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1. US5196171 - Electrostatic vapor/aerosol/air ion generator

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[ EN ]
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for generating electrostatically charged aerosols and vapors comprising:
a porous, capillary unit of elongated configuration having a vapor dispensing end;
electrode means, said electrode means consisting essentially of a single electrode disposed in close proximity to said capillary unit;
electrical contact means on said electrode for connecting said electrode to a source of high voltage, direct current (DC) power; and
means for supplying liquid to said capillary unit, whereby liquid passes through said porous capillary unit in proximity to said electrode and is electrostatically charged and dispensed as vapor or aerosol from said dispensing end of said capillary unit.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said porous, capillary unit is comprised of a plurality of fiber filaments arranged in a tubular configuration which terminate at said dispensing end in a plurality of exposed, vapor-dispensing tips.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said fiber filaments are braided into capillament bundles, the extremities of which at said dispensing end of said capillary unit are open and unbraided to provide freely extending, filament tip extremities defining said dispensing tips.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said capillary unit further comprises a central, elongated core made up of a plurality of semi-conductive capilaments through which liquid may pass, with said central core being positioned inside of said tubular configuration of fiber filaments in electrically conductive relation with said electrode.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein:
said capillaments each comprise a bundle of fibers in which a wire conductor is embedded.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein:
said electrode is elongated and extends at least partially into said core substantially centrally thereof.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said capillary unit is contained within an outer, liquid impervious vessel which holds a supply of liquid and comprises said means for supplying liquid to said capillary unit.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein:
said fiber filaments terminate at their lower ends in end segments which extend into the liquid within the vessel.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 and further including an electrically insulating holder having an upwardly opening recess within which said vessel is removably received for vapor dispensing operation, said holder having electrical connector means therein for connecting said electrical contact means on said electrode to a power supply wire.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein:
said capillary unit is contained and protected in an outer, liquid impervious tubular member.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further including:
a tubular passage within which said capillary unit is positioned;
said means for supplying liquid comprises a liquid supply line connected to said capillary unit; and
means for delivering a pressurized stream of air into said tubular passage for flow over said capillary unit and removal of vapors emitted from said capillary unit.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 11 wherein:
said capillary unit is comprises of a plurality of fiber filaments arranged in a tubular configuration, and a central, elongated core made up of a plurality of semi-conductive capillaments through which liquid may pass, with said core being positioned inside of said tubular configuration of fiber filaments in electrically conductive relation with said electrode.
13. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein:
capillaments each comprise a bundle of fibers in which a wire conductor is embedded.
14. Apparatus for generating electrostatically charged vapors and aerosols for release into a room comprising:
a porous, capillary unit of elongated configuration having a vapor dispensing end terminating in a plurality of filaments;
electrode means, said electrode means consisting essentially of a single electrode disposed in close proximity to said capillary unit;
electrical contact means on said electrode for connecting said electrode to a source of high voltage, direct current (DC) power;
means for supplying liquid to said capillary unit, whereby liquid passes through said capillary unit in proximity to said electrode and is electrostatically charged and dispensed as a vapor or aerosol from said dispensing end of said capillary unit, said liquid supplying means comprising an outer, liquid impervious vessel which holds a supply of liquid; and
an electrically insulating holder having an upwardly opening recess within which said vessel is removably received for vapor dispensing operation.
15. Apparatus as defined in claim 14 wherein:
said capillary unit is comprised of a plurality of fiber filaments arranged in a tubular configuration.
16. Apparatus as defined in claim 15 wherein:
said capillary unit further comprises a central, elongated core made up of a plurality of semi-conductive capillaments through which liquid may pass, said central core being positioned inside of said tubular configuration of fiber filaments in electrically conductive relation with said electrode.