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US4946317: Coal log pipeline system and method of operation

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Henry Liu · Thomas R. Marrero ·
Assignee(s) The Curators of the University of Missouri ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Litman, McMahon & Brown ·
Primary Examiner Peters, Jr.; Joseph F. ·
Assistant Examiner Anne Sartelle ·
Application Number US7251100
Filing date 09/28/1988
Issue date 08/07/1990
Predicted expiration date 09/28/2008
U.S. Classifications 406/46  · 406/197  ·
International Classifications B65G 5300  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 40650;82;51;86;117;147;150;168;192;197;198;20;26;27;28;148;149;171;176;85;110;108;120 ·
19 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A method and apparatus for fabricating coal logs from crushed coal available at a mining site and for transporting coal logs through a pipeline to a combustion site for further coal processing and burning. The pipeline is operated to maintain the hydraulic carrier fluid flowing through the pipeline within a range of bulk velocities sufficient to force a layer of the hydraulic carrier fluid between contacting surfaces of each coal log and the pipeline, tending to lift and carry the coal log through the pipeline, and, thereby, significantly reduce the energy required to transfer the carrier fluid and the coal logs through the pipeline. The carrier fluid bulk velocity is also maintained sufficiently low to prevent unstable coal log flow behavior often resulting in coal log jamming and abasion. The range of optimum fluid bulk velocities is a function of various fluid and coal properties, the pipeline geometry and the coal log geometry.

Independent Claims | See all claims (19)

  1. 1. A method of transporting coal in a conduit, which comprises the steps of:(a) forming a solid body of coal;(b) placing said body of said coal in said conduit;(c) causing a carrier fluid to flow in said conduit at a bulk velocity, V.sub.b, for coal being less than or equal to 2 times the lift-off velocity, V.sub.1 ; and(d) removing said body of coal from said conduit.
  2. 15. A method of transporting coal in a pipeline which comprises the steps of:(a) forming a coal log generally having a cylindrical shape and a diameter greater than 0.5 times an internal diameter of said pipeline in less than 0.95 times an internal diameter of said pipeline;(b) forming said coal log by extruding crushed coal into said cylindrical shape; extruding said crushed coal into said coal log having a stability index, I, less than or equal to 1, where:I=.vertline.E.vertline./.vertline.1-(1/S).vertline. E (eccentricity of coal log)=2x/L.sub.cwhere:x=distance between coal log center of gravity and coal log centroid--i.e., coal log geometric center);L.sub.c =longitudinal length of coal log; andS=specific gravity of coal log relative to said fluid carrier;(c) extruding said crushed coal into coal logs having a longitudinal length greater than one times the internal diameters of said pipeline but less than ten times the internal diameter of said pipeline;(d) mixing a water-insoluble, combustible and nontoxic coal binder and a sulfur sorption agent into said crushed coal prior to extruding said crushed coal into said coal logs; wherein said sulfur sorption agent comprises limestone, hydrated lime, dolomite and any combination thereof;(e) injecting said coal logs into said pipeline;(f) causing a carrier fluid to flow in said pipeline at a bulk velocity, V.sub.b, less than twice the lift-off velocity, V.sub.1 where:V.sub.1 =C(.vertline.S-1.vertline.gak(1-k.sup.2)D)**1/2; wherein:V.sub.1 =liftoff velocity 80C=(1-10E) 7.2 (a constant which is a function of the eccentricity and geometry of the capsule and pipeline);E=2x/L.sub.cx=distance between coal log center of gravity and coal log centroid (i.e., coal geometric center);L.sub.c =longitudinal length of the coal log;S=capsule specific gravity;g=acceleration of gravity;a=longitudinal length of the capsule divided by the its diameter;k=the ratio of the diameter of the capsule to the inner diameter of the pipeline; andD=the inner diameter of the pipeline(g) ejecting said coal logs from said pipeline at a desired location using a suitable ejection means.
  3. 16. An apparatus for transporting coal through a pipeline, including:(a) coal log fabrication means;(b) pipeline means;(c) fluid carrier means for carrying said coal logs through said pipeline means;(d) coal log injection means for injection of said fabricated coal logs in said pipeline means; said injection means comprising a plurality of launcher tubes having an integral diameter identical to the diameter of the pipeline, each launcher tube having a first end and a second end; said coal log fabrication means in flow communication with said first end of each said launcher tube, said second end of said launcher tube fixedly attached and in flow communication with said pipeline means; a check valve means positioned in said launcher tube for preventing back-flow of said pipeline into said launcher tube; full-bore valve means positioned in the proximity of the second end of each said launcher tube to allow for passage of said coal logs through said full-bore valve means when full-bore valve means is positioned to open and for flow isolating said launcher tube from said pipeline when said full-bore valve is positioned shut;(e) a pump means and fluid supply header in flow communication with each launcher tube; and(f) wherein said coal logs are alternately fed into and emptied from said launcher tubes by alternately opening and closing said full-bore valves.
  4. 17. An apparatus for transporting coal through a pipeline, including:(a) coal log fabrication means;(b) a pipeline means;(c) a fluid carrier means for carrying said coal logs through said pipeline means;(d) a coal log injection means for injection of said fabricated coal logs in said pipeline means; and(e) a fluid carrier pumping means; said fluid carrier means adapted for maintaining the bulk velocity of the carrier fluid at a velocity less than two times the lift-off velocity, V.sub.1 of the coal log, where:V.sub.1 =C(.vertline.S-1.vertline.gak(1-k.sup.2)D)**1/2: whereinV.sub.1 =lift-off velocity;S=lift-off velocity;g=acceleration of gravity;a=longitudinal length of the capsule divided by its diameter;k=the ratio of the diameter of the capsule to the inner diameter of the pipeline;D=the inner diameter of the pipeline 83.C=(1-10 E) 7.2; where:E=(eccentricity)=2x/L.sub.c ; where:x=distance between coal log center of gravity and coal log centroid (i.e. the geometric coal log center);L.sub.c =longitudinal length of coal log.
  5. 18. An apparatus for transporting coal through a pipeline, including:(a) coal log fabrication means; said coal log fabrication means adapted for producing coal logs with a stability index, I, less than or equal to 1.0, whereI=.vertline.E.vertline./.vertline.1-(1/S);E=coal log eccentricity=2x/L.sub.c ; wherex=distance between coal log center of gravity and coal log centroid (i.e. the geometric coal log center);L.sub.c =longitudinal length of coal log.S=coal log specific gravity;(b) a pipeline means;(c) a fluid carrier means for carrying said coal logs through said pipeline means;(d) a coal log injection means for injection of said fabricated coal logs in said pipeline means; and(e) a fluid carrier pumping means.
  6. 19.19. An apparatus for transporting coal through a pipeline, including:(a) a pipeline means which comprises a pipeline having a substantially uniform internal diameter;(b) a coal log fabrication means comprising a standard commercial extruder of a design capable of extruding crushed coal into cylindrical shaped coal logs having an outside diameter less than 0.95 times the inner diameter of said pipeline means but greater than 0.5 times the internal diameter of said pipeline means; said extruder capable of extruding said crushed coal mixed with a coal binder and a sulfur absorption agent; the length of said coal log being greater than 1 times the internal diameter of said pipeline means less than 10 times the internal diameter of said pipeline means; wherein said extruder is capable for forming said coal having a stability index, I, less than or equal to 1, where I=.vertline.E.vertline./.vertline.1-1/S.vertline.;(c) a fluid carrier means for carrying said coal logs through said pipeline means;(d) a coal log injection means for injection of said fabricated coal logs in said pipeline means; said injection means comprising a plurality of launcher tubes having an internal diameter identical to the diameter of the pipeline means, each launcher tube having a first end and a second end; a coal log fabrication means in flow communication with said first end of said launcher tube, said second end of said launcher tube fixedly attached in flow communication with said pipeline means; a check valve means positioned in said launcher tube for preventing back-flow from said pipeline into said launcher tube; full-bore valve means positioned in the proximity of the second end of each said launcher tube to allow for passage of said coal logs through said full-bore valve means when full-bore valve means is positioned open and for flow isolating said launcher tube from said pipeline when said full-bore valve is positioned shut; a pump means and fluid supply header in flow communication with each said launcher tube; wherein said coal logs are alternately fed into and emptied from said launcher tube by alternately opening and closing said full-bore valves;(d) a coal log injection means for injection of said fabricated coal logs in said pipeline means; said ejection means comprising a conveyor means located adjacent to and in flow communication with an outlet of said pipeline for receiving said coal logs, dewatering said coal logs, and for transferring said coal logs to a desired location for processing;(e) a fluid carrier pumping means; said pumping means comprising a pump suitable for maintaining the bulk velocity of the carrier fluid at a velocity less than two times the lift-off velocity, V.sub.1 of the coal log, where:V.sub.1 =C(.vertline.S-1.vertline.gak(1-k.sup.2)D)**1/2: whereinV.sub.1 =lift-off velocity;S=capsule specific gravity;g=acceleration of gravity;a=longitudinal length of the capsule divided by the its diameter;k=the ratio of the diameter of the capsule to the inner diameter of the pipeline; andD=the inner diameter of the pipeline 83.C=(1-10 E) 7.2 where:E (eccentricity)=2x/L.sub.c ; where:x=distance between coal log center of gravity and coal log centroid (i.e. the geometric coal log center);L.sub.c =longitudinal length of coal log.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US1503365 HAWAILAN PINEAPPLE COMPANY LTD Hoyt Jul 1924
US3328089 ALBERTA RES COUNCIL Hodgson et al. Jun 1967
US3719397 BECHTEL INT CORP Wasp Mar 1973
US3906972 ALBERTA RES COUNCIL Jensen et al. Sep 1975
US4049392 General Electric Company Furman Sep 1977
US4184792 TURNBO AUGUST Z Turnbo Jan 1980
US4286935 Kabushiki Kaisha Komatsu Seisakusho Okuno et al. Sep 1981
US4331446 EPA Energy Products, Inc. Draper et al. May 1982
US4605329 Fibre Dynamics Limited Duffy Aug 1986

Foreign Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
GB760548SIMON LTD HENRYOct 1956

Other Publications

Liu, Henry and Thomas Marrero, "Demonstration of CLF: An Advanced Technology . . .", Federal Register, vol. 51, No. 218, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1986, pp. 1-14.
Liu, A theory on Capsule Lift-Off in Pipelines, Journal of Pipelines, 2 (1982), 22-23.
Liu and Rhee, Behavior of Non-Uniform-Density Capsules, HCP, Journal of Pipelines, 6 (1987-307-318).

Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US7114889 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Osamu Kanou et al. Oct 2006
US6068428 The Curators of the University of Missouri Satish S. Nair et al. May 2000

Patent Family

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