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(11) Patent Number: KE 51
           
(45) Date of grant: 22/04/1998

(12) PATENT

 (51) Int.Cl5.: A 01D44/00

(21) Application Number: 1996/000189

(22) Filling Date: 13/11/1996

(30) Priority date: 9100914 28/05/1991 NL

(73) Owner: CAPT.JOSEPH W. MUCUTHI of , P.O. BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya; SAMUEL ODHIAMBO YARA of , P.O. BOX 6334, KISUMU KENYA, Kenya; ENGINEER VITALIS OUMA of , P.O BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya; CAPT. JOHN KEN KINYUA of , P.O BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya; ENGINEER JESSE GITHERE of , P.O. BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya; DOCTOR NELSON M. MUROKI of , P.O. BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya; MR. PATRICK KUGURU of , P.O. BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya and EAST AFRICAN INLAND WATERS ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN of , P.O BOX 6334 KISUMU, KENYA, Kenya

(72) Inventor: CAPT.JOSEPH W. MUCUTHI; SAMUEL ODHIAMBO YARA; ENGINEER VITALIS OUMA; CAPT. JOHN KEN KINYUA; ENGINEER JESSE GITHERE; DOCTOR NELSON M. MUROKI and MR. PATRICK KUGURU

(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Waruinge & Waruinge Advocates, P.o.Box 72384 Nairobi
 
(54) Title: HYACINTH HARVESTOR

 (57) Abstract:

A mechanical apparatus for removing water plants from the lakes and rivers etc. in particular, water hyacinth from water. The apparatus comprises a vessel mechanically driven with an inbuilt marine engine which has a wedge shaped bottomat fore castle for delivering the water plants to a harvester inbuilt thereof. The harvester picks up the weeds by means of circular blades and rectangular in shape firmly welded on a rotating drum. The weeds are then delivered to forks like blades fixed on to the vessel in such a manner as to remove all the weeds delivered by the harvester. The weeds removed by the fixed fork like receptors, which together with the harvester rotators are rectangular shaped, are deposited unto a conveyor belt. The said conveyor delivers the same to compression chamber. The weeds are then compressed into bales and the juice is delivered by to provide side openings into juice collection chambers for purification. The bales are automatically ejected and delivered onto provided storage hatches.


The vessel is so constructed as to provide proper maneuverability and discharge of any collected juice residue during harvest. This process provides for the entire removal of the weeds and preservation of water. The process of juice purification enables the proper maintenance of environmental control and ecological balance.
 
HYACINTH HARVESTER

A vessel cum harvester for mechanically removing water plants and in particular water hyacinth from water and especially lakes and rivers

This latest invention relates and translates to an apparatus mounted on a specially constructed vessel for efficiency and mechanically removes water plants, in particular water hyacinth and any other pollutants plants like water cabbage.

The present invention presented by the inventors relates to a harvester mounted on a mobile vessel to mechanically remove the water hyacinth and other water plants such as water cabbage from lakes and dams.

The hyacinth has been a big problem in the Lake Victoria and many other lakes and rivers world- wide. There have been efforts by scientists to eradicate it in many waters. It cannot be said with confidence that scientists and inventors have been able to make much headway.

Several methods have been suggested to eradicate this weed. These include introduction of the
beetle, chemical application and mechanical and manual removal. There are a number of problems associated with each of this method. The beetle may upset the ecological balance since it does not eat the mass.

Chemical application may eventually be a health risk. The risks will spread as far as up the Nile estuary, the Lake Nasser and Nile Irrigation Scheme. It is possible that the flora and fauna along the lake shores, along River Nile as far north as the Mediterranean would also be affected if used in Lake Victoria.

The mechanical removal may have a multiplier effect since the disintegrated hyacinth provides more multiplication material which spreads to other beaches. This method, however, can be very effective if proper mechanical harvesters are used. So far, this has been found to be effective on Lake Victoria and other large water mass.

The manual removal has the advantage that it creates employment, has no serious health hazard risks and no multiplier effects. Further, workers if well remunerated will be able to speed up the eradication of this weed. It may, however, have disadvantages because of the fact that the workers may not want to work faster in order to remain in employment longer. The workers are also exposed to hazards such as snake bites which could be fatal. There is also the possibility of contracting bilharzias from snails found on the hyacinth weed. The major hindrance to this method is the lack of effectiveness on the water mass inside large lakes.

There have been other inventions such as the mowing of the water hyacinth. This method has been seen to be ineffective and to a certain extent, a multiplier effective method due to the mowed hyacinth remains regeneration. This method creates a more aggravated situation making it more difficult to control the hyacinth especially in large masses like Lake Victoria.

The other mechanical method is by static apparatus for sucking and shredding the hyacinth. The shredded hyacinth is automatically discharged into the lake or river. This method does not take into account situation prevailing on large lakes like Lake Victoria nor does it take into account the pollution of large water mass by Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) by decomposing and decaying plant mass. This would be unaccountable in fresh water lakes like Lake Victoria.
 
This invention will hereafter be explained with reference to the drawings herein attached showing the embodiment of the invention by way of diagrams.

Fig. 1 is a side view of the vessel, the harvester blades (1 and 1B), conveyor belt (3) and the compression chamber (5). It also shows the positioning of the generator (11) and engine (12) with other navigational components in the bridge (19).

Fig. 2 is the bird eye view of the harvester vessel showing the positioning of the deck equipments.

Fig. 1 shows in detail the harvester vessel equipped with hyacinth harvester and all equipped equipments for ease of operation of the harvester vessel.

The purpose of this invention by East African Inland Waters Environmental Concern based in Kisumu, Kenya is to control and mechanically remove and destroy water hyacinth in lakes, rivers, large dams etc.

The harvester is mounted on self propelled vessel for easy transportation of the harvester to affected areas of the lakes, rivers etc.

The vessel is tipped at the base of the forecastle (21) to enable the weeds to climb towards the
16 harvester blades as the vessel moves forwards into the weeds. The harvester is composed of a rotary drum (2) fitted with harvesting blades (1)which are in a triangle form and circularly curved inside at the middle and rotating inwards of the vessel. The blades (1) are welded firmly on to the drum (2) to give a firm grip of the weeds from the root and to scoop the same out of water. The vessel is fitted with triangular blades (1B) to alternatively correspond to the harvesting blades. The blades so fitted scoop off the weed as the drum (2) rotates on its own axis mounted onto the inside part of the forecastle. The drum is filled in such a manner as to leave enough room to the tip of the bottom of the harvester vessel.

Once the weeds have been removed by the fixed triangular fork blades (1B), fitted onto the vessel, they drop onto a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt (3) is as fitted as automatically and continually 8 rotate inwardly on drum rollers (4), fitted onto the inside of the harvester vessel.
The weed so collected is carried by a conveyor belt to a compressor unit (6). The conveyor belt is so filled such that it inclines towards the aft of the vessel to enable any water collected during the scooping of the weed to flow aft of the conveyor belt and be automatically discharged back to the lake through the provided side openings (23) by the vessel sides. The deck of the vessel below the conveyor belt is inclined towards the sides from the centre of the vessel to enable the said flow of the water.

The weeds collected in the compressor unit, when full is compressed mechanically by compressor(s). The juice coming out of the compressed weeds flows out through provided for
outlets into a juice collection chamber (7). This process acts as a control to ensure against pollution of the lake by juice which contains several chemical composition and small vegetable matter.

The weed so compressed forms into cakes and are automatically ejected out of the compressor chamber (6). The said cake is mechanically removed onto a provided storage hatch (24) at the aft of the compressor unit.

The vessel is built in such a manner as to provide ballast tanks forward and midship (gand 10). The said tanks will enable the captain of the harvester and vessel to increase or decrease the running draft of the vessel. This is so done to enable easy maneuver of the vessel while sailing to harvest, harvesting and transporting the harvested weeds and extracted juices to the shore.

The vessel is also provided with a generator (11) to supply power to the vessel for ease of operations. The said vessel is also provided with a marine engine (12) of such a horsepower as to enable the vessel to harvest the weeds by a forward movement without restraining the operations of the engine.

Navigation is controlled from a well equipped bridge (19) so as to provide the captain easy maneuverability and control of all mechanical equipment on board the harvester vessel. The vessel is contacted in such a manner and provision to enable a 24 hours operation if and when need arise.

The waste collected i.e. the bales and the juice residue is transported to the shore by the vessel. The bales can thereafter be used as manure or other materials for economic use. The juice is purified on board by a provided for purification unit (8) for discharge back to the lake whiles the juice residue is discharged on shore.

As compared to all other mechanical hyacinth harvesters, this invention is the easiest and most economical to operate with the minimum of mechanical operation problems apart from being the quickest control of hyacinth in lakes and dams.

From the explanation afore discussed and drawings provided, it is a foregone conclusion that the
vessel mounted with mechanical harvester, to compress and bale water hyacinth and other water
vegetation, without leaving any part of the hyacinth in water or polluting the water by leaving any decomposing mass of any kind to enable Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD). This method of vessel mounted mechanical harvester will be the answer to the large water mass especially Lake Victoria which is already dying due to choke from hyacinth. By use of this invention, the Lake Victoria and other large water mass such as Lake Kioga, Naivasha and dams in Zimbabwe will be freed from hyacinth weed and other pollutant vegetation.

This invention is not restricted to the diagrams provided herein which may be varied in different manner and applications within the scope of this invention. It is within the scope of this invention for example to mount and mechanically control the level of harvester drum (2) by mechanically lowering or lifting the harvester drum in correspondence with the height of weeds to be harvested. The conveyor belt (3) may be shortened to give space for chopping of hyacinth stalks for baling for other uses when dry such as mats, chairs, tables etc. The scope of this vessel mounted harvester is unlimited within the harvester vessel.
 
CLAIMS
1.The apparatus of vessel mounted mechanically operated harvester for removing water plants in lakes and dams Comprising of a rotary drum welded with harvesting blades of triangular shape and others of same shape mounted on the inward side of a self propelling vessel for the purpose of harvesting water weeds especially water hyacinth, which when harvested is deposited on a conveyor belt to be delivered or otherwise transferred to a receptor aft of the forecastle and forward of the bridge.

2. Apparatus according to Claim 1 where the harvester deposits, the harvested weeds and
deposits the same on deck of self propelled vessel for whatever disposal use thereof.

3. Apparatus according to Claim 1 and 2 wherein the harvested weed is for whatever reason compressed and baled and the resultant juice purified and the weed baled.

4. Apparatus whereby by use of apparatus named as harvester blades, harvester drum, conveyor belt, conveyor rollers, compressor, compressor box and waste water tank are used on a self or non-self propelled vessel for use as in harvesting water weeds and especially water hyacinth.

5. Apparatus for mechanically removing water weeds especially water hyacinth which is in any way duplication or imitation of apparatus shown in Claim 4.

6. A vessel designed with a wedged base at the forecastle for use for the purpose of the harvesting of water weed and especially the water hyacinth.

   HYACINTH HARVESTING APPARATUS
ABSTRACT

A mechanical apparatus for removing water plants from the lakes and rivers, etc. in particular, water hyacinth from water. The apparatus comprises of a vessel mechanically driven with an inbuilt marine engine which has a wedge shaped bottom at fore castle for delivering the water plants to a harvester in build thereof The harvester picks up the weeds by means of circular blades and rectangular in shape firmly welded on a rotating drum. The weeds are then delivered to forks like blades fixed on to the vessel in such a manner as to remove all the weeds delivered by the harvester. The weeds removed by the fixed fork like receptors, which together with the harvester rotators are rectangular shaped, are deposited unto a conveyor belt. The said conveyor delivers the same to compression chamber. The weeds are then compressed into bales and the juice is delivered by to provide side openings into juice collection chambers for purification. The bales are automatically ejected and delivered onto provided storage hatches.

The vessel is so constructed as to provide proper maneuverability and discharge of any collected
juice residue during harvest. This process provides for the entire removal of the weeds and
preservation of water. The process of juice purification enables the proper maintenance of
is environmental control and ecological balance.

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