Clumping oil together to make pipeline run smoother

Oil will move faster through a pipeline if it's clumped together in small particles, according to a new report from the American Chemical Society.

By applying a magnetic or electric charge (depending on the oil you are dealing with), the oil will clump into larger particles and zip through the pipeline faster. Clumping reduces viscosity.

As the recent spill in Alaska shows, pipelines remain a feat of engineering, but they aren't easy to maintain. But, since very few people are giving up their cars voluntarily, we have to deal with them. A company, Fiber Optic System Technologies, has come up with a way to monitor corrosion and anticipate leaks with fiber optic sensors.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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