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A number of Ice Pigging trials have been carried out for the dairy processing industry. This involved using Ice Pigging to recover product from production pipelines. The product in question was of a ‘custard’ like consistency and the existing cleaning process used was water flushing. Ultimately, Ice Pigging was able to recover more product, using less water, in a much quicker time than that of flushing. Not only that, but as there was less effluent to be disposed of post-trial, there was a reduction in the need of water treatment requirements which saved both time and money.
Another unique application which we are now looking into is that of cleaning beer pipelines in Pubs and Bars. Various forms of bacteria can accumulate in beer pipelines and the objective of Ice Pigging, over alternative methods, would be to improve hygiene standards whilst offering a reduction in labour hours, maintenance costs and lower product wastage.
The problem of wax deposition in oil pipelines is well-documented and tends to arise from temperature changes within pipelines. Waxy deposits can build-up over time causing a number of undesirable effects such as large pressure drops meaning a reduction in through-put and worst-case scenario is the pipeline becomes blocked completely, ceasing production. Current methods utilise solid pigs to remove the unwanted substance but carry a risk that the pig could get stuck. The low risk nature of Ice Pigging, along with its ability to flow around bends and obstructions is gaining traction as an alternative low-risk technique for previously ‘unpiggable’ lines. A series of demonstrations have so far taken place to learn more about the effectiveness of Ice Pigging on oil based deposits.
Other applications include the potential for Ice Pigging ballast water pipelines. Ballast water is used to provide stability to cruise ships, large tankers and bulk cargo carriers. The main issue within the pipelines is the build-up of biofilm which results in corrosion. Finally, we are looking at the possibility of Ice Pigging within hospitals to help with the control of legionella and pseudomonas bacteria.