CN patents safer way to transport bitumen.

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CN patents safer way to transport bitumen.

Unread postby trainjunkie47 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:53 pm

Shipping oil by rail has earned a spotty reputation in recent years after a series of train derailments across North America resulted in high-profile explosions and environmentally damaging spills. Canadian National Railway Co. is hoping something the size of a bar of soap can help clean up some of those problems.

Canada’s largest railway filed a patent for a new technology on Friday that turns bitumen – the heavy crude produced at the oil sands – into a mostly solid dry good, by mixing and wrapping it with polymer. In the event of an accident, the packets would not explode, leak, or sink in water, the railway believes.

The invention still has to go through more testing, but the concept could emerge as a niche alternative to current methods of shipping bitumen, which require diluent, a petroleum additive that allows the thick sludge to be pumped into pipelines or rail cars, but also increases the flammability of the product.


“It’s still early days, so there’s a lot of work still to do. First and foremost, we want to perfect the pellet in terms of its shape, its size and the exact composition of polymer that we use in it,” said Janet Drysdale, vice-president of corporate development at CN. The pellets, currently in round form, will eventually be produced as flat squares or rectangles, so that they are stackable as a dry good.

The rest of the column here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cn-develops-technology-that-could-make-bitumen-transportation-safer/article34082304/
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Re: CN patents safer way to transport bitumen.

Unread postby hoborich » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:29 pm

Sounds like a lot of extra handling and additives to me.
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Re: CN patents safer way to transport bitumen.

Unread postby trainjunkie47 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:27 am

hoborich wrote:Sounds like a lot of extra handling and additives to me.


Might be the case. Is it cheaper than the alternative, and is it significantly safer? What kind, if any, tax breaks would one get? It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.
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Re: CN patents safer way to transport bitumen.

Unread postby redcrumbox » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:20 pm

Knowing that Bitumen is a non volatile, adhesive and waterproofing material derived from residue from a selected asphalt rich crude oil, will Bitumen ever cease to be diluted with light crude to transport it in pipeline/tankcar?
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