Process and system for continuously extracting oil from solid or liquid oil bearing material

  • US 7,008,528 B2
  • Filed: 03/21/2002
  • Issued: 03/07/2006
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/22/2001
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A process for continuously extracting oil from oil-bearing materials in an extraction system, said process comprising:

  • (a) removing air from the extraction system;

    (b) introducing an inert gas into said extraction system at a pressure sufficient to maintain a normally gaseous solvent in liquid state;

    (c) introducing an oil-bearing material into a silo;

    (d) passing said oil-bearing material from said silo to a jet pump mixing device;

    (e) introducing a liquified normally gaseous solvent into said jet pump mixing device;

    (f) mixing said oil-bearing material and said solvent in said jet pump mixing device for a time sufficient to permit complete wetting of oil-bearing material by said solvent to form a mixture;

    (g) heating said mixture to near supercritical conditions;

    (h) passing said mixture through an extractor having a screw conveyor adapted to rotate at a first rpm range and a centrifugal drum adapted to rotate at a second rpm range;

    (i) treating said mixture within said extractor in such a manner that supercritical temperature and pressure are attained, wherein treating said mixture includes a combination of increasing the rpms of the centrifugal drum, increasing the temperature inside the extractor and increasing the inert gas pressure inside the extractor;

    (j) extracting oil from said mixture by pressure diffusion provided by the combination of increased rpms, increased temperatures and increased inert gas pressures at supercritical conditions;

    (j) removing liquids extracted from said mixture through a liquids exit port, and(k) removing solids extracted from said mixture through a solids exit port.

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