CHEMICAL PIGGING APPARATUS FOR PIPELINES ( us 8719989 b1 )
Practically all fluids, e.g., gas and oil, include various contaminants and materials that eventually fall out of solution or react with other materials. This is a particular problem in oil and gas pipelines and related conduits, as the contaminants and solids primarily include paraffins and asphalts that tend to build up along the inner walls of the pipes. If this condition is left to continue for a sufficiently long time, the buildup of contaminants can reach such a thickness that the inner diameter of the pipe becomes significantly restricted, thus reducing fluid flow and efficiency accordingly. Moreover, such buildups almost always result in uneven buildup within the pipes, thus creating turbulence and hydrodynamic or aerodynamic drag or resistance to the flow through the pipes.