Great to see one of the arXiv’s most creative minds posting again today. Alexander Bolonkin–he of “In Outer Space without a Space Suit?” and “Floating Cities, Islands and States” fame–is back with another startling idea.
Methane is significantly lighter than air and so could be used to levitate the pipes it flows through. These aerial pipelines would then be abel to carry heavier than air goods such as oil, coal and even human passengers.
Bolonkin calculates that one projected aerial pipeline coudl carry 24 billion cubic meters of gas and tens of million tons of oil, water or other payload per year.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0812.0588: A Cheap Levitating Gas/Load Pipeline