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ID : 8-P1-10

ICEC 26 - ICMC 2016

Study of Intermediate fluid selection in indirect contact ambient air
heater based LNG regasification systems in receiving terminals
Jubil Joy*, Kanchan Chowdhury
Cryogenic Engineering Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India-721302

Abstract Pressure drop calculation

Regasification of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) in receiving terminals involves high capital investment and Shell side cross flow area along centreline, ALNG shell = (Ds PD LB)/ PT
operational cost. Present study compares different possible Intermediate fluids (IFs) employed for
Equivalent diameter of shell and tube LNG vaporizer, De = 4 {[(PT)2 (3.142D0)/4] /3.142D0}
regasification (where the entire cold of LNG is eventually dissipated into the atmospheric air) from the
standpoint of energy consumption, safety and environment. The physical and thermodynamic properties,
Mass velocity of IF through the shell side in LNG vaporizer, GIF = mIF/ ALNG shell
stability and suitability, availability, cost, environmental impact are the important criterias for the selection
of appropriate intermediate fluid. The paper discusses the performance of ambient air heated LNG Number of baffles in shell and tube vaporizer NB = (LS /LB +tb)
regasification system with alternative IFs. The intermediate fluids such as EGlycol-water, PGlycol-water,
Reynolds number of IF, Re = (De GIF)/IF
methanol-water, propanol-water, Ammonia-water, ethanol-water and glycerol-water are selected for this
analysis. In addition with thermodynamic property, discussions on physical properties are also presented in Pressure drop of IF in shell side of LNG vaporizer is PIF in shell side = (4f GIF2 Ds (NB +1) / (2 De)
this paper. Results provide the insight to design engineers to select appropriate intermediate fluid and may Tube side pressure drop in air heater has been calculated by using Darcy Weisbach equation for frictional
be helpful in project implementation phase of a regasification terminal. pressure drop in pipe flow.
Natural gas (NG) is another fossil fuel and an energy source like coal and crude oil, and it is available in nature. Results and discussions
NG is considered as a fuel of choice for some decades in future due to its environmental friendliness.
Lower physical volume (600 times less than NGs) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) compared to NG favors its Table 2. Comparison in thermodynamic properties of alternative intermediate fluids in air heated LNG regasification terminal
transportation through cargo ships. Intermediate fluid Ammonia EGlycol Ethanol Glycerol Methanol PGlycol Propanol
The role of LNG receiving terminal is to supply CNG to residential or industrial customers after unloading it Concentration of IF
from LNG carrier. for same freezing 11wt% 30wt% 24wt% 40wt% 20wt% 33wt% 25wt%
In a simplified process flow diagram of LNG regasification system consists LNG storage tanks, LNG pumps, boil- point (-150C )
off gas re-condensing system, vapor-return system, and vaporization systems. Density of IF (kg/m3) 954 1084 908 929 936 956 873
Depending on the availability of natural resources, suitability of environment and logistics of operation,
Required Mass flow
different configurations of LNG vaporizers such as open rack vaporizers (ORVs), submerged combustion
rate of IF (kg/s) for 4459 6211 4996 5409 4674 5259 5393
vaporizer (SCVs), direct ambient air vaporizers (AAVs) and air or sea water heated intermediate fluid
same capacity
vaporizers (IFVs) are used in LNG receiving terminal.
Total pressure drop
Due to harmful effect on marine life, use of ORV is restricted in United States of America (USA) [1,2,3].
of IF in LNG
In SCV, blows down water treatment and use of fuel gas becomes expensive to operate.[4,5] 3.29 3.77 3.63 3.47 3.39 3.68 3.91
vaporizer and air
developers of regasification terminal like to use free source of heat such as sea water, air or waste heat
heater (bara)
generated by a power plant, refinery or petrochemical plant [6]
Specific heat of IF
Sea water is economically and environmentally makes problem, air is another source of free heat. Usage of 4.39 3.18 3.75 3.62 4.19 3.51 3.53
ambient air not only saves fuel and operating cost but also reduces emission significantly. [1,7]
Thermal conductivity
Selection of IF in indirect air heated IFVs is an important step during the design which will affect the 0.59 0.36 0.34 0.42 0.49 0.38 0.28
of IF (W/m-K)
equipment size, operating cost and environmental impact [8].
Kinematic viscosity
0.84 3.64 6.45 34.86 0.96 22.62 10.80
Objective of IF (mm /s)

Effect of intermediate fluid on the performance of Single temperature level one stage ambient air heater with Required mass flow rate of intermediate fluid is
fired heater (backup) based NG superheated LNG regasification system is analyzed to understand the LNG related to specific heat of the intermediate fluid as
regasification system. shown in table2
Physical properties such as Toxicity, environmental friendliness, stability and suitability with material contact For the rated condition of LNG regasification,
of intermediate fluids are also analyzed to select the appropriate working fluid. required amount of intermediate fluid vary by
This analysis will be helpful to design engineers to select appropriate intermediate fluid according to the changing the IF
performance and physical properties. This analysis also helpful to configurational improvement of the system Mass flow rate of intermediate fluid increases with
decreasing the specific heat of intermediate fluid.
Methodology The pressure drop of intermediate fluid in heat
exchangers varies based on the thermodynamic
Process description of forced indirect air heated LNG regasification system properties. It will directly affect the power
consumption in IF pump.
Delivery pipeline
Similarly the mass flow rate is also directly related to
(Vaporized NG) Flue gas heat transfer rate of intermediate fluid. It will also
Trim heater HX3 directly affects the power consumption in IF pump
BOG LP compressors

C1 C2
F C4 C5
C3 IF surge
BOG HP tank2 Figure 2Variation in volume flow rate of IF for rated load
BOG A Fired heater regasification of LNG in receiving terminal
IF pump2
Recond compressors
-enser Compared to aforementioned seven intermediate
B fluids, Ammonia water based intermediate fluid
LNG D E LNG vaporizer shows minimum mass flow rate and power
C HX1 consumption.
HP send
The lesser mass flow rate and pressure drop are the
Storage tank LP in tank out pump main advantage of the Ammoniawater based
pump Ambient air
IF surge tank1 system.
heater (HX2)
IF pump1 The reason behind minimum power consumption
for the ammonia-water based system is due to the
Figure 1 One stage ambient air heater (backup) based NG super heated LNG regasification system. (LNG, Liquefied natural gas; NG, thermodynamic properties such as higher specific
Natural gas; BOG, Boil-off gas; LP, Low pressur, HP, High pressure, IF, Intermediate fluid; C, Compressor; HX, Heat exchanger) heat, higher thermal conductivity and lower
kinematic viscosity among all other six intermediate
The unloaded LNG is stored in its liquid state at atmospheric pressure in insulated tanks that are properly
insulated and structurally well-designed for storing cryogenic liquids (at temperature -1620C (111K)).
The generated vapor is compressed by boil-off gas (BOG) compressors and condensed in BOG condenser Figure 3 Variation in power consumption of IF pump for rated load The Propanolwater consumes 1.42MW power
regasification of LNG in receiving terminals than that of ammonia water based system
using a part of send out cold LNG (marked B).
In order to deliver CNG at desired temperature and pressure to end-customers, the send out LNG (marked E)
is pressurized in high pressure (HP) send-out pump and vaporized to desired temperature in shell and tube Conclusions
LNG vaporizer (HX1).
thermodynamic properties of intermediate fluids play important role in the performance of the
This system uses IF as heat carrying medium from finned heat exchanger (ambient air heater) by ambient air
blown by fan. Heated IF vaporizes the LNG in shell and tube vaporizer, gets chilled itself and stored inside the
IF surge tank. For a given rated load condition, ammonia-water based IF performs better than other
intermediate fluid in terms of power consumption.
Assumptions and conditions for simulation Pressure drop in heat exchangers (LNG vaporizer and air heater) and mass flow rate of
intermediate fluid is also related to telodynamic properties of intermediate fluid.
Process modeling and simulation is carried Table 1. Selected parameters and assumptions for the simulation
out in Aspen HYSYS 8.6 Composition of LNG CH4 100 (% mol) Increasing the pressure drop and mass flow rate, the performance of the system deteriorates and
Thermo physical properties of intermediate increases the power consumption.
fluids have been calculated by using Peng- Inlet pressure and temperature of LNG 1 bara and 111K Higher specific heat and thermal conductivity of intermediate fluid enhances the heat transfer
Robinson equation of state. BOG mass flow rate (1% per day) 3.35 kg/s rate with minimum amount of volume flow rate. Lower viscosity of intermediate fluid reduces
the pump power consumption.
The storage capacity (297.5 kiloton (160,000 Re-condenser working pressure 9 bara
m 4 tanks)) and mass flow rate (400 kg/s) of
LNG corresponding to Dahej LND terminal. Delivery pressure and temperature NG 30 bara and 5 0C
[1] Cho J H Shin D M Yang J Y 2010 AIChE. Conf. on natural gas utilization. Texas.USA
Adiabatic efficiencies of pumps and [2] Ertl B Durr C Coyle D Mohammed I Huang S 2005 World. Petro. Cong. M W Kellogg Ltd. United Kingdom.
compressors are taken as 60% and 70% Inlet and outlet temperature of ambient 23 0C, 90% RH and
[3] Faka S A 2007 Combined direct and indirect regasification of LNG using ambient air, United States patent US 0214807A1.
[4] Engdahl G E 2007 Submerged combustion LNG vaporizer, United States patent US 7168395 B2.
respectively. air 200C, 100% RH [5] Dinh C Cho J Yang J 2004 14th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas, 21-24 March 2004
Energy balance calculation [6]Shah K Wong J Minton B Kvaerner A 2008 AIChE. Conf. on natural gas utilization. Texas.USA
. . [7] Egashira S 2013, Takasago equipment plant. Energy & nuclear equipment Div. Machinery business, Kobe Steel Ltd. Japan, 64-69.
Energy balance calculation for pump work, WIF pump = m (hIF input - hIF out) /IF pump [8] Xu S Cheng Q Zhuang L Tang B Ren Q Zhang X 2015 Natural gas science and engineering 25:1-9.

Jubil Joy, 2016