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Liquid to vapor.

Liquid to vapor. Controlled vaporization of liquids is central to a huge array of products and processes, from air fresheners to microchip manufacturing to jet engines. Traditional methods of vapor generation areas diverse as the applications they embrace, but most involve atomization, or the creation of tiny droplets, which in turn evaporate to become vapor or gas. Vapore Inc., Richmond, CA, has announced the availability of its Capillary Force Vaporizer (CFV), a compact, heat-powered device that generates a powerful jet of pressurized vapor from un-pressurized liquid--with no moving parts. Vapore's CFV combines two basic natural phenomena--capillary force and phase transition--into a single component that produces a controllable flow of vapor, without resorting to the mechanism and complication that is normally required. The CFV consists of multiple porous layers bound by a peripheral glaze. The top element, the orifice disc, is solid with an integral orifice and downward projecting ridges that contact the second element, the vapor generator, whose minute pores induce high capillary pressure. The third element, the insulator, consists of a larger-pored material that wicks liquid upward while resisting heat flow downward. Heat applied to the top of the orifice disc conducts onto the vapor generator, where the expanding gas becomes pressurized. Because the layered construction prevents the gas from expanding downward, the only egress is through the orifice, where vapor escapes as a high-velocity jet. Within a certain range, the more heat applied to the CFV, the higher the flow rate. This ejected gas is replaced by a cooling flow of liquid, wicking into the insulator. The result is a dynamic equilibrium of heat flux, liquid flow, gas pressure and evolved gas. Current CFV prototypes generate flow rates from 5 to 250 gm/hr with typical hydrocarbons (e.g. kerosene). Higher flows can be achieved by using multi-device arrays. Vapore engineers have also created alternative design architectures to achieve much higher flow rates. Used with consumer products like fragrances of insect repellant, a CFV can disperse active ingredients directly, eliminating the need for propellants, fillers and disposable aerosol cans. When used with liquid fuels (including naphtha, gasoline, kerosene, JP8, diesel fuel, and alcohols), the vapor produced by a CFV burns more like natural gas, enabling greatly simplified designs and the potential for significant emissions reductions.

Circle 101--Vapore Inc., or connect directly at
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Title Annotation:Technology Spotlight
Author:Mandel, Richard
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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