Proposed Cluster Liquefied-Natural-Gas Production System Raises Tolerance of CO2
- Adam Wilson (JPT Editorial Manager)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 106 - 109
- 2013. Offshore Technology Conference
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- 47 since 2007
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This article, written by Editorial Manager Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 23261, "Development of CO2-Tolerant LNG-Production System," by JungHan Lee, Jeheon Jung, and Kyeongmin Kim, SPE, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, prepared for the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 20 April-3 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
During natural gas liquefaction, CO2 must be removed to prevent icing and plugging in the system. The CO2-removal system may be the most important part of the gas-treatment system. CO2 removal systems require complicated amine contactor and regeneration systems with substantial heat sources. The CO2-tolerant natural-gas-liquefaction system called cluster liquefaction accepts approximately 1% of CO2 for the liquefaction and related systems. The CO2-tolerant characteristics of this liquefaction process will provide a multifold safety margin against CO2 problems in cryogenic systems and valves.
CO2-Tolerant Liquefied-Natural-Gas (LNG) Production System
Considerations. Natural gas liquefaction at higher pressures and equivalent higher liquefaction temperatures has the advantages of reducing liquefaction energy and adopting more-efficient refrigerant. Despite the advantages, the higher-pressure storage requirement for the produced LNG has been a cost burden in overall LNG chains. For that reason, natural gas liquefaction at higher pressures has not been adopted by the industry.
The specific weight ratio (SWR) of natural gas, defined as the natural gas weight divided by the containment system weight, is an important indication of capital expenditures. The typical SWR of conventional LNG is approximately 10–20 times that of compressed natural gas (CNG). Even for the increased- pressure LNG, the SWR is typically 10 times that for CNG. Hence, storage as a liquid after cooling and insulation is far more efficient than CNG.
For increased-pressure LNG, the main cost contributor has been the cryogenic material for the higher pressure. However, if a cost-effective solution for increased-pressure containment is developed, it may become a viable option.
Examples. Intermediate-Pressure LNG (20 bara, 1% CO2). Substantial CO2 can be dissolved in LNG produced at increased pressure. CO2 in the LNG should be liquid, not solid or as two phases. During cool down at a predetermined pressure, the feed gas can pass through the solid formation region in the interim stage. Hence, this region should be avoided by liquefying the natural gas at a higher pressure before reducing the pressure. If the CO2 level is sufficiently lowered during the gas treatment, the solid formation can be avoided regard-less of the liquefaction temperatures and processes.
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