The new technologies will aim to rehabilitate cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approved up to $38.5m in funding to develop technologies to rehabilitate natural gas distribution pipelines.
The new technologies will be developed under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) programme, Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR).
The programme will sponsor new technologies that create a new pipe inside the old pipe.
The REPAIR programme will focus on developing robotic tools to line the inside of pipes
The technologies, developed with the funding, will aim to rehabilitate cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes, which account to 3% of the nearly 2 million miles of operational utility pipes in the country.
US Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said: “Natural gas is an important energy resource for millions of households and businesses across the nation.
“Developing technologies to keep our domestic natural gas pipeline infrastructure safe, secure, and state-of-the-art is crucial to maintain America’s energy leadership and independence.”
The REPAIR programme will focus on developing robotic tools to line the inside of pipes, smart coatings, inspection tools to assess the integrity of the pipes, and mapping tools to enable 3D renderings of pipes and adjacent underground infrastructure.
DOE, in a statement, said: “Successful technologies will meet utilities’ and regulatory agencies’ requirements, have a minimum life of 50 years, and have sufficient material properties to operate throughout its service life without reliance on the exterior pipe.”
Additionally, the technologies will offer up to 20-times reduction in cost per mile, including gas service disruption costs.
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