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Title: Molecular separation method and apparatus

A method and apparatus are disclosed for separating a gaseous mixture of chemically identical but physically different molecules based on their polarities. The gaseous mixture of molecules is introduced in discrete quantities into the proximal end of a porous glass molecular sieve. The molecular sieve is exposed to microwaves to excite the molecules to a higher energy state from a lower energy state, those having a higher dipole moment being excited more than those with a lower energy state. The temperature of the sieve kept cold by a flow of liquid nitrogen through a cooling jacket so that the heat generated by the molecules colliding with the material is transferred away from the material. The molecules thus alternate between a higher energy state and a lower one, with the portion of molecules having the higher dipole moment favored over the others. The former portion can then be extracted separately from the distal end of the molecular sieve. 2 figs.
Inventors:
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
215244
Assignee:
PTO; SCA: 070100; PA: INS-96:009839; EDB-96:070885; SN: 96001569527
Patent Number(s):
US 5,505,829/A/
Application Number:
PAN: 8-002,352
Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 9 Apr 1996
Research Org:
Westinghouse Savannah River Co
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCE TECHNOLOGY; GASES; ISOTOPE SEPARATION; SEPARATION EQUIPMENT; DESIGN; MOLECULAR SIEVES; MICROWAVE RADIATION; EXCITED STATES; DIPOLE MOMENTS; OPERATION