My question: could it be practical, on an industrial scale, to take a mixture of alkanes (mostly ethane, propane, and butane) convert them to their alcohol forms, send them through a 300-mile pipe, and convert them back to their source alkanes? (They would not have to be handled as a mixture—they could be separated at the source and piped separately.)
I ask this because a company is building a pipeline through my area that is intended to carry alkanes in liquid form (under 1500 psi of pressure, so that they stay liquid). These are known in the industry as “natural gas liquids”. It looks like this could be a very dangerous pipeline. An engineer friend suggested the alcohol conversion strategy. Even if it were a lot more expensive, it would be far less dangerous and that might justify the cost. Any thoughts?