06732454 is referenced by 15 patents.
A system for removing from a particle mass a liquid permeating the particle mass includes a vaporizing stage having a space wherein the pressure is less than the pressure of the particle mass. As the particle mass enters the vaporizing stage, the lower pressure causes much of the liquid to vaporize. Once vaporized, the vapor can be removed with a pump. A first stripping stage receives the particle mass from the first stage at a first particle inlet port and discharges the particle mass at a first particle outlet port. A first stripping gas inlet near the first particle outlet port of the first stripping stage injects an inert stripping gas into the particle mass. The inert gas mixes with remaining elements of the liquid and any entrained gas formed by the liquid, and the mixture is discharged at a gas outlet near the first particle outlet port. A second stripping stage having construction and operation different from the first stripping stage may receive the particle mass. In a preferred embodiment, at least one of the stripping stages transports the particle mass through gravitational force.