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“Fuel Gas Distribution Method” in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20190226638): Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

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08/14/2019 | 05:59pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Business Daily -- A patent application by the inventors Heydorn, Edward Clyde (Macungie, PA); Bonner, Brian Bernard (Nesquehoning, PA), filed on January 25, 2018, was made available online on July 25, 2019, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Use of fuel gases such as natural gas and hydrogen as transportation fuels, are gaining greater acceptance. These fuel gases need to be distributed to dispensing stations where the fuel gases are subsequently dispensed to fuel tanks in vehicles, for example, fuel cell vehicles.

“Fuel gases are often transported from a fuel gas source in one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels by a vehicle (i.e. a truck) to a dispensing station. At the dispensing station, the fuel gas is off-loaded, either by transferring the fuel gas from the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels to fixed storage vessels at the dispensing station, or by leaving the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels at the dispensing station for dispensing fuel gas directly from the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels to fuel tanks in vehicles. Distribution of fuel gas is described, for example, in EP 3 249 281, EP 3 249 282, EP 3 263 969, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,245, each incorporated herein by reference.

“After the fuel gas has been off-loaded, the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels are transported back to a refilling station where the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels are refilled. A residual amount of fuel gas remains in each of the one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels when one or more mobile fuel gas storage vessels are transported back to the refilling station. This residual amount of fuel gas is sometimes called the ‘heel’. This residual amount of fuel gas that is transported back to the refilling station represents an inefficiency in the distribution of the fuel gas.

“Industry desires greater utilization of fuel gases in the distribution of the fuel gases.”

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “The present disclosure relates to a fuel gas distribution method.

“There are several aspects of the invention as outlined below. In the following, specific aspects of the invention are outlined below. The reference numbers and expressions set in parentheses are referring to an example embodiment explained further below with reference to the figures. The reference numbers and expressions are, however, only illustrative and do not limit the aspect to any specific component or feature of the example embodiment. The aspects can be formulated as claims in which the reference numbers and expressions set in parentheses are omitted or replaced by others as appropriate.

“Aspect 1. A fuel gas distribution method comprising: transporting a mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to a delivery location; off-loading fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) at the delivery location until the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) has been depleted to a depletion level, the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) having a residual amount of gaseous fuel gas contained therein; providing a connection (40) between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) and a power generator (50) of a transport vehicle (10) for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (50) of the transport vehicle (10); transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) using the transport vehicle (10) while transferring a portion of the residual amount of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the transport vehicle (10) and consuming the portion of the residual amount of gaseous fuel gas in the power generator (50) to generate power for the transport vehicle (10).

“Aspect 2. The fuel gas distribution method according to aspect 1 wherein the fuel gas is off-loaded to a fuel gas dispensing station (30) at the delivery location.

“Aspect 3. The fuel gas distribution method according to aspect 2, the method further comprising dispensing fuel gas from the dispensing station (30) to a plurality of receiving vessels; wherein each receiving vessel of the plurality of receiving vessels is an onboard storage vessel on board a respective vehicle.

“Aspect 4. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 3 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is transported to a refilling station (60) in the step of transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel using the transport vehicle (10), the method further comprising: refilling the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) with fuel gas at the refilling station (60).

“Aspect 5. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 4 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is one of a plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels (20, 21, 22, 23), wherein the plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels (20, 21, 22, 23) are transported to a second delivery location using the transport vehicle (10), the method further comprising: off-loading fuel gas from a second mobile fuel gas storage vessel (21) of the plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels (20, 21, 22, 23) at the second delivery location.

“Aspect 6. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 5 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is adapted to store liquid fuel gas, wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is transported to the delivery location by the transport vehicle (10); wherein a portion of the liquid fuel gas evaporates to form vaporized gaseous fuel gas during transport of the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) by the transport vehicle (10); and wherein the connection (40) is provided between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) and the power generator (50) of the transport vehicle (10) for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (50) of the transport vehicle (10); the method further comprising: transferring the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (50) of the transport vehicle (10) and consuming the vaporized gaseous fuel gas to generate power for the transport vehicle (10) while transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the delivery location.

“Aspect 7. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 5 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is transported to the delivery location using a second transport vehicle (11); wherein the step of off-loading fuel gas comprises: detaching the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) from the second transport vehicle (11) at the delivery location; and operatively connecting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to a fuel gas receiving coupler at the delivery location.

“Aspect 8. The fuel gas distribution method according to aspect 7 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) is adapted to store liquid fuel gas, wherein a portion of the liquid fuel gas evaporates to form vaporized gaseous fuel gas during transport of the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) by the second transport vehicle (11); the method further comprising: providing a connection (42) between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) and a power generator (51) of the second transport vehicle (11) for transfer of the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (51) of the second transport vehicle (11); and transferring the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (51) of the second transport vehicle (11) and consuming the vaporized gaseous fuel gas to generate power for the second transport vehicle (11) while transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the delivery location.

“Aspect 9. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 8 wherein the step of off-loading fuel gas comprises: operatively connecting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to one or more fixed storage vessels (31) at the delivery location; and transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the one or more fixed storage vessels (31) at the delivery location.

“Aspect 10. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 9 wherein the transport vehicle (10) comprises a primary fuel gas storage vessel (45) which is fixed to the transport vehicle (10), and wherein transferring the portion of the residual amount of fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the transport vehicle (10) comprises transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the primary fuel gas storage vessel (45).

“Aspect 11. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of aspects 1 to 10 wherein the transport vehicle (10) comprises a primary fuel gas storage vessel (45) which is fixed to the transport vehicle (10), and wherein transferring the portion of the residual amount of fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the transport vehicle (10) comprises transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) directly to the power generator (50) of the transport vehicle (10), bypassing the primary fuel gas storage vessel (45).

“Aspect 12. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of claims 1 to 11 wherein the power generator (50) is an internal combustion engine for driving the transport vehicle (10) and/or generating electric power for operating one or more electric components of the transport vehicle (10).

“Aspect 13. The fuel gas distribution method according to any one of claims 1 to 11 wherein the power generator (50) is a fuel cell for generating electric power for operating one or more electric components of the transport vehicle (10).

“Aspect 14. The fuel gas distribution method according to the preceding claim wherein the transport vehicle (10) comprises an electric motor for driving the transport vehicle (10), and the fuel cell delivers electric power to the electric motor.

“Aspect 15. A fuel gas distribution system comprising: a mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) containing a liquid and/or compressed fuel gas; a first transport vehicle (10) comprising a power generator (50) to generate power for the first transport vehicle (10) and a primary fuel gas storage vessel (45) which is fixed to the first transport vehicle (10) and connected with the power generator (50) of the first transport vehicle (10) to supply fuel gas to this power generator (50); and a second transport vehicle (11) comprising a power generator (51) to generate power for the second transport vehicle (11) and a primary fuel gas storage vessel (46) which is fixed to the second transport vehicle (11) and connected with the power generator (51) of the second transport vehicle (11) to supply fuel gas to this power generator (51); each of the transport vehicles (10, 11) configured to transport the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to a delivery location for off-loading fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) at the delivery location; wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) and/or each of the first transport vehicle (10) and the second transport vehicle (11) is/are provided with a respective connecting line and/or a coupling to provide a connection (40, 42) between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) and the power generator (50; 51) of the respective one of the first and second transport vehicles (10, 11) for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel (20) to the power generator (50, 51) of the respective one of the first and second transport vehicles (10, 11).”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A fuel gas distribution method comprising: transporting a mobile fuel gas storage vessel to a delivery location; off-loading fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel at the delivery location until the mobile fuel gas storage vessel has been depleted to a depletion level, the mobile fuel gas storage vessel having a residual amount of gaseous fuel gas contained therein; providing a connection between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel and a power generator of a transport vehicle for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the transport vehicle; transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel using the transport vehicle while transferring a portion of the residual amount of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the transport vehicle and consuming the portion of the residual amount of gaseous fuel gas in the power generator to generate power for the transport vehicle.

“2. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the fuel gas is off-loaded to a fuel gas dispensing station at the delivery location.

“3. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 2, the method further comprising dispensing fuel gas from the dispensing station to a plurality of receiving vessels; wherein each receiving vessel of the plurality of receiving vessels is an onboard storage vessel on board a respective vehicle.

“4. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is transported to a refilling station in the step of transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel using the transport vehicle, the method further comprising: refilling the mobile fuel gas storage vessel with fuel gas at the refilling station.

“5. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is one of a plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels, wherein the plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels are transported to a second delivery location using the transport vehicle, the method further comprising: off-loading fuel gas from a second mobile fuel gas storage vessel of the plurality of physically-connected mobile fuel gas storage vessels at the second delivery location.

“6. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is adapted to store liquid fuel gas, wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is transported to the delivery location by the transport vehicle; wherein a portion of the liquid fuel gas evaporates to form vaporized gaseous fuel gas during transport of the mobile fuel gas storage vessel by the transport vehicle; and wherein the connection is provided between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel and the power generator of the transport vehicle for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the transport vehicle; the method further comprising: transferring the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the transport vehicle and consuming the vaporized gaseous fuel gas to generate power for the transport vehicle while transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the delivery location.

“7. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is transported to the delivery location using a second transport vehicle; wherein the step of off-loading fuel gas comprises: detaching the mobile fuel gas storage vessel from the second transport vehicle at the delivery location; and operatively connecting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to a fuel gas receiving coupler at the delivery location.

“8. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 7 wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel is adapted to store liquid fuel gas, wherein a portion of the liquid fuel gas evaporates to form vaporized gaseous fuel gas during transport of the mobile fuel gas storage vessel by the second transport vehicle; the method further comprising: providing a connection between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel and a power generator of the second transport vehicle for transfer of the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the second transport vehicle; and transferring the vaporized gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the second transport vehicle and consuming the vaporized gaseous fuel gas to generate power for the second transport vehicle while transporting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the delivery location.

“9. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the step of off-loading fuel gas comprises: operatively connecting the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to one or more fixed storage vessels at the delivery location; and transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the one or more fixed storage vessels at the delivery location.

“10. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the transport vehicle comprises a primary fuel gas storage vessel which is fixed to the transport vehicle, and wherein transferring the portion of the residual amount of fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the transport vehicle comprises transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the primary fuel gas storage vessel.

“11. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the transport vehicle comprises a primary fuel gas storage vessel which is fixed to the transport vehicle, and wherein transferring the portion of the residual amount of fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the transport vehicle comprises transferring fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel directly to the power generator of the transport vehicle, bypassing the primary fuel gas storage vessel.

“12. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the power generator is an internal combustion engine for driving the transport vehicle and/or generating electric power for operating one or more electric components of the transport vehicle.

“13. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 1 wherein the power generator is a fuel cell for generating electric power for operating one or more electric components of the transport vehicle.

“14. The fuel gas distribution method according to claim 13 wherein the transport vehicle comprises an electric motor for driving the transport vehicle, and the fuel cell delivers electric power to the electric motor.

“15. A fuel gas distribution system comprising: a mobile fuel gas storage vessel containing a liquid and/or compressed fuel gas; a first transport vehicle comprising a power generator to generate power for the first transport vehicle and a primary fuel gas storage vessel which is fixed to the first transport vehicle and connected with the power generator of the first transport vehicle to supply fuel gas to this power generator; and a second transport vehicle comprising a power generator to generate power for the second transport vehicle and a primary fuel gas storage vessel which is fixed to the second transport vehicle and connected with the power generator of the second transport vehicle to supply fuel gas to this power generator; each of the transport vehicles configured to transport the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to a delivery location for off-loading fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel at the delivery location; wherein the mobile fuel gas storage vessel and/or each of the first transport vehicle and the second transport vehicle is/are provided with a respective connecting line and/or a coupling to provide a connection between the mobile fuel gas storage vessel and the power generator of the respective one of the first and second transport vehicles for transfer of gaseous fuel gas from the mobile fuel gas storage vessel to the power generator of the respective one of the first and second transport vehicles.”

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Heydorn, Edward Clyde; Bonner, Brian Bernard. Fuel Gas Distribution Method. Filed January 25, 2018 and posted July 25, 2019. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190226638%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190226638&RS=DN/20190226638

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Energy Business Daily, source Science Newsletters

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