GAS SEPARATION WITH ROTATING PLASMA ARC REACTOR
 Inventors: Daniel L. Hollis, Jr., Cottondale;
Jerry T. McLendon, Berry; Broderick
E. Davis, Tuscaloosa, all of Ala!
 Assignee: The United States of America as
represented by the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
 Appl. No.: 477,395
 Filed: Feb. 9,1990
 Int. CI.5 B03C 1/00
 U.S. CI 55/3; 55/100
 Field of Search 55/3, 100; 219/76, 16
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,277,631 10/1966 Sunnen 55/100
3,843,351 10/1974 Smith et al 55/100
3,893,845 7/1975 Mahaffey et al 55/100
4,090,855 5/1978 Hora et al 55/3
4,174,256 11/1979 Kistemaker 55/3
4,394,162 7/1983 Tylko 75/10.19
4,458,148 7/1984 Hirshfield et al .' 55/3
Method of separating components from gaseous mixtures in an arc plasma reactor energized by surrounding magnetic field coil windings by producing an electrical arc discharge of at least about 600A at about 22V between a positively charged centrally disposed electrode ball that is movable upwardly or downwardly in a surrounding negatively charged electrode; introducing a plasma working gas of a mixture of a heavy and light gas in spaces between the electrodes at about atmospheric pressure at a temperature of about 10,000° K to produce gas rotation electromagnetically at a rotation rate that is sufficient to force the heavy gas to a peripheral area of the reactor and accumulate the light gas in a centerline area of the reactor; and removing the heavy gas from the peripheral area of the reactor and removing the light gas from the centerline area of the reactor.
10 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets