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Details for Patent: 4,736,755

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Details for Patent: 4,736,755

Title: Method of loading nicotine into porous polymeric items
Abstract:A method of loading nicotine into porous polymeric items consisting essentially of a polyolefin. The method comprises contacting the items with nicotine or nicotine dissolved in a carrier. The polyolefin item, preferably polyethylene or polypropylene, may be loaded with nicotine by several variations on the basic method. The items may be emplaced in a vessel with nicotine and the vessel then closed for a period of time prior to removal of said items. A preferred method of producing porous polyethylene items loaded with nicotine comprises first emplacing porous polyethylene items in a vessel. A solution comprising between about 1% nicotine and about 10% nicotine and a solvent for nicotine demonstrating an adherence for polyethylene surfaces is prepared. A quantity of this solution sufficient to contact at least a majority of the polyethylene items is added to the vessel. Excess solution is then drained from the items and the solvent evaporated from the items to produce porous polyethylene items loaded with nicotine.
Inventor(s): Oldham; Ronald G. (San Antonio, TX), Ellis; Michael P. (San Antonio, TX), Hill; Ira D. (Locust, NJ)
Assignee: Advanced Tobacco Products (San Antonio, TX)
Filing Date:Jan 08, 1986
Application Number:06/817,440
Claims:1. A method of producing porous polyethylene or polypropylene items loaded with nicotine, the method comprising:

emplacing said items and nicotine in a vessel wherein said nicotine comes into contact with said items;

closing said vessel for a period of time; and

removing said items loaded with nicotine from the vessel.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the polyolefin or polyolefindiene is polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutadiene, poly-1-butene, polyisobutylene, polyisoprene, poly-4-methyl-1-pentene or combinations thereof.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the polyethylene or polypropylene is polyethylene.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the nicotine in the vessel is nicotine liquid.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the nicotine in the vessel is nicotine vapor.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the nicotine in the vessel is included in a solution with a fluid solvent, the fluid solvent having adherence for polyethylene or polypropylene surfaces.

7. The method of claim 6 where the solution comprises between about 1% and about 10% nicotine.

8. A method of producing porous polyolefin items loaded with nicotine, the method comprising:

emplacing the porous polyolefin items in a vessel;

preparing a solution comprising between about 1% nicotine and about 10% nicotine and a fluid solvent for nicotine, the fluid solvent demonstrating an adherence to polyolefin surfaces;

adding to the vessel a quantity of the solution sufficient to contact at least a majority of the polyolefin items;

draining excess solution from the items; and

evaporating solvent from the drained items to produce porous polyolefin items loaded with nicotine.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the porous polymeric items consist essentially of polyethylene or polypropylene.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the porous polymeric items consist essentially of polyethylene.

11. The method of claim 8 or 1 wherein the nicotine is d-nicotine, l-nicotine or dl-nicotine.

12. The method of claim 8 wherein the polyolefin is polyethylene or polypropylene.

13. The method of claim 8 wherein the polyolefin is polyethylene.

14. The method of claim 8 wherein the solvent demonstrating an adherence to a polyolefin surface and has a boiling point less than about 200.degree. C.

15. The method of claim 8 wherein the porous polyolefin items are porous plugs suitable for use in a nicotine dispenser with a cigarette shape.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein a void volume of the plugs is determined by observing the amount of a wetting solvent retained by said plugs.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein a desired amount of nicotine per plug is determined by preparing a nicotine solution so that the desired amount of nicotine per plug is contained in a volume of the solution about equal to the void volume of a plug.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the desired amount of nicotine per plug is about 10 mg and the solution comprises about 5.4 weight percent nicotine.

19. The method of claim 8 wherein, immediately after the adding step, a step is added comprising:

partially evacuating the vessel to substantially degas the porous polymeric items.

20. A method of producing porous polyolefin items loaded with nicotine, the method comprising:

contacting porous polyolefin items with a solution comprising a solvent for nicotine and between about 1% nicotine and about 10% nicotine, the solvent having a boiling point below about 200.degree. C. and an adherence for polyolefin surfaces;

draining excess solution from the items; and

evaporating solvent from the drained items to produce polyolefin items loaded with nicotine.

21. A method of loading nicotine into porous polyolefin items, the method comprising:

immerging porous polyolefin items in a solution comprising a solvent for nicotine and between about 1% nicotine and about 10% nicotine, the solvent having a boiling point below about 200.degree. C. and having adherence for polyolefin surfaces;

exposing said immerged items at least once to a partial vacuum to degas said items;

draining excess solution from the items; and

evaporating solvent from the drained items to produce porous polyolefin items loaded with nicotine.

22. The method of claim 20 or 21 wherein the porous polyolefin items comprise polyethylene and the solvent consists essentially of ethanol.

23. A method of loading nicotine into porous polymeric items consisting essentially of a polyolefin or polyolefindiene, the method comprising: contacting said items with liquid nicotine in a closed vessel.

24. A method of loading nicotine into porous polymeric items consisting essentially of a polyolefin or polyolefindiene, the method comprising: contacting said items with a solution comprising nicotine and a fluid solvent with adherence for a polyolefin or polyolefindiene surface.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein the solution comprises between about 1% and about 10% nicotine.

26. The method of claim 24 wherein the additional steps are added of:

draining excess solution from the items; and

evaporating fluid solvent from the drained items.

27. The method of claim 8, 24 or 6 wherein the fluid solvent is an alkyl alcohol with between one and eight carbon atoms, a paraffin or olefin with between one and six carbon atoms, a ketone with between three and eight carbon atoms, an aliphatic ether with between two and six carbon atoms, an aliphatic ester with between four and six carbon atoms, liquid CO.sub.2, or halogenated paraffins having between one and six carbon atoms.

28. The method of claim 8, 24 or 6 wherein the fluid solvent consists essentially of methanol, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol or a mixture thereof.

29. The method of claim 8, 24 or 6 wherein the solvent consists essentially of ethanol.

30. The method of claim 23, 1 or 8 wherein the nicotine is accompanied by an anti-oxidant.

31. The method of claim 30 wherein the anti-oxidant is butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, propyl gallate or tertiary butyl hydroxyquinone.

32. The method of claim 23, 1 or 8 wherein the nicotine is accompanied by a flavorant.

33. The method of claim 32 wherein the flavorant is menthol, tobacco extract or a mixture thereof.

34. The method of claim 8, 24 or 6 wherein the fluid solvent is supercritical fluid CO.sub.2, N.sub.2 or NH.sub.3.

35. The method of claim 8, 24 or 6 wherein the fluid solvent is liquid CO.sub.2.
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