US 7,313,916 B2 Jan. 1, 2008
(54) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR
GENERATING POWER BY COMBUSTION
OF VAPORIZED FUEL
(75) Inventor: Roberto O. Pellizzari, Groton, MA
(73) Assignee: Philip Morris USA Inc., Richmond, VA (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/143,463
(22) Filed: May 10, 2002
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2003/0177768 Al Sep. 25, 2003
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/367,131, filed on Mar. 22, 2002.
An apparatus for producing power from a source of liquid fuel. The apparatus includes at least one capillary flow passage, the at least one capillary flow passage having an inlet end and an outlet end, the inlet end in fluid communication with the source of liquid fuel, a heat source arranged along the at least one capillary flow passage, the heat source operable to heat the liquid fuel in the at least one capillary flow passage to a level sufficient to change at least a portion thereof from a liquid state to a vapor state and deliver a stream of substantially vaporized fuel from the outlet end of the at least one capillary flow passage, a combustion chamber for combusting the stream of substantially vaporized fuel and air, the combustion chamber in communication with the outlet end of the at least one capillary flow passage and a conversion device operable to convert heat released by combustion in the combustion chamber into mechanical or electrical power. The conversion device can be a device capable of producing up to about 5,000 watts of mechanical or electrical power.
44 Claims, 15 Drawing Sheets