, quenching and condensing the thus obtained vaporized and/or melt-particle product in a gas flux, and transferring the product precipitated in the form of crystals or micro slugs of corresponding metals, correspondingly to a stabilizer-containing dispersion medium and holding in the medium until a gas release is over. Then the crystals or micro slugs are processed by flattening, for example pressing so that the plates of a specified thickness are obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignees: Evgeny Pavlovich Germanov, Mikhail Vladimirovich Kutushov
    Inventor: Mikhail Vladimirovich Kutushov
  • Patent number: 7811511
    Abstract: Hard phase particles including Co alloy particles, carbide alloy particles, and silicide particles are dispersed substantially uniformly throughout a matrix composed of Cu self-fluxing alloy of a cladded portion. The cladded portion contains 6 to 15% by weight of Co, 3 to 8% by weight of one of Cr and Mo, 0.3 to 1% by weight of W, 0.5 to 1.8% by weight of Fe, 8 to 15% by weight of Ni, 0.08 to 0.2% by weight of C, 1.5 to 4% by weight of Si, 0.5 to 0.8% by weight of Al, and 0.1 to 0.3% by weight of P, and inevitable impurities and Cu as a balance. The hard phase particles have an average particle diameter of 8 to 20 ?m and a particle size distribution width of 0.1 to 100 ?m, and to occupy 10 to 20% in an arbitrary cross section of the cladded portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: Hondo Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shogo Matsuki, Yositaka Tsujii
  • Publication number: 20100242676
    Abstract: A process for recovering non-ferrous metals, in particular copper, nickel and cobalt, from metallurgical residues containing these non-ferrous metals at an oxidation state of greater than or equal to zero, in an alternating current type plasma arc electric furnace comprising a plurality of electrodes, containing a liquid copper heel covered by a fluid slag comprising at least one fusion-reduction phase, comprising charging of metallurgical residues comprising the non-ferrous metals onto the heel contained in the plasma arc electric furnace, fusion of the metallurgical residues in the fluid slag or at the slag-metal bath interface, reduction of at least the non-ferrous metals to oxidation state zero, and intense stirring of the copper heel by injection of inert gas, preferably nitrogen and/or argon, so as to avoid crust formation and to accelerate the reduction reaction and to cause the copper-miscible non-ferrous metals to pass into the copper heel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2008
    Publication date: September 30, 2010
    Applicant: PAUL WURTH S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Luc Roth, Christophe Solver
  • Publication number: 20100233767
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of magnesium from a solution containing soluble magnesium, the process comprising, precipitating magnesium hydroxide from the solution, forming an oxide blend including magnesium oxide derived from the precipitated magnesium hydroxide together with calcium oxide, reducing the oxide blend to form a magnesium metal vapour and condensing the vapour to recover magnesium metal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Inventor: David McMurran
  • Publication number: 20100024595
    Abstract: There is provided a method and an apparatus for treating return ores using plasma, capable of treating sintered return ores generated in a sintering process in a steel maker or return ores (iron ores) employed in other ironmaking process such as FINEX. The method of treating return ores using plasma includes: providing return ores sorted out by a sorting process; and bonding the return ores by fusing and agglomerating the return ores using plasma. Also, an apparatus for treating return ores using plasma includes a plasma heating device used to fuse and agglomerate sorted return ores. The return ores of a predetermined grain size are fusion-bonded and agglomerated using a flame of a plasma heating device. Particularly, the return ores can be treated in a massive amount to enhance productivity of a fusion-bonding process of the return ores. Furthermore, a great amount of sintered return ores generated in the sintering process can be subjected to a fewer number of re-treatment processes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Applicant: POSCO
    Inventors: Shin Il Kim, Joo Kang, Jong Nam Lee, Won Hee Lee
  • Patent number: 7637307
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for optimizing melting of titanium for processing into ingots or end products. The apparatus provides a main hearth, a plurality of optional refining hearths, and a plurality of casting molds or direct molds whereby direct arc electrodes melt the titanium in the main hearth while plasma torches melt the titanium in the refining chambers and/or adjacent the molds. Each of the direct arc electrodes and plasma torches is extendable and retractable into the melting environment and moveable in a circular pivoting or side to side linear motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: Ajax Tocco Magnethermic Corporation
    Inventors: Edward Scott Jackson, David O. Warren
  • Publication number: 20090260481
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for producing titanium metal is described herein. The process comprises generating an RF thermal plasma discharge using a plasma torch provided with an RF coil; reducing titanium tetrachloride to a titanium metal by supplying titanium tetrachloride and magnesium into the RF thermal plasma discharge; and collecting or depositing the titanium metal at a temperature not lower than the boiling point of magnesium chloride and not higher than the boiling point of the titanium metal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Applicants: Hitashi Metals, Ltd., Tekna Plasma Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Maher I. Boulos, Jiayin Guo, Jerzy Jurewicz, Gang Han, Shujiroh Uesaka, Hiroshi Takashima
  • Patent number: 7576296
    Abstract: An apparatus for thermal conversion of one or more reactants to desired end products includes an insulated reactor chamber having a high temperature heater such as a plasma torch at its inlet end and, optionally, a restrictive convergent-divergent nozzle at its outlet end. In a thermal conversion method, reactants are injected upstream from the reactor chamber and thoroughly mixed with the plasma stream before entering the reactor chamber. The reactor chamber has a reaction zone that is maintained at a substantially uniform temperature. The resulting heated gaseous stream is then rapidly cooled by passage through the nozzle, which “freezes” the desired end product(s) in the heated equilibrium reaction stage, or is discharged through an outlet pipe without the convergent-divergent nozzle. The desired end products are then separated from the gaseous stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
    Inventors: James R. Fincke, Brent A. Detering
  • Publication number: 20090107290
    Abstract: A method for reducing titanium and other metal oxides to metal is disclosed. The method comprises providing a titanium or other metal oxide exposing the metal oxide to a non-thermal plasma, and reducing at least a portion of the titanium oxide to provide titanium metal. The non-thermal plasma may be formed using a first inert gas species, and a second reactive gas species.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2007
    Publication date: April 30, 2009
    Applicant: LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY, LLC
    Inventors: Louis Andrew Rosocha, Don Mayo Coates
  • Patent number: 7520914
    Abstract: The invention relates to new and useful nickel powders, particularly powders for use as an electrode material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Canadian Electronic Powders Corporation
    Inventors: Cesur Celik, Tony Addona, Gangqiang Chen
  • Publication number: 20090071289
    Abstract: In the process of recovering platinum group metals from platinum group metal- and base metal-containing materials, the present invention uses reductants and a sulfur-deficient matte to aide the separation of the furnace matte from the furnace slag and therefore improve recovery of platinum group metals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Applicant: Barrick Gold Corporation
    Inventors: Simon O. Fekete, Nathan M. Stubina, Jacques McMullen
  • Patent number: 7503376
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for optimizing melting of titanium for processing into ingots or end products. The apparatus provides a main hearth, a plurality of optional refining hearths, and a plurality of casting molds or direct molds whereby direct arc electrodes melt the titanium in the main hearth while plasma torches melt the titanium in the refining chambers and/or adjacent the molds. Each of the direct arc electrodes and plasma torches is extendable and retractable into the melting environment and moveable in a circular pivoting or side to side linear motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: AJAX Tocco Magnethermic Corporation
    Inventors: Edward Scott Jackson, David O. Warren
  • Publication number: 20090044661
    Abstract: A plasma processing apparatus for producing a set of Group IV semiconductor nanoparticles from a precursor gas is disclosed. The apparatus includes an outer dielectric tube, the outer tube including an outer tube inner surface and an outer tube outer surface, wherein the outer tube inner surface has an outer tube inner surface etching rate. The apparatus also includes an inner dielectric tube, the inner dielectric tube including an inner tube outer surface, wherein the outer tube inner surface and the inner tube outer surface define an annular channel, and further wherein the inner tube outer surface has an inner tube outer surface etching rate. The apparatus further includes a first outer electrode, the first outer electrode having a first outer electrode inner surface disposed on the outer tube outer surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2008
    Publication date: February 19, 2009
    Inventors: Xuegeng Li, Christopher Alcantara, Maxim Kelman, Elena Rogojina, Eric Schiff, Mason Terry, Karel Vanheusden
  • Publication number: 20090014423
    Abstract: The present invention provides a radiofrequency plasma apparatus for the production of nanoparticles and method for producing nanoparticles using the apparatus. The apparatus is designed to provide high throughput and makes the continuous production of bulk quantities of high-quality crystalline nanoparticles possible. The electrode assembly of the plasma apparatus includes an outer electrode and a central electrode arranged in a concentric relationship to define an annular flow channel between the electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2007
    Publication date: January 15, 2009
    Inventors: Xuegeng Li, Maxim Kelman, Mason Terry, Elena Rogojina, Eric Schiff, Karel Vanheusden
  • Patent number: 7470305
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for alternating pouring into molds, casts or refining hearths from a common hearth in a furnace. The apparatus provides a main hearth, a plurality of optional refining hearths, and a plurality of casting molds or direct molds whereby the refining hearths and molds define at least two separate ingot making lines. The main hearth alternatively pours into a first ingot making line while the other line is prepared, and vice versa allowing for continuous melting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: AJAX Tocco Magnethermie Corporation
    Inventors: Edward S. Jackson, David O. Warren
  • Patent number: 7262384
    Abstract: A reaction vessel and a method for efficiently producing and collecting nanoparticles in the reaction vessel using cyclonic gas flow. Gas is injected through an inlet tangentially positioned relative to the axis of the vessel to cause the gas to form an outer helical vortex flow and an inner helical vortex flow within the vessel. A reaction synthesizer is operated within the inner helical vortex to produce nanoparticles and larger byproduct particles from precursor materials. The double helical vortex conveys the byproduct particles to an outlet for collection responsive to the cyclonic flow and gravity and an outlet downstream of the inner helical vortex collects the nanoparticles. The vortices formed in the reaction vessel minimize buildup on walls of the reaction vessel and provide a way to rapidly move the synthesized nanoparticles out of the reaction vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: NovaCentrix, Corp.
    Inventor: Douglas K. Jackson
  • Patent number: 7169206
    Abstract: Process for the recovery of Co or Ni, comprising the steps of: preparing a metallurgical charge comprising Fe, slag formers, and a useful load containing either one or both of Co and Ni; feeding the charge to a shaft furnace; and smelting the charge so as to form a Co or Ni-bearing alloy, an Fe-bearing slag and a gaseous phase, characterised in that the useful load comprises at least 30 wt. % electrochemical batteries or their scrap, and in that the redox potential in the furnace is chosen so as to slag at least 20 wt. % of the Fe, and at most 20 wt. % of the Co or 20 wt. % of the Ni present in the charge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Assignee: Umicore
    Inventors: Daniel Cheret, Sven Santen
  • Patent number: 7022155
    Abstract: A plasma arc reactor and process for producing a powder from a solid feed material, for example aluminium, is provided. The reactor comprises: (a) a first electrode (5), (b) a second electrode (10) which is adapted to be spaced apart from the first electrode by a distance sufficient to achieve a plasma arc therebetween, (c) means for introducing a plasma gas into the space between the first and second electrodes, (d) means for generating a plasma arc in the space between the first and second electrodes, wherein the first electrode has a channel (7) running therethrough, an outlet of the channel exiting into the space between the first and second electrodes, and wherein means are provided for feeding solid material (20) through the channel to exit therefrom via the outlet into the space between the first and second electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Tetronics Limited
    Inventors: David Edward Deegan, Chris David Chapman, Timothy Paul Johnson
  • Patent number: 6824585
    Abstract: A method for refining a titanium metal containing ore such as rutile or ilmenite or mixtures to produce titanium ingots or titanium alloys and compounds of titanium involves production of titanium tetrachloride by processing the ore with a chlorinating procedure and removing various impurities by a distillation or similar procedures to form a relatively pure titanium tetrachloride. Thereafter, the titanium tetrachloride is introduced continuously into a reactor at the focal point of a plasma under atmospheric pressures of inert gas along with molten metallic reductant for the initial reduction of gas phase titanium tetrachloride into molten titanium drops which are collected in a set of skulled crucibles. Thereafter, further processing is carried out at atmospheric pressures in under inert gas where the titanium is heated by plasma guns to maximize titanium purity and, in a final optional stage, alloying compounds are added under the same controlled environment and high temperature conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Adrian Joseph
    Inventors: Adrian A. Joseph, John G. Whellock
  • Patent number: 6821500
    Abstract: An apparatus for thermal conversion of one or more reactants to desired end products includes an insulated reactor chamber having a high temperature heater such as a plasma torch at its inlet end and, optionally, a restrictive convergent-divergent nozzle at its outlet end. In a thermal conversion method, reactants are injected upstream from the reactor chamber and thoroughly mixed with the plasma stream before entering the reactor chamber. The reactor chamber has a reaction zone that is maintained at a substantially uniform temperature. The resulting heated gaseous stream is then rapidly cooled by passage through the nozzle, which “freezes” the desired end product(s) in the heated equilibrium reaction stage, or is discharged through an outlet pipe without the convergent-divergent nozzle. The desired end products are then separated from the gaseous stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC
    Inventors: James R. Fincke, Brent A. Detering
  • Patent number: 6786950
    Abstract: Methods of producing metal and alloy fine powders having purity in excess of 99.9%, preferably 99.999%, more preferably 99.99999% are discussed. Fine submicron and nanoscale powders discussed include various shapes and forms including spheres, rods, whiskers, platelets and fibers. The use of surfactant, emulsifying agents and capping dispersants in powder synthesis are presented. Compositions taught include nickel, copper, iron, cobalt, silver, gold, platinum, palladium, tin, zirconium, aluminum, silicon, antimony, indium, titanium, tantalum, niobium, zinc and others from the periodic table. The fine powders are useful in various applications such as biomedical, sensor, electronic, electrical, photonic, thermal, piezo, magnetic, catalytic and electrochemical products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: NanoProducts Corporation
    Inventors: Tapesh Yadav, Roger Dirstine, Karl Pfaffenbach
  • Publication number: 20040107796
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for plasma-assisted melting are provided. In one embodiment, a plasma-assisted melting method can include: (1) adding a solid to a melting region, (2) forming a plasma in a cavity by subjecting a gas to electromagnetic radiation having a frequency less than about 333 GHz in the presence of a plasma catalyst, wherein the cavity has a wall, (3) sustaining the plasma in the cavity such that energy from the plasma passes through the wall into the melting region and melts the solid into a liquid, and (4) collecting the liquid. Solids that can be melted consistent with this invention can include metals, such as metal ore and scrap metal. Various plasma catalysts are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2003
    Publication date: June 10, 2004
    Inventors: Satyendra Kumar, Devendra Kumar
  • Publication number: 20040103751
    Abstract: A method for refining a titanium metal containing ore such as rutile or ilmenite or mixtures to produce titanium ingots or titanium alloys and compounds of titanium involves production of titanium tetrachloride as a molten slag, by processing the ore in a chlorination procedure and removing various impurities by a distillation or other procedure to form a relatively pure titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4). Thereafter, the titanium tetrachloride is introduced continuously into the focal point of a plasma reactor in a molten magnesium, sodium, hydrogen, lithium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, francium, beryllium, calcium, strontium, barium or radium environment for the initial reduction of gas phase titanium into molten titanium drops which are collected by a set of skulls.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Publication date: June 3, 2004
    Inventors: Adrian A. Joseph, John G. Whellock
  • Publication number: 20040065170
    Abstract: A method for synthesizing a nano-structured material, including four primary steps: (A) providing a reaction chamber wherein the nano-structured material is generated from at least a starting material selected from the group consisting of a metal, a metal alloy, a metal compound, and a ceramic; (B) operating a twin-wire arc nozzle, comprising two wires and a working gas being controllably fed into the chamber, to form an arc between two converging leading tips of the two wires to heat and melt the starting material at the leading tips for providing a stream of liquid droplets traveling in a predetermined direction (preferably vertically downward); (C) operating at least a second high energy source for producing a vaporizing zone adjacent to the arc and inside the chamber wherein the liquid droplets are vaporized to form vapor species; and (D) cooling the vapor species for forming the nano-structured material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2002
    Publication date: April 8, 2004
    Inventors: L. W. Wu, Wayne Huang