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DETECTION OF INTERSTATE LIQUIDS PIPELINE LEAKS: FEASIBILITY EVALUATION.

By R.N. DIETZ

Abstract

The approximately 200,000-mile fuel pipeline system in the U.S. operates at flow rates up to 2.5 x 10{sup 6}gallons per hour (GPH). Most commercial technologies only provide on-line leak detection at about 0.3% of flow rate, i.e., about 7,500 GPH or larger. Detection of leaks at about 1 GPH or so is desirable both from a regulatory and leak-prevention standpoint. Brookhaven's commercially-accepted perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) technology for underground leak detection of utility industry dielectric fluids at leak rates less than 0.1 GPH, with new enhancements, will be able to cost-effectively detect fuel pipeline system leaks to about 1 GPH--3 orders-of-magnitude better than any on-line system. The magnitude of detected leaks would be calculable as well. Proposed mobile surveys (such as those used periodically in the gas pipeline industry) at about 110 to 120 miles per day would allow such small leaks to be detected at 10-ppb tagging levels (less than $1,500 of PFT for a 48-hour tag at the maximum transport rate) under worst-case meteorological dispersion conditions. Smaller leaks could be detected by proportionately larger tagging concentrations. Leaks would be pinpointed by subsequent conventional barholing and vapor analyses. There are no health nor safety issues associated with the use of the proposed technological approach nor any consequential environmental impacts associated with the proposed magnitudes of PFT tagging

Topics: Dielectric Materials, Flow Rate, Transport, Pipelines, 36 Materials Science, Environmental Impacts, On-Line Systems, Detection, Safety, Evaluation
Publisher: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.2172/10393
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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