Improved Airlift Aerated Compost Tea Bioreactor process US7972839B2 active Microbulator

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I kill patents.  That is what I do.  I believe that everyone has the right to make or sell whatever they want.  Unfortunately the US government along with other world governments will enforce monopolies in the form of patents.

Here we are killing US 7972839 B2.  Why are we killing this patent?  Because it is useful and I believe it is a human right to make aerated compost tea.  Why aerated?  Because it is a cheap and efficient way to select for aerobic microorganisms which tend to not stink and perhaps be safer for plant growth.  Also aerobics can do more work since they gain more ATP from digestion.

Why not a simple bubbler instead of this messy version?  Because we need both medium shear mixing (avoid high shear since it may kill the microbes) and aeration and this design accomplishes both.

How are we going to kill the patent?  Firstly this patent is easily killed because of words like "vertical" and "resting on the bottom" in the patent claims.  All you have to do is make a version where the pipe is not perfectly vertical or the apparatus is suspended in the tank and not resting on the bottom and you kill the patent.  However I tend not to like to use these methods as they are sort of up to interpretation and the patent holder may still be bold enough to make a lawsuit.  So I tend to want to make significant improvements, not just arbitrary changes, to the process.

So our way of killing this patent is remove a piece essential to the patents claims, an air diffuser.

The major disadvantage to the patentee's device is that it creates a splashy inconsistent air/water mixture in the vertical tube.  In order to fix this air stones can be used to cover the water intake (not air) or a mesh or something the help disburse the water that the air pump pulls in via vacuum.  But the method we will use which I believe will be significantly better will be holes in line with the piping in which water can be pulled in via fast airflow created by the air pump.

So how do we get around the patent?  No air diffusers are used.

This is a requirement of a claim of the patent:
"an air diffuser secured inside said pipe junction by means of glue which is provided air from the air pump by means of a tubing;"


"a second air diffuser proximal to the bottom of the vessel which is also connected to the air pump and is capable of bubbling air when submerged in water;"

So if we are not using any air diffusers, the patent is null in void.  Air diffusers are not needed as the system is an air system, this is an error by the patentee.  What would help would be water diffusers instead of the big hole openings for water to be pulled up, smaller and more dispersed holes would be an improvement.  Obviously holes too small will get clogged, but holes of a centimeter or so in diameter should be just fine.

So we improved and killed the patent.  We improved it by making smaller holes inline with the tube instead of giant holes out of line of the tube, and we subverted the patent by not using any unnecessary air diffusers.

Future development can include vortexing or mixing baffles or whatnot around the water intake hole area inside or outside the tube to mix the water into the air column as finely as possible while not restricting flow significantly enough to get buildup.

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