Case Study:
Hazardous Waste Decommissioning Pigs

Hazardous Waste Decommissioning Pigs

iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ was approached by the client who required assistance with a pigging programme to clean out a 24” phosphorus pipeline.

The pipeline had been used for the transportation of phosphorus in suspension for a number of decades and had never been pigged.

Phosphorus is highly flammable. Emits a weak green light and gives off white acidic fumes of phosphorus oxides when exposed to air. It also ignites at 30°C in moist air. Higher temperatures are required for ignition in dry air. It also readily ignites in air if warmed, finely divided or if held under conditions in which the heat of reaction can build up.

Risk assessments conducted indicated that it was imperative that the line be cleaned before decommissioning of the pipeline began.

The pipeline required cleaning in a number of stages with debris which included:

  • hard scale debris in deposits
  • hard scale on the pipe wall
  • sticky phosphorus deposits over 360 degrees of the pipe wall
  • deeper sticky pools of phosphorus
  • harder solidified deposits of phosphorus

The pipeline also featured 1D bends; some consecutively placed at a number of points to further complicate the geometry of the pipeline in terms of pigging design. The client also confirmed that there was considerable build- up of phosphorus silt located close in the radius of the 1D bends.

Initial attempts by the client to clean the pipeline had limited success hence iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ was approached to assist in developing an achievable solution in a very tight timescale.

Internal view of pipeline

Internal view of pipeline

Pig launching station

Pig launching station

Temporary in-line 24” pig launching station incorporating simple bolted blind flange arrangement.

Hard scale in pipeline

Hard scale removed from pipeline

The gradual results of hard scale residual debris removal stored for safe disposal following successful pigging runs.

cleaned phosphorus pipeline

Cleaned pipe after progressive pigging regime

A view of the cleaned pipe wall sections of pipe following successful pigging runs; now clean and ready for decommissioning and removal.

24" LRHD wax removal foam pigs

24" LRHD wax removal foam pigs

iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ is an internationally recognised leader in the design and manufacture of pipeline pigging products, including foam pigs, cup pigs, bi-directional cleaning / gauging pigs, pig handling equipment, pig signalers, engineered solutions for pipeline isolation and joint testing, launching & receiving systems as well as bespoke pigging solutions based on specific client project requirements.