The purpose of this sponsored research is to assess the feasibility and the potential value of the hydraulic container pipeline (HCP) as a new mode of freight transport. The tasks of the study involve (1) assessment of the energy conservation value of HCP as compared to other modes of freight transport such as truck, rail and slurry pipeline, (2) assessment of the market of HCP for coal transportation, (3) development of design concepts on HCP system for transporting coal, and (4) design and construction of a small HCP system for the demonstration of the concept of HCP transportation. To date, the first three of the four aforementioned tasks have been completed; task 4 has just begun. This report deals with the first task only. It is shown that HCP possesses high potential for conserving energy used in freight transport and reducing U.S. reliance on oil.
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