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Method for generating O.sub.2-rich gas from air using water

United States Patent

January 30, 2018
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Method to Generate Oxygen-Rich Gas from Air Using Water
The present disclosure is directed to a method for enriching an inlet air stream utilizing a number of enrichment sub-units connected in series, where each enrichment sub-unit conducts both a dissolution and degasification cycle. Each enrichment sub-unit comprises a compressor, an aeration unit, a deaeration unit, and a pump for the recirculation of water between the aeration and deaeration units. The methodology provides a manner in which the relationship between the respective Henry's coefficients of the oxygen and nitrogen in water may be exploited to enrich the O.sub.2 volume percent and diminish the N.sub.2 volume percent over repeated dissolution and degasification cycles. By utilizing a number of enrichment sub-units connected in series, the water contained in each enrichment sub-unit acts to progressively increase the O.sub.2 volume percent. Additional enrichment sub-units may be added and utilized until the O.sub.2 volume percent equals or exceeds a target O.sub.2 volume percent. In a particular embodiment, air having a general composition of about 78 vol. % N.sub.2 and 21 vol. % O.sub.2 is progressively enriched to provide a final mixture of about 92% vol. % O.sub.2 and 8% vol. % N.sub.2.
Nakano; Anna (Albany, OR), Nakano; Jinichiro (Albany, OR), Bennett; James P. (Salem, OR)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
14/ 590,239
January 6, 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.