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Title:
CIGARETTE LIGHTER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/054730
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
A lighter (1) comprising a heater (H) capable of pre-heating a tip (3b) of a cigarette, without igniting the tip of the cigarette (3) and means (5) capable of igniting the pre-heated tip (3b) of the cigarette.

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Inventors:
LIU, Chuan (British American Tobacco, R & D Centre Regents Park Roa, Millbrook Southampton SO15 8TL, GB)
Application Number:
GB2006/004229
Publication Date:
August 23, 2007
Filing Date:
November 13, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (INVESTMENTS) LIMITED (Globe House, 1 Water Street, London WC2R 3LA, GB)
LIU, Chuan (British American Tobacco, R & D Centre Regents Park Roa, Millbrook Southampton SO15 8TL, GB)
International Classes:
F23Q7/16; A24C5/34
Foreign References:
US20040149737A12004-08-05
DE19651926A11998-06-18
US4574181A1986-03-04
DE4339238A11995-05-18
US20030154991A12003-08-21
US4774970A1988-10-04
DE19854008A12000-05-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIES, Simon et al. (D Young & Co, 120 Holborn, London EC1N 2DY, GB)
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Claims:

CLAMS

1. A lighter comprising means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article; which means is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

2. A lighter according to claim 1, further comprising a controller, which is capable of controlling the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article such that the tip is heated for a predetermined period of time and/or to a temperature in a predetermined range.

3. A lighter according to claim 2 wherein said controller is capable of actuating the means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip such that the tip is ignited.

4. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article comprises a recess into which the smoking article is insertable.

5. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article comprises one or more pins, such that the pin or pins are capable of penetrating the end of the smoking article.

6. A lighter according to claim 5, wherein the one or more pins are of a nichrome stainless steel material.

7. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the predetermined heating temperature range is 100 to 600 0 C.

8. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the predetermined heating temperature range is 250 0 C to 275 0 C.

9. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the predetermined heating time is up to 60 seconds.

10. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the predetermined heating time is 1 to 2 seconds.

11. A lighter according to any one of claims 4 to 10, wherein a heating length as provided by the recess is up to 10mm.

12. A lighter according to any one of claims 4 to 11, wherein a heating length as provided by the recess is in the range of 4 to 6mm.

13. A lighter according to any preceding claim, further comprising a ready indicator, which is capable of indicating that the smoking article has been heated for a predetermined period of time and/or to a predetermined temperature and is ready to be ignited.

14. A lighter according to claim 13, wherein the ready indicator is a visual indicator.

15. A lighter according to claim 13 or 14, wherein the ready indicator is an audible signal.

16. A lighter according to claim 12, 13 or 14, wherein the ready indicator is a continuous or intermittent signal.

17. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article comprises a heater, which is capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article and is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

18. A lighter according to any one of claims 1 to 16, wherein a heater provides the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and an igniter provides means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

19. A lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a smoking indicator, which indicates that the smoking article is ignited and ready for smoking.

20. A method comprising, in the following order, the steps of: (a) preheating the tip of a smoking article with means capable of preheating, without igniting the smoking article; and (b) igniting the pre-heated tip.

21. A method according to claim 20, wherein the step of preheating the tip of a smoking article is for a predetermined period of time and/or to a temperature in a predetermined range.

22. A method according to any one of claims 20 or 21, further comprising removing the ignited smoking article from the means capable of pre-heating for smoking.

23. A testing device comprising means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article; which means is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article; and a detector capable of detecting constituents of mainstream smoke.

24. A testing device according to claim 23, further comprising an alignment member, which is capable of aligning the tip of a smoking article with the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article.

25. A testing device according to claim 23 or claim 24, further comprising a controller, which controls the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article such that the tip is heated for a predetermined period of time and/or to a temperature in a predetermined range.

26. A testing device according to any one of claims 23 to 25, further comprising a plurality of channels wherein, each channel is operable to receive a smoking article.

27. A testing device according to claim 26, wherein a rotary smoking machine provides the plurality of channels.

28. A testing device according to claim 26 or claim 27, wherein one of the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and the plurality of channels move relative to the other one of the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and the plurality of channels.

29. A testing device according to any one of claims 26 to 28, wherein the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article is located at a channel preceding a smoking/puff channel.

30. A testing device according to claim 29, wherein an igniter located at the smoking/puff channel provides means capable of subsequently igniting the preheated tip of the smoking article.

31. A testing device according to any one of claims 26 to 28, wherein the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and a smoking/puff channel are located at the same channel, wherein the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article also provides means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

32. A testing device according to claim 30 or 31, wherein the controller is capable of actuating the means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article to ignite the pre-heated tip.

33. A method of detecting constituents of mainstream smoke from a first puff of a smoking article comprising, in the following order, the steps of:

(a) pre-heating the tip of a smoking article without igniting the tip of a smoking article; (b) igniting the tip of the smoking article and simultaneously applying the first puff; and (c) detecting constituents of mainstream smoke yields from the first puff.

34. A method according to claim 33, wherein the step of pre-heating the tip of the smoking article is for a predetermined period of time and/or to a temperature in a predetermined range.

35. A method according to claim 33 or 34, further comprising the step (d) extinguishing the smoking article.

36. A lighter as substantially described herein and with reference to Figures Ia, Ib, Ic and Id.

37. A method as substantially described herein and with reference to Figure 2.

38. A testing device as substantially described herein and with reference to Figures 3, 4a, 4b and 4c.

39. A method of detecting constituents of mainstream smoke yields as substantially described herein and with reference to Figure 3b.

Description:

CIGARETTE LIGHTER

The present invention relates to lighters of cigarettes or other smoking articles for example, cigars and cigarillos.

It is known that the yields of, for example, formaldehyde and benzo[a]pyrene, and other known analytes, in mainstream smoke (MS) are higher in the first puff of a cigarette than subsequent puffs. The higher MS yields are believed to be due to a region downstream of the burning tip not being heated by the previous puff. It is considered that reducing the MS yields of these compounds produced by the first puff will significantly reduce the total MS yields produced by the cigarette.

Accordingly, a first aspect of the present invention provides a- lighter, comprising means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article; which means is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

Preferably, the lighter further comprises a controller, which is capable of controlling the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article such that the tip is heated for a predetermined period of time and/or to a temperature in a predetermined range.

Preferably, the controller is capable of actuating the means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of a cigarette such that the pre-heated tip of a cigarette is ignited. Ignition may occur with or without air flowing through the tip of a cigarette, that is to say, whether the cigarette is puffed or unpuffed on ignition thereof.

The means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article may comprise a heating element, which is capable of heating the surface of the rod end only. Preferably, the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article comprises a recess into which the smoking article may be inserted. The recess facilitates pre-heating the end of the smoking article and at least part of the outer surface of the smoking article.

Preferably, the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article further comprises one or more pins. Preferably, the pin or pins penetrate the end of the tobacco rod of the smoking article such that the tobacco is heated from inside the

tobacco rod. The means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article may comprise a combination of the recess and the pin or pins. Preferably the distribution of the pins at the cross-section is uniform so as to provide even heating and/or lighting over the cross-section.

Advantageously, the combination of a recess and pin or pins facilitates heating the rod end, a length of the surface of the tobacco rod and a length of the tobacco, which is heated from inside the tobacco rod. Furthermore, arranging the pin or pins at the base of the recess may reduce the risk of injury to the user due to the operating temperatures of the means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article.

The predetermined heating temperature range may be 100 to 600 0 C. Preferably, the predetermined heating temperature range is 250°C to 275°C.

The predetermined heating time may be in the range of 0 to 60 seconds. Preferably, the predetermined heating time is in the range of 1 to 2 seconds.

A heating length as provided by the recess may be up to 10mm. Preferably, the heating length as provided by the recess is in the range of 4 to 6mm.

The lighter further may comprise a ready indicator, which indicates that the smoking article has been heated and is at the predetermined temperature and is ready to be ignited. A visual indicator may provide the ready indicator visually. A visual indicator may be a flashing light or a LED. Alternatively, or in addition to the visual indicator, the ready indicator may be provided by an audible signal. Examples of audible signals are a buzzer, bleep or the like. The signal may be continuous or intermittent.

The means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article may comprise a heater, which is capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article and is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

Alternatively, a heater provides the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and an igniter provides means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article.

The lighter may further comprise a smoking indicator, which indicates that the smoking article has been ignited and is ready for smoking. Advantageously, the smoking indicator indicates to the smoker that the smoking article should be removed from the lighter. The igniter may be switched off automatically simultaneously with activation of the smoking indicator.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a method comprising, in the following order, the steps of: (a) preheating the tip of a smoking article without igniting the smoking article; and (b) igniting the pre-heated tip.

Preferably, preheating the tip of a smoking article is for a predetermined period of time and to a temperature in a predetermined range.

Preferably, following step (b), above, the method comprises removing the ignited smoking article for smoking in a conventional manner.

A third aspect of the present invention provides a testing device comprising means capable of pre-heating a tip of a smoking article, without igniting the tip of the smoking article; which means is capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip of the smoking article; and a detector capable of detecting constituents of mainstream smoke.

Preferably, the testing device further comprises an alignment member. The alignment member assists alignment of the smoking article with the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article.

Means of bringing the heater, and the smoking article into contact and means of separating the heater and smoking article may also be provided.

Preferably, the testing device further comprises a controller, which controls the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article such that the tip is heated for a predetermined period of time and to a temperature in a predetermined range

The testing device may comprise a single smoking channel. Preferably, the testing device comprises a plurality of channels. A rotary smoking machine may provide the plurality of channels. A 20-channel rotary smoking machine may provide the plurality of channels. Alternatively, the testing device may be arranged linearly. Preferably, one of the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and the plurality of channels move relative to the other one of the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and the plurality of channels.

Preferably, the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article is located at a channel preceding a smoking/puff channel.

An igniter located at the smoking/puffing channel may provide the means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip.

The means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article may provide the means capable of subsequently igniting the pre-heated tip. Therefore, the means capable of pre-heating the tip of a smoking article and the smoking/puff channel may be located at the same channel.

Preferably, the controller is capable of actuating the means capable of igniting the pre- heated tip.

A fourth aspect of the^resent invention provides a method of detecting constituents of mainstream smoke in a first puff of a smoking article comprising, in the following order, the steps of: (a) pre-heating the tip of a smoking article without igniting the tip of a smoking article; (b) igniting the tip of the smoking article whilst simultaneously applying the first puff; and (c) detecting constituents of mainstream smoke in the first puff.

Preferably, the step of pre-heating the tip of the smoking article is for a predetermined period of time to a temperature in a predetermined range.

As discussed above, the yields of certain constituents in mainstream smoke (MS) are considered higher in the first puff of a smoking article than subsequent puffs. Therefore, it is preferable following the step of detecting the constituents from the first puff that the tip of the smoking article is extinguished.

Embodiments of the present invention will be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure Ia shows a schematic block diagram of a pre-heating lighter in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures Ib, Ic and Id show different configurations for the lighter of figure Ia; namely figure Ib illustrates recess heating, figure Ic illustrates end heating and figure Id illustrates internal heating;

Figure 2 shows a flow diagram, which illustrates the operation and control of a lighter as illustrated in figures Ia to Id;

Figure 3 illustrates one arrangement of a testing device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 4a and 4b illustrate examples of the heater arrangement for the testing device of figure 3; and

Figure 4c illustrates in more detail an alignment member as shown in figures 4a and 4b.

Referring to Figure Ia, a lighter 1 is illustrated, which comprises a casing/housing 2. The housing 2 has an opening 2a for receiving a conventional cigarette 3. Inside the casing, adjacent the opening 2a is a heater R, as illustrated in figures Ia, Ib, Ic and Id. The opening 2a may be recessed.

Referring to figure Ia, the heater R may be in the form of a tube, which surrounds an end portion of the cigarette 3 when inserted through the opening 2a. The heater R has an electrical heating element H (not shown in figure Ia). The heater R heats the tip of the cigarette 3 as well as heating a portion of the length of the cigarette 3. The

arrangement is such that a length up to 10mm is heated (for example 4 to 6mm is heated); the heated length approximates as closely as possible to the length of a fully burning coal of a lit cigarette.

Referring to Figure Ib, the heater R comprises an electrical heating element H capable of uniformly heating the end surface of the cigarette, which heats the casing surrounding the cigarette end 3b such that the heater R heats the tip 3b of the cigarette and a portion of the length of the cigarette 3. The arrangement is such that a length up to 10mm is heated (for example 4 to 6mm).

Referring to figure Ic, the heater R may be located within the opening 2a of the casing 2, but arranged to be substantially flush with the outer wall of the casing 2 such that only the cigarette tip 3b is heated directly.

Referring to figure Id, the heater may comprise one or more pins P, which are designed to penetrate the tobacco at the tip 3b of the cigarette 3. The pin(s) P are of a nichrome stainless steel material. The pin(s) P are heated by the heating element H. The heated pin(s) P heat the tobacco in the tip 3b of the cigarette 3. The heating arrangement, as illustrated in figure Id, is arranged to heat the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 and to heat, both internally and externally, an end portion of the cigarette 3. The arrangement is such that a length up to 10mm is heated (for example 4 to 6mm in length).

Referring to figure 1 a, the heater R may be a tubular shape.

Preferably, a battery 6 via a switch 4 powers the heating element H.

The heater R may be capable of igniting the cigarette end 3b. However, in another embodiment, as illustrated in figure Ia, a separate igniter 5 is provided. The igniter 5 is arranged such that the cigarette 3 may be lit in the conventional manner. The cigarette 3 is ignited by activation of the igniter 5. Simultaneously, with activation of the igniter 5 the smoker draws (puffs) on the exposed end 3 a, which may be filtered, of the cigarette 3 to draw air into the cigarette 3 and effect lighting.

In figure Ia the lighter 1 is shown to have an air inlet Al in the housing 2 to allow a passage of air from outside the housing 2 through the cigarette 3 when the smoker puffs on the cigarette 3. The air inlet Al may not be essential.

A controller 8 controls the function of the lighter 1 and operates in accordance with the flow chart illustrated in Figure 2. The operation of the controller is discussed below.

The lighter has a switch 7, which maybe manually activated to actuate the igniter 5. In the example shown, the switch 7 controls the controller 8. Alternatively, the switch may isolate the battery 6.

Inserting a cigarette through the opening 2a into the heater R may activate the switch 7.

The controller 8 provides means for controlling the temperature of the tip 3b of the cigarette 3, and the duration of heating.

A temperature sensor 9 senses the temperature to which the end portion and/or tip 3b of the cigarette 3 is heated. When the tip of the cigarette 3 reaches a suitable temperature for a desired duration the controller 8 activates the igniter 5 to light the cigarette 3. Activation of the lighter 5 by the controller 8 may be automatic or, alternatively, may be via a signal to the smoker to ignite the cigarette.

The controller 8 activates a signal to alert the smoker that the cigarette 3 is ready for lighting. The signal may be visual, for example a flashing light and/or audible, for example a buzzer. A visual and/or audible indication that the igniter 5 has actuated is useful, because the smoker is alerted to the need to draw air through the cigarette 3 to assist ignition.

Once ignited, the cigarette is withdrawn from the lighter to be smoked in a conventional manner.

The smoker may be alerted to the need to withdraw the cigarette from the lighter for smoking by a visual and/or audible indication that the igniter 5 has actuated.

Referring to figure 2, the controller 8 operates in accordance with the flow diagram illustrated.

At step S2 the switch 7 is operated to activate the lighter 1. In the example shown, the controller 8 senses operation of the switch 7 and at step S4, the heater R is actuated to commence heating the tip 3b of the cigarette 3.

The temperature sensor 9, which may be a thermocouple, or a heat flux detector, forms part of the control loop to sense the temperature of the heated tip 3b. The heater H heats the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 without igniting the cigarette 3.

Steps S4, S6 and S 8 indicate the control of the temperature T. The heater H remains switched on for a period of time TP R until a predetermined temperature T is achieved.

In the example illustrated the temperature T is in the range of 100 0 C to 600 0 C.

Preferably, the tip of the cigarette 3 is heated to a temperature in the range of 250 0 C to

275°C. A timer (not illustrated) may be included in the controller 7, which timer causes the heater to remain switched on at a temperature in the desired range (250 0 C to 275°C) for a pre-set period of time, for example one (1) to two (2) seconds.

When the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 reaches the required temperature an indicator 10 is activated by step SlO to indicate that the cigarette tip 3b has been heated and is at a temperature T suitable for igniting.

The cigarette is ignited at step S 12.

The heater H may be switched off simultaneously with the igniter 5 being ignited.

The control loop may comprise a further indication step S 13, wherein an indicator 14 may indicate that the cigarette has been ignited and is ready for smoking. Referring to figures Ia, Ib and Id, the additional indicator (not illustrated) indicates to the smoker that the cigarette 3 is ready for smoking in the conventional manner and therefore indicates that the cigarette 3 should be removed from the lighter.

Referring to figure 2, step S 14 controls switching the igniter 5 off. Preferably, the igniter 5 switches off automatically simultaneously with removal of the cigarette 3 from the lighter 1.

Referring to figure 3, for the purposes of experiment/test a device 22 that can heat the tip of a cigarette 3 to various temperatures and for various times is incorporated into a rotary smoking machine 20. The device 22 operates on the same principles as the lighter 1 described above, except that under normal operating conditions in a rotary smoking machine 20 there is no need for the device 22 to ignite the smoking article due to the rotary smoking machine having a puffing port/channel. For example, in 20- channel Borgwaldt smoking machine the puffing port/channel is at the first port/channel. Therefore, it will be appreciated that when used in a conventional smoldng machine the device 22 does not need to ignite the cigarette. However, it will also be appreciated that when conducting a single test a portable test platform may be employed, wherein it would be preferred that device 22 incorporates heating and igniting.

When using a multi-channel/port smoking machine, due to the control required to heat the cigarette 3 to the predetermined temperature, the optimum location for situating device 22 is the channel prior to the puffing channel. In the case of the 20-channel Borgwaldt smoking machine the device 22 may be located at the twentieth channel; the first channel being the puffing channel.

In operation, the device 22 and the cigarette 3 will be brought into proximity with each other such that the heating operation as described above commences. After a predetermined period of time and/or when the desired temperature is reached the device 22 will be retracted such that the pre-heated cigarette 3 can be advanced to the puffing channel to be ignited in the usual manner. The cigarette 3 will be ignited simultaneously whilst the first puff is taken.

The testing device comprises a detector for gathering the yield of mainstream smoke and an analyser to determine the constituents and proportion of same in the mainstream smoke.

At the smoking/puffing channel, the yield of mainstream smoke is gathered simultaneously with the first puff being taken and the cigarette tip being ignited. The smoke is gathered and then analysed to determine the constituents and the proportion of the same in MS smoke.

Mainstream smoke yields of subsequent puffs may also be analysed and compared to the first puff, alternatively the cigarette may be extinguished following the first puff.

The procedure is repeated for each cigarette loaded in the smoking machine.

Two examples of a system providing the device 22 for the purpose of testing/experiment illustrated in figures 4a and 4b. Discussed below, is the process of pre-heating a cigarette tip 3b using the device 22.

Referring to figure 4a, a projector lamp 15, suitably focused and with an adequate energy output, for example 100-300W, is arranged to heat a metal plate 17, which carries a number of metal pins 19 protruding from one side. The pins 19 are heated to a desired temperature via heating the metal plate 17. The metal plate 17 incorporates a thermocouple, which measures the temperature of the pins 19. Alternatively the temperature may be measured remotely by an infrared thermal camera. The pins 19 are arranged to penetrate the tobacco in the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 and heat the tip 3b of the cigarette 3. Accordingly, the heated pins 19 are in contact with a portion of the tobacco and heat that portion directly.

Ceramic shields 21 are provided as insulators to reduce heat loss from the system.

Referring to figure 4b, the device 22 utilises resistive heating to heat nichrome pins 19' to the desired temperature. An electrical power source 29 connected to two metal plates 17, 17' effects resistive heating of the pins 19' that pass through the plates 17, 17'. One of the metal plates 17, comprises a thermocouple 23, which measures the temperature of the pins 19' during the heating process. The pins 19' are arranged to penetrate the tobacco in the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 and heat the tip 3b of the cigarette 3. Accordingly, the heated pins 19' are in contact with a portion of the tobacco and heat that portion directly.

A ceramic shield 21' is also provided to act as an insulator to reduce heat loss from the system.

An alignment device 25, see figures 4c and 4d, also forms part of the heating devices 22 of figures 4a and 4b. The alignment device 25 comprises two pivotal arms 27. Each pivotal arm 27 has a formed section 27a at its free end. The two arms move towards each other, by rotation about respective pivot points, to support the cigarette 3. The cigarette 3 is supported between the formed sections 27a on each pivotal arm 27. In use, the alignment device 25 ensures that the tip 3b of the cigarette 3 is properly aligned with the heating pins 19, 19'.

Tlic heating device 22 moves towards the cigarette and the pins 19, 19' penetrate the tobacco Lo a chosen depth, for example 10mm. The pins 19, 19' heat the tobacco to a desired temperature for a desired time. After which time, the heating device 22 is retracted from the cigarette simultaneously with removal of the alignment device 25. The heated cigarette 3 is advanced to the puffing channel, where the cigarette 3 is lit simultaneously with the first puff is taken and the mainstream smoke detected.

Various modifications and variations of the described methods of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, various modifications of the described modes for carrying out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in cigarette manufacture or related fields are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.




 
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