Title of Invention

APPARATUS FOR THE TREATMENT OF PARTICULATE MATERIAL

Abstract An apparatus for the treatment of particulate material has a process chamber (16) and a bottom (18) having passage orifices through which process air (21) can be introduced into the process chamber (16). A device (60) for conditioning the process air (21) and for circulating the process air (21) in closed circuit is integrated in the apparatus (10), the conditioning device (60) having at least one condenser (35) and one air heater (52), and a filter arrangement (28) is provided in order to remove solids from the process air (21) flowing out from the process chamber, filters (30, 32, 33) of the filter arrangement being arranged, in terms of flow, upstream of the conditioning device (60).
Full Text Apparatus for the treatment of particulate material
The invention relates to an apparatus for the treatment of particulate material, with a
process chamber for the reception and treatment of the material, said process cham-
ber having a bottom provided with passage orifices and through which process air
can be introduced into the process chamber, and with an outlet for the discharge of
process air from the process chamber.
An apparatus of this type is known, for example, from DE 100 54 557 Al.
This apparatus is served, in particular for granulating or coating a particulate mate-
rial. A gaseous medium, what is known as process air, is introduced into the process
chamber via the bottom and at the same time flows, directed approximately horizon-
tally, into the process chamber through the numerous orifices, mostly in the form of
slots between mutually overlapping guide plates.
In this context, it became known to configure the bottom differently, as is known,
for example, from DE 199 04 147 Al, DE 102 02 582 C1 or DE 102 48 116 B3. The
material to be treated is swirled by the process air, the swirl characteristic being
dependent in each case on the configuration of the bottom. If, for example, a certain
circumferential component is also superposed on the process air, a toroidally revolv-
ing eddy flow ring is gradually formed.

2
If larger agglomerates are to be formed from dust-fine powder, say if the material is to
be granulated, a tacky medium is supplied to the toroidal ring via nozzles. In
DE 102 48 116 C1, for example, these are spray nozzles directed obliquely upward
which are inserted in the wall of the container surrounding the process chamber.
Where coating is concerned, a covering layer is to be applied, that is to say sprayed,
as uniformly as possible onto an already existing larger body.
The material particles swilled by the process air fall down onto the floor again due to
gravity, that is to say are separated from the process air which flows out of the
process chamber to the upper outflow end via an outlet.
The process air is introduced via an inlet in an inflow chamber arranged below the
bottom and then penetrates through the bottom into the process chamber through
the numerous orifices.
After leaving the process chamber, if appropriate after flowing through filters ar-
ranged at the upper end of the process chamber, the process air is discharged from
the apparatus and recycled.
In conventional apparatuses, separate monobloc units, as they are known, are pro-
vided, which are arranged in spaces away from the apparatus, mostly next to or
above it, and are connected to the apparatus via pipeline systems.
In such instances, supply-air monobloc units are referred to, which are responsible
for conditioning the process air, and exhaust-air monobloc units which ensure the
environmentally correct disposal of the process exhaust air. The process air supplied
is appropriately heated, brought to a specific drying/moisture content and moved
into a degree of throughflow suitable for process management.
Depending on the type of treatment of the material, moisture, in particular solvents,
must be extracted from the discharged process air.

3
The known type of interaction between the actual apparatus, that is to say the
fluidized bed granulating and coating plant (also called WSG) and the necessary
supply-air monobloc and exhaust-air monobloc units requires a large amount of
space and room. In this case, this often gives rise to long air paths via supply pipes
and, as a result of this, to large inner surfaces which have to be cleaned or otherwise
maintained from time to time.
Since such apparatuses are in widespread use in the pharmaceutical industry, these
lines are produced from high-grade metallic materials which constitute a relatively
large metallic mass which is an obstacle to a rapid variation of process air tempera-
tures, since this large mass constitutes an inert system.
Air-routing pipelines can be properly inspected only rarely on their inner surface,
and therefore the cleaning of these can be carried out only by means of technically
complicated integrated cleaning systems. Cleaning in place or washing in place
devices are referred to in this context.
Plant systems where there are gaps also require a relatively high outlay in terms of
sound and heat insulation, thus resulting in considerable costs for setting up and
operating an apparatus of this type.
US 4,557,904 discloses a reactor for carrying out exothermal chemical reactions, in
which a fluidizing medium is used in order to discharge the reaction heat. A cooler is
arranged in the apparatus for cooling and absorbing the exothermal reaction heat.
EP 0 282 777 A discloses an apparatus for the combustion of carbon-containing
material in a fluidized bed plant, in the process chamber of which is arranged a heat
exchanger which serves for cooling and/or heating the gases.

4
DE 41 41 227 A1 discloses a fluidized bed reactor which is operated under pressure
and around the central reaction space of which a plurality of groups of filters are
arranged in order to filter out solids.
The object of the present invention is to improve an apparatus of the type initially
mentioned, to the effect that cost-effective process management is possible.
According to the invention, the object is achieved in that a device for conditioning
the process air and for circulating the process air in closed circuit is integrated into
the apparatus, the conditioning device having at least one condenser and one air
heater, and in that a filter arrangement is provided in order to remove solids from
the process air flowing out from the process chamber, filters of the filter arrangement
being arranged, in terms of flow, upstream of the device for conditioning the process
air.
This measure, then, departs from the established principle of the monobloc type of
construction present at a distance from the apparatus and ensures that essential
treatments of the process air are carried out directly in the apparatus, to be precise
the conditioning of the process air and circulation in the apparatus in closed circuit.
This compact type of construction in terms of an integration of the necessary struc-
tural elements into the apparatus results in a low space and room requirement. At the
same time, lower masses of structural elements are necessary, this being equivalent to
more rapid temperature change rates and regulating speeds.
The compact type of construction also leads to lower sound and heat emissions.
There are fewer surfaces which come into contact with the process air, and therefore
the surfaces to be cleaned are also substantially smaller. This results, overall, in lower
costs for the plant as a whole and also in a lower energy requirement on account of
substantially lower energy losses.

5
The process air flowing out from the process chamber mostly contains solvents of the
treatment medium which is applied to the material in the process chamber, in
particular water and organic solvents. Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that,
despite the presence of filters, gaseous or other very small liquid droplets are en-
trained by the process air and therefore constitute a pollutant of the process exhaust
air. In the condenser, these constituents can be condensed out and separated from
the process exhaust air.
Arranging the condenser directly in the apparatus thus dispenses with lines for
supplying the pollutant-laden process air to units which lie apart and which contain
the condenser.
Arranging the air heater in the apparatus makes it possible to heat the process air to
process temperature immediately after the latter has left the condenser. Conse-
quently, both the cooling operation for condensing out entrained pollutants and
subsequent reheating to process temperature can be carried out beneficially in terms
of the energy balance.
The advantage of providing the filter arrangement is that the process air is freed of
entrained solid particles. The filter arrangement may consist of known dynamic filter
systems which retain even the finest particles which are released periodically from
the filter as a result of pressure pulses and are returned to the process chamber. These
dynamic filter systems may be filter candles, filter cartridges or what are known as
clown-collar filters which are arranged at the upper end region of the process cham-
ber.
The advantage of providing the filter arrangement upstream of the conditioning
device in terms of flow is that the process air is freed of entrained solid particles by
means of the filter arrangement before this process air reaches the condenser. This
rules out the possibility that the surface of the condenser is contaminated by these
entrained solid particles, that is to say these are deposited on its surface.

6
In a further refinement of the invention, the conditioning device is arranged at least
around the process chamber.
The advantage of this measure is that it results in a highly compact type of construc-
tion which at the same time affords the possibility of gaining simple access to the
components of the conditioning device from outside. This compact type of construc-
tion also permits appropriate sound and heat insulation measures in the simplest
possible way.
In a further refinement of the invention, the filter arrangement is likewise arranged
around the process chamber.
The advantage of this measure is that, despite the presence of a filter, a compact type
of construction of the apparatus as a whole is obtained, and that, here too, the filter
arrangements are accessible very easily, to be precise, for example, from outside.
In a further refinement of the invention, a fan for circulating the process air is
arranged under the bottom.
The advantage of this measure is that the arrangement under the bottom constitutes
a location at which such a fan can be accommodated beneficially, since such bottoms
usually in any case have a circular outer contour.
In a further refinement of the invention, the fan is arranged, in terms of flow, be-
tween the condenser and the air heater.
The advantage of this measure is that the process air flowing to the fan is already
freed of all pollutants and has to be routed by this fan only past the air heater and
delivered to the bottom. This allows an especially effective control of the condition-
ing of the process air in terms of quantity and/or heat content.

7
In a further refinement of the invention, at least one nozzle is provided, by means of
which a treatment medium for the material can be sprayed into the process chamber.
The result of this measure known per se is that the treatment medium can be intro-
duced into the process chamber at a suitable location via the nozzles.
In a further refinement of the invention, spray air for spraying the treatment me-
dium can be drawn off from the process air and supplied to the nozzle via a line.
This measure, then, has a considerable advantage that a gastight system closed off on
itself can be provided. There arises in the system what is known as an air-quantity
zero-sum cycle, in that that air quantity which is required for spraying the treatment
medium through the nozzle is branched off from the process air and supplied to the
nozzle. This allows an especially compact type of construction with an outwardly
gastight routing both of the process air and of the spray air for the nozzle. Since the
nozzle sprays into the process chamber, the gas quantities sprayed by the nozzle are
intermingled with the process air and can be regenerated or conditioned together,
that is to say, in particular, be freed of solvents or the like and then be supplied to
the nozzle again as "pure spray air".
In a further refinement, a compressor for compressing the spray air is provided.
The advantage of this measure is that the control of the spray air pressure or of the
spray air quantity can be controlled individually by means of this compressor. The
compressor may likewise be an integral component of the apparatus, but may also be
arranged outside, since the treatment medium must necessarily be fed with any
substances from outside, in particular with the substance which is to he supplied to
the material to be treated.

8
In a further refinement of the invention, the process chamber has arranged around it
an annular chamber in which at least parts of the filter arrangement and/or of the
conditioning device are arranged.
The advantage of this measure is that a highly compact slimline type of construction
is achieved, in which the components are arranged easily accessibly around the
process chamber.
In a further refinement of the invention, the process chamber has an upright cylin-
drical wall which is closed off by means of the bottom, an air heater and a fan are
arranged under the bottom, and annular filters and at least one following annular
condenser are arranged in an annular chamber around the wall.
In this special refinement, optimal adaptation of the conditioning device for the
process air to the geometry of the process chamber takes place, thus resulting in an
especially compact apparatus which has an efficient build and can therefore also be
operated favorably.
In a further refinement of the invention, the process chamber has, at an upper
outflow end, a cover which serves for deflecting the process air into the conditioning
device.
The cover therefore not only serves as a termination and, if appropriate, also as an
observation window for the actions taking place in the process chamber, but at the
same time effects the deflection of the process air flowing out from the process
chamber into the further regenerating or conditioning devices, such as filters, con-
densers, etc.
In a further refinement of the invention, a screen is arranged at the outflow end of
the process chamber. In particular, it is advantageous to design this screen as a
vibrating screen.

9
The advantage of this measure is that a separation of solid particles from the outflow-
ing process air is possible. On account of the design as a vibrating screen, the parti-
cles fall down again from the vibrating screen and back into the process chamber.
These are therefore available again for treatment. The design as a large-area screen is
conducive to the compact type of construction of the apparatus.
In a further refinement of the invention, a device for the suction extraction of the
solids retained by the filter arrangement is present.
The advantage of this measure is that the effectiveness of the filter arrangement is
increased as a result of the suction extraction of solids which have been retained by
the filters. In this case, where multistage filters are concerned, not all filters have to
have suction extraction, but, instead, it is sufficient for that filter or those filters
retaining the predominant and mostly coarser part of the solids to have suction
extraction.
In a further refinement of the invention, the suction extraction device has a movable
suction connection piece which sucks away the solids from filters of the filter ar-
rangement from time to time.
The advantage of this measure is that the suction connection piece for suction
extraction can be led up to the filters or over these, so that suction extraction can
take place during operation.
In a further refinement of the invention, as regards a filter arrangement with filters
which are arranged in an annular chamber arranged around the process chamber, the
movable suction connection piece is designed as a rotating suction connection piece.
The advantage of this measure is that, by means of the rotating suction connection
piece, solids can be sucked away from the filter arrangement continuously, but at the

10
same time sufficient regions of the filters are always free for the actual filtering
operation.
In a further refinement of the invention, the process air sucked away by the suction
extraction device can be returned to the apparatus again after the suction-extracted
solids have been separated.
The advantage of this measure is that the principle of closed circuit routing is main-
tained in this refinement, too, in that the suction-extracted process air is returned
again.
In a further refinement of the invention, a screen is arranged at the outflow end of
the process chamber, and a device for blowing off material hanging on the screen is
provided.
The screen which allows small particulate solids to pass through, which are subse-
quently retained by the abovementioned filters, retains larger particles of the mate-
rial which are entrained by the process air.
These either are held on the underside of the screen by the process air flowing
through the screen or adhere to the underside of the screen by being caught in the
meshes of the screen or because the consistency is still tacky.
These parts of the material are consequently excluded from the further treatment
process and, in order to achieve as uniform a treatment result as possible, must be
returned to the process chamber again. This then takes place by means of this
blow-off device.
In a further refinement of the invention, the blow-off device has a blowing shoe
running over the screen.

11
The advantage of this measure is that the blowing shoe can blow parts of the screen
free continuously, but at the same time sufficient regions of the screen are free to
allow the process air to pass through, so that overall closed circuit routing is main-
tained in the apparatus.
In a further advantageous refinement of the invention, the device for the suction
extraction of the filters and the device for blowing off the screen are combined in
such a way that the process air sucked away by the suction extraction device can be
supplied to the blow-off device.
The advantage of this measure, again, is that closed circuit routing is also carried out
in this form of cleaning/blowing off, to be precise since the air quantity sucked away
for the suction extraction of the filters is returned to the screen blow-off system again
after the filtered-out solids have been separated.
In a further refinement of the invention, a radially extending rotated combined
blowing/suction shoe is arranged above the process chamber.
The advantage of this measure is that the two devices for suction and blowing have a
common structural element.
In a further refinement, the blowing/suction shoe has a suction orifice,.which issues
in the region of the filters, and, furthermore, has a blowing orifice which issues in
the region of the screen.
The rotating blowing/suction shoe, via the suction orifice, thus sucks away the filters
or the solids retained by these, and at the same time it blows the returned air
through the screen and releases material which in this case adheres.
In a further refinement, a suction appliance is provided which is connected to the
blowing/suction shoe.

12
The advantage of this measure is that, for example, an available industrial vacuum
cleaner can be assigned to the apparatus and sucks away the air, separates the en-
trained solid particles from this and then supplies the "exhaust air" to the blowing
shoe again.
This is not only an extremely cost-effective refinement, since industrial vacuum
cleaners of various types are available, but it allows a directed collection of the solids
retained by the filters and then sucked away from these.
Depending on whether high-grade solids, for example in the pharmaceutical sector,
are involved, these can be used again. If the substances are critical or hazardous to
the environment, they can be discharged from the apparatus and collected in a
directed way.
In a further refinement of the invention, the condenser has a first condenser for
condensing out water and a second following condenser for condensing out solvents
having a lower dew point than water.
Particularly in the pharmaceutical sector, in the treatment of the material in the
process chamber, both aqueous solutions and solutions in organic solvents are
processed. Owing to the two-state design, first the water and then those solvents
which have a substantially lower dew point can be condensed out. This has the
advantage not only that these two substances can be recovered separately due to
two-stage condensation, but also that the situation is prevented where,"for example,
a condenser which is operated with extremely low-temperature coolant ices up due
to water which has been condensed out.
In a further refinement of the invention, a connection for supplying of an inert gas is
provided.

13
This measure has the considerable advantage that the inner space of the process
chamber can be filled with such a protective gas, so that this plant can eperate with
explosion protection, for which purpose it is ensured that, for example, the oxygen
concentration is kept below 6% by volume.
In a further refinement of the invention, a gas sensor for measuring the gas composi-
tion of the process air, in particular the oxygen content, is provided.
The advantage of this measure is that a continuous analysis of the gas composition of
the process gas can take place by means of the gas sensor, so that the risk of explo-
sions can be ruled out.
It will be appreciated that the features mentioned above and those yet to be ex-
plained below can be used not only in the combinations specified, but also in other
combinations or alone, without departing from the scope of the present invention.
The invention is described and explained in more detail by means of a selected
exemplary embodiment, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 shows a vertical section through an apparatus according to the inven-
tion with an integrated device for conditioning the process air and for
the circulation of the latter,
Figure 2 shows a cross section through the apparatus of figure 1,
Figure 3 shows highly diagrammatically a basic diagram of the apparatus ac-
cording to the invention with some peripheral accessories for the feed
of the nozzle,
Figure 4 shows a vertical section, comparable to figure 1, through a further
embodiment of an apparatus according to the invention,

14
Figure 5 shows a section, comparable to the section of figure 2, through the
apparatus of figure 4, and
Figure 6 shows a basic diagram, corresponding to figure 3, of a further embodi-
ment of the apparatus.
An apparatus, illustrated in figures 1 to 3, for the treatment of particulate material is
designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 10.
As may be gathered particularly from the sectional illustration of figure 1, the appara-
tus 10 has a container 12 which has an inner upright hollow-cylindrical wall 14. The
wall 14 delimits a process chamber 16 which is closed off by means of a bottom 18.
The bottom 18 is composed of a series of seven annular metal sheets which are laid
one above the other and partially overlap one another, so as to form-between the
annular metal sheets slots which constitute annular passage orifices through the
bottom.
In the top view of figure 2, the reference numeral 17 designates representatively such
an annular metal sheet and the reference numeral 19 a corresponding annular slot.
A nozzle 20, designed as an annular gap nozzle is received centrally in the bottom 18,
the annular gap, not designated here, of the nozzle 20 running circumferentially, and
the nozzle 20 therefore spraying out annularly in the plane of the bottom.
The more detailed configuration and the type of operation of such a bottom are
described, for example, in DE 102 48 116 Cl, to which express reference is made in
this regard.

15
An atomizing nozzle of this type, with a spray angle of 180° and with a looping angle
of 360°, is described, for example, in DE 102 32 863 A1, to which express reference is
made here.
Furthermore, the combination of such a bottom with a spray nozzle of this type is
described in the international patent application PCT/EP 2004/010096 of 10.09.2004.
The inner wall 14 is surrounded at a distance by an outer wall 22, with the result that
an annular chamber 24 is formed between the walls 14 and 22. The outer wall 22
projects somewhat above the wall 14 in height and is closed by means of a cover 26.
A filter arrangement 28 has a vibrating screen 30 which covers the upper end of the
wall 14.
Two annularly continuous V-filters 32 and 33 of two different filter classes are
arranged in the upper region of the annular chamber 24.
The vibrating screen 30 serves as an exhaust air prefilter, the V-filter 32 as an exhaust
air fine filter and the V-filter 33 lying beneath as an exhaust air ultrafine filter.
Below the filter arrangement 28 is arranged, in the annular chamber 24, a two-stage
condenser 35 which can be acted upon with a cooling medium 40 via connections
37, 38. Depending on the nature of the substances to be condensed out, for example
water and solvent, such as acetone, isopropanol, ethanol, etc., cooling media 40 in
the range of -40°C to +5°C are supplied via connections 37 and 38.
The inner wall 14 ends at a distance in front of a base 41 which constitutes the lower
termination of the outer wall 22. An annular orifice 42 is consequently present. In
the region of this orifice 42 is arranged a drop separator 43 which stands above a
collecting trough 44 which is connected to an outlet 45 so that condensed-out
liquids can be supplied to a collecting vessel 46 (see figure 3).

16
A fan 48, which acts as a radial blower, is arranged in a space 47 below the bottom 18
and within the wall 14. This high-performance centrifugal fan having a sucking
action is operated via a hydraulic, pneumatic or electric drive. Centrally above the
fan 48 stands the nozzle 20 which can be drawn off downward from the bottom 18
out of the apparatus 10. The approximately cylindrical body of the central nozzle 20,
which extends beneath the bottom 18, is surrounded at a distance by a tube 51.
Around the tube 51 is arranged an air heater 52 which can be supplied with a heating
medium 57 via connections 54, 55 to the outside. The heating media may be warm
water, hot water or steam. Said air heater may also be operated with electrical energy.
Flaps 50 are arranged in the space between the outside of the body of the nozzle 20
and the tube 51.
Further flaps 49 are arranged between the fan 48 and the air heater 52.
Depending on the position of the flaps, more or less process air, which is moved in
the direction of the air heater 52 by the fan 58, is supplied directly to the air heater
52 or is supplied in the bypass between the air heater 52 and the body of the nozzle
20 to the underside of the bottom 18. A control, not illustrated in any more detail
here, makes it possible to adjust the flaps correspondingly.
As is evident from the sectional illustrations, the walls 14, 22 are provided with an
insulation 59 and an insulation 61, so that the condenser 35 is insulated thermally
from the air heater 52, and vice versa.
The condenser 35 arranged in the annular chamber 24, the fan 48 and the air heater
52 form parts of a device 60 for the conditioning of process air 21 and for circulating
the process air 21 in closed circuit.

17
In order to design a circuit system closed off on itself, process air 21, after passing
through the drop separators 43, is discharged from the apparatus 10 via a suction
intake line 63, as is evident from figure 3.
The process air 21 drawn off by the suction intake line 63 is compressed by a com-
pressor 73 and is supplied to the nozzle 20 again as spray air via two lines 74, 75. The
treatment medium 76 to be sprayed by the nozzle 20 is prepared in a mixing con-
tainer 67 with an agitator 69 and is supplied to the nozzle 20 via a pump71.
As already mentioned above, the nozzle 20 is provided with an annular gap nozzle
which sprays out the treatment medium, in interaction with the spray air, to form a
planar spray cake running approximately horizontally at a distance above the up-
permost guide plate of the bottom 20.
The arrangement of the annular metal sheets 17 arranged one above the other is such
that the process air 21 emerges in a flow directed radially from the inside outward, is
deflected upward from the inside of the wall 14 and entrains the material particles
which are in this case to be treated and which subsequently then fall back again
centrally onto the head of the nozzle 20, as illustrated in figure 1 by the correspond-
ing movement arrows.
In the process chamber 16, therefore, the material particles to be treated are swirled
by the process air 21 passing through the bottom 18, for example so as to form a
toroidally rotating ring. The spray cake sprayed out in planar form subjects the
material to be treated to extremely uniform treatment.
The process air 21 emerges from the process chamber 16 at the upper end of the
latter and at the same time passes through the vibrating screen 30, with the result
that coarse entrained solid parts are separated and, owing to its arrangement as a
vibrating screen, are shaken off from this or from its underside again and are re-
turned to the process chamber 16.

18
The process exhaust air 21 is deflected vertically downward from the underside of the
cover 26 and is introduced uniformly into the annular chamber 24. It flows from the
top downward in the annular chamber 24 and flows through the first V-filter 32 and
the second V-filter 33, with the result that even the finest entrained solid particles are
filtered out.
The process exhaust air subsequently runs through the two-stage condenser 35, by
means of which both water and other solvents are condensed out. The condensate is
collected in the bottom-side collecting trough 44.
The drop separators 43 ensure that fine entrained drops are also separated.
The process exhaust air 21 regenerated in this way then flows into the space 47 and is
freed of any impurities, whether they be solids or liquid particles, Part is sucked in via
the suction intake line 63 and, as described above, is supplied as spray air to the
nozzle 20 via the compressor 33.
The process air 21 is supplied to the air heater 52 via the fan 48, a corresponding heat
content being transferred to the process air 21.
Depending on the position of the flaps 49, 50, more or less process air 21 is routed
directly via the air heater 52.
The then heated process air is supplied to the underside of the bottom 18, passes
through the slots 19 in the bottom and forms an initially approximately horizontally
oriented air cushion, on which the toroidally moved highly fluidized ring of swirled
material particles is located.
It is evident from figure 1 and figure 3 that, via a connection 65 connected to a fan
11 which is followed by activated charcoal filters 79, a certain vacuum of about 100
PA can be maintained permanently in the system.

19
In the system itself, there is what is known as an air-quantity zero-sum cycle, that is
to say the process air drawn off from the inner closed circuit via the suction intake
line 63 is supplied again as spray air by the nozzle, so that no process air quantities
leave the apparatus or have to be supplied to the latter from outside. Since a certain
vacuum is to be maintained in such systems with respect to the outside, there is the
fan 77, designated as a snifting fan, which is capable of generating the system vac-
uum of 100 Pa and at the same time of overcoming the packing of the activated
charcoal filter 70 or its resistance.
In practice, the system is completely gaslight, the snifting fan 77 always operating
counter to the vacuum, but not conveying any air quantity because there is no
leakage.
The filling of the process chamber 16 with the material to be treated can take place
from above, with the cover 26 open and the vibrating screen 30 lifted off.
The emptying of the treated material takes place radially or tangentially via a connec-
tion piece 82 which has a radially or tangentially arranged plug 84 which can be
drawn out or reinserted manually or in a mechanized/automated manner. The
product moved radially and tangentially over the bottom 18 by the process air 21
and consisting of treated material particles finds its way automatically to the empty-
ing connection piece 82 into a corresponding reception vessel, not illustrated in any
more detail here.
The arrangement illustrated also makes it possible very simply to clean the entire
inner space of the system.
It is possible to flood the entire inner space with a scavenging/cleaning liquid and to
circulate this by means of the in this case relatively slow movement of the fan 48,
that is to say to achieve virtually a kind of washing machine effect.

20
For simple access to the parts of the device 60 which are received in the annular
chamber 24, it is possible to raise the entire outer wall 22 or to design this outer wall
22 as segmentally movable swing-up doors. Figures 4 to 6 illustrate a further em-
bodiment of an apparatus according to the invention which is designated as a whole
by the reference numeral 90.
The apparatus 90 is constructed identically in numerous structural elements to the
apparatus described in figures 1 to 3, and therefore components which are identical
per se are also given the same reference numerals.
As described above, the apparatus 90 has an upright hollow-cylindrical container 92
which surrounds a process chamber 94.
The process chamber 94 has a bottom 96 which is designed identically to the bottom
18 described above, in which is received centrally a corresponding nozzle 20 which
carries the fan 48 on its underside. An air heater 52 with its connections 54 and 55 is
also provided correspondingly.
In the apparatus 90, too, the process chamber 94 is surrounded by an annular cham-
ber 98, in which corresponding components of the device for conditioning the
process air are arranged.
It is therefore clear that, here too, two annular V-filters 100 and 101 are arranged at
the upper inflow-side end of the annular chamber 98.
In contrast with the apparatus 10, a third V-filter 102 is also arranged downstream of
the second V-filter 101 in terms of flow.
This third V-filter 102 serves as a third static filter stage, as what is known as S-filter
class, that is to say as a submicron particulate filter.

21
Furthermore, in contrast with the apparatus 10 shown in figure 1, the condenser 35
is designed as a two-part condenser.
For this purpose, an annular first condenser 104 is provided, downstream of the third
V-filter 102 in terms of flow, in the annular chamber 98 and serves for condensing
water out of the process air. Via the corresponding connections 37 and 38, either
cold water, for example at 6°/12°C, or a brine at -5°/0°C is respectively supplied and
discharged again. The water condensed out by the first condenser 104 is collected via
an annular collecting trough 105 and is supplied to a collecting vessel 46 via an
outlet 106, as already described in connection with figure 3.
A second condenser 107 is arranged at the lower end of the container 92 and is
supplied via corresponding connections 108, 109 with a cooling medium, for exam-
ple a low-temperature refrigerant (~ -20°C), such as, for example, dichlorodifluoro-
methane.
This second condenser 107 serves for condensing out liquids having a lower dew
point than water, that is to say, for example, organic solvents. The condensate
condensed out by the second condenser 107 is collected in a bottom-side collecting
trough 110 and supplied to a second collecting vessel 112 via an outlet 111, as is
evident from figure 6. A perforated plate 114, which functions as a flow straightener,
is arranged above the second condenser 107, so that a relatively straightened flow is
then supplied via the fan 48 to the underside of the bottom 96 via the air heater 52.
A device 116 for the suction extraction of process air and a device 117 for blowing in
process air are arranged in the cover 123 of the apparatus 90. These two devices 116,
117 are combined in such a way that they have a common suction/blowing shoe
118, as is also evident particularly from figure 5.
The suction/blowing shoe 118 rests via a running roller 120 on the top edge 121 of
the container 92. A central drive 122 likewise received in the cover 123 ensures that

22
the suction/blowing shoe 118 rotates, specifically about the central vertical longitu-
dinal mid-axis of the apparatus 90, that is to say about the longitudinal axis of the
drive shaft 124, as is evident from figures 4 and 5.
It is clear from figure 5 that the suction/blowing shoe 118 rotates clockwise, for
example at a rotational speed of 5 to 10 rev/min. The upper end of the process
chamber or the container 92 is closed off by means of a static screen 113.
It is clear from the sectional drawing of figure 4 that the suction/blowing shoe 118
has a suction connection piece 126, the orifice of which issues directly above the V-
filter 100. A corresponding blowing shoe 128 is designed such that its blow-out
orifice issues directly above the screen 113.
It is clear from the top view of figure 5 that this suction/blowing shoe 118 extends
approximately radially and at the same time over a certain circumferential portion of
the uppermost V-filter 100. The filters 100 and 101 are suction-extracted by means of
the suction connection piece. At the same time, the radially further inward region of
the screen 113 is blown off.
As is evident from figure 6, the combined device for suction and blowing is con-
nected via corresponding lines 136, 137 to a suction apparatus 134 in the form of an
industrial vacuum cleaner.
In other words, the suction apparatus 134 suction-extracts the filters 100 and 101 via
the suction connection piece 126, that is to say the solids 130 retained by these are
entrained, supplied to the suction apparatus 134 and filtered out there, and the
"exhaust air" is returned to the blowing shoe 128, and, by means of the latter, mate-
rial 132 adhering to the underside of the screen 113 is fed again into the process
chamber 94 or into the material particles which swirl around above the bottom 96
and are to be treated. This can thus be carried out in closed circuit.

23
It is evident from figure 4 that an inert gas connection 140 is provided, via which the
inner space can be acted upon or can be scavenged with inert gas.
In the system, described above in connection with figure 3, for maintaining a vac-
uum by means of the snifting fan 77, a gas sensor 142 is additionally integrated,
which is connected to the process air via the line 144. By means of this gas sensor
142, the respective gas composition can be analyzed, particularly as to whether an
explosive mixture is present, which is not the case when the oxygen concentration is
kept below 6% by volume. Corresponding control measures may then also be pro-
vided so as not to overshoot such an oxygen threshold value.

24
Claims amended during Chapter II PCT
Claims
1. Apparatus for the treatment of particulate material, with a process chamber
(16, 94) for the reception and treatment of the material, said process chamber having
a bottom (18, 96) provided with passage orifices through which process air (21) can
be introduced into the process chamber (16, 94), and with an outlet for the discharge
of process air (21) from the process chamber (16, 94), wherein a device (60) for
conditioning the process air (21) and for circulating the process air (21) in closed
circuit is integrated into the apparatus (10, 90), the conditioning device (60) having
at least one condenser (35; 104, 107) and one air heater (52), and in that a filter
arrangement (28) is provided in order to remove solids (130) from the process air (21)
flowing out from the process chamber (16, 94), filters (30, 32, 33; 100, 101, 102) of
the filter arrangement (28) being arranged, in terms of flow, upstream of the device
(60) for conditioning the process air, and wherein an annular chamber (24, 98) is
arranged around the process chamber (16) and receives at least parts of the filter
arrangement (28) and/or of the conditioning device (60).
2. Apparatus as claimed in one of claim 1, characterized in that a fan (48) for
circulating the process air (21) is arranged under the bottom (18, 96).
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the fan (48) is arranged,
in terms of flow, between the condenser (35; 104, 107) and the air heater (52).
4. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that at least one
nozzle (20) is provided, by means of which a treatment medium (76) for the material
can be sprayed into the process chamber (16, 94).

25
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that spray air for spraying
the treatment medium (76) can be drawn off from the process air (21) and supplied
to the nozzle (20) via a line (63).
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that a compressor (73) for
compressing the spray air is provided.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the process chamber
(16, 96) has an upright cylindrical wall (14) which is closed off by means of the
bottom (18), in that an air heater (52) and the fan (48) are arranged under the
bottom (18), and in that annular filters (32, 33; 100, 101, 102) and at least one
following annular condenser (35) are arranged in an annular chamber (24, 98)
around the wall (14).
8. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that, at an upper
outflow end, a cover (26, 123) is provided, which serves for deflecting the process air
(21) into the device (60) for conditioning the process air.
9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that a screen (30; 113) is
arranged at the outflow end of the process chamber (16).
10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the screen is designed
as a vibrating screen (30).
11. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that a device
(116) for the suction extraction of the solids (130) retained by the filter arrangement
is present.
12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 11, characterized in that the suction extraction
device (116) has a movable suction connection piece (126) which sucks away the
solids (130) from the filters (100, 101) of the filter arrangement from time to time.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that, in a filter arrangement
with filters (100, 101) which are arranged in an annular chamber (38) present around
the process chamber (94), the movable suction connection piece (120) is designed as
a rotating suction connection piece (126).
14. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 11 to 13, characterized in that process
air sucked away by the suction extraction device (116) can be returned to the appara-
tus (90) again after the suctions-extracted solids (130) have been separated.
15. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 14, characterized in that a screen
(113) is arranged at the outflow end of the process chamber (94), and in that a device
(117) for blowing off material (132) hanging on the screen (113) is provided.
16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15, characterized in that the blow-off device
(117) is designed movably in order from time to time to blow off material (132)
hanging on the screen 113).
17. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15 or 16, characterized in that the blow-off
device (117) has a blowing shoe (128) running over the screen (113).
18. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 11 to 17, characterized in that the
device (116) for the suction extraction of the filters (100, 101) and the device (117)
for blowing off the screen (113) are combined in such a way that the process air
sucked away by the suction extraction device (116) can be supplied to the blow-off
device (117).
19. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18, characterized in that a radially extending
rotating combined blowing/suction shoe (118) is arranged above the process cham-
ber (94).

20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19, characterized in that the blowing/suction
shoe (118) has a suction orifice, which issues in the region of the filters (100, 101),
and, furthermore, has a blowing orifice which issues in the region of the screen (113).
21. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19 or 20, characterized in that a suction appara-
tus (134) is provided which is connected to the blowing/suction shoe (118).
22. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 21, characterized in that the
condenser has a first condenser (104) for condensing out water and a second follow-
ing condenser (107) for condensing out solvents having a lower dew point than
water.
23. Apparatus as claimed in one of claims 1 to 22, characterized in that a connec-
tion (140) for supplying an inert gas is provided.
24. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23, characterized in that a gas sensor (142) for
measuring the gas composition in the apparatus, in particular for measuring the
oxygen content, is provided.

An apparatus for the treatment of particulate material has a process chamber (16) and
a bottom (18) having passage orifices through which process air (21) can be introduced into the process chamber (16). A device (60) for conditioning the process air
(21) and for circulating the process air (21) in closed circuit is integrated in the
apparatus (10), the conditioning device (60) having at least one condenser (35) and
one air heater (52), and a filter arrangement (28) is provided in order to remove
solids from the process air (21) flowing out from the process chamber, filters
(30, 32, 33) of the filter arrangement being arranged, in terms of flow, upstream of
the conditioning device (60).

Documents:

01411-kolnp-2007-abstract.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-claims.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-correspondence others 1.1.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-correspondence others 1.2.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-correspondence others 1.3.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-correspondence others.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-description complete.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-drawings.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-form 1.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-form 18.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-form 2.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-form 3.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-form 5.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-gpa.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-international publication.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-international search report.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-pct others.pdf

01411-kolnp-2007-priority document.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-ABSTRACT-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-AMANDED CLAIMS.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-CORRESPONDENCE 1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-CORRESPONDENCE-1.2.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-CORRESPONDENCE-1.3.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-CORRESPONDENCE-1.4.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-DESCRIPTION (COMPLETE)-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-DESCRIPTION (COMPLETE)-1.2.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-DRAWINGS-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-DRAWINGS-1.2.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-ENGLISH TRANSLATION-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 1-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 1-1.2.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 1-1.3.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 2-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 2-1.2.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 3-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM 5.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM-27-1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-FORM-27.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-OTHERS PCT FORM.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-OTHERS-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-OTHERS.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-PA.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-PETITION UNDER RULE 137-1.1.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-PETITION UNDER RULE 137.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-REPLY TO EXAMINATION REPORT.pdf

1411-KOLNP-2007-TRANSLATED COPY OF PRIORITY DOCUMENT.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-ASSIGNMENT.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-CORRESPONDENCE.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-EXAMINATION REPORT.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-FORM 18.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-FORM 3.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-FORM 5.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GPA.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-ABSTRACT.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-CLAIMS.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-DESCRIPTION (COMPLETE).pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-DRAWINGS.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-FORM 1.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-FORM 2.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-LETTER PATENT.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-GRANTED-SPECIFICATION.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-OTHERS.1.3.pdf

1412-KOLNP-2006-REPLY TO EXAMINATION REPORT.1.3.pdf

abstract-01411-kolnp-2007.jpg


Patent Number 248828
Indian Patent Application Number 1411/KOLNP/2007
PG Journal Number 35/2011
Publication Date 02-Sep-2011
Grant Date 29-Aug-2011
Date of Filing 20-Apr-2007
Name of Patentee HUETTLIN, HERBERT
Applicant Address RUEMMINGER STRASSE 15, 79539 LOERRACH
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 HUETTLIN, HERBERT RUEMMINGER STRASSE 15, 79539 LOERRACH
PCT International Classification Number B01J 8/00
PCT International Application Number PCT/EP2005/010299
PCT International Filing date 2005-09-23
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 PCT/EP2004/011232 2004-10-08 EUROPEAN UNION
2 20 2005 003 791.5 2005-02-28 EUROPEAN UNION