Pipeline transportation is widely spread for delivery of liquid and gaseous products (oil and oil products, natural gas). In some cases, it can be used for the transportation of bulk and fine solids, such as suspensions, emulsions.
The main advantages of pipeline transportation are:
- High environmental safety
- Low cost of transportation
- High capacity
- Common usage (including the bottom of the seas)
Disadvantages of pipeline transportation are:
- A limited range of available for transportation objects: only liquid and gaseous bodies, or those that can be brought to a liquid state without damage
- Need to maintain a high pressure in the pipe
- High environmental risks in case of damage of the pipeline, which are also related to the difficulty of breakdown localization and access to it
Some professionals do not treat pipeline as a separate mode of transport, as it combines both means of communication (rolling stock) and lines of communication (communication links). Pipeline transport is widely used not only in the international and domestic energy supply, but also in the technological cycles of individual productions.
If we talk about natural gas, its transportation by means of gas transmission pipeline network is the only cost-effective method of delivery. Here, mining companies face a number of challenges: pipeline gas must comply with the requirements of OST 51.40-92, and reach the final consumer with the characteristics corresponding to GOST 5542-87.
However, natural gas in addition to hydrocarbons contains water vapor, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide. Water comes into contact with all other components of the natural gas, and forms connections. With hydrocarbons it produces hydrates, with carbon dioxide – hydrochloric acid, with hydrogen sulfide – sulfuric acid. Acids cause corrosion of metal parts of pumping stations and isolation valves, accelerate depreciation of transport pipelines. Hydrates may cause partial or complete blockage of pipes and fittings. They look similar to the wet snow mass, which gets compressed and turns into ice. And moisture itself condenses at low temperatures, freezes and degrades throughput of pipelines.
Reducing of water vapor in natural gas is performed by means of dehydration. Its aim is to reduce the dew point of water vapor below the minimum air temperature at the pipeline route. There are three basic groups of methods of dehydration:
- Physical. They are based on artificial cooling of gases, their compression or a combination of these methods.
- Chemical. Based on a chemical reaction between water and chemicals.
- Physico-chemical. Based on the absorption of moisture by sorbents (desiccants).
Physico-chemical methods of dehydration of natural gas have the widest application. Today, they are considered to be the most technically and economically feasible.
Laboratory of filtering technology “Cribrol” has developed a new method and equipment for the preparation of natural gas and associated petroleum gas for its transportation by pipeline network, which has a number of advantages, such as low initial cost of equipment, energy independence (does not consume energy), high quality of refining, low operating expenses.