Title:
Receptacle with absorbent pack for portable toilets
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The receptacle with absorbent pack comprises a receptacle adapted for positioning beneath the seat of a portable toilet to receive solid and aqueous liquid waste, especially urine. The receptacle is made of a flexible, liquid impermeable, biodegradable material. The receptacle has a volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet. A means for sealing the receptacle liquid tight is provided, such as a zip-lock seal.

Used in combination with the receptacle is an absorbent pack having a liquid absorbing material sealed within a liquid permeable, biodegradable, heat sealed envelope. The liquid absorbing material is an absorbent gelling water-insoluble, water-swellable polymeric material with an optional wicking material. The absorbent pack can include an odor control material and/or an antimicrobial agent as options. One absorbent pack will be added to the receptacle for each use of the portable toilet, until the receptacle is full




Inventors:
Sell, Timothy L. (Plymouth, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/893089
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
08/14/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/144.2
International Classes:
A47K11/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BOECKMANN, JASON J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Andrew W. Ludy (Mt Arlington, NJ, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A receptacle with absorbent pack for use with a portable toilet having a seat, the receptacle with absorbent pack comprising: a receptacle adapted for positioning beneath the seat to receive solid and liquid waste, the receptacle being made of a liquid impermeable material, the receptacle having an upper edge, the receptacle having a predetermined receptacle volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet; receptacle sealing means for sealing the receptacle liquid tight, adjacent the receptacle upper edge; and an absorbent pack for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, the absorbent pack having a liquid permeable envelope, the absorbent pack having a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material sealed within the envelope, so as to store the liquid waste upon absorbing the liquid waste, the absorbent volume being sufficient for one use of the portable toilet, so that one absorbent pack will be added to the receptacle for each use of the portable toilet, until the receptacle is full.

2. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the receptacle sealing means is selected from the group consisting of a zip-lock seal, a hook-and-loop fastener, and an adhesive.

3. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the liquid absorbing material further comprises: a wicking material to acquire and distribute the liquid waste throughout the absorbent pack; and an absorbent gelling material for absorbing and storing the liquid waste.

4. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the absorbent pack further comprises an odor control material.

5. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the absorbent pack further comprises an antimicrobial agent.

6. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the receptacle is made from a biodegradable material.

7. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 1, wherein the envelope is made from a biodegradable material.

8. A receptacle with absorbent pack for use with a portable toilet having a seat, the receptacle with absorbent pack comprising: a receptacle adapted for positioning beneath the seat to receive solid and liquid waste, the receptacle being made of a liquid impermeable material, the receptacle having an upper edge, the receptacle having a liquid tight zip-lock seal adjacent the receptacle upper edge, the receptacle having a predetermined receptacle volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet; and an absorbent pack for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, the absorbent pack having a liquid permeable envelope, the absorbent pack having a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material sealed within the envelope, so as to store the liquid waste upon absorbing the liquid waste, the liquid absorbing material including a wicking material to acquire and distribute the liquid waste throughout the absorbent pack, and an absorbent gelling material for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, the absorbent volume being sufficient for one use of the portable toilet, so that one absorbent pack will be added to the receptacle for each use of the portable toilet, until the receptacle is full.

9. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the envelope sealing means further comprises an adhesive.

10. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the envelope sealing means further comprises heat.

11. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the envelope sealing means further comprises pressure.

12. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the absorbent pack further comprises an odor control material.

13. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the absorbent pack further comprises an antimicrobial agent.

14. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the receptacle is made from a biodegradable material.

15. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 8, wherein the envelope is made from a biodegradable material.

16. A receptacle with absorbent pack for use with a portable toilet having a seat, the receptacle with absorbent pack comprising: a receptacle adapted for positioning beneath the seat to receive solid and aqueous liquid waste, the receptacle being made of a liquid impermeable material, the receptacle having an upper edge, the receptacle having a liquid tight zip-lock seal adjacent the receptacle upper edge, the receptacle having a predetermined receptacle volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet; and an absorbent pack for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, the absorbent pack having a liquid permeable envelope, the absorbent pack having a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material sealed within the envelope, so as to store the liquid waste upon absorbing the liquid waste, the liquid absorbing material including a wicking material to acquire and distribute the liquid waste throughout the absorbent pack, and an absorbent gelling material for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, the absorbent pack having an odor control material, the absorbent volume being sufficient for one use of the portable toilet, so that one absorbent pack will be added to the receptacle for each use of the portable toilet, until the receptacle is full.

17. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 16, wherein the absorbent pack further comprises an antimicrobial agent.

18. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 16, wherein the receptacle is made from a biodegradable material.

19. The receptacle with absorbent pack of claim 16, wherein the envelope is made from a biodegradable material.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of liquid absorbents for toilets, and more particularly to a disposable waste receptacle with an absorbent material filled pack for use with portable toilets.

For families with young children, there are times when the children have to use the potty while traveling. Most of the time this occurs on long trips, but there are such instances even on short trips around town. The best solution for this problem is to keep a child's collapsible potty in the vehicle at all times. A major disadvantage is cleaning the potty after each use, especially on extended trips. One solution is to attach a disposable bag to the toilet. Bags currently available have sufficient volume for several uses, but cannot easily be sealed between uses. It is quicker and more convenient to have the children use the same bag several times before changing. This also reduces the waste of using so many bags. An absorbent material layer is sometimes included with the bag, but is sufficient for only one use. For repeated usage of the same bag, provision must be made to add absorbent for each use. This would prevent spillage of liquids in the car, should the potty accidentally overturn. Further, the absorbent should include deodorant and antibacterial agents to reduce the odor and germ content in between bag changes.

Disposable waste bags with absorbents are known in the art and have taken a variety of configurations. Some examples are as follows:

Wyatt, U.S. Pat. No. 4,996,727; Stewart, U.S. Pat. No. 4,882,794; Sams, U.S. Pat. No. 5,155,871; Abbott, U.S. Pat. No. 6,625,823; Booth-Cox, U.S. Pat. No. 4,759,086; Thomas, U.S. Pat. No. 6,070,277; Williams, U.S. Pat. No. 5,455,972; and Ernest, U.S. Pat. No. 7,171,699; each discloses a disposable waste bag having an absorbent material to imbibe liquids. The bag is sealable after use with adhesive strips, tie strips, or a drawstring.

These waste bags present several problems. Adhesive strip seals may leak if the strip is not applied properly, or if there is moisture on the sealing surface. Tying two opposing strips or ears together does not provide a liquid tight seal. A drawstring-sealed bag is not liquid tight. The absorbent material is integral with the bag, and is sufficient for only one use. If the potty is used several times, not all of the liquid will be absorbed.

Accordingly, there is a need to provide a disposable waste receptacle and absorbent pack system for use with portable toilets that can easily and reliably be sealed liquid tight for clean temporary storage in the car, and easy disposal.

There is a further need to provide a disposable waste receptacle and absorbent pack system of the type described and that provides separate gel packs for multiple uses.

There is a yet further need to provide a disposable waste receptacle and absorbent pack system of the type described and that will not require cleaning after each use.

There is a still further need to provide a receptacle and absorbent pack of the type described and that includes deodorant and antibacterial agents to reduce the odor and germ content.

There is an additional need to provide a receptacle and absorbent pack of the type described and that can be manufactured cost-effectively in large quantities of high quality.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a receptacle with absorbent pack for use in connection with a portable toilet having a seat. The receptacle with absorbent pack comprises a receptacle adapted for positioning beneath the seat to receive solid and aqueous liquid waste, especially urine. The receptacle is made of a flexible, liquid impermeable material. Ideally, the receptacle will be made of a material that is biodegradable under conditions of prolonged exposure to moisture, sunlight, heat, or microbes.

The receptacle has a predetermined receptacle volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet. The receptacle has an upper edge and a means for sealing the receptacle liquid tight adjacent the receptacle upper edge. Preferably, the sealing means is a zip-lock seal, but can be a hook-and-loop fastener, or an adhesive.

Used in combination with the receptacle is an absorbent pack for absorbing and storing the liquid waste. The absorbent pack has a liquid permeable envelope. The envelope is preferably made of a material that is biodegradable within a predetermined time frame. The absorbent pack has a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material sealed within the envelope. The liquid absorbing material absorbs and stores the liquid waste. The liquid absorbing material is preferably composed of an absorbent gelling water-insoluble, water-swellable polymeric material.

The envelope is sealed by any of several means, including heat, pressure, or adhesive. The absorbent volume is sufficient for one use of the portable toilet. In practice, one absorbent pack will be added to the receptacle for each use of the portable toilet, until the receptacle is full. In between uses, the receptacle can be temporarily sealed to preclude spillage and control odors.

The absorbent pack can include an odor control material and/or an antimicrobial agent as options.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained from consideration of the following description in conjunction with the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable toilet, showing installation of a receptacle with absorbent pack constructed in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the receptacle of FIG. 1, shown in the folded condition.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the receptacle of FIG. 1, shown in the open condition with the absorbent pack inside.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 1, taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 1, taken from detail 6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a top view of another absorbent pack constructed in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 7, taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged detail view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 7, taken from detail 9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a top view of yet another absorbent pack constructed in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 10, taken along lines 11-11 of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged detail view of the absorbent pack of FIG. 10, taken from detail 12 of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawing, and especially to FIGS. 1-6 thereof, a receptacle with absorbent pack is shown at 20, and is for use in connection with a portable toilet 22 having a seat 24. An example of such a portable toilet 22 is shown in patent application Ser. No. 11/493,683, filed on Jul. 26, 2006 by this applicant, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein. The receptacle with absorbent pack 20 comprises a receptacle 26 adapted for positioning beneath the seat 24 to receive solid and aqueous liquid waste, especially urine. The receptacle 26 is made of a flexible, liquid impermeable material. Examples of suitable polymeric materials are polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, etc. Ideally, the receptacle 26 will be made of a material that is biodegradable under conditions of prolonged exposure to moisture, sunlight, heat, or microbes. Such material would have to be liquid impermeable for a period of time after use of the toilet, and then biodegrade upon disposal. Polymers can be rendered biodegradable by the addition of chemical linkages such as anhydride, ester, or amide bonds, among others well known in the art. Other degradable polymers include polyhydroxyalkanoates of the PHB-PHV class, and some polyesters. Certain naturally occurring polysaccharides will biodegrade. Examples are starch, cellulose, and chitosan.

The receptacle 26 has a predetermined receptacle volume sufficient for multiple use of the portable toilet 22. The receptacle 26 has an upper edge 28 and a means for sealing the receptacle 26 liquid tight adjacent the receptacle upper edge 28. Preferably, the sealing means 30 is a zip-lock seal 30, but can be a hook-and-loop fastener, or an adhesive, or any closing and sealing means common in the art.

Used in combination with the receptacle 26 is an absorbent pack 32 for absorbing and storing the liquid waste. The absorbent pack 32 has a liquid permeable envelope 34. The envelope 34 is preferably made of a material that is biodegradable within a predetermined time frame, and may also be allowed to disintegrate rapidly upon contact with the liquid waste. Any number of paper materials well known would be suitable, such as starch paper. The biodegradable polymers would also be suitable, as long as the material is water permeable. The absorbent pack 32 has a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material 36 sealed within the envelope 34. The liquid absorbing material 36 absorbs and stores the liquid waste. The liquid absorbing material 36 is preferably composed of an absorbent gelling water-insoluble, water-swellable polymeric material. The liquid absorbing material should allow distribution of aqueous liquid throughout the material layer, without exhibiting the gel-blocking problem. Examples of liquid absorbing materials are discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,304,161 issued on 19 Apr. 1994 to Noel et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

The envelope 34 is sealed by any of several means, including heat, pressure, or adhesive. A layer of material 38 conducive to heat-sealing can be coated on the inside of the envelope 34, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The coating 38 need not extend across the entire envelope 34, but can be confined to the areas 40 to be bonded together. An example of such heat-sealing material is polyvinyl acetate, but many alternatives, including adhesives, are known in the art. The absorbent volume is sufficient for one use of the portable toilet 22. In practice, one absorbent pack 32 will be added to the receptacle 26 for each use of the portable toilet 22, until the receptacle 26 is full. In between uses, the receptacle 26 can be temporarily sealed to preclude spillage and control odors.

The absorbent pack 32 can include an odor control material and/or an antimicrobial agent as options (not shown). Common odor control materials include activated carbons, clays, zeolites, silicas, starches, cyclodextrine, ion exchange resins, etc. Cationic polysaccharides, such as chitosan, are believed to act as antimicrobial agents. Many other examples are known by those skilled in the art. These materials are discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,225,524, issued on 1 May 2001 to Guarracino; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,960,655, issued on 1 Nov. 2005 to Di Cintio et al.

Turning now to FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, as well as FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, another embodiment of the absorbent pack is shown at 132, and is similar to the absorbent pack 32 described above, in that the absorbent pack 132 is for use with the receptacle 26 in connection with a portable toilet 22 having a seat 24.

Used in combination with the receptacle 26 is an absorbent pack 132 for absorbing and storing the liquid waste. The absorbent pack 132 has a liquid permeable envelope 134. The envelope 134 is preferably made of a material that is biodegradable. The envelope 134 is sealed by any of several means 138, including heat, pressure, adhesive, or stitching. The absorbent pack 132 has a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material 136 sealed within the envelope 134. The liquid absorbing material 136 absorbs and stores the liquid waste. The liquid absorbing material 136 is preferably composed of an absorbent gelling water-insoluble, water-swellable polymeric material. The absorbent volume is sufficient for one use of the portable toilet 22. The absorbent pack 132 can include an odor control material and/or an antimicrobial agent as options (not shown).

The absorbent pack 132 differs from the absorbent pack 32 in that the liquid absorbing material 136 includes an outer layer or two layers of wicking material 141 to acquire and distribute the liquid waste throughout the absorbent pack 132. Sandwiched in between the outer layers 141 is a layer of an absorbent gelling material 142 described above for absorbing and storing the liquid waste.

Referring now to FIGS. 10, 11, and 12, as well as FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, yet another embodiment of the absorbent pack is shown at 232, and is similar to the absorbent pack 32 described above, in that the absorbent pack 232 is for use with the receptacle 26 in connection with a portable toilet 22 having a seat 24.

Used in combination with the receptacle 26 is an absorbent pack 232 for absorbing and storing the liquid waste. The absorbent pack 232 has a liquid permeable envelope 234. The envelope 234 is preferably made of a material that is biodegradable. The envelope 234 is sealed by any of several means 238, including heat, pressure, adhesive, or stitching. The absorbent pack 232 has a predetermined absorbent volume of a liquid absorbing material 236 sealed within the envelope 234. The liquid absorbing material 236 absorbs and stores the liquid waste. The liquid absorbing material 236 is preferably composed of an absorbent gelling water-insoluble, water-swellable polymeric material. The absorbent volume is sufficient for one use of the portable toilet 22. The absorbent pack 232 can include an odor control material and/or an antimicrobial agent as options (not shown).

The absorbent pack 232 differs from the absorbent pack 32 in that the liquid absorbing material 236 includes a wicking material 241 to acquire and distribute the liquid waste throughout the absorbent pack 232. An absorbent gelling material 242, described above for absorbing and storing the liquid waste, is mixed homogeneously with the wicking material 241.

Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the best mode of carrying out the invention. Details of the structure may be varied substantially without departing from the spirit of the invention and the exclusive use of all modifications that will come within the scope of the appended claims is reserved.

PARTS LIST

Receptacle with Absorbent Pack for Portable Toilets

Part

No. Description

  • 20 receptacle with absorbent pack
  • 22 portable toilet
  • 24 portable toilet seat
  • 26 receptacle
  • 28 receptacle upper edge
  • 30 zip-lock seal
  • 32 absorbent pack
  • 34 envelope
  • 36 liquid absorbing material
  • 38 sealing material
  • 40 sealing material areas
  • 132 absorbent pack
  • 134 envelope
  • 136 liquid absorbing material
  • 138 sealing material
  • 141 wicking material
  • 142 absorbent gelling material
  • 232 absorbent pack
  • 234 envelope
  • 236 liquid absorbing material
  • 238 sealing material
  • 241 wicking material
  • 242 absorbent gelling material