British American Tobacco has been granted a patent for an aerosol delivery device that includes a housing with an air pathway, a reservoir for a liquid composition, an intermediate chamber to store a portion of the liquid, a micropump to deliver the liquid from the reservoir to the chamber, and a mesh layer to transfer the liquid into the air pathway, creating an aerosol. GlobalData’s report on British American Tobacco gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on British American Tobacco, Self-extinguishing cigarettes was a key innovation area identified from patents. British American Tobacco's grant share as of September 2023 was 45%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Aerosol delivery device with a micropump and mesh layer

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: British American Tobacco Plc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771136B2) describes an aerosol delivery device that aims to provide an improved method of delivering aerosols. The device includes a housing with an air pathway, a reservoir for a liquid composition, an intermediate chamber to store a fraction of the liquid, and a micropump to deliver the liquid from the reservoir to the intermediate chamber under pressure. A mesh layer is positioned between the intermediate chamber and the air pathway to transfer the liquid into the air pathway, creating an aerosol.

The patent claims that the micropump can be selected from various types, including centrifugal, ring, rotary, diaphragm, peristaltic, and step micropumps. The housing has openings to allow air to be drawn into the air pathway when a user applies a drawing force to the device. Additionally, the device may include a forced air component, such as a micro-compressor pump or a micro-blower, to draw air from outside the housing through the air pathway.

The intermediate chamber is described as disk-shaped and connected to the mesh layer. The device may also have a second chamber connected to the intermediate chamber and the reservoir. The liquid composition in the reservoir is a water-based aerosol precursor composition, which may contain water, polyhydric alcohol, tobacco, flavorants, acids, nicotine, botanicals, nutraceuticals, stimulants, amino acids, vitamins, cannabinoids, or combinations thereof.

The device includes an input element operated by the user and in communication with a control component. This control component regulates the amount of liquid transferred from the reservoir to the intermediate chamber via the micropump. The input element allows the user to adjust the amount of nicotine or total particulate matter released per puff.

The mesh layer, which transfers the liquid into the air pathway, can be made of a porous mesh or porous ceramic material. It may have a linear or curved shape and contain a plurality of openings. The diameter of these openings may vary from the inner surface to the outer surface of the mesh layer.

Other features of the device include a replaceable or refillable reservoir, a power source, a second control component to regulate power output, and a mouthpiece portion to receive and release the aerosol.

The patent also mentions the possibility of heating the mesh layer, which would increase its surface energy compared to a non-heated mesh layer.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.