Chemical Pigging Apparatus including an Inflatable Device and Method of using Same

The remote controlled chemical pigging apparatus includes a housing and an inflatable device. The inflatable device contains chemicals to dissolve hardened or fossilized materials or contaminants contained within the interior portion of a pipeline, such as an oil or gas pipeline. At a specific location in the pipeline, such as at a pig apparatus receiver portion of the pipeline, the inflatable device is inflated and exploded to disperse the pipeline chemicals contained therein onto the hardened materials or contaminants that have fossilized within the pipeline. The hardened, fossilized materials or contaminants are then dissolved to liquefy the contaminants and, subsequently, to discharge the liquefied contaminants through a drain located in the pipeline. A method of cleaning a pipeline with a remote controlled chemical pigging apparatus having an inflatable device is also provided.

Full Description:
Description of the Related Art

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 can include, for example, heavy organic materials such as asphaltenes, asphaltogenic acids, diamondoids, paraffins/wax, and resins, which exist in crude oils and 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 of the pipe. The deposition of these suspended particles, therefore, severely inhibits the production and transportation of petroleum fluids. Moreover, such buildups almost always also results in uneven buildups within the pipes, thus creating turbulence and hydrodynamic or aerodynamic drag or resistance to the flow of materials through the pipes.

Accordingly, various systems have been developed in the past for cleaning such residue and deposits from the interior wall surfaces of pipes. Many, if not most, of these systems include remotely controlled or automated “pigs,” i.e., devices that conform to the interior of the pipe and travel the pipe to accomplish their intended purpose automatically. These pipeline pigs that are adapted or configured for cleaning out the pipes generally use some form of physical action to remove the buildup within the pipes, such as mechanical scrapers or high pressure blasting with liquids and/or particulates.

However, such scrapers and automatic pigs typically do not have the ability to break up and dissolve the deposits and residues that remain in the pipes, particularly in the receiving end of the pipeline, after the interior wall surfaces of the pipes are cleaned. This can make the process of extracting the scraper and cleaning the pig relatively hazardous and dangerous.

Thus, a chemical pigging apparatus addressing the aforementioned problem is desired.

Problem this idea/invention addresses:
The present invention relates generally to tools and devices for cleaning and maintaining equipment and particularly to a chemical pigging apparatus for pipelines.

Attached files:
US8858732 (B1).png

Patent: US 88,587,321   [MORE INFO]

Asking price: [CONTACT SELLER]
Available for consultation? Yes

Invention #12112
Date posted: 2016-01-13

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