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Mechanical membrane for the separation of a paramagnetic constituent from a fluid

United States Patent

9,636,631
May 2, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
U.S. Department of Energy - Visit the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Website
The disclosure provides an apparatus and method for the separation of a paramagnetic component from a mixture using a mechanical membrane apparatus. The mechanical membrane comprises a supporting material having a plurality of pores where each pore is surrounded by a plurality of magnetic regions. The magnetic regions augment a magnetic field on one side of the supporting material while mitigating the field to near zero on the opposite side. In operation, a flow of fluid such as air comprising a paramagnetic component such as O.sub.2 is directed toward the mechanical membrane, and the paramagnetic component is typically attracted toward a magnetic field surrounding a pore while dimagnetic components such as N.sub.2 are generally repelled. As some portion of the fluid passes through the plurality of magnetic apertures to the opposite side of the mechanical membrane, the mechanical membrane generates a fluid enriched in the paramagnetic component. Alternately, the magnetic field may act to repel the paramagnetic component while diamagnetic components such as N.sub.2 are generally unaffected and pass to the opposite side of the mechanical membrane.
Maurice; David (Corvallis, OR)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
14/ 684,475
April 13, 2015
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees and site-support contractors at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.