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View Diary: Obama's decision on northern leg of Keystone XL pipeline could fuel November's mid-term elections (210 comments)

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  •  Shipping liquids by pipeline is always cheaper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    expatjourno, Roadbed Guy

    But shipping thick liquids over long distances by pipe is much more expensive as it requires diluting and/or heating plus a lot more energy inputs to overcome friction.

    I think the tar sands bitumen will be cost effective to ship by rail once insulated, heat-able rail tanker cars become available. Another factor is that heated loading and unloading terminals are required. Give it a year or so - especially if the Keystone XL is stopped.

    This shit is going to get to market, come hell or high-water. The largest multinationals in the world have invested too much money to allow it to be stopped. They control the governments of the US and Canada.

    •  Yes, the type of rail car you mentioned (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      was recently patented:

      What is claimed is:

      1. A process of efficient bitumen transport by a dual purpose railway tank car comprising the steps of: a. Heating bitumen and flowing the bitumen into the tank car's insulated tank until the car reaches its maximum weight load; b. Transporting the heated bitumen to a destination by rail; c. Heating the bitumen in the insulated tank by application of steam supplied at the destination through a heat exchanger in or on the insulated tank containing the bitumen; d. Flowing the heated bitumen out of the insulated tank until the tank is emptied; e. Sufficiently cooling the insulated tank by provision of water or a fluid at suitable temperature to the heat exchanger in the insulated tank to avoid flash evaporation of its next load; f. Loading the tank car to its maximum volumetric capacity with diluent; g. Transporting the diluent by rail to another destination; and h. Unloading the diluent from the tank car.

      link

      another option I've never figured out why they're not using is to simply chunk up solidified bitumen and haul in all the excess coal cars that have been put out of use by NG fracking.

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