Water dispenser abstract
A filter basket and filtration media for an inverted bottle type
water dispenser which is disposed below the inverted bottle, depending
from the collar of the water reservoir into the water reservoir
and receiving the neck of the bottle, so that all the water discharged
from the bottle passes through the filter basket in a downward direction.
The filter basket has an inverted conical upper section which funnels
all the water which is drained from the bottle to a filtration compartment
at its lower section. The filtration compartment remains submerged
in water. The filtration compartment contains the filtration media
and discharges the filtered water therefrom directly into the water
reservoir. Air released in the spigot when it is opened rises upwardly
through the filtration media to be received in the bottle. The filtration
media comprises an aluminosilicate gel with pore sizes in the range
of sixty to two hundred and fifty Angstroms which provides for rapid
flow of water and air therethrough. Other filtration media may be
used in combination, such as activated carbon. The filter basket
and filtration media is composed entirely from microwave-safe material
for sterilization in a conventional microwave oven.
Water dispenser claims
Having disclosed my invention, what I claim as new and to be secured
by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A filter basket for an inverted bottle type water dispenser
a top section and a bottom section,
said top section comprising a top end, a bottom end, a passage
and a wall,
said top end comprising a first opening,
said bottom end comprising a second opening,
said passage connecting said first opening and said second opening,
said passage providing water discharged from an inverted bottle
of said water dispenser a downwardly directed flow path to said
said wall circumscribing said passage and connecting said top end
and said bottom end,
said bottom end attached to said bottom section,
said bottom section comprising a top side, a bottom side, a compartment,
a further wall and a filtration media,
said bottom section disposed in a water reservoir of said inverted
bottle type water dispenser,
said top side disposed below an opening of said bottle of said
inverted bottle type water dispenser,
said top side comprising a area approximately equal, in size and
shape, to said area of said second opening whereby said downwardly
directed flow path of said gravity-fed water is substantially obstruction-free
between said second opening and said top side,
said top side comprising a first plate,
said first plate comprising means for downwardly directed flow
through said top side of said gravity-fed water from said bottle
directly into said compartment,
said compartment disposed below said top side,
said further wall circumscribing said compartment and connecting
said top side and said bottom side,
said filtration media disposed within said compartment and submerged
in said water,
said filtration media comprising means for filtering said water
from said bottle of said inverted bottle type dispenser,
said bottom side comprising a second plate,
said second plate comprising means for downwardly directed flow
of said gravity-fed water through said bottom side directly into
2. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said top section
is substantially funnel-shaped, said first opening comprising a
larger area than said second opening, said passage converging downwardly
from said first opening to said second opening.
3. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first opening
receives and surrounds a neck of said bottle.
4. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 further comprising:
supporting means disposed at said top end,
said supporting means comprising a radially outward extending lip,
said lip supporting said filter basket from a shoulder of said
5. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said filter basket
is substantially composed microwave-safe material.
6. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said top side
is disposed a distance below said opening of said bottle of said
inverted bottle type water dispenser which is in a range from at
least approximately one-quarter inch up to approximately one-half
7. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said filtration
media comprises an adsorbent material composed of an aluminosilicate
gel which is, at least in part, a spongy amorphous material, said
material having been subjected to ultraviolet radiation during its
formation of its said spongy amorphous structure to produce pores
having diameters between about 60 Angstroms and about 250 Angstroms.
8. A filter basket as claimed in claim 7 wherein said filtration
media further comprises one or more substances selected from a group
consisting of activated carbon, organic ion exchange media, aluminum
oxide, metal oxide resins, and strong base anion resin.
9. A filter basket as claimed in claim 7 wherein said filtration
media further comprises three mesh granular activated carbon.
10. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said filtration
media removes one or more substances selected from the group consisting
of oxygen, lead, zinc, copper, calcium, calcium bicarbonate, ammonia,
sodium sulfite and hydrogen sulfide from said water.
11. A filter basket as claimed in claim 10 wherein said filtration
media further removes chlorine and chloramines from said water.
12. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 further comprising:
means for venting air into said bottle,
said venting means consisting essentially of an air flow passage
which passes from said reservoir through said filtration media into
said top section and through said bottle-opening and into said bottle.
13. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said top section
further comprises vent channels, said vent channels disposed on
said wall at a level higher than said opening of said bottle is
received in, said vent channels providing a means of ventilation
between said reservoir and said bottle.
14. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said means for
downwardly directed flow through said top side of said water from
said bottle directly into said compartment comprises perforations
in said top plate and said means for downwardly directed flow of
said water through said bottom side directly into said reservoir
comprises further perforations in said bottom plate.
15. A filter basket as chimed in claim 14 wherein each of said
perforations and said further perforations have a cross-sectional
area of about three square millimeters or more.
16. A filter basket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said filter
basket has a micron rating in a range not greater than fifty microns
and not less than one micron.
17. An apparatus for filtering water which is gravity-fed from
a bottle to a water reservoir of an inverted bottle type water dispenser
a cylindrical filter basket and a funnel-shaped receiver,
said filter basket and funnel-shaped receiver composed of microwave-safe
said filter basket disposed depending from said funnel-shaped receiver
in said water reservoir, below a mouth of said bottle,
said filter basket comprising a filter compartment and filtration
said filter compartment comprising a bottom side, a lateral side
and a top side,
said bottom side comprising perforated base plate,
said perforated base plate rigidly connected to said lateral side,
said perforated base plate comprising a plurality of perforations,
said plurality of perforations providing means for said water to
drain from said filter compartment downwardly and directly into
said water reservoir,
said lateral side laterally enclosing said filter compartment and
connecting said bottom side and said top side,
said top side disposed below said mouth of said bottle at a distance
of up to one-half inch,
said top side comprising a perforated cover,
said cover rigidly connected to said lateral side,
said cover comprising a plurality of apertures,
said plurality of apertures providing means for said water to flow
downwardly through said cover directly into said compartment,
said filtration media comprising means of filtering from said water
one or more substances selected from the group consisting of oxygen,
lead, zinc, copper, calcium, calcium bicarbonate, ammonia, sodium
sulfite and hydrogen sulfide,
said filtration media disposed in and substantially filling said
said filtration media further disposed completely immersed in said
said funnel-shaped receiver comprising a bottom part, a top part,
and a receiver wall,
said bottom part rigidly connected to said top side of said filter
said bottom part comprising a first opening,
said first opening comprising an area approximately equal to the
area of said cover,
said first opening disposed below said mouth of said bottle and
above said cover and providing means for said water to flow downwardly
to said cover substantially without obstruction therebetween,
said top part comprising a second opening and a supporting element,
said second opening comprising a larger area than said first opening,
said second opening disposed over said first opening and in a horizontal
plane over a lower horizontal plane in which said mouth of said
bottle is disposed,
said second opening receiving and surrounding a neck of said bottle,
said supporting element providing means for supporting said apparatus
on said water dispenser,
said supporting element comprising a radially, outwardly extending
said lip mounted on and supported by a shoulder of said water dispenser,
said receiver wall connecting said top part to said bottom part,
said receiver wall smoothly diverging from said bottom part to
said top part,
said receiver wall providing a gradually downwardly converging
downward flow path for said water to said first opening.
18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein each of said perforations
and each of said apertures have a diameter in the range from about
two to three millimeters.
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein said filtration
media further comprises means for removing chlorine and chloramines
from said water.
Water dispenser description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a method and apparatus for filtering water
in an inverted bottle type water dispenser, such as a household
water-cooler or water-stand. More particularly, the invention relates
to a method and apparatus, which includes a filter basket and filtration
media wherein water from an inverted bottle in a water dispenser
is filtered to remove dissolved oxygen and other dissolved gases
and in addition, other impurities, such as chlorines, chloramines,
bicarbonates and lead.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Inverted bottle type water dispensers, commonly known as "water-coolers"
or "water-stands," are often found in American homes and
workplaces. They provide a source of pure drinking water in areas
where the hygienic quality or the esthetic taste of the domestic
water is otherwise questionable. They also provide a convenient
way of cooling and/or heating the water before it is dispensed.
These water-stands normally require the purified drinking water
to be supplied from a source outside the home or workplace, such
as the delivery of the bottled water from a supplier of bottled
pure water or purchasing purified water from a vending machine.
These options can be expensive and/or inconvenient for the consumer.
An attractive option for consumers is to fill the bottle directly
from a household tap and filtering the water at the water-stand
to provide a source of purified water suitable for drinking. This
option provides a source of purified drinking water segregated from
the tap water; tap water can then be used advantageously in applications
where taste is of no concern, such as cleaning.
However, from time to time, the water-stand's filter needs to be
replaced or disinfected due to the growth of microorganisms inside
the filter. Thus, the filter should be easily installed, removed
and disinfected and it is preferable that the consumer can install,
remove and disinfect it himself or herself with relative ease. Further,
it is preferable, from the consumer's standpoint, that the periods
between disinfecting be reasonably long.
One method of extending the period between filter cleaning is to
fashion the filter so that the flow of water through the filter
flushes all the water previously standing in the filter and to allow
convection currents to flow between the filter and reservoir. Also,
if the water is heated or cooled in the reservoir, since this heating
or cooling retards the growth of microorganisms, a filter which
is substantially immersed in this water has its microbiological
It is also advantageous to the consumer that the filter be relatively
inexpensive and universally adaptable to most conventional inverted
bottle type water dispensers. Further, in view of water shortages
being experienced in certain sections of the country, the design
of the filter should provide, insofar as practical, that all the
system's water be filtered and used.
Moreover, if heating or cooling systems are utilized in the water
stand, scale accumulates on the heating or cooling elements, when
hard water is heated or cooled, reducing the element's efficiency.
Hardness also imparts an unpleasant taste to the water, especially
when it is used in making coffee or tea and hardness interferes
with the clarity of ice if the hard water is frozen. Thus, a superior
filter used in a water-stand will soften the water as well as reduce
harmful bacteria growth and remove or reduce other detrimental solutes.
Lead, zinc, copper, calcium, calcium bicarbonate, ammonia, sodium
sulfite and hydrogen sulfide are examples of other detrimental solutes
commonly found in tap water in the United States. Each, in sufficient
quantities, is harmful if ingested or provides an unpleasant flavor
to water. Accordingly, a filter, used to purify tap water in a water-stand,
should remove these substances as well. Tap water in most areas
of the country contains chlorines. Chlorines impart to water an
unpleasant taste, especially when that water is subsequently used
to make coffee. Consequently, in a system which filters tap water
in an inverted bottle type water dispenser to supply purified water,
chlorines should be removed as well.
Adding to the burden of prerequisites for a satisfactory filter
for use in a conventional inverted bottle type water dispenser is
the requirement that the filter does not significantly hinder the
flow-rate of water into the reservoir from the bottle. For example,
an average water cooler has a reservoir capacity of four thousand
cubic centimeters. In an office of twenty-seven people with each
drawing a five-ounce cup of water at a rate of ten seconds per person,
this reservoir could potentially be drained in about four and one-half
minutes. Therefore, it is necessary for the filter to provide for
a flow-rate to the reservoir to exceed this demand.
There are many devices and methods for filtering water in an inverted
bottle type water dispenser which have been disclosed. None, to
the inventor's knowledge, provides a satisfactory solution to the
problem, in light of the aforementioned requirements. The following
cites and briefly describes a few of these devices and how they
requite the imperatives indicated above.
Frank Senyal discloses an apparatus for filtering water in his
U.S. Patent entitled, "Filter and Water Purifier" which
issued Nov. 30 1943 as U.S. Pat. No. 2335458. Here, Mr. Senyal
provides a filter for a water cooler comprised of two receptacles
connected in a nested, superposed relation. The first receptacle
receives the neck and mouth of the inverted bottle (which is fitted
with a feed tube/stopper arrangement) and utilizes a valve to direct
the water flowing from a receiver to a first filter sandwiched between
two screens. The water is then drained via a tube to the bottom
of a second receptacle which provides for an upward flow of the
water through second filter, thereupon to discharge into the water
cooler's reservoir. The filter arrangement depends into the reservoir
of the water cooler by an outwardly extending flange resting on
the recess of the reservoir.
Mr. Senyal discloses a further water purifier for a water cooler
in U.S. Pat. No. 2372340 issued Mar. 27 1945 and also entitled,
"Filter and Water Purifier." In this disclosure, a strainer
is attached to the feed tube/stopper arrangement and water is directed
to flow from this strainer to a receiver. The receiver depends into
the reservoir of the water cooler and is attached to the water cooler
by means of screws. Via a valve, water drains from the receiver
to a filter element which provides an upward flow of the water through
the filter to discharge into the reservoir. The filter element is
supported on the base of the reservoir and fits, sleeve-like, over
Both these filter arrangements have disadvantages. For example,
in the former patent, Senyal discloses a unified two filter arrangement
which is awkward, at best, for the consumer to install or replace.
In the latter patent, the filter arrangement comprises several distinct
and unconnected parts which provides unwelcome complexity to the
consumer. Moreover, because in both patents the bottom section is
disclosed to drain the water from its top, water below the discharge
ports will be retained, therefore removing the bottom section from
the reservoir requires undue effort on the part of the consumer
and, further, requires that this section be drained before disinfecting.
Still further, Senyal teaches in both patents that the water below
the ports is pushed into the reservoir by the preceding water. Therefore
when there is no longer any preceding water (i.e.--the bottle is
empty), the water below the ports within the filter is substantially
lost for drinking. Additionally, Senyal's relatively convoluted
flow-path of water--from the bottle to a cylindrical receiver (via
a strainer in the second patent), then through a valve aperture
offset to a side of the bottom of the cylindrical receiver, next
through a first stage filter (in the first patent), down a tube
to the bottom of a second stage filter and up through the second
stage filter to a discharge port on top--is inconsistent with and
unappreciative of the need to provide complete flushing of the filter
and to permit the occurrence of convectional currents between the
filter and the reservoir. Yet further, all the water in Senyal's
receiver is not necessarily flushed out by the entry of more water
from the bottle, especially if there are irregularities or indentations
in the sides or bottom of the cylindrical receiver.
U.S. Pat. No. 4 145291 which issued Mar. 20 1979 to Console
et al., entitled "Disinfecting Means Within a Water Dispenser,"
discloses a conical basket supported by a flange interposed between
the lower end of an inverted bottle and the upper end of the container
of the water dispenser. The basket is disposed inside a reservoir
of the water dispenser, directly below the mouth of the inverted
bottle, and contains a vented, porous capsule containing silver
for the inhibition of the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms
in the water.
Console et al. do not otherwise address filtering the water for
particulate or other harmful solutes and, in fact, provide a vent
which would allow particulates or other harmful solutes to be introduced
into the reservoir. Further, although silver ions are known to have
a disinfecting effect in water, silver can be relatively expensive
and its presence in drinking water is not desirable.
Carl Frahm discloses in U.S. Pat. No. 4181243 which issued on
Jan. 1 1980 entitled "Device for Filtering Beverages,"
a filter element provided at the inlet of a spigot for dispensing
liquids from a reservoir.
As shown, Frahm's filter assembly requires the draining of the
reservoir for its installation, removal or cleaning and is, therefore,
relatively inconvenient and wasteful.
"Bottle and Filter" (U.S. Pat. No. 5139666 issued
Aug. 18 1992 to Charbonneau at al.) discloses an unusual inverted
bottle which is refilled via a refill neck with a counter-cap which
records the number of times the bottle is refilled. A filter is
retained inside a discharge neck. The filter element is attached
to the bottle via screw-on cap and held in place by projections
integral with the bottle. An air vent is provided near the filter
element on the cap.
Charbonneau at al.'s invention requires a water bottle of an unusual
design and a relatively complex attachment of the filter element
to the bottle. Further, several pockets of water are likely to collect
in the bottle which would be difficult to retrieve.
Heinrich Niewig discloses in U.S. Pat. No. 5238559 entitled
"Filter Device," that issued Aug. 24 1993 a filter device
similar to that disclosed by Charbonneau et at. Unlike Charbonneau
et at., Niewig provides a vent at the "refill" neck. Niewig's
disclosure again requires a water bottle of unusual design and a
relatively complex attachment of the filter element to the bottle
very similar to Charbonneau et al.'s teachings on these points and,
thus, Niewig shares Charbonneau at al.'s disadvantages.
In U.S. Pat. No. 5441179 titled "Ultra-Violet Disinfecting
Device Adapted for Use with Bottled Water Dispenser" and issued
on Aug. 15 1995 Stephen Marsh discloses using ultraviolet light
to eliminate biological growth in the reservoir of a water cooler.
Marsh provides an example of direction of the art toward complexity
and expense. Also, Marsh provides no teachings on the removal of
other harmful contaminants in the water.
Disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5486285 by Brian Feeney, "Air
Met Valve for Water Cooler" (issued Jan. 23 1996), is a filter
system removably connected to the neck of a bottle of a water cooler
and forming a watertight seal therewith. This system comprises a
one way valve for admitting air into the bottle and a sleeve for
receiving a replaceable water filter.
Feeney's design is also relatively complex. It also requires a
threaded neck on the bottle to fit the threads of its filter system
and is therefore specific to bottles with threaded neck, not unlike
Charbonneau at al. and Niewig.
From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that there is a need
for a water filter for an inverted bottle type water dispenser which
is easily installed and removed, of relatively simple and inexpensive
design, easily cleaned and disinfected, unwasteful of water, universally
adaptable to most bottles used for inverted bottle type water dispensers,
and with the dispensers as such, and filters dissolved oxygen and
other dissolved gases and impurities such as lead to improve the
taste and healthfulness of the water as well as softening water
improving its taste and preventing scaling of heating or cooling
coils in the dispenser.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In response to the above needs, I have invented a new and useful
filter system and method of filtering for inverted bottle type dispensers.
The filter basket depends from the collar or shoulder of the water
dispenser into the water reservoir and is easy s to install and
remove. The basket has a conical-shaped receiver which receives
the neck and mouth of the inverted water bottle and directs the
flow of water therefrom to filter receptacle. The filter receptacle
contains a filter media which filters from the water oxygen, lead,
zinc, copper, calcium, calcium bicarbonate, ammonia, sodium sulfite
and hydrogen sulfide and softens the water. The filter media preferably
also removes chlorines and chloramines.
The filter media remains submerged in the water most of the time
which advantageously aids the filtering capacity and retards microorganism
growth in the filter media when the water is chilled or heated.
The entire invention is relatively lightweight and manageable in
size. The filter basket is composed entirely of a microwave safe
material, such as polypropylene, that also withstands the heat of
boiling water. Thus, disinfecting and cleaning of the filter basket
is a relatively simple operation which can be accomplished, quickly
and easily, in nearly all homes and offices by consumers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the filter basket
of the preferred embodiment according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the filter basket of the preferred
embodiment according to the invention;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the filter basket of the preferred
embodiment according to the invention;
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the filter basket of the preferred
embodiment according to the invention, expanded to show a universal
adapter which is used with the filter basket;
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of an upper section of a conventional
household water-cooler, shown by way of example, wherein the filter
basket and reservoir of the dispenser are shown in section;
FIG. 6 is a graph of an analysis of a potassium aluminosilicate
according to the invention which utilizes mercury intrusion to depict
log differential intrusion in milliliters per gram for the material's
pores by diameters expressed in Angstroms;
FIG. 7 is an X-ray diffraction pattern of the filtration media
according to the invention; and
FIG. 8 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of the
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIGS. 1 through 5 the upper portion of filter 16
is a receiver or conical section 20 preferably of circular configuration
when viewed from above to match the shape of the mouth of most conventional
water-stands. Receiver section 20 is funnel-shaped or conical, having
convex sides in the embodiment shown, with lip or flange 23 extending
outwardly about one to two millimeters on top of the convex funnel-wall
26 which surrounds the funnel's mouth 29. As seen in FIGS. 1 and
2 lip 23 extends outwardly from wall 26 at the top of funnel portion
20 around the top circumference of mouth or passage 29. Wall 26
of funnel section 20 converges downwardly (as shown in FIGS. 1
and 4) to filter section 30 providing a converging path for the
flow of water to a planar plate comprising top 33 of filter section
As shown in FIGS. 2 through 4 filter section 30 is preferably
cylindrical in shape, preferably two to four inches in diameter,
with a top substantially defined by top plate 33 a bottom substantially
defined by bottom or base plate 36 and a lateral side substantially
defined by cylinder-wall 39. Filter section 30 has a substantially
cylindrical interior bore to define filter compartment 42.
As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 top plate 33 and bottom plate 36 are
perforated by a plurality of apertures 45 and 46 respectively,
to allow the passage of water through top plate 33 and bottom plate
36. Apertures 45 and 46 are preferably about three millimeters and
not less than two millimeters in diameter and provide a combined
open area so that a sufficient flow rate of water through filter
section 30 occurs.
The individual open area of apertures 45 and 46 are small enough
to prevent filter media 50 from being carried out of compartment
42. Optionally, screening material of appropriate mesh can be used
between media 50 and, respectively, top 33 and bottom 36.
Filter compartment 42 is substantially filled with filter media
50. Media 50 is sufficiently porous so that water can pass at a
sufficient rate downwardly therethrough while being filtered to
remove harmful or distasteful substances and so that air can rapidly
pass upwardly therethrough to provide sufficient displacement of
Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 an example of filter media 50 which
is used advantageously with the filter 16 is an aluminosilicate
gel which is prepared from 21% by weight of alumina hydrate type
pseudoboehmiet Al(OH).sub.3 and 68% to 72% sodium silicate Na.sub.2
O.3.22-2.88 SiO.sub.2 which are mixed with 11% to 14% by weight
sodium hydroxide NaOH in a 5% concentration, and blended into a
slurry. The slurry is filtered, washed with clean water, permitted
to gel, heated with steam to initiate formation of the spongy amorphous
structure, and laid over a flat bed wherein the hydrogel is formed
under ultraviolet radiation (wave lengths of 2000 .ANG.-3900 .ANG.)
at ambient temperature (20.degree. C.-39.degree. C.) in a low relative
humidity (5%-20%) for two to ten weeks with about sixty days being
typical. As a practical matter, the heat generated in this step
tends to maintain the effective relative humidity in the desired
range. Heat and ultraviolet radiation make the large particles intergrow
to vermicular particles forming microporous spongy structures which
allow water to enter, flow through and discharge therefrom very
fast while the desired ion exchange takes place in the structure
of the gel.
The alumina hydrate which is used has particle sizes of about five
microns for about 75% of the material, and five to ten microns for
about 100% of the material. Dispersed alumina can also be used.
Although after the gel has commenced to form, ultraviolet radiation
is no longer necessary and the formation of the spongy amorphous
structure can be completed without further subjecting the substance
to such radiation, it is preferred that the radiation be continued
until formation of the spongy amorphous structure of the aluminosilicate
gel is complete--at least to having the desired pore sizes. Preferably,
intense ultraviolet radiation is provided by ultraviolet lamps.
To substitute potassium for sodium, when the formation of the spongy
amorphous structure of the gel is complete, the gel is washed with
pure water and placed in a bath of a potassium salt, preferably
potassium carbonate or, for example, potassium chloride, wherein
the potassium displaces sodium in the aluminosilicate gel.
The resulting potassium aluminosilicate is thoroughly washed with
deionized (DI) water, dried and screened to produce a particle size
of 8 to 60 mesh, preferably 24.times.40 mesh, which is packed in
polyglass or plastic cylinders or cartridges, having a total volume
of about one hundred and fifty to over two hundred and fifty cubic
centimeters. The resulting gel is translucent in water, but in its
dry form is an opaque white, hard material similar in appearance
If the potassium aluminosilicate product is subsequently neither
heated nor packed too tightly, it retains surprising large pore
diameters and pore volumes as well as a large effective internal
surface areas. Moreover, water flows relatively rapidly therethrough
while its effective filtration characteristics are retained.
Aluminosilicate filtration media 50 is further illustrated by the
Commercial water glasses composed of 8.9% by weight Na.sub.2 O
and 28.7% by weight SiO.sub.2 the remainder H.sub.2 O, were blended
with 21% of Al(OH).sub.3 in crystalline powder form. Eleven percent
by weight of sodium hydroxide (0.929 moles of NaOH per liter) was
added and mixed until homogeneous. The mixture was transferred to
a spongy amorphous structure formation tank where it was cooked
with a steam batch (100.degree. C.-200.degree. C.) for 10-16 hours.
The resulting gel was then placed into two-inch deep Pyrex trays,
the depth of the gel therein being about one inch (2.5 cm).
Thereafter, the gel was exposed to continuous and intense ultraviolet
radiation from both above and below the trays while formation of
the spongy amorphous structure proceeded for sixty days until formation
of the spongy amorphous structure was complete.
The resulting gel spongy amorphous structures were sized and screened
to produce aluminosilicate particles between 8 and 60 mesh. For
uses wherein the presence of sodium in aluminosilicate filtration
media 50 may be considered detrimental, such spongy amorphous structures
were placed in 36 liters of 5% solution of KCl for 0.2 hours which
was maintained at a temperature of 20.degree. C. to effect a complete
substitution of potassium for sodium in the gel. The resulting material
was washed with 200 liters of clean water until pH of 8.5 was measured.
The resulting aluminosilicate product had a total pore volume of
0.73 cc per gram and a surface area of 175 square meters per gram.
The pore diameters were 100 .ANG. to 250 .ANG., peaking at 160 .ANG..
FIG. 6 is a graph which illustrates the distribution of pore diameters
of another but similar sample, wherein the pore diameters were between
60 .ANG. and 250 .ANG., peaking at about 115 .ANG..
X-ray diffraction pattern of the dry sample is shown in FIG. 7.
Peaks labeled Si denote the X-ray diffraction of the standard used,
CaF.sub.2 Al denote impurities due to the testing equipment, and
C denotes the crystalline material. From FIG. 7 it is seen that
less than 1% of the sample from the Example is crystalline.
"Aluminosilicate gel" as used in the specification and
claims, except as otherwise indicated, refers to an amorphous aluminosilicate
material considered to encompass or be the equivalent of mesoporous
molecular sieves having pore diameters within the general range
of four to fifty nanometers.
The capacity of the potassium aluminosilicate filtration media
50 for oxygen removal is between fifteen and forty-five ounces of
oxygen per cubic foot of the filtration media. At the same time,
the filter removes virtually all ammonia ions in the water. If hydrogen
sulfide is present, it is also removed. Also, a reduction was found
in the levels of calcium bicarbonate, calcium, sodium sulfite, hydrogen,
lead, copper and zinc, when present.
In studies of the use of the present invention, a reduction of
calcium content, calcium bicarbonate content and water hardness
of 100% occurred. This is believed due to ion exchange between the
water's calcium ions and the potassium ions of the aluminosilicate
filtration media 50. Further, it has been found that hydrogen sulfide
is reduced 100%, ammonia and sodium sulfite is reduced 90% to 100%.
Tests indicate that two hundred cubic centimeters of aluminosilicate
filtration media can meet NSF Standard 53 for lead and zinc reduction
and NSF Standard 42 for taste and odor and esthetic effects. Aluminosilicate
filtration media 50 shows a kinetic of one hundred and ninety milligrams
per liter of lead and demonstrates a shorter contact time than organic
resin. It also exceeds EPA standards for heavy metal reduction.
The unique structure of the aluminosilicate filtration media, also,
reduces bitter elements from drinking water which interferes with
the taste, mainly in coffee or tea made from the water.
Aluminosilicate filtration media 50 packed inside filter 16 is
preferably one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty cubic
centimeters in volume and has the capacity to filter water for heavy
material and taste of up to five hundred gallons. The micron rating
for filter 16 with aluminosilicate filtration media 50 is preferably
approximately fifty microns although in some applications, where
the user is less concerned about flow rate and more concerned about
sanitation, a one micron rating is preferable. Nevertheless, at
fifty microns, flow rates of water to reservoir 73 of one thousand,
five hundred cubic centimeters per minute have been observed. This
rapid flow rate is believed to result from the unique porosity of
media 50 which allows swift passage of air and water therethrough.
Furthermore, the volume of media 50 depends upon the desired flow-rate
of water. Adequate flow rates are obtained with media 50 having
a volume as low as five cubic inches.
The aluminosilicate filtration media 50 can function at pH of 5.5-9
without affecting the performance of the filter in taste improvement
and lead reduction.
Other filtration media 50 can be used advantageously in filter
16 such as: activated carbon, organic ion exchange media, aluminum
oxide, metal oxide resins, and strong base anion resin, or a mixture
of any of these and the aluminosilicate media described hereinbefore.
Activated carbon is a very effective dechlorinator. For example,
a mixture advantageously used for media 50 is a mixture of fifty
to sixty per cent by volume of granular potassium aluminosilicate
media, 20.times.40 mesh, and forty to fifty per cent by volume of
three mesh granular activated carbon. Three mesh granular activated
carbon, mixed in the media at fifty per cent by volume, provides
sufficient porosity to media 50 while providing for the removal
of chlorine from water 79.
The potassium aluminosilicate gel is advantageously formed in different
configurations and different ratios of mixture with carbon to compose
media 50. As a representative illustration, media 50 utilizing the
potassium aluminosilicate gel in extruded form, which uses a fine
particle size such as twenty to forty micron, with the activated
carbon more or less the same size, a beneficial ratio is ten to
fifteen per cent by volume potassium aluminosilicate gel to eighty-five
to ninety percent activated carbon or other media.
Referring to FIG. 5 filter basket 16 is easily installed in conventional
inverted bottle type water dispenser or olla 60. With water-bottle
or carboy 63 removed from dispenser 60 basket 16 is placed over
and into fill-port or mouth 67 with flange 23 resting on collar
or shoulder 70 of dispenser 60 and the rest of basket 16 depending
therefrom into reservoir 73. If desired the water available from
the water-stand is increased by pouting tap water from a conventional
source (such as a pitcher) through basket 16 intervening media
50 to be received in reservoir 73 to a level above top plate 33
and above the level of where bottle opening or mouth 64 will be
located when bottle 63 is inverted and received in olla 60.
Generally, the shoulder of carboy 63 bears directly on lip 23.
However, to adapt basket 16 to reservoir 73 which basket 16 does
not fit, appropriately configured spacer rings or doughnut shaped
members (not shown) may be fitted between the top of reservoir 73
and lip 23. Also, if desired, gaskets may be provided, either over
or below or both, on lip 23 and/or any spacer provided.
Flange 23 has an outside diameter slightly greater than most conventional
fill-ports 67 found in water dispensers 60 to provide support from
collar 70 for basket 16. But to accommodate a larger diameter, universal
adapter ring or doughnut ring 76 is advantageously also provided
with the invention to be removable attached to lip 23 and thereby
extend the reach for support for filter 16 (as shown in FIG. 4).
For clarity, adapter ting 76 is only shown in FIG. 4. The manner
in which ring 76 provides support for basket 16 from dispenser 60
with a large diameter fill-mouth 67 will be obvious to one skilled
in the art familiar with this description. Ring 76 has an inside
diameter slightly less than the outside diameter of lip 23. Adapter
ring 76 has an outside diameter greater than found in larger inlet
holes 67 of most common inverted water bottle type water dispensers
60. By slipping filter 16 through ring 76 until lip 23 contacts
adapter ring 76 filter 16 can be supported from collar 70 for almost
any large mouth 67 found in a common inverted water bottle type
water dispenser 60.
Water-bottle or carboy 63 is filled from an ordinary household
water tap or any other suitable source of water 79. With basket
16 depending from collar 70 into reservoir 73 bottle 63 is inverted
over and-set upon dispenser 60 so that neck 66 and bottle-opening
64 are received into passage 29 (as seen in FIGS. 5) and bottle-opening
64 is one-quarter to one-half inch above cover 33 of filter compartment
42. Unless water has already been added to reservoir 73 to receive
bottle opening 64 water 79 drains from bottle 63 into receiver
20. Due to the inverted conical shape of receiver 20 water 79 flows
in a downwardly directed converging flow-path so that all the water
received into receiver 20 flows downwardly through filter section
30. The funnel shape of mouth 29 prevents water 79 from standing,
substantially unaffected by normal flow, in any part of receiver
From receiver 20 water flows downwardly through perforations 45
of top plate 33 into filter compartment 42 where it is filtered
of deleterious substances by filter media 50. Filter media 50 drains
the purified water 80 to bottom plate 36 where the perforations
46 allow water 80 to drain into reservoir 73.
Unless previously filled, water 80 fills reservoir 73 until the
surface level of water 80 rises higher than bottom plate 36 to engulf
bottom-opening 64 thus substantially preventing the further reception
of air into basket 16 and creating reservoir water head surface
83. (If, however, water was initially added to reservoir 73 head
surface 83 will be initially higher until lowered by usage of water
from dispenser 60.) Untreated water 79 from bottle 63 continues
to fill basket 16 being exchanged with the air therein, until it
reaches a level slightly above opening 64 and forming basket water
head surface 86.
The foregoing description presumes a hermetic seal between the
atmosphere and the space above filter basket 16 and another hermetic
seal between the space above basket 16 and reservoir 73. As a practical
matter though, a completely airtight seal between either or both
of these spaces would be rare; normal operation would include at
least some ventilation through these spaces, ranging from ventilation
which is virtually absolute, wherein these spaces remain substantially
isopiestic throughout the operation of dispenser 60 to ventilation
which is virtually nil, wherein the pressure in the spaces equalizes
over a significant period of time. Accordingly, in ordinary circumstances,
surface head 83 will, at least eventually, equal the height of surface
head 83a (depicted in FIG. 5 as a dashed line), which is equal to
the height of surface head 86.
As shown in FIG. 5 filter basket 16 operates well even without
ventilation for the space between the top of filter basket 16 and
the bottom of bottle 63 (i.e.--mouth 67 is hermetically sealed by
the contact between bottom of bottle 63 and collar 70 and by the
contact between flange 23 and collar 70). When, for example, five
ounces of water 80 is drained from reservoir 73 via valve 61 a
substantially equal volume of air will enter reservoir 73 through
either valve 61 or another venting system for reservoir 73 and surface
head 83 will drop down below bottom plate 36. Air then vents into
basket 16 through perforations 46 and passes through filter media
50 and perforations 45 into receiver section 20. Five ounces of
water 80 drains from basket 16 into reservoir 73 raising head 83
again above plate 36 but dropping surface head 86 below opening
64 of bottle 63. With opening 64 exposed, air vents from receiver
20 into bottle 63 which permits water 79 to drain from bottle 63
into receiver 20 until, once again, head 86 covers opening 64. Of
course, if air passed through filter 16 directly into bottle 63
without first entering the space above surface head 83 of reservoir
73 and/or the space above surface head 86 in receiver 20 dispenser
60 will still operate effectively in the same manner. Thus, since
media 50 is exceptionally porous as well as being effective, this
invention overcomes the requirement of a complex mechanism for venting
by utilizing the venting system already existing for reservoir 73.
Again, as a practical matter, the described hermetic sealing seldom
occurs; ordinarily, there will be some amount of ventilation between
these spaces and, at least eventually, head 83 will equal head 83a.
Because receiver 20 covers fill-mouth 67 virtually all particulates
on top of bottle 63 and on neck 66 are prevented by filter 16 from
entering reservoir 73. Still further, when bottle 63 is removed
from dispenser 60 any airborne particles are prevented from entering
reservoir 20 by filter 16. Also, due to its funnel-shaped top, filter
16 prevents any leaking on the floor from tilting of bottle 63.
Referring to FIG. 8 an alternative embodiment of filter basket
16 is shown which is identical to the embodiment previously described
except vent holes or channels 90 are disposed in wall 26 (above
the level of head 86 in receiver 20) to provide ventilation directly
between receiver 20 and reservoir 73. In this case, the level of
head 83 equalizes with the level of head 86 that is, at a level
covering bottle-opening 64 and equal to the level of surface head
83a (shown in dashed lines in FIG. 5). For example, when five ounces
of water are dram from reservoir 73 and a substantially equal volume
of air is vented into reservoir 73 the air is further vented through
channels 90 into receiver 20 and the water level 86 of receiver
20 and the water level 83 of reservoir 73 drops to an equal level
below opening 64. Air then vents into bottle 63 through opening
64 displacing an equal volume of water in bottle 63 to receiver
20 and raising the heads 86 and 83 in receiver 20 and reservoir
73 respectively, to a level, once again, above the level of opening
64. This embodiment provides the advantage of utilizing the full
working volume of reservoir 73 in the case of a hermetic seal being
formed as described previously or, in the case of a near hermetic
seal, prolonging the filling of the working volume of reservoir
In either embodiment of the invention, filter media 50 remains,
advantageously submerged in water and the water in filter 16 remains
exposed to normal currents and mixing which occur in reservoir 73.
Filter 16 can be utilized advantageously in dispenser 20 which
also treats bottled water 79 to dispense ice, chilled water, hot
water and/or carbonated water, to improve pellucidity, taste and
hygiene of water 79. When water 80 is chilled in reservoir 73 it
has been observed that the cool temperatures of 34.degree. F. to
39.degree. F. assist filter media 50 in improving its adsorption
capacity and reduce microbiological growth. Moreover, salts associated
with water hardness tend to precipitate as a scum in hot beverages,
such as coffee or tea and dissolved gases, such as oxygen, are responsible
for negative consequences relative to the appearance and taste of
hot beverages. By media 50 removing these deleterious substances
from the water used to make the hot beverages, the resulting hot
beverages are improved in taste and appearance. Further still, in
removing dissolved gases, such as oxygen, and hardness from the
water, the water becomes a better medium for carbonation, if desired.
In any condition water 80 is served, if water 79 was originally
wanting in qualities of clarity, sanitation, softness, taste or
healthfulness, after having passed through filter 16 these qualities
will be improved.
Filter 16 is normally and aesthetically hidden from apparent view
since it depends into reservoir 73 and is covered by bottle 63.
But if the configuration of reservoir 73 prevents filter basket
16 from fully depending into it by, for example, heating or cooling
coils or a carbonator in the space of reservoir 73 filter basket
16 is raised, by means obvious and well known in the art, such as
a spacer, to the desired height. Nevertheless, bottom 36 must still
depend within reservoir 73 or be in watertight communication therewith.
Filter 16 is preferably constructed of plastic or other microwave-safe
material. If compartment 42 and/or funnel section 40 is constructed
of any non-microwave-safe material they then must be detachable
from filter 16. Also, ring 48 need not be constructed of microwave-safe
material since it is not normally firmly secured to filter 16. The
rest of filter 16 (and preferably all of filter 16), including filter
element 50 is microwave-safe. Typically, the size of filter 16
is not larger than will easily fit in a conventional microwave oven.
Accordingly, filter 16 can be easily disinfected in a household
microwave oven. Filter 16 is adequately sterilized utilizing a normal
household microwave oven in three minutes. Alternatively, filter
16 can be sterilized in boiling water. It has been observed that
filter 16 normally requires sterilization every thirty to sixty
Filter 16 is easily removed from dispenser 60 since it is not rigidly
attached to dispenser 60. Filter 16 is removed by merely removing
(preferably) empty bottle 63 and simply lifting out filter 16 from
As stated hereinbefore, the operation of the invention as described
with reference to FIG. 5 assumes that the space above head 86 is
substantially hermetically sealed, whereas the space in reservoir
73 above head 83 is at least sporadically vented (i.e.--by opening
of spigot 61). However, whether the space above head 86 is vented,
intentionally or unintentionally, the device operates substantially
as described in reference to FIG. 8 irrespective of vents 90 in
the FIG. 8 embodiment. This adaptability of the invention is a definite
asset to the user who therefore need not normally be concerned about
whether or not the fit of bottle 63 to olla 60 prevents or permits
the passage of air.
Although this invention has been disclosed and discussed primarily
in terms of specific embodiments thereof, it should be understood
that this description has been given for clearness of understanding
only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom,
and that modifications which will be obvious to those skilled in
the art upon becoming familiar with the invention are within the
spirit and scope of the appended claims.