Mechanical cleaning of water-supply systems with hydro-gel


Using the Hydro-Gel technology we can easily, effectively and economically remove the waste materials deposited inside the pipeline

or adhering onto the inner wall of the pipes. The hydrogel is a water-based gel, which does not contain harmful substances and

completely environmentally friendly.


Thanks to these properties it can be safely deployed in the cleaning of drinking water pipelines. The preparation of the hydro-gel is done on site, considering the respective circumstances of the individual cleaning can be optionally combined. The gels with various agents, for example with disinfectants, this way a complex cleaning job can be finished in one step.


Disinfection of water-supply systems with nano-fluids

The disinfection of water-supply systems is a recurring problem for system operators. The residue inside the pipes,

furthermore the bacterial membrane adhering to the walls of the pipeline can cause secondary contamination of the drinking water. Besides the ferrit- and manganese bacteria, there could be such living organism settled, which can be harmful for the human health. Removing these organism is a top hygiene priority. The hydro-gel + nano-fluid combination effectively remove all organisms from the system. This technology even offers a reliable solution against the pertinacious Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.


Complex cleaning and disinfection of water-supply systems

Following the mechanical cleaning of the pipes of a water-supply system, one always has to disinfect the system. Using the Hydro-Gel high technology the cleaning and the disinfection can be done in one step. There are a number of possibilities: either to dilute the disinfectant into the gel material itself, or one can situate the disinfectant between two gel plugs. Both solutions are appropriate and can decrease the timespan of the operations. As a result of this solution the water-supply system can be immediately put back into operation, right after the cleaning.


Exact mapping of underground pipeline systems with "Pipe-Finder"


Our latest development is a special tool, that is travelling along the pipelines with the hydro-gel and maps the exact layout of the system, and collects further valuable data during the operation. The Pipe-Finder is a matchbox size, specially designed tool, which can be employed in pipes above DN 80 mm diameter. The tool is being transmitted by the gel and continuously records the X-Y-Z coordinates from the starting point, ultimately giving the pipeline system's site plan layout and depth data, which can be exported to a computer where a system layout map can be compiled.






What can you do with the Hydro-Gel and with the connecting technology? 


The Hydro-Gel and the connected technology can mainly be used to clean mechanically water-supply systems. Using this new technology it is possible to complete the pipeline cleaning and system maintenance procedures in a simpler and more economical manner, that already

known techniques. A number of other jobs can be achieved with the Hydro-Gel, see below for details! 


What are the components of the Hydro-Gel?


The Hydro-Gel is made of harmless components, which are also used in food industry as additive materials to various foods.


How does the Hydro-Gel cleans?


The Hydro-Gel rubs off and collects the residual materials from the pipes and from the inner walls of pipelines. The gel itself has a huge surface, so it can collect almost all residues. The collected wastes exit the system along with the gel.


What is a „gel-train”?


We use different property gels for different cleaning purposes. For example, high viscosity „pushing gels” rub off rough wastes, the more diluted „pick-up gels” collect more lose materials inside. Between the individual „gel plugs” we can deliver disinfectants, this way we can complete the mechanical cleaning and the disinfection in one step! The different types of gel plugs travel inside the pipelines like the carriages of a longer train, this is called a „gel-train”.


How long is a „gel-train”?


The setup of the „gel train” is always done according to local circumstances and needs. The usual length of the „gel train” is 30-70 m. (Please note, that the length of a single sponge plug is minimal compared to the gel, approx. 1 m long.)


How does the Hydro-Gel behave if it encounters a diameter narrowing?


The Hydro-Gel – thanks to its positive viscosity and elasticity properties – fills the available space completely, and therefore takes on the shape of the pipeline at all times. It does not get stuck at corners, at narrowing diameters or at the location of devices (like a half closed gate valve, for example).


What kind of pipeline diameters can be cleaned with the Hydro-Gel?


The Hydro-Gel can be used with the usual diameters of drinking water-supply systems: from the small diameter service pipes to large-scale, crawlable transmission lines. In case of the mostly occurring diameters of DN 25-300 mm the operation is a routine, in case of bigger diameters plans need to be done.


How do you control the Gel inside the system?


The gel advances due to the effect of water pressure, navigation is achieved using the existing valves.


How fast the Gel travels inside the system?


The gel travels with the same speed as the water, depending on the applied water pressure. This is 

usually 0,5-1 m/s.


Is there a problem if the Gel gets inside the users' subsystem?


Randomly it may occur that during the cleaning operation – despite the prior notification of the users – someone opens some taps and the gel gets inside the local service line. Since the Hydro-Gel does not contain harmful materials, this will not cause any problems at the end user, will not cause any jamming, and after the cleaning process the user only needs to let the gel out through the tap, until there is clean water flowing.


What type of operator assistance is needed during the Hydro-Gel cleaning?


We need operator assistance during the planning and during the cleaning operation. The operator is tasked with providing input and output points, opening and closing valves, notifying users of the upcoming cleaning, and providing further fixing work on the system.


Is there any Gel residue left inside the pipelines?


The Hydro-Gel is not soluble in water, it does not stick to the pipe's walls and all of it will exit the system after the cleaning. This fact is based on actual experimental data.


Where can you deposit the used Gel, are there any wastes generated which must be treated?


Since the used gel does not contain any harmful materials, it can be ejected to a public sewer. After the cleaning process is finished the gel will break up into pieces, and will not cause any jamming in the sewer. In case there is no sewer available, the gel can be ejected to an open ditch or to an appropriate neutral area. The gel will decay within a few days, without leaving any waste that needs further treatment.








Hydro-Gel removes limescale from the pipeline?

The Hydro-Gel can primarily remove the loose, adherent contaminations (sediment, bacterial layer). In case of strongly adhered limescale and other mineral secessions it is expedient to use high frequency cleaning methods. Using this method it is possible to remove these strongly adherent residues from industrial heat exchangers without major structural works. This way we can save time

and money! Please contact us if you need further assistance in this subject! 

Can you disinfect the system using the Hydro-Gel?


Yes, the disinfectant can be diluted into the Hydro-Gel material, but we suggest using nano-fluids to disinfect. The nano-fluids can be transmitted between gel plugs (in a gel-train), and it has a proven bactericidal effect.


chnologies can be combined with the Hydro-Gel technology?

The Hydro-Gel can be combined with technologies other than the nano-fluids. Our newest development is a miniature device called the Pipe-Finder, which travels along with the gel and maps the system and provides further useful technical data from the operation.

Another new development is the Pig+Gel technology, which can be used during video surveillance of the inside of pipelines. During this operation a special type of pig is being moved with the Hydro-Gel at a constant speed, in order to achieve the best video quality. This technology can be used to economically and successfully provide the inside surveillance of hydrocarbon pipelines also.


Does the Hydro-Gel technology have official permissions?


The Hydro-Gel and the Hydro-Gel technology has OTH (National Public Health Association) permission, identification number: KEF-11397-2/2013.


Experience with the Hydro-Gel pipeline cleaning technology deployed in pipelines used in the distribution of gaseous materials


In gas pipelines the solid and liquid contaminants are in proportion with the transported gas quantities therefore scheduled cleaning is required. In practice, the Central European gas mains cleaned at least once a year by traditional pigging technology. Usually this main lines are 10 to 50 km long.


The pigs or their elements might be blocked at welding or corrosions, particularly for in the elderly pipes. The rescue of the pig from the pipes is done by different means. These devices also tend to get stuck in the blocked pig. The volume of transported gas in the line is usually not sufficient to move the subject to be rescued. By our Hydro-Gel we succeeded to rescue pigs in 25 cases in our territory.

Using suitable, target designed gels length we assemble a „gel-train”. At the end of the gel suitable supporting structure is used.

After the gel fed into the pipe (100m - 300m) we are moving the „train” at a speed of 0.5 to 1.0 m / sec, while the pressure is monitored by high sensitivity devices. The quantity of gas can be measured and we can keep the gas speed on the required level. After the gel reaches the jammed tool, the pig swims in the gel, due to its surface tension, therefore the gel does not so that it push the pig but the pig floats in the gel. One can easily move out jammed pigs also at low speed. In our rescue works all parts of the disintegrated pigs were received well in the pig receiving chambers, even the smallest bolts arrived well. The gels were then deposited in tanks or in the slop system where these decomposed to water within a few days.


The petrochemical industry in our territory finished using mechanical pig, but the gel technology is used. The gel displaces fluids from the pipes optimally which would cause internal corrosion if not cleaned. In the case of pipes where the presence of chemical elements is very active various biocide gels and nano-fluids in pipelines can be transported in the pipe together with the gels to fight infections and which protect the inner surface of the pipes. The gels can also be transmitted cameras with memory that give details about the status of the internal surface of the pipes. The gel is also capable to move in the pipelines memory units (own development) that serves the accurate

mapping of the pipeline (5 to 10 cm accuracy). The gels are also used in industrial pipe lines where in addition to the production of gas due to the intensive presence of water there is often hydrating and that obstructs the continuous production. Recently we were requested to perform a hydro-gel cleaning in a 32 km long pipeline (diameter 100 mm) in order to displace the unnecessary liquids from this main line. Since then the well has been working continuously for 4 months, while before the gel cleaning weekly production problems occurred. Due to the above successes we are currently in the contracting phase with MOL Hungarian Oil Co. Nyrt to rescue pigs and clean pipelines by the Hydro-Gel method.








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