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Author Topic: metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?  (Read 5208 times)

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« on: 11/09/2010 02:26:52 »
A 30 inch high pressure natural gas line ruptured and destroyed a sizeable chunk of San Bruno, California yesterday.

In an interview today a supervisor for the gas company said that it might have been the work of little beastie's that live in natural gas and eat the pipes. Does anyone know anything about this? 


 

Offline RD

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2010 02:42:58 »
 [?]
Quote
Sulfate-reducing bacteria are those bacteria and archaea that obtain their energy by oxidizing organic compounds [like methane] or molecular hydrogen H2 while reducing sulfates to sulfides, especially to hydrogen sulfide.

Corrosion

In engineering, sulfate-reducing bacteria can create problems when metal structures are exposed to sulfate-containing water: interaction of water and metal creates a layer of molecular hydrogen on the metal surface; sulfate reducing bacteria then oxidize the hydrogen while creating hydrogen sulfide, thus contributing to corrosion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfate-reducing_bacteria
« Last Edit: 11/09/2010 02:57:41 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2010 03:13:41 »
Sounds like PG&E might be starting to build a defence. If they had any concerns about corrosion, they should have been pigging their pipes on a regular basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigging
 

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2010 04:39:20 »
The man mentioned "pigging" the line. With 38 houses burned down and 4 dead so far, I'm sure people will be looking very closely into this. 4 blocks suddenly erupting into a massive fireball in a prosperous neighborhood like San Bruno tends to catch people's attention
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2010 05:05:17 »
It's certainly very unusual for things like this to "just happen" without some major external influence. It usually turns out to be the result of a combination of a series of errors, but we'll have to wait and see. Perhaps there is a new effect that is not well understood.

There was a similar thing happened a few years ago. It might have been in PA? I don't remember hearing what the cause of that one was.

 

Offline SeanB

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #5 on: 11/09/2010 14:11:45 »
PG&E, the company famously associated with Enron, if I remember?

It might be a result of cost cutting measures that resulted in the pipe not being inspected for long periods, combined with not wanting to spend money to replace it whilst " It still is working".

 

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #6 on: 11/09/2010 17:12:38 »
At those levels the relationships between company CEO's become very incestuous. Enron was inflating the cost of electricity sold through the power grid during the summer heat wave why PG&E turned a blind eye was never explained.

Certainly the company showed no scruples when they lost millions on a phony initiative in the last election which would have prevented local communities setting up their own electricity services. They funded phony groups who flogged the initiative as preventing local governments from "wasting your money without your vote!"

Also they have recently introduced new "smart meters" which (by a curious circumstance raised most people's bill) It is safe to say that little love is lost for PG&E in Northern California which is their turf.

We are all waiting to see if they have been skimping on maintaining the gas lines.
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #7 on: 13/09/2010 03:41:07 »
Apparently, a section of the pipe exploded and was thrown about a hundred feet. There was also a large crater where the pipe had been.

I'm wondering why there would be an apparent explosion in the pipe? If the pipe actually exploded, surely that would mean there was a mixture of air and gas in the pipe. It was a high pressure line. Why would the air get in?

I can understand why there could be huge flames shooting into the air, but an explosion in the line seems a bit strange.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #8 on: 13/09/2010 17:03:30 »
Reports are appearing that people in the area had been reporting the smell of gas for a week or so before the explosion... with no apparent PG&E response until  KABOOM !!!

We now learn..
(a) some of those pipes have been there since the 1930's and that some are cast iron while others are steel.
(b) the state agency which oversees PG&E's maintenance was eviscerated by the recent series of Republican state governments
(c) PG&E is a major contributor to the Republican party


A major plank in the Republican platform is that government regulation should be eliminated.

This is what happens when you go overboard with that free market baloney.
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #9 on: 13/09/2010 19:22:22 »
Martin,

I don't think this is necessarily a consequence of "free market baloney".

PG&E has a virtual monopoly.

Perhaps California could learn a thing or two from Cuba  ;D

According to Yahoo today, "Cuba to cut 500,000 gov't workers, reform salaries"
« Last Edit: 13/09/2010 20:56:08 by Geezer »
 

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #10 on: 13/09/2010 20:57:48 »
"free market" or "deregulation" or "getting government off our backs" it is all that Ayn Rand horse manure that the plutocrats have taken up.

When the political pendulum swings too far in either direction the result is trouble....A few years back the board of directors at PG&E voted themselves massive retirement packages and then retired...leaving the company to go into "reorganization"....now it turns out that this particular stretch of gas main was on their high risk list....the very existence of such a list is a crime.

Whether it's BP or PG&E it's the same old story of  big money buying off the government regulators and innocent people being victimized. That's not an at of GOD that's a crime and it's going to go on until guilty people are put in prison.
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #11 on: 13/09/2010 21:06:54 »
"free market" or "deregulation" or "getting government off our backs" it is all that Ayn Rand horse manure that the plutocrats have taken up.

When the political pendulum swings too far in either direction the result is trouble....A few years back the board of directors at PG&E voted themselves massive retirement packages and then retired...leaving the company to go into "reorganization"....now it turns out that this particular stretch of gas main was on their high risk list....the very existence of such a list is a crime.

Whether it's BP or PG&E it's the same old story of  big money buying off the government regulators and innocent people being victimized. That's not an at of GOD that's a crime and it's going to go on until guilty people are put in prison.

You may be missing the point. PG&E is a monopoly. It has no real competition. It does not play in a "free market".

If you had access to a free market for your utilities you would not have to rely on one supplier. If you get service from PG&E, just try telling them you want to switch to another supplier and see what happens.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #12 on: 14/09/2010 08:11:16 »
Golly Gee! Do you think the plutocrats may be just lying to us about wanting a free market when all the time they are scamming us so they can have a monopoly?

Isn't that against the law?

Meanwhile PG&E announced a $100 million Santa Claus pay out to the people in San Bruno. This will not come from the ratepayers, but from the Board of Directors' own pockets.  And then I woke up...
 

Offline Geezer

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #13 on: 14/09/2010 17:23:27 »
Golly Gee! Do you think the plutocrats may be just lying to us about wanting a free market when all the time they are scamming us so they can have a monopoly?

Isn't that against the law?

Meanwhile PG&E announced a $100 million Santa Claus pay out to the people in San Bruno. This will not come from the ratepayers, but from the Board of Directors' own pockets.  And then I woke up...

I might be able to understand your point a bit better if you would go easy on the sarcasm.

So, are you now agreeing with me that PG&E is not subject to free market influences?
 

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metal eating anaerobes that live in gas pipes?
« Reply #13 on: 14/09/2010 17:23:27 »

 

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