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Variable flow control apparatus

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A flow control apparatus for controlling and regulating liquid flow rates. The apparatus is designed for the regulation and control of the flow of very small quantities of liquid over a continuous range from a few microliters/min to below one nanoliter/min from a high pressure source. The apparatus comprises a low permeability liquid flow channel, electrodes positioned within the liquid flow channel; and a power supply connected to the electrodes. Connected to the outlet of a high pressure liquid source, such as an electrokinetic pump, the variable flow apparatus controls flow from the pump by generating an opposing or augmenting electroosmotic within the low permeability flow channel. By adding an accumulator in combination with the variable flow apparatus to modulate the pressure-driven flow from the accumulator, the dynamic flow range is enhanced.
Crocker, Robert W. (Fremont, CA), Patel, Kamlesh D. (Livermore, CA), Chirica, Gabriela S. (Livermore, CA)
10/ 314,707
December 9, 2002
[0001] This invention w as made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U. S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.