[FILTRATION] * [MIXING] * [WINE AGING] [HAT] * [AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING] * [ENVIRONMENT CONTROL]

Technology used in biotechnology industries involves several unit steps that modified depending on the nature of the product; in a broader sense, technology modifications can be applied to any existing technology, since the technology is meant to deliver certain endpoints and thus subject to alternate designs and approaches that will make the products of technology more affordable and provide a better performance.

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FILTRATION

Filtration unit operations are one of the most widely used steps in many industries, from chemical to biological to water purification. The use of filters became popular in the past few decades but came with an inherent problem of clogging of filters that can adversely affect the unit operation and moreover the cost of operations. In some industries, solids are separated from liquid by centrifugation process that are often expensive and expose the product to adverse conditions. The inventions describe here based on a process of scrubbing a filter using air flow to keep the filter unclogged, whether it is a sterilizing filter or a solid separation filter. A significant cost reduction, point of use application and contamination control can be achieved using these filtration technologies.

US 9,364,776 | Concentrator Filter.

 A method and an apparatus for separating suspended matter from liquid includes a concentrator filter that draws the liquid out of the suspension while the filter kept unblocked by a sparging filter that allows scrubbing of the concentrator filter by gas bubbles. This invention can be used to replace cross-flow filtration and centrifugation in the bioprocess industry and to reduce the volume of suspensions to concentrate the yield of the product in the chemical industry. A method for separating suspended matter from a liquid in a bioreactor, comprising: a. providing a plurality of concentrator filters, each concentrator filter of the plurality of concentrator filters comprising a solid material with a hollow inner volume that extends longitudinally through the liquid; b. providing a sparging filter comprising a solid material with a hollow inner volume that extends longitudinally through the liquid, the sparging filter capable of scrubbing the concentrator filters by sparging the concentrator filters with gas bubbles that can remove any particles that adhere to the concentrator filters; c. fixing the plurality of concentrator filters such that a surface along a longitudinal length of each concentrator filter is substantially parallel to a surface along a longitudinal length of the sparging filter, and such that the plurality of concentrator filters surround the sparging filter; d. sparging the concentrator filters with the sparging filter as the liquid enters the concentrator filters by vacuum; e. removing a desired volume of liquid through at least one liquid outlet in fluid communication with the plurality of concentrator filters, thereby concentrating suspended matter; f. removing gas injected into the liquid by the sparging filter through a gas outlet in the bioreactor separate from the at least one liquid outlet; and g. collecting the concentrated suspended matter for further processing. PDF

US 9,101,857 | Gas Scrubbed Perfusion Filter.

Fine gas bubbles traveling at fast speed are employed to scrub a hard-surface filter for harvesting liquids from suspensions including those consisting of nutrient media and cell culture, on a continuous basis without clogging the filters. A gas-scrubbed filtration device to remove a liquid from a suspension comprising: (a) at least one perfusion filter, wherein the perfusion filter is a tube or cylinder, and wherein at least one surface and connected to a source of vacuum through a harvest tube and disposed in the suspension; (b) at least one sparging filter, wherein the sparging filter is a tube or a cylinder, connected to a source of compressed gas and capable of blowing gas bubbles of 10-1000 micron diameter in size and disposed in the suspension; (c) fixing the perfusion filter and the sparging filter in such configuration as to allow optimal contact of gas bubbles from sparging filter with the surface of the perfusion filter, wherein the perfusion filters and the sparging filter are set apart at least 10 .mu.m to no more than 50 mm along the entire surface of the perfusion filter and sparging filter; (d) a vacuum source to maintain a level of vacuum needed to draw a pre-determined volume of the liquid out of the suspension; (e) and wherein the source of compressed gas comprises an adjustable flow rate valve to adjust the flow rate of gas thereby increasing or decreasing scrubbing at the surface of the perfusion filter. PDF

US 8,685,245 | Concentrator Filter.

A method and an apparatus for separating suspended matter from liquid includes a concentrator filter that draws the liquid out of the suspension while the filter kept unblocked by a sparging filter that allows scrubbing of the concentrator filter by gas bubbles. This invention can be used to replace cross-flow filtration and centrifugation in the bioprocess industry and to reduce the volume of suspensions to concentrate the yield of the final product in the chemical industry. A filtration device to remove a liquid from a suspension comprising: (a) at least one concentrator filter with at least one surface and inner volume and connected to a source of vacuum through an extraction tube; (b) at least three sparging filters with at least one surface and inner volume connected to a source of compressed gas; (c) fixing the filters in a configuration to allow maximal contact of surface between filters and completely surround the concentrator filter. PDF

US 8,663,474 | Non-Blocking Filtration System.

A non-blocking filtration system wherein the suspension filtered continuously scrubs the filter, keeping it free of deposits of solid deposits while the filtrate is removed in a variety of biological and chemical applications, substantially reducing the cost of unit operations. PDF

US 8,413,817 | Non-Blocking Filtration System.

 A non-blocking filtration system wherein the suspension filtered continuously scrubs the filter, keeping it free of deposits of solid deposits while the filtrate is removed in a variety of biological and chemical applications, substantially reducing the cost of unit operations. A filtration system to remove a filtrate from a suspension comprising: a. a circular porous disc with two sides and an inner volume, a plurality of pores ranging from 1 micron to 100 microns and a filtrate port on each side of the disc; b. a source of vacuum connected to each filtrate port; c. a turbine propeller assembly equal in diameter to the diameter of the disc and positioned at a distance between 0.1 cm to 1 cm away from the each side of the disc, a means of rotating the turbine propeller and a means of controlling the speed of rotation of the turbine propellers; d. a housing to hold the disc and the turbine propellers in place. PDF

US 15/158,383 | Concentrator Filter.

 A method and an apparatus for separating suspended matter from liquid includes a concentrator filter that draws the liquid out of the suspension while the filter kept unblocked by a sparging filter that allows scrubbing of the concentrator filter by gas bubbles. This invention can be used to replace cross-flow filtration and centrifugation in the bioprocess industry and to reduce the volume of suspensions to concentrate the yield of the product in the chemical industry. A method of concentrating cells and organisms in a bioreactor comprising: providing a filter device comprising: at least one concentrator filter with at least one surface and inner volume and connected to a source of vacuum through an extraction tube; at least one sparging filter with at least one surface and inner volume connected to a source of compressed gas; and, fixing the concentrator filter and the sparging filter in a configuration to allow maximal contact along the entire surface between filters; disposing the filter device in the bioreactor containing a suspension of a biological culture in nutrient media ready for concentrating; turning on gas flow to sparging filter; turning on the vacuum source attached to the concentrator filter; and, removing a fixed volume of nutrient media from the bioreactor. 2. A method of concentrating a chemical suspension in a reactor comprising: providing a filter device comprising: at least one concentrator filter with at least one surface and inner volume and connected to a source of vacuum through an extraction tube; at least one sparging filter with at least one surface and inner volume connected to a source of compressed gas; fixing the concentrator filter and the sparging filter in a configuration to allow maximal contact along the entire surface between filters; disposing the filter device in the bioreactor containing a chemical suspension ready for concentrating; turning on gas flow to sparging filter; turning on the vacuum source attached to the concentrator filter; removing a fixed volume of chemical reaction from the bioreactor. PDF

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Mixing

Mixing of liquids, liquids and solids and solids and solids is routinely achieved by either using a stirring mechanism or a means of shaking or rotating the container; in the first instance, a risk of contamination is inherent and in the other, the cost of large mechanical devices required to produce a motion. The inventions described below utilize two unexploited paths to mixing. First, it is a zero-gravity mixing where a container is moved by hanging the container or neutralizing weight by magnetic means; another approach is to exploit gravity-driven geometric dilution. Some of these inventions are listed under bioprocessing technology.

 US 9,469,426 | Single-Use Stationary Bioreactors and Mixing Vessels.

Stationary bioreactors and mixing vessels fitted with single-use flexible bags utilizing wave hydrodynamic principle are described for use in every type of biological process and products. A method of inducing a wave-type mixing motion inside a flexible container comprising: a. supplying a flat, horizontal stationary surface; b. placing a flexible container comprising a top and bottom surface on the stationary surface, wherein the flexible container is capable of containing a liquid medium; c. pivotally attaching at least one movable flap to the stationary surface, wherein the movable flap comprises a rigid surface attached to the stationary surface by a hinge that allows the rigid surface to pivot to apply sufficient force to compress the top surface of the flexible container along an edge and then reverse direction of movement of the flap; d. operating the at least one movable flap periodically such that a wave type mixing motion of the liquid medium occurs within the flexible container; and e. wherein the at least one movable flap includes a first moveable flap and a second moveable flap, the first moveable flap mechanically connected to the second moveable flap such that movement of the first moveable flap causes movement of the second moveable flap. 2. A method of inducing a reciprocal mixing motion inside a flexible container comprising: a. supplying a flat, horizontal stationary surface; b. placing a flexible container comprising a top and bottom surface on the stationary surface, wherein the flexible container is capable of containing a liquid medium; c. pivotally attaching at least two movable flaps at opposite ends of the stationary surface, wherein the movable flaps each comprise a rigid surface attached to the stationary surface by a hinge that allows the rigid surface to pivot to apply sufficient force to compress the top surface of the flexible container along an edge and then reverse direction; d. operating the at least two movable flaps periodically such that a reciprocal mixing motion of the liquid medium occurs within the flexible container; and e. wherein the at least two movable flaps are mechanically connected such that movement of one of the at least two movable flaps causes movement of the other of the at least two movable flaps. 3. A method of inducing an orbital mixing motion inside a flexible container comprising: a. supplying a flat, horizontal stationary surface; b. placing a flexible container comprising a top and bottom surface on the stationary surface, wherein the flexible container is capable of containing a liquid medium; c. pivotally attaching four movable flaps to the stationary surface, wherein the flaps are attached to the stationary surface by hinges that allow the flaps to pivot to apply sufficient force to compress the top surface of the flexible container sequentially along each edge and then reverse direction; d. operating the four movable flaps periodically such that an orbital mixing motion of the liquid medium occurs within the flexible container; and e. wherein opposite flaps of the four movable flaps are mechanically connected such that movement of one of the opposite flaps causes movement of the other of the opposite flaps. 4. A method of inducing a vertical mixing motion inside a flexible container comprising: a. supplying a flat, horizontal stationary surface; b. placing a flexible container comprising a top and bottom surface on the stationary surface, wherein the flexible container is capable of containing a liquid medium; c. pivotally attaching two movable flaps at opposite ends of the stationary surface, wherein the flaps are attached to the stationary surface by hinges that allow the flaps to pivot to apply sufficient force to compress the top surface of the flexible container simultaneously along an edge and then reverse direction d. operating the two movable flaps periodically such that a vertical mixing motion of the liquid medium occurs within the flexible container; and e. wherein the two movable flaps are mechanically connected such that movement of one of the two movable flaps causes movement of the other of the two movable flaps. PDF

US 15/362481 | Zero Gravity process device.

 A physical, chemical and biological process device operating under zero gravity and shaken by low energy mechanical and magnetic means is disclosed. 1. A mixing apparatus comprising: a. A container having an inner volume and capable of holding a liquid, a solid or a mixture of a solid and a liquid; b. A solid platform to support the container; c. A means of reducing force of gravity on the container by levitating or suspending the container in the air; d. A means of shaking the container in a horizontal linear, in a vertical or in an orbital direction or a combination thereof; e. An electronic means to control the means of controlling the means of shaking the container. PDF.

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Environmental Control

Environment control devices consume large energy, are a constant source of cross contamination and employ archaic technology that is inefficient. The inventions given below provide a universal solution to every issue related to design of HVAC systems by offering a single-pass system with lowest OSHA-required ventilation, energy recovery and ability to separate air in different rooms in the same building supplied by a single air handler, all resulting in substantial cost reduction and contamination prevention. Also described is a method of removing viruses from air by wet-scrubbing in an alkaline solution with a venture system to prevent alkali from getting into air. In the use of bioreactors, an inherent challenge of contamination is removed by treating the exhaust in such manner to remove any deposits of liquid without using filters; given below as well as in several bioprocess patents presented elsewhere.

US 9,005,959 | Bioreactor Exhaust.

 An exhaust system suitable for high volume exhaust from flexible disposable bags is described that prevents nutrient media volume loss and prevents cross-contamination without using any filters. The invention described here allows the use of disposable two-dimensional bioreactors for the cultivation of bacterial and other organisms and cells require high aeration. A bioreactor exhaust assembly comprising: (a) an exhaust tube with an inner volume and a lower end connected to a bioreactor and an upper end connected to a low pressure relief valve and a plurality of sensors including at least a pressure sensor and a temperature sensor; (b) wherein the exhaust tube is cooled to maintain a temperature below the dew point of a gas in the exhaust tube; and wherein the exhaust tube is attached to a vertical surface, held up by a hook at a higher elevation or winding it upward around a vertical cylindrical block with an outer surface. PDF

 US 8,066,947 | Air Scrubbing System.

 An air scrubber for eliminating an associated airborne contaminants and sterilizing air provided to protect against nosocomial infections, environmental allergens, weapons of biological and chemical attacks and operations requiring clean environment. The air scrubber includes a housing containing an alkali solution at pH 14 through which air passes and suspended liquid particles removed; provides are made for use in central air-conditioning systems, stand-alone applications and portable use along with respirators. n air-scrubbing device for eliminating an associated airborne biological and chemical contaminant from an associated volume of air, the air-scrubbing device comprising: a housing including an air inlet and an air outlet; an air inlet port; a conduit attached to the air inlet port and extending to the bottom of the housing; a sparging filter attached to the conduit; an air outlet port of the housing; a liquid drain port of the housing; an alkali inlet port; an airflow pathway initiating approximately at the air inlet port of the housing and terminating approximately at the air outlet port of the housing; a liquid chemical of pH value ranging between 8 and 14, the liquid chemical disposed in the airflow pathway of the housing for exposing the associated airborne contaminant to the liquid chemical; a means of removing airborne liquid particles attached to the air outlet port comprising, a housing containing a coil tube attached to said air outlet port wherein a diameter of the coil tube decreases with respect to the distance away from the air outlet port, creating a venturi separating effect to remove any suspended liquid droplets; a means of maintaining the level of liquid in the housing constant by continuously supplying water to make up the losses such means comprising a float ball, a valve and a conduit attached to a supply of water. PDF

  US 9,593,859 | clean zone hvac system

 A single-pass HVAC systems to isolate zones and to maintain a required clean air quality standard is provided that operates by producing a positive pressure in all zones, while exhausting on a minimal quantity of air required by law. The zones are kept clean by a recirculating fan filter in each zone. The exhaust air is used to exchange heat with incoming air to conserve energy further. A system for controlling air flow in a plurality of zones, the system comprising: a heat exchanger configured to exchange heat between fresh air received from an outside environment and exhaust air discharged to the outside environment without mixing the fresh air with the exhaust air; an air handling unit configured to receive the fresh air from the heat exchanger, condition the fresh air, and supply the conditioned air to the plurality of zones as supply air; a plurality of air recirculating units, each air recirculating unit configured to recirculate the supply air within one of the plurality of zones; and an air exhaust unit configured to extract the recirculated air from each of the plurality of zones and discharge the extracted air to the heat exchanger as the exhaust air, so that the exhaust air can be discharged from the heat exchanger to the outside environment. PENDING ISSUANCE. PDF

US 14/685250 | Bioreactor Exhaust.

 An exhaust system suitable for high volume exhaust from flexible disposable bags is described that prevents nutrient media volume loss and prevents cross-contamination without using any filters. The invention described here allows the use of disposable two-dimensional bioreactors for the cultivation of bacterial and other organisms and cells require high aeration. 1. A method of ventilating a bioreactor comprising: (a) providing a bioreactor exhaust assembly; (b) winding and seating completely the exhaust tube in the groove in the vertical cylindrical block; (c) attaching the top end of the exhaust tube to the condenser block; (d) cooling down the cylindrical block to a temperature between 5.degree. C. and 8.degree. C. by turning on and recirculating the cooling liquid in the cylindrical block; (e) attaching the lower end of the exhaust tube to a gas outlet in the bioreactor; (f) letting the exhaust from the bioreactor enter the exhaust tube; (g) letting the condensate form in the exhaust tube; (h) letting the condensate in the exhaust tube flow back in the bioreactor; (i) measuring the pressure inside the exhaust tube using the pressure sensor attached to the condenser box; (j) releasing the exhaust gas to atmosphere by opening the low pressure relief valve when the pressure in the exhaust tube reaches a pressure above 0.05-inch (.+-.10%) water gauge; (k) closing the low pressure relief valve and stopping the exhaust of gas to atmosphere when the pressure inside the condenser box reaches below 0.05-inch (.+-.10%) water gauge; and (l) repeating steps (i)-(k) till the end of the bioreaction cycle. 2. A method of ventilating a bioreactor comprising: (a) providing a bioreactor exhaust assembly; (b) winding and seating the exhaust tube in the groove in the vertical cylindrical block; (c) attaching the top end of the exhaust tube to the condenser block; (d) cooling down the cylindrical block to a temperature between 5C. and C. by turning on and recirculating the cooling liquid in the cylindrical block; (d) cooling down the condenser box to a temperature between 5.degree. C. and 8 C. by turning on and recirculating the cooling liquid through the condenser coil; (e) attaching the lower end of the exhaust tube to a gas outlet in the bioreactor; (f) letting the exhaust gas from the bioreactor enter the exhaust tube; (g) letting the first condensate formed in the exhaust tube; (h) letting the first condensate to flow back in the bioreactor; (i) letting the second condensate form in the condenser; (j) letting the second condensate collect at the bottom of the condenser box; (k) measuring the pressure inside the condenser box using the pressure sensor in the condenser box; (l) releasing the exhaust gas to atmosphere by opening the low pressure relief valve when the pressure in the condenser reaches a pressure above 0.05-inch (.+-.10%) water gauge; (m) closing the low pressure relief valve and stopping the exhaust of gas to atmosphere when the pressure inside the condenser box reaches below 0.05-inch (.+-.10%) water gauge; (n) draining the second condensate when it reaches a certain maximum level by opening the stopcock of the drain tube attached to the bottom of the condenser box; (o) repeating steps (l)-(n) till the end of the bioreaction cycle. PDF

14/831,592 RECIRCULATING BIOREACTOR EXHAUST SYSTEM

A recirculating bioreactor exhaust apparatus designed to remove a gaseous element from the bioreactor exhaust, such as carbon dioxide, by freezing the gaseous element and then returning the remaining exhaust gas to the bioreactor and a method of use. 1. A bioreactor exhaust recirculating apparatus comprising: a. a bioreactor; b. a condenser capable of removing a gaseous element from an exhaust gas of the bioreactor; and c. a return line extending from the condenser to the bioreactor capable of returning the remaining exhaust gas to the bioreactor. PDF

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Wine and Liquor Aging and Storage

Wines and whiskeys are aged by storing them in wood casks for long time; a detailed analysis of the aging process shows this to be a mere Fick's law of diffusion controlled mechanism; still allowing the specific wine and whiskey to extract from a large surface area allows faster aging; devices for aging are also described. Additionally, devices that allow dispensing wine without bringing air into bottle or allowing any leaching are described.

US 14/794,364 | Wine Preserving and Aerating Container.

A non-chemical leaching fluoropolymer container for dispensing, storing and aerating degradable wines. A wine holding and pouring container comprising: a) a flexible, collapsible fluoropolymer bag filled with a wine; b) at least one flexible fluoropolymer tube having a wall, a proximal end connected to the bag and a distal end in communication with the outside; c) a clamp to hermetically close and open the tube; d) a hanging mean to dispose the bag in a vertical position. PDF

US 14/793,387 | Wine Preserving Packaging.

A container and method for dispensing degradable beverages, such as wine, from a non-chemical leaching polymer container, while insuring that gaseous contaminants such as oxygen cannot enter the container. A container for storing and preventing spoilage of a degradable beverage while dispensing the beverage from said container and during storage of the beverage in said container between dispensing events, comprising: a flexible and collapsible bag made of a fluoropolymer, having an inner volume; a dispensing means further comprising a flexible tube made of a fluoropolymer attached to said flexible and collapsible bag and a clamp attached to said flexible tube to seal it hermetically when closed. PDF

US 14/754,041 | Faster Aging of Alcoholic Beverages.

 Aging of alcoholic beverages is expedited by increasing the exposed surface area of wood by introducing multiple wooden surfaces, improving mixing by reducing the spacing between wooden surfaces, maintaining the temperature of alcoholic beverage to optimal level and reducing the cost or production by working with larger volumes at a time. An apparatus for accelerating aging of alcoholic beverages comprising: a jacketed holding vessel having an inner volume; an electronic control mechanism to adjust and maintain the temperature of the alcoholic beverage inside the holding vessel; a removable top attached to the vessel; at least one inlet; at least one liquid outlet; a plurality of wooden shelves disposed inside said holding vessel; and a spacing gasket disposed between each shelf.  PDF

US 12/978,380 | Accelerated Aging of Wines and Spirits.

 A method and a system for aging wines and spirits is disclosed using finely pulverized wood of less than 1 mm size and in such quantity to achieve equivalent aging in one-tenth to one-hundredth of the time required for traditional barrel aging and for instant aging prior to drinking.  A method of aging an alcoholic beverage comprising contacting said alcoholic beverage with fine wood powder of particle size smaller than 1 mm in diameter for sufficient length of time to impart desirable flavor and aroma to said alcoholic beverage. PDF

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Hats

Hats fly off in wind; a computer-aided design of vents in the brim to reduce the vacuum on the top portion of the hat brim makes the hats more stable to high wind.

US 13/452,837 | Windy City Hat.

A felt hat that does not fly off in the wind having vents in the brim camouflaged by a porous or solid material is disclosed.  PDF

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Automobile Engineering

With over 40,000 deaths per year and over 4 million injuries per year in the US, the cost of automobile accidents is enormous; while the automobile designs have improved significantly, there is a need to introduce additional safety features. First, to avoid half a million accidents when changing into a common lane can be avoided by visual warning from a turn signal that illuminates automatically; the steering wheel can be substituted with a control device that operates every function of automobile without removing hand off the steering wheel. The steering device can be used remotely allowing drivers to drive a car from far distance, providing an intermediate approach to driver driven and auto driven cars.

US 15/359384 | Vehicle Control and Steering Device (VSCD).

 This invention relates to the technical field of the design and function of a steering wheel comprising a flat touch-sensitive electronic screen that also serves the function of a graphic user interface to control vehicle functions. 1.A Vehicle Steering and Control Device (VSCD) comprising: a steering wheel comprising a flat touch-sensitive electronic screen with at least one edge, a front display surface, a back-support surface and a plurality of inputs; a boss connecting the back support surface to a steering column; a graphic user interface (GUI) comprising the said flat touch-sensitive electronic screen further comprising a vehicle computer, communicating with the flat touch-sensitive electronic screen, directly or wirelessly, configured to receive user input defining user instructions by touching the surface of the flat touch-sensitive electronic screen for controlling a plurality of vehicle functions and displaying operational conditions of the vehicle on the front display surface of the flat touch-sensitive electronic screen. PDF.

US 13/764147 | Turning Signal.

 Turn signals for moving vehicles along both sides of the vehicle are reported. A turn signal for moving vehicles comprising: a plurality of lights affixed on both sides of the moving vehicle along substantially the entire length of the vehicle; an electronic controller to turn on and off the lights in synchronization with other turn signals in current use; and, an electronic controller to turn on and off the lights in a pre-determined pattern, frequency and intensity. PDF