Initial Economic Evaluation of Slurry Pipeline Systems

by Edward J. Wasp, Manager of Slurry Development; Pipeline and Production Service Div., Bechtel Inc., San Francisco, CA,
Terry L. Thompson, Chf. Slurry Engr.; Pipeline and Production Service Div., Bechtel Inc., San Francisco, CA,
Thomas C. Aude, Slurry Development Supervisor; Pipeline and Production Service Div., Bechtel Inc., San Francisco, CA,


Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 271-279


Document Type: Journal Paper

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Abstract: Experience has shown that it is possible to make a rapid economic assessment to determine whether a slurry pipeline system merits consideration in a final evaluation as an alternative solution for transportation of solids. If several assumptions are made the total transportation cost (i.e., capital charges and direct operating costs) can be estimated on the basis of only three factors: (1) the specific gravity of the solid material; (2) the length of the pipelines; and (3) the quantity of slurry to be pumped each year. Capital costs include the price of pipe, mechanical equipment, installation and right-of-way. Annual capital charges are estimated on the basis of capital costs. Operating costs include labor, maintenance supplies, corrosion inhibitors, and power which is assumed to be available at $0.01 per kwhr. The writers stipulate that the economics described are restricted to systems in which unusually difficult conditions are not encountered, such as especially rough terrain. The concepts presented include slurry fineness and homogeneity; critical velocity; viscosity and concentration. Numerous examples are used to present concepts and costs.

Subject Headings: Slurries | Assets | Economic factors | Slurry pipelines | Solid mechanics | Pipe materials | Pumps | Pricing

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