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Disponibilité de l'Abrégé et des Revendications

L'apparition de différences dans le texte et l'image des Revendications et de l'Abrégé dépend du moment auquel le document est publié. Les textes des Revendications et de l'Abrégé sont affichés :

  • lorsque la demande peut être examinée par le public;
  • lorsque le brevet est émis (délivrance).
(12) Brevet: (11) CA 2865767
(54) Titre français: SYSTEME D'EVACUATION DE MATERIAUX D'UNE CHAMBRE
(54) Titre anglais: SYSTEM TO EVACUATE MATERIALS FROM A CHAMBER
(51) Classification internationale des brevets (CIB):
  • B08B 9/087 (2006.01)
  • A01C 3/02 (2006.01)
  • A01F 25/20 (2006.01)
  • B01D 21/24 (2006.01)
  • B02C 18/00 (2006.01)
  • B26D 1/10 (2006.01)
  • B26D 7/32 (2006.01)
  • B65G 65/06 (2006.01)
  • C05F 17/02 (2006.01)
(72) Inventeurs :
  • LEVEILLEE, FRANCOIS (Canada)
  • ZEGAN, DAN (Canada)
(73) Titulaires :
  • INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE ET DE DEVELOPPEMENT EN AGROENVIRONNEMENT INC. (Canada)
(71) Demandeurs :
  • INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE ET DE DEVELOPPEMENT EN AGROENVIRONNEMENT INC. (Canada)
(74) Agent: ROBIC
(74) Co-agent:
(45) Délivré: 2020-04-14
(86) Date de dépôt PCT: 2013-03-14
(87) Mise à la disponibilité du public: 2013-09-26
Requête d’examen: 2018-03-07
(30) Licence disponible: S.O.
(30) Langue des documents déposés: Anglais

(30) Données de priorité de la demande:
Numéro de la demande Pays / territoire Date
61/613,649 Etats-Unis d'Amérique 2012-03-21

Abrégé français

Système comportant une grille s'étendant entre les parois et au-dessous de celles-ci, sous la forme d'une partie inférieure de la chambre ; et couteau ayant une section transversale de lame orientée parallèlement à la grille, le couteau étant mobile le long d'une trajectoire de couteau parallèlement à la grille et au-dessus de celle-ci.


Abrégé anglais

The system has a grating extending between and below the walls, as a bottom of the chamber; and a knife having a blade cross-section oriented parallel to the grating, the knife being movable along knife path oriented parallel to and positioned above the grating.


Note : Les revendications sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.


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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A system to evacuate biomass from a chamber having at least two walls each
corresponding to an associated wall plane, the system comprising:
a grating extending between two of said wall planes and forming a bottom of
the
chamber;
a knife having an elongated main blade portion extending between the two of
said
wall planes, above the grating, the elongated main blade portion having an
elongated cross-section oriented parallel to the grating and two opposite
downwardly sloping faces each leading to a corresponding opposite cutting
edge; the knife having at least two guiding members, each guiding member
being positioned on a corresponding side of the elongated main blade portion;
and
at least two knife movers, each knife mover being associated with a
corresponding
one of the two of the wall planes, each one of the knife movers movably
connecting a portion of the knife located on a corresponding side of the main
blade portion to a corresponding side of the chamber, the knife movers
being operable collaboratively to move the knife along a knife path oriented
parallel to both the grating and the wall planes; whereby a portion of the
biomass in the chamber is evacuated through the grating when the knife is
moved along the knife path,
wherein the at least two knife movers include:
at least two parallel knife guides, each one of the at least two knife guides
receiving
a corresponding guiding member of the knife, the at least two knife guides
collaborating in guiding the knife along a knife path oriented parallel to
both the
grating and the wall when the knife is moved along the knife path; and
two elongated and flexible traction elements, each one connected to a
corresponding
side of the main blade portion, being pullable collaboratively to move the
knife
along the knife path, the elongated and flexible traction elements being
parallel
to the knife guides and geared at two opposite ends to corresponding rotary
elements, the rotary elements of each one of the two opposite ends being
interconnected by a shaft, and both of the shafts are independently driveable
shafts.


- 13 -

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the elongated and flexible traction elements
are in the form
of closed loops, and the rotary elements are drivable in any one of two
opposite directions,
to pull the traction elements collaboratively and move the knife along the
knife path in a
corresponding one of two opposite directions.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the knife guides include two guide rails
slidingly receiving
the corresponding guiding members of the knife.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the knife path is spaced from the grating by
a spacing
distance.
5. The system of claim 4 wherein the cutting edges are at a bottom of the
blade cross-section
and spaced from the grating by the spacing distance.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein the elongated cross-section is taken along a
vertical plane
parallel to the parallel knife guides, is symmetrical along a vertical axis of
symmetry, and is
elongated in the direction parallel to the grating.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein the blade cross-section has a regular
trapezoid shape.
8. The system of claim 5 wherein the spacing distance is greater than 1/16".
9. The system of claim 8 wherein the spacing distance is of between 1/8" and
1/4".
10. The system of claims 3 further comprising means to pull the traction
elements
collaboratively to move the knife along the knife path.
11. The system of claim 1 wherein the grating extends below at least two of
the walls.
12. The system of claim 11 wherein the traction elements are located outwardly
of the two
of said wall planes.
13. The system of claim 1 wherein the grating includes a set of parallel
interspaced elements
forming a set of parallel apertures wherein the grating has an area of lower
aperture density
adjacent each one of the two of said wall planes.


- 14 -

14. The system of claim 1 wherein the grating includes a set of parallel
interspaced elements
forming a set of parallel apertures, the grating has two lateral sections and
a central section
therebetween, each lateral section being adjacent a corresponding one of the
two of said
wall planes, both of said lateral sections having a lower aperture density
than the central
section.
15. The system of claim 13 wherein the set of parallel interspaced elements
has a set of
metal bars oriented parallel to the walls and received on a framework oriented
normal to the
walls.
16. The system of claim 1 further comprising a conveyor positioned under the
grating, to
receive and convey biomass sent through the grating by the movement of the
knife during
use.
17. A method of operating the system according to claim 1, comprising:
moving the knife along the knife path towards a first one of the shafts by
driving the
first shaft while idling the second one of the shafts, and
subsequently, moving the knife back along the knife path, in the opposite
direction,
by driving the second shaft while idling the first one of the shafts.
18. A system to evacuate biomass from a chamber having at least two walls each

corresponding to an associated wall plane, the system comprising:
a grating extending between two of said wall planes and forming a bottom of
the
chamber;
a knife positioned above the grating, the knife having an elongated main blade

portion extending between the two of said wall planes, the elongated main
blade portion being oriented parallel to the grating; and
at least two knife movers collaboratively operable to move the knife along a
knife
path, the at least two knife movers comprising two elongated and flexible
traction elements collaboratively pullable to move the knife along the knife
path,
each one of the two elongated and flexible traction elements being connected
to a corresponding side of the elongated main blade portion, the elongated and

flexible traction elements being geared at two opposite ends to corresponding
rotary elements, the rotary elements of each one of the two opposite ends
being
interconnected by a shaft, and both of the shafts being independently
driveable.


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19. The system of claim 18, further comprising at least two parallel knife
guides for guiding
the knife along the knife path, each one of the at least two knife guides
receiving a
corresponding portion of the knife and being parallel to the elongated and
flexible traction
elements.
20. The system of claim 18 or 19 wherein the elongated and flexible traction
elements are
in the form of closed loops, and the rotary elements are drivable in any one
of two opposite
directions, to pull the traction elements collaboratively and move the knife
along the knife
path in a corresponding one of two opposite directions.
21. The system of claim 19 or 20 wherein the at least two parallel knife
guides include two
guide rails slidingly receiving the corresponding guiding members of the
knife.
22. The system of any one of claims 18 to 21 wherein the knife path is spaced
from the
grating by a spacing distance.
23. The system of any one of claims 18 to 22 wherein the blade has a regular
trapezoid
cross-section.
24. The system of claim 22 or 23 wherein the spacing distance is greater than
1/16".
25. The system of any one of claims 22 to 24 wherein the spacing distance is
of between
1/8" and 1/4".
26. The system of any one of claims 18 to 25 wherein the grating extends below
at least two
of the walls.
27. The system of claim 26 wherein the two elongated and flexible traction
elements are
located outwardly of the two of said wall planes.
28. The system of any one of claims 18 to 27 wherein the grating includes a
set of parallel
interspaced elements forming a set of parallel apertures wherein the grating
has an area of
lower aperture density adjacent each one of the two of said wall planes.
29. The system of any one of claims 18 to 28 wherein the grating includes a
set of parallel
interspaced elements forming a set of parallel apertures, the grating has two
lateral sections
and a central section therebetween, each lateral section being adjacent a
corresponding


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one of the two of said wall planes, both of said lateral sections having a
lower aperture
density than the central section.
30. The system of claim 28 or 29 wherein the set of parallel interspaced
elements has a set
of metal bars oriented parallel to the walls and received on a framework
oriented normal to
the walls.
31. The system of any one of claims 18 to 30 further comprising a conveyor
positioned under
the grating, to receive and convey biomass sent through the grating by the
movement of the
knife during use.

Note : Les descriptions sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.

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SYSTEM TO EVACUATE MATERIALS FROM A CHAMBER
FIELD
[0001] The improvements generally relate to the field of material handling,
and more
particularly to removing shovelable materials in an elongated chamber from
below, and
.. even more particularly to a system achieving this using a knife and grating
combination.
BACKGROUND
[0002] Various applications exist in which biomass, typically in the form
of particulate
solids or semi-solids which have a consistency allowing them to be shoveled
(which will
be generally referred to herein as shovelable biomass), are maintained in
chambers for
given periods of time. Examples include : composting, maturation or digesting
chambers
for manure, compost, residual organic materials, etc.; drying chambers such as
for
biodrying processes; storage chambers for animal feed, hay, corn, litter,
etc.; to name a
few. The biomass can also include ash, for instance. In many cases, such
chambers
allow the ad hoc or regular addition of new materials, typically from above,
and are
provided with a system to evacuate older materials from below. The new
materials
eventually move down under the action of gravity as materials are removed from
below in
an action sometimes referred to as plug flow, and new materials can be added
above
such as to maintain a given level, or as they become available, for instance.
[0003] Systems have been devised in the past to address challenges in removing
such
.. materials from below. Previous approaches include the use of screw
conveyors for
instance. Although previous approaches have been satisfactory to a certain
degree, there
remained room for improvement to address the challenges inherent to the
particular
nature of evacuating such materials in en elongated chamber from below in
contexts
such as referred to above, in particular:
[0004] 1) there remained a need for a system providing satisfactory
evacuation with a
reduced amount of stress to the components and/or reduced amount of energy to
activate the system, in a context where there is an effort to reduce the
amount of mobile
components and/or overall costs of the system;
[0005] 2) portions of means to activate mobile components of former systems
which
were positioned within the chamber imposed limitations concerning maintenance
and
durability;

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2
[0006] 3) in applications such as biodrying and/or composting, material
had a
tendency to dry more rapidly in the vicinity of the walls of the chamber, and
this could
lead to unequal evacuation of the material, with the dryer material being
evacuated more
rapidly.
SUMMARY
[0007] In accordance with one aspect, there is provided a system to evacuate
biomass
from a chamber having at least two walls each corresponding to an associated
wall plane,
the system comprising: a grating extending between two of said wall planes and
forming a
bottom of the chamber; a knife having an elongated main blade portion
extending between
the two of said wall planes, above the grating, the elongated main blade
portion having an
elongated cross-section oriented parallel to the grating and two opposite
downwardly
sloping faces each leading to a corresponding opposite cutting edge; the knife
having at
least two guiding members, each guiding member being positioned on a
corresponding side
of the elongated main blade portion; and at least two knife movers, each knife
mover being
associated with a corresponding one of the two of the wall planes, each one of
the knife
movers movably connecting a portion of the knife located on a corresponding
side of the
main blade portion to a corresponding side of the chamber, the knife movers
being operable
collaboratively to move the knife along a knife path oriented parallel to both
the grating and
the wall planes; whereby a portion of the biomass in the chamber is evacuated
through the
grating when the knife is moved along the knife path, wherein the at least two
knife movers
include: at least two parallel knife guides, each one of the at least two
knife guides receiving
a corresponding guiding member of the knife, the at least two knife guides
collaborating in
guiding the knife along a knife path oriented parallel to both the grating and
the wall when
the knife is moved along the knife path; and two elongated and flexible
traction elements,
each one connected to a corresponding side of the main blade portion, being
pullable
collaboratively to move the knife along the knife path, the elongated and
flexible traction
elements being parallel to the knife guides and geared at two opposite ends to

corresponding rotary elements, the rotary elements of each one of the two
opposite ends
being interconnected by a shaft, and both of the shafts are independently
driveable shafts.
[0007a] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a method of
operating the
system described herein, comprising moving the knife along the knife path
towards a first
one of the shafts by driving the first shaft while idling the second one of
the shafts, and
subsequently, moving the knife back along the knife path, in the opposite
direction, by
driving the second shaft while idling the first one of the shafts.
CA 2865767 2019-06-03

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2a
[0007b] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a system to
evacuate biomass
from a chamber having at least two walls each corresponding to an associated
wall plane,
the system comprising a grating extending between two of said wall planes and
forming a
bottom of the chamber; a knife positioned above the grating, the knife having
an elongated
main blade portion extending between the two of said wall planes, the
elongated main blade
portion being oriented parallel to the grating; and at least two knife movers
collaboratively
operable to move the knife along a knife path, the at least two knife movers
comprising two
elongated and flexible traction elements collaboratively pullable to move the
knife along the
knife path, each one of the two elongated and flexible traction elements being
connected to
a corresponding side of the elongated main blade portion, the elongated and
flexible traction
elements being geared at two opposite ends to corresponding rotary elements,
the rotary
elements of each one of the two opposite ends being interconnected by a shaft,
and both of
the shafts being independently driveable.
[0007c] In accordance with another aspect, the approaches described herein
typically
involve moving some form of knife over some form of grating. The grating acts
as a
bottom of the chamber and has an apertured configuration designed to withstand
the
weight of the shovelable biomass in the chamber above it in the absence of an
external
influence, but to allow passage of a limited amount of the materials
therethrough when the
knife is moved through the materials above the grating. In particular, the
following solutions
are presented:
[0008) 1) it was found that using a knife having a blade cross-section
with a downwardly
sloping face leading to a cutting edge, preferably spaced from the grating by
a spacing distance, can lead to a satisfactory low amount of stress to the
components
and/or reduced amount of energy to move the knife, which, in turn, can allow
using a
single knife to remove biomass from an elongated chamber having much longer
dimensions than that which was achievable using traditional systems;
[0009] 2) it was found that positioning portions or components of means to
move the
knife externally of the chamber could improve durability thereof and/or reduce
a burden of
maintenance compared to components positioned internally to the chamber;
[0010] 3) it was found that using a grating having higher density portions
(i.e. portions
having a lower aperture density) adjacent the walls could compensate the
tendency of dryer
material to escape more freely and lead to a more uniform evacuation of the
material for drying, biodrying, or composting applications to name a few.
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2b
[0011] In accordance with one aspect, there is provided a system to evacuate
biomass from a chamber having at least two walls each corresponding to an
associated
wall plane, the system comprising : a grating extending between two of said
wall planes
and forming a bottom of the chamber; a knife having an elongated main blade
portion
extending between the two of said wall planes, above the grating, the
elongated main blade
portion having an elongated cross-section oriented parallel to the grating and
two
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opposite downwardly sloping faces each leading to a corresponding opposite
cutting
edge; the knife having at least two guiding members, each guiding member being

positioned on a corresponding side of the elongated main blade portion; at
least
two parallel knife guides, each one of the at least two knife guides receiving
a
corresponding guiding member of the knife, the at least two knife guides
collaborating in
guiding the knife along a knife path oriented parallel to both the grating and
the wall when
the knife is moved along the knife path; two elongated and flexible traction
elements,
each one connected to a corresponding side of the main blade portion, being
pullable
collaboratively to move the knife along the knife path; whereby a portion of
the biomass
in the chamber is evacuated through the grating when the knife is pulled along
the knife
path.
[0012] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a system to
evacuate
biomass from a chamber having at least two parallel walls, each corresponding
to an
associated wall plane, the system comprising : a grating extending between two
of said
wall planes and forming a bottom of the chamber; a knife having an elongated
main
blade portion extending between the two of the wall planes, above the grating,
the
elongated main blade portion having an elongated cross-section oriented
parallel to the
grating and at least one downwardly sloping face leading to a corresponding
cutting
edge, at least two knife movers, each knife mover being associated with a
corresponding
one of the two of the wall planes, each one of the knife movers movably
connecting a
portion of the knife located on a corresponding side of the main blade portion
to a
corresponding side of the chamber, the knife movers being operable
collaboratively to
move the knife along a knife path oriented parallel to both the grating and
the wall planes.
[0013] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a system to
evacuate
materials from a chamber having walls, the system comprising : a grating
extending
between and below the walls, as a bottom of the chamber; and a knife having a
blade
cross-section oriented parallel to the grating and having a downwardly sloping
face
leading to a cutting edge, the knife being movable along knife path oriented
parallel to
and positioned above the grating, and spaced from the grating by a spacing
distance.
[0014] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a system to
evacuate
materials from a chamber including two parallel walls, the system comprising :
a grating
extending between and below the walls, as a bottom of the chamber; a knife
having a

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blade cross-section oriented parallel to the grating, the knife being movable
along knife
path oriented parallel to and positioned above the grating and oriented
parallel to the two
parallel walls; and means to move the knife along the knife path, the means to
move the
knife being located outwardly of the two parallel walls and acting on two
opposite ends of
the knife.
[0015] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a system to
evacuate
materials from a chamber having walls, the system comprising : a grating
extending
between and below the walls, as a bottom of the chamber, the grating having
portions
adjacent the walls which have a lower aperture density; and a knife having a
blade cross-
section oriented parallel to the grating, the knife being movable along knife
path oriented
parallel to and positioned above the grating.
[0016] Many further features and combinations thereof concerning the
present
improvements will appear to those skilled in the art following a reading of
the instant
disclosure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
[0017] In the figures,
[0018] Fig. 1 is a side elevation view of an example of an elongated
chamber and
system to evacuate materials therefrom;
[0019] Fig. 2A is a front elevation view of the chamber and system of Fig.
1, Fig. 2B
being an enlarged portion of Fig. 2A to show detail;
[0020] Fig. 3 is a top plan view of the system of Fig. 1 shown alone;
[0021] Fig. 4A is a cross-sectional view of a knife of the system of Fig.
1 and Fig. 4B is
a variant thereof;
[0022] Fig. 5 is a front elevation view of a variant of the system of Fig.
1, specifically
adapted for retrofitting to a concrete chamber.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0023] Fig. 1 shows an example of a system 10 to evacuate materials from an
elongated chamber. In this example, the chamber 12 has a regular rectangular
prism

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shape formed by a first set of two parallel walls (referred to herein as side
walls 14, 16)
and a second set of two parallel walls perpendicular to the first set
(referred to herein as
end walls 18, 20). The chamber 12 is designed to receive biomass having a
shovelable
consistency from above, for the biomass to be laterally trapped in the chamber
12 and
contained by the four walls 14, 16, 18, 20. In the figures, the biomass is not
illustrated for
purposes of clarity, but an exemplary level 22 thereof is schematized by
dashed line. It is
to be understood that the examplary shape of the chamber 12 is for
illustrative purposes
only and can vary in alternate embodiments.
[0024] The system 10 to evacuate materials from the chamber 12 includes a
knife 24
which is movable across the biomass along a knife path 26. The knife 24 works
in
collaboration with an apertured bottom of the chamber 12 which is referred to
herein as a
grating 28. The apertures in the grating 28 are designed small enough to hold
the
shovelable biomass under its own weight in the absence of other influences.
However,
the apertures in the grating 28 are designed large enough to allow passage, or
evacuation, of the shovelable biomass in the vicinity of where it is disturbed
by the
passage of the knife 24.
[0025] In this particular embodiment, the walls are planar, and can be
said to be
associated to corresponding wall planes. The wall planes are virtual and
project from the
ends of the walls in a manner that even in the example embodiment shown in
Fig. 1,
where the grating actually extends below the walls and laterally past the
walls, the grating
can be said to extend between the wall planes.
[0026] For the effect of the knife 24 to be uniform along the entire
length of the
biomass contained in the chamber, the apertures in the grating 28 can have a
regular
pattern, the knife 24 can be moved at a constant speed, the level of the
biomass can be
roughly constant along the length of the chamber 12, and the knife path 26 can
be
parallel to the grating 28.
[0027] Although parallel to the grating 28, the knife path 26 is spaced
from it by a
spacing distance d. Tests have shown better results when the spacing distance
d was
used, compared to embodiments where the knife path lay immediately adjacent to
the
grating. In the tests, the blade cross-section thickness was selected to 1.5
inches, and
the spacing was of 1/8" and of 1/4", which provided satisfactory results
compared to
sliding the knife immediately adjacent the grating. In alternate embodiments,
the spacing

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can be of 1/4 of the thickness of the blade cross-section or lower, for
instance. In this
embodiment, the spacing distance d can be greater than 1/16"; preferably of
1/8" or
greater; about '1/4", or even greater than 1/4", for instance.
[0028] Henceforth, upon a passage of the knife 24 along the knife path 26,
a relatively
.. uniform amount of biomass passes through the grating 28 along the entire
length of the
chamber 12. The biomass which has passed through the grating 28 can fall to
the ground
for manual retrieval, or on an optional conveyor system 30 for automated
retrieval, for
instance.
[0029] In this embodiment, the knife 24 extends perpendicularly relative
to the knife
path 26. The knife 24 can have a regular blade cross-section 32 along its
length, the
blade cross-section 32 being taken along a vertical plane parallel to the
knife path 26.
The blade cross-section 32 is elongated in the direction of the knife path 26.
[0030] An example of a blade cross-section 32 is shown in greater detail
in Fig. 4A. In
this embodiment, the blade cross-section 32 is designed to cut in a similar
manner in
both directions, therefore, the blade cross-section 32 has a symmetrical
design relative to
a vertical axis of symmetry 34 and the elongated shape thereof is oriented
parallel to the
knife path 26. Looking to either symmetrical end, the blade cross-section can
be seen to
have a downwardly sloping face 36 leading to a cutting edge 38. The blade 32
is thus
made thick enough at its core 40 to withstand the resistance pressure from the
biomass
as it is moved across it and to remain straight along its length under its own
weight, and a
cutting edge 38 is provided to effectively cut the biomass for the portion
underneath the
blade 32 as it continues to move to at least partially fall through the
apertures in the
grating. The downwardly sloping face 36 has the effect of a ramp as the blade
32 is
moved through the biomass, pushing the biomass located in the knife path above
the
blade 32 as the knife 24 is moved across it. This upward movement of the
biomass is
likely to propagate along at least a portion of the thickness of the biomass
and produce a
shaking effect which can be beneficial in applications such as material
drying, biodrying
or composting for instance. In this particular embodiment, the blade cross-
section 32
more precisely has an elongated regular trapezoid shape, and the sloping faces
36 are
inclined between 10 and 40 , preferably between 15 and 30 relative the
horizontal, and
the cutting edges 38 are located directly at the bottom of the blade-cross-
section 32 and
thus spaced from the grating 28 by the spacing distance.

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[0031] Fig. 4B shows an alternate embodiment where each end of the blade cross

section 132 has both an upwardly sloping face 134 and a downwardly sloping
face 136.
Such an alternate embodiment can be satisfactory for certain applications.
However, care
is recommended when designing blade cross-sections having upwardly sloping
faces
.. because a test which was done with the blade cross-section shown in Fig. 4A
flipped
upside-down has provided a negative result ¨ presumably since the sloping face
was
then oriented in a manner to squeeze the biomass against the grating creating
an
undesirably high level of stress in the components. Nonetheless, results may
vary
depending on the type of biomass, for instance, and blade cross-sections
having
upwardly oriented sloping faces may still be preferred in some alternate
applications.
[0032] Referring back to Fig. 1, means are provided to move the knife 24
along the
knife path 26. In the illustrated embodiment, the means to move the knife can
be referred
to as knife movers, and include two parallel closed-loop chains 42, 44, each
one being
attached to a corresponding end of the knife 24, and each one being engaged at
two
opposite ends to corresponding sprockets 46, 48, 50, 52. Henceforth, rotation
of the
sprockets 46, 48, 50, 52 drives the chains 42, 44, which, in turn, move the
knife 24 along
the knife path 26.
[0033] In alternate embodiments, the knife movers can include an other
form of
elongated and flexible traction element than a chain, such as a cable or a
belt, for
instance. When provided in the form of a closed loop, the traction element can
be
engagingly wrapped with rotary elements. In the case of a cable or belt, the
rotary
elements can be provided in the form of pulleys rather than sprockets, for
instance. In
alternate embodiments, the elongated and flexible traction elements can be
provided in
an other form than in the form of a closed loop. For example, flexible
traction elements
can be provided in the form of chains having a free end extending past an end
wall,
which can be pulled by a tractor or the like to move the knife.
[0034] Turning now to Fig. 2, it is shown that in this particular
embodiment, the knife
24 has two end members 54, 56, each one provided at a corresponding end of the
blade.
The portion of the blade extending between the two end members 54, 56 can be
referred
to as a main blade portion, because in alternate embodiments, the knife can
include
additional blade portions which extend past the end members 54, 56. The closed-
loop
chains 42, 44 can be attached to the end members at fastening points 58, 60.
In this

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embodiment, the knife movers can further be said to include knife guides
provided, in this
example, in the form of guide rails 62, 64 which can guidingly receive the
knife. More
precisely, in this embodiment, each end member 54, 56 is slidingly received in
a
corresponding guide rail 62, 64, both being oriented parallel to the side
walls 14, 16 of
the chamber 12, and the end members 54, 56 can thus be referred to as guide
members
or sliding elements. During use, the guide rails 62, 64 guide the movement of
the knife 24
along the knife path 26 as it is pulled by the closed-loop chains 42, 44, and
lower flanges
66 thereof, along which the end members 54, 56 rest, cooperate with the end
members
54, 56 in establishing the spacing distance d between the blade of the knife
24 and the
grating 28. In this embodiment, side flanges 68 and upper flanges 70 are also
provided to
form an overall c-shape for further guidance. To effectively slide in the
guide rails 62, 64,
the end members 54, 56 can be provided in the form of sliding elements. For
instance,
the end members 54, 56 can be made of a sliding material such as Teflon or
HDPE, for
instance, and have a flat sliding face, and the guide rails 62, 64 can have a
cooperating
flat sliding face of a material such as stainless steel, for instance.
Alternately, the end
members can be provided with wheels or sprockets, for instance. If sprockets
are used,
the knife guides can include a linear gear to receive the sprockets, for
instance. If wheels
or sprockets are used as a portion of the knife movers, the wheels or
sprockets can be
motorized as an alternative to using chains, for instance. Another example of
alternate
means to move the knife can include mounting the knife to an endless screw
arrangement oriented in the direction of the knife path, the endless screws
can move the
knife in an orientation guided by the orientation of the screws, in either
direction, the
endless screw arrangement can thus contribute to form knife movers with mating
portions
of the knife, and also knife guides.
[0035] Referring still to Fig. 2, in this embodiment, the ends of the knife
24 and the
guide rails 62, 64 can be seen to protrude laterally (i.e. to be positioned
outwardly) from
the locations of the side walls 14, 16 of the chamber 12. Henceforth, not only
does the
blade extend continuously along the entire width of the chamber 12, but the
end
members 54, 56 can be exposed and be accessible externally, even when the
chamber
12 is filled with biomass. This feature can be very handy in the event of
malfunctions or
problems with the device, because the knife 24, closed loop chains 42, 44 and
guide rails
62, 64, to name a few components, can be accessible for repair or maintenance
without
having to engage the demanding task of emptying the chamber 12. The spacing
between
the guide rails 62, 64 and the side walls 14, 16 and between the guide rails
62, 64 and

CA 02865767 2014-08-28
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the grating 28 can be maintained at a minimum to reduce the likelihood of
biomass
escaping laterally. The grating 28 can extend right up to the guide rails 62,
64 or even
optionally exceed them laterally if preferred.
[0036] Turning now to Fig. 3, the sprockets 46, 48, to which a first end of
both closed
loop chains 42, 44 are engaged can be interconnected by a first shaft 72, and
the
sprockets 50, 52 to which the second end of both closed loop chains 42, 44 are
engaged
can be interconnected by a second shaft 74. The interconnection by shafts as
shown can
help maintaining the speed of both chains 42, 44 equal during movement of the
knife 24,
which, in turn, can maintain the orientation of the knife 24 perpendicular to
the chains 42,
44 and the side walls 14, 16. A perpendicular orientation can be preferred in
applications
where the resistance of the biomass to the movement of the knife 24 is
significant, for
instance.
[0037] If using chains to impart movement to the knife 24, such as in the
illustrated
embodiment, and the length of the chamber 12 is significant, the driving of
both
corresponding sprockets can be preferred rather than only having one drive
sprocket at a
given end of the chain and an idle sprocket at the other. In this manner, to
move the knife
24, the sprockets at the end toward which the knife is moved are driven and
the
sprockets at the other end are left idle, and vice versa when moving the knife
in the other
direction. In this manner, the maximum length of chain in traction between the
driving
sprockets and the knife will not exceed the entire length of the chamber which
limits the
amount of stretching. Furthermore, in this manner, slack in the chain will
tend to appear
in the lower portion thereof and not in the upper portion, which could be
problematic. In
this embodiment, this is achieved by a first drive motor 76 to drive the first
shaft 72 and
first sprockets 46, 48 in a first direction, and a second drive motor 78 to
drive the second
shaft 74 and second sprockets 50, 52 in the other direction. Alternate means
to move the
knife can use cables or belts and pulleys instead of chains and sprockets, for
instance.
[0038] Any suitable form of grating 28 which holds the biomass when it is
not disturbed
by the passage of the knife 24 and which allows passage of a controlled amount
upon
passage of the knife 24 can potentially be suitable for a given application. A
regular
aperture pattern in the grating 28 can potentially be easier to manufacture
and can thus
be favoured over an irregular aperture pattern. In the embodiment shown in
Fig. 3, a
regular aperture pattern 28 is achieved by using a grating which includes a
set of parallel

CA 02865767 2014-08-28
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- 10 -
interspaced elements 80 forming a set of parallel apertures. The parallel
interspaced
elements 80 can be metal bars for instance, and can be oriented parallel to
the side walls
14, 16. In this embodiment, the metal bars are received on a framework
consisting of a
second set of metal bars 82 which are oriented normal to the side walls 14,
16.
[0039] In applications such as biodrying, for instance, the grating 28 can
not only serve
as the interface for biomaterial extrusion, but also as an inlet to draw in a
substantially
uniform amount of air in to dry the biomass in the chamber 12. In such
applications, the
top of the chamber 12 can be closed, for instance, to allow the setting of a
negative
pressure inside the chamber 12 which favours the air intake through the
grating 28. The
moisture content of the biomaterial can affect its friability, and therefore
can also affect its
ability to pass through the grating 28. The presence of walls of the chamber
12 can
typically affect the drying of the biomaterial in its vicinity compared to the
biomaterial
which is positioned closer to the center of the chamber. Henceforth, in the
embodiment
shown in Fig. 3, the portions 84, 86, 88, 90 of the grating 28 which are
adjacent the side
walls and which are adjacent the end walls, are provided with a higher
density. This can
help preventing dryer biomaterial in the vicinity of the walls to escape
faster through the
grating 28 than the more humid biomaterial located closer to the center,
which, in turn,
can contribute to maintaining the evacuation of the biomaterial from the
chamber 12
more uniform. In applications with biomass which have a compost-like texture,
a design
with a spacing between the metal bars of 2" in the center and of 1.5" over a
width of 24"
along the side walls and end walls provided satisfactory results in terms of
uniformity of
material extrusion, for instance. Higher density portions of the grating 28
can also be
positioned in alternate locations in order to affect the biomaterial level
profile. It will be
understood that, in applications where it is not required to set a negative
pressure in the
chamber upper portion, the top of the chamber can be open to atmospheric
pressure.
[0040] Fig. 5 provides an example of an alternate embodiment. This
particular
alternate embodiment is similar to the embodiment shown in Fig. 2, except for
the fact
that it is entirely fitted between two walls which can be concrete walls for
instance. This
alternate embodiment is a good example of an embodiment which can be
retrofitted to a
pre-existing chamber. A disadvantage of this latter embodiment is the fact
that it does not
provide access to the ends of the knife, closed loop chains, guide rails, etc.
when the
chamber is filled with biomass.

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PCT/CA2013/050196
- 11 -
[0041] As can be understood, the examples described above and illustrated are
intended to be exemplary only. The scope is indicated by the appended claims.

Une figure unique qui représente un dessin illustrant l’invention.

Pour une meilleure compréhension de l’état de la demande ou brevet qui figure sur cette page, la rubrique Mise en garde , et les descriptions de Brevet , États administratifs , Taxes périodiques et Historique des paiements devraient être consultées.

États admin

Titre Date
Date de délivrance prévu 2020-04-14
(86) Date de dépôt PCT 2013-03-14
(87) Date de publication PCT 2013-09-26
(85) Entrée nationale 2014-08-28
Requête d'examen 2018-03-07
(45) Délivré 2020-04-14

Historique d'abandonnement

Il n'y a pas d'historique d'abandonnement

Taxes périodiques

Description Date Montant
Dernier paiement 2020-02-25 200,00 $
Prochain paiement si taxe applicable aux petites entités 2021-03-15 100,00 $
Prochain paiement si taxe générale 2021-03-15 200,00 $

Avis : Si le paiement en totalité n’a pas été reçu au plus tard à la date indiquée, une taxe supplémentaire peut être imposée, soit une des taxes suivantes :

  • taxe de rétablissement prévue à l’article 7 de l’annexe II des Règles sur les brevets ;
  • taxe pour paiement en souffrance prévue à l’article 22.1 de l’annexe II des Règles sur les brevets ; ou
  • surtaxe pour paiement en souffrance prévue aux articles 31 et 32 de l’annexe II des Règles sur les brevets.

Les taxes sur les brevets sont ajustées au 1er janvier de chaque année. Les montants ci-dessus sont les montants actuels s'ils sont reçus au plus tard le 31 décembre de l'année en cours.
Veuillez consulter le site web des taxes de brevet de l'OPIC pour connaître les montants des taxes qui seront en vigueur à partir du 1er janvier de l'année prochaine.

Historique des paiements

Type de taxes Anniversaire Échéance Montant payé Date payée
Dépôt 400,00 $ 2014-08-28
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 2 2015-03-16 100,00 $ 2014-08-28
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 3 2016-03-14 100,00 $ 2016-01-07
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 4 2017-03-14 100,00 $ 2017-02-14
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 5 2018-03-14 200,00 $ 2018-03-06
Requête d'examen 200,00 $ 2018-03-07
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 6 2019-03-14 200,00 $ 2019-03-04
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 7 2020-03-16 200,00 $ 2020-02-25
Taxe Finale 2020-03-16 300,00 $ 2020-02-27
Les titulaires actuels au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.
Titulaires actuels au dossier
INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE ET DE DEVELOPPEMENT EN AGROENVIRONNEMENT INC.
Les titulaires antérieures au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.
Titulaires antérieures au dossier
S.O.
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Description du
Document
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Nombre de pages Taille de l’image (Ko)
Abrégé 2014-08-28 1 57
Revendications 2014-08-28 4 119
Dessins 2014-08-28 5 170
Description 2014-08-28 11 500
Page couverture 2014-11-19 1 40
Dessins représentatifs 2014-10-08 1 11
Cession 2014-08-28 4 189
PCT 2014-08-28 3 115
Correspondance 2016-05-11 3 121
Correspondance 2016-06-17 1 21
Correspondance 2016-06-17 1 23
Taxes 2017-02-14 1 33
Taxes 2018-03-06 1 33
Poursuite-Amendment 2018-03-07 2 61
Poursuite-Amendment 2018-12-04 4 193
PCT 2014-08-29 8 465
Revendications 2014-08-29 3 159
Poursuite-Amendment 2019-06-03 12 422
Revendications 2019-06-03 5 192
Description 2019-06-03 13 593
Correspondance 2019-09-20 2 61
Correspondance 2020-02-27 1 47
Dessins représentatifs 2020-03-24 1 6
Page couverture 2020-03-24 1 34