An environmentally friendly seaweed extract is being used by researchers to prevent calcium scale in oil and gas pipelines. Alginate is the specific product that researchers are considering using for scale formation in pipelines. Scale formation in oil and gas pipelines is known to reduce production rates. However, the use of a natural product from the ocean would reduce any harmful impact on the environment. After doing some testing, scientists found that not all types of alginate effectively prevent calcium from forming in the pipe walls. However, the scientists plan on using alginate due to its ability to control and prevent scale formation without disrupting the iron carbonate layer. Alginates are also commonly used in the medical and food industries.
Alginate: Scientifically known as Alginic Acid, Alginate is an Anionic Polysaccharide that is widely distributed in the cell walls of brown algae. It is a colloidal substance that comes from brown seaweed. It provides flexible structures to seaweed, preventing possible seaweed injuries. It grows in cold water and is soluble in both cold and hot water. It is commonly used for its favorable properties, such as bio capability and ease of gelatin. The [product is specifically successful in wound healing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. It is generally used to replace tissues due to disease or trauma. The product, used in the form of a hydrogel, is composed of high water content. Its most common use is a combination of the solution with iconic cross-linking agents. Other ways to use the gel include covalent cross-linking and Thermal Gelatin. Pharmaceutically, Alginate serves as a thickening agent taken orally as a protein drug. Alginate also serves as a wound dressing to treat chronic wounds. This keeps the wound dry, preventing pathogen entry into the wound. Additionally, the product is used in reactive dye printing and as a thickener for reactive dyes. It is used in the food industry to increase viscosity. An example of its use in the food industry includes making the pimiento strips inside pitted olives. The strips are made with Pimiento Puree that is gelled in sheets using sodium alginate.
Alginate Properties: Alginate is not effected by Temperature. It has a rigid and brittle gel-like texture. It is clear and transparent.
The Species of Algae that will be used in the experiment include:
- Macrocystis pyrifera
- Ascophyllum nodosum
- Laminaria hyperborean
- Laminaria japonica
- Lessonia nigrescens
- Lessonia flavicans
- Ecklonia maxima
- Durvillea antarctica
- Durvillea potatorum
Researchers report that so far there has been no information describing the effectiveness of alginates in the particular industry they are working with. However, research done on the product shows its effectiveness, leading the scientists to continue to be determined with the process. Scientists are confident with the effectiveness of Alginate due to its properties and the stigma on its productiveness. Alginate has served as a medicine, a food glue, and will soon serve as a Pipeline cleaner.
The Future of Technology Development: The next stage for scientists includes a qualification plan to the new approach. Scientists plan to eventually deploy Alginate in the field. After they test its effectiveness and continue with the process, they hope that their methods will serve as a solution to pipeline issues anywhere. This will help the Oil and Gas Industry completely, as Oil and Gas will be shipped more quickly and cleanly, without any one having to think twice about the cleanliness of the pipelines.
Scientists and Researchers are excited to test these new methods and hope that their experiments will bring newer methods to their research. They hope to use Alginate to help the environment, the oil and gas industry, the ocean, the lives of individuals, and the Science Industry in general.
- Ocean News. Seaweed Extract to Reduce Chemicals in Oil & Gas Production. Ocean News and Technology. June 22, 2016.