Letter to the Editor: Pipeline and compressor station a good boost if proper precautions taken

February 8, 2024 | 12:06 am

Updated February 7, 2024 | 8:07 pm

Letter to the Editor

I would like to comment on the matter of the pipeline and compressor station that has been proposed to carry natural gas generated by the landfill to a compressor station to inject the natural gas into the network for distribution. I was employed by a local natural gas transmission company for 31 years and the majority of my time there was spent in the corrosion control department. They had me trained for this career and upon completion of that training, I attained certification as an Internal Corrosion Specialist via a renowned international corrosion society.

During my latter years working, I was asked to give my opinion on a new technology involving gas generated by landfills and how it would affect the normal operations of our system. Anything introduced into our pipeline other than inert gases would be considered questionable. The three major constituents that cause internal corrosion in a pipeline are sulfur, oxygen, and water. After receiving that said analysis, each contained what most people might consider insignificant levels of oxygen and hydrogen sulfide, in the parts per million range (0.0001%). However, at the volume of gas being talked about, it became apparent that even at minute levels these gases could be detrimental to the internal surfaces of the pipeline. The sulfur and oxygen being generated by the landfill will chemically react with the water in the gas stream, which cannot be eliminated unless treated at the source, to form sulfuric acid with the sulfur, and react directly with the oxygen to essentially rust the pipeline from the inside.

A good engineer always allows for corrosion in their calculation on designing a pipeline. Almost all natural gas drilled for in the past contained zero oxygen. But this new technology, gas from landfills, does not have enough history to allow for accurate corrosion rates.

My concern does not involve the laying of the pipeline or the compressor station but whether precautions have been taken to eliminate the water and oxygen and sulfur from the landfill to the station. Have the engineers gotten a copy of the gas analysis from the landfill? Have the engineers taken into account their design if these elements are present? Have they designed internal corrosion monitoring facilities to see if their precautions are effective?

Yes, this is a good boost to the county if precautions are taken. The data and design considerations should be made public. Just to ensure the design of the facilities are in accordance to the detrimental effects of these gas.

Written by
Carlin Gregory

February 8, 2024 | 12:06 am

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