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Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I: Energy Fundamentals and Conversion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 17246

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction Engineering, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: computational simulation; power generation; simulation tools; advanced energy systems; waste heat recovery; seawater desalination; natural gas liquefaction
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has recently gained a major role in energy markets. Its share among fossil fuels is expected to furtherly grow in the near future, due to its low environmental impact and low price. In addition, simple storage systems and high energy densities make LNG an appealing alternative solution to diesel or marine fuel oil for heavy-duty transportation

The LNG supply chain extends from LNG production plant, shipping, storage, and final regasification both in stationary plant and on board. Each step of this chain has critical aspects that can be improved from the energy point of view.

Large-scale liquefaction processes achieve high energy efficiency, but due to the properties of natural gas, liquefaction is intrinsically high energy intensive. Possible improvements in liquefaction technique are still possible and worth of investigation.  The interest towards small-scale liquefaction plants is raising, but it is limited by the lack of components and energy efficiency issues. As for shipping, several aspects regarding gas carrier energy management must be still improved. Finally, cryogenic energy recovery during regassification might be further exploited in a wide range of applications.

This Special Issue would like to encourage the submission of original contributions regarding recent developments and concepts related to energy efficiency of LNG production and use. Potential topics include but are not limited to advanced liquefaction cycle architecture, improvement in part load operation of liquefaction plant, advanced design of cryogenic turbo-expanders, small-scale liquefaction cycle and components design, energy management of LNG carrier, progress in cryogenic recovery system for marine and terrestrial propulsion, utilization of cryogenic energy potential for trigenerative or polygenerative applications.

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Ferrari
Dr. Andrea Baccioli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Liquefaction process optimization
  • Advanced cycles for natural gas liquefaction 
  • Small-scale liquefaction unit 
  • Cryogenic turbo-expanders 
  • Thermal and Cryogenic energy recovery 
  • Direct use of LNG 
  • Analysis of case studies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 2504 KiB  
Article
Technoeconomic Assessment of LNG-Fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Small Island Systems: The Patmos Island Case Study
by Konstantina Peloriadi, Petros Iliadis, Panagiotis Boutikos, Konstantinos Atsonios, Panagiotis Grammelis and Aristeidis Nikolopoulos
Energies 2022, 15(11), 3892; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15113892 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is regarded as the cleanest among fossil fuels due to its lower environmental impact. In power plants, it emits 50–60% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared to regular oil or coal-fired plants. As the demand for a lower [...] Read more.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is regarded as the cleanest among fossil fuels due to its lower environmental impact. In power plants, it emits 50–60% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared to regular oil or coal-fired plants. As the demand for a lower environmental footprint is increasing, fuel cells powered by LNG are starting to appear as a promising technology, especially suitable for off-grid applications, since they can supply both electricity and heating. This article presents a techno-economic assessment for an integrated system consisting of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack and a micro gas turbine (MGT) fueled by LNG, that feeds the waste heat to a multi-effect desalination system (MED) on the Greek island of Patmos. The partial or total replacement of the diesel engines on the non-interconnected island of Patmos with SOFC systems is investigated. The optimal system implementation is analyzed through a multi-stage approach that includes dynamic computational analysis, techno-economic evaluation of different scenarios using financial analysis and literature data, and analysis of the environmental and social impact on the island. Specific economic indicators such as payback, net present value, and internal rate of return were used to verify the economic feasibility of this system. Early results indicate that the most sensitive and important design parameter in the system is fuel cell capital cost, which has a significant effect on the balance between investment cost and repayment years. The results of this study also indicate that energy production with an LNG-fueled SOFC system is a promising solution for non-interconnected Greek islands, as an intermediate carrier prior to the long-term target of a CO₂-free economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use)
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18 pages, 3871 KiB  
Article
New Ways for the Advanced Quality Control of Liquefied Natural Gas
by Borja Ferreiro, Jose Andrade, Carlota Paz-Quintáns, Purificación López-Mahía and Soledad Muniategui-Lorenzo
Energies 2022, 15(1), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010359 - 4 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Currently, gas chromatography is the most common analytical technique for natural gas (NG) analysis as it offers very precise results, with very low limits of detection and quantification. However, it has several drawbacks, such as low turnaround times and high cost per analysis, [...] Read more.
Currently, gas chromatography is the most common analytical technique for natural gas (NG) analysis as it offers very precise results, with very low limits of detection and quantification. However, it has several drawbacks, such as low turnaround times and high cost per analysis, as well as difficulties for on-line implementation. With NG applications rising, mostly thanks to its reduced gaseous emissions in comparison with other fossil fuels, the necessity for more versatile, fast, and economic analytical methods has augmented. This work summarizes the latest advances to determine the composition and physico-chemical properties of regasified liquid natural gas, focusing on infrared spectroscopy-based techniques, as well as on data processing (chemometric techniques), necessary to obtain adequate predictions of NG properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use)
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23 pages, 18889 KiB  
Article
Absorption Chillers to Improve the Performance of Small-Scale Biomethane Liquefaction Plants
by Alessio Ciambellotti, Gianluca Pasini, Andrea Baccioli, Lorenzo Ferrari and Stefano Barsali
Energies 2022, 15(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010092 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Biomethane liquefaction may help decarbonization in heavy transportation and other hard-to-abate sectors. Small-scale liquefaction plants (<10 ton/day) are suitable for small biogas plants located near farms and other agricultural activities. “Internal refrigerant” refrigeration cycles (e.g., Kapitza cycle) are often proposed for small-scale natural [...] Read more.
Biomethane liquefaction may help decarbonization in heavy transportation and other hard-to-abate sectors. Small-scale liquefaction plants (<10 ton/day) are suitable for small biogas plants located near farms and other agricultural activities. “Internal refrigerant” refrigeration cycles (e.g., Kapitza cycle) are often proposed for small-scale natural gas liquefaction due to their simplicity. An optimized Kapitza-based cycle is modeled and simulated, and then several modifications were studied to evaluate their influence on the energetic and economic performances. Results showed a specific consumption ranging between 0.65 kWh/kg and 0.54 kWh/kg of bio-LNG with no significant improvements by increasing cycle complexity. Instead, a reduction of 17% was achieved with the implementation of absorption chillers, that effectively turn waste heat into useful cooling energy. An economic assessment was finally carried showing that the Levelized Cost of Liquefation is more affected by electricity cost than additional CapEx. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use)
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22 pages, 4705 KiB  
Article
Study on Boil-off Gas (BOG) Minimization and Recovery Strategies from Actual Baseload LNG Export Terminal: Towards Sustainable LNG Chains
by Zineb Bouabidi, Fares Almomani, Easa I. Al-musleh, Mary A. Katebah, Mohamed M. Hussein, Abdur Rahman Shazed, Iftekhar A. Karimi and Hassan Alfadala
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123478 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 6673
Abstract
Boil-off Gas (BOG) generated at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal causes negative economic and environmental impacts. Thus, the objective of this study is to develop and evaluate various handling schemes to minimize and/or recover the generated BOG from an actual baseload [...] Read more.
Boil-off Gas (BOG) generated at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal causes negative economic and environmental impacts. Thus, the objective of this study is to develop and evaluate various handling schemes to minimize and/or recover the generated BOG from an actual baseload LNG export terminal with a capacity of 554 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of natural gas feed. The following three main scenarios were assessed: JBOG re-liquefaction, LNG sub-cooling, and lean fuel gas (LFG) reflux. For the LNG subcooling, two sub-cases were considered; standalone subcooling before LNG storage and subcooling in the prevailing liquefaction cycle. Steady-state models for these scenarios were simulated using Aspen Plus® based on a shortcut approach to quickly evaluate the proposed scenarios and determine the promising options that should be considered for further rigorous analysis. Results indicated that the flow of attainable excess LNG is 0.07, 0.03, and 0.022 million metric tons per annum (MTA) for the standalone LNG sub-cooling, LNG sub-cooling in the main cryogenic heat exchanger (MCHE), and both LFG-refluxing and jetty boil-off gas (JBOG) liquefaction, respectively. This in turn results in a profit of 24.58, 12.24, 8.14, and 7.63 million $/year for the LNG price of 7$ per Metric Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu) of LNG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use)
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Review

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23 pages, 4465 KiB  
Review
Prospective of Upfront Nitrogen (N2) Removal in LNG Plants: Technical Communication
by Fares Almomani, Asmaa Othman, Ajinkya Pal, Easa I. Al-Musleh and Iftekhar A. Karimi
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3616; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123616 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3532
Abstract
Conventional natural gas (NG) liquefaction processes remove N2 near the tail of the plant, which limits production capacity and decreases energy efficiency and profit. Engineering calculations suggest that upfront N2 removal could have substantial economic benefits on large-scale liquefied natural gas [...] Read more.
Conventional natural gas (NG) liquefaction processes remove N2 near the tail of the plant, which limits production capacity and decreases energy efficiency and profit. Engineering calculations suggest that upfront N2 removal could have substantial economic benefits on large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) processes. This article provides an overview of the most promising technologies that can be employed for upfront N2 removal in the LNG process, focusing on the process selection and design considerations of all currently available upfront N2 removal technologies. The literature review revealed that although adsorption has proven to be a huge success in gas separation processes (efficiency ≥ 90%), most of the available adsorbents are CH4-selective at typical NG conditions. It would be more encouraging to find N2-selective adsorbents to apply in upfront N2 removal technology. Membrane gas separation has shown growing performance due to its flexible operation, small footprint, and reduced investment cost and energy consumption. However, the use of such technology as upfront N2 removal requires multi-stage membranes to reduce the nitrogen content and satisfy LNG specifications. The efficiency of such technology should be correlated with the cost of gas re-compression, product quality, and pressure. A hybrid system of adsorption/membrane processes was proposed to eliminate the disadvantages of both technologies and enhance productivity that required further investigation. Upfront N2 removal technology based on sequential high and low-pressure distillation was presented and showed interesting results. The distillation process, operated with at least 17.6% upfront N2 removal, reduced specific power requirements by 5% and increased the plant capacity by 16% in a 530 MMSCFD LNG plant. Lithium-cycle showed promising results as an upfront N2 chemical removal technology. Recent studies showed that this process could reduce the NG N2 content at ambient temperature and 80 bar from 10% to 0.5% N2, achieving the required LNG specifications. Gas hydrate could have the potential as upfront N2 removal technology if the is process modified to guarantee significant removals of low N2 concentration from a mixture of hydrocarbons. Retrofitting the proposed technologies into LNG plants, design alterations, removal limits, and cost analysis are challenges that are open for further exploration in the near future. The present review offers directions for different researchers to explore different alternatives for upfront N2 removal from NG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in LNG Production and Use)
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