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GTI Small-Scale Liquefaction


March 2013
GTI Liquefier System

> Proven technologyin use at 13,000-30,000 gpd

> Optimized for energy efficiency
> System well suited to rapid start-up and frequent
start/stop cycles
> Adaptable to various gas sources
> Technology licensed for commercialization
Application for pipeline, remote natural gas,
and bio-gas recovery
Several plants currently in operation

Small Liquefaction & LNG Markets

Sources Uses
> Gas Resource Deployment > LNG for Utilities and Industry
Stranded natural gas Peakshaving/standby
reserves Remote community
Opportunity fuels natural gas service
(landfill gas,
> LNG for Vehicles
wastewater gas,
digester gas) Medium and heavy-duty
trucks and buses
> Pipeline Natural Gas

Small-Scale Liquefaction
Capital Cost ($/LNG gallon/day)

800 Negative

Target Small-Scale
Liquefaction Plants

0 00 00 00 00 00
10 0 0 0 0 0
1, 0, 0, 0, 0,
1 10 00 00
1, 10

LNG Gallons Per Day

Natural Gas Liquefaction Options

Precooled Joule- A closed-cycle refrigerator (e.g. using Freon or propane) pre-cools Relatively simple and robust cycle, but efficiency is not high. Used in Anker
Thomson (JT) Cycle compressed natural gas, which is then partially liquefied during expansion Gram onsite liquefier for LNG truck fueling (which is no longer operating).
through a JT valve

Nitrogen Nitrogen is the working fluid in a closed-cycle refrigerator with a Simple and robust cycle with relatively low efficiency. Using multiple
Refrigeration Cycle compressor, turboexpander, and heat exchanger. Natural gas is cooled refrigeration stages can increase efficiency. Used in CryoFuel Systems
(also called closed and liquefied in the heat exchanger. Hartland LFG liquefier demonstration.
Brayton/Claude cycle)
Cascade Cycle A number of closed-cycle refrigerators (e.g. using propane, ethylene, High-efficiency cycle, especially with many cascade steps. Relatively expensive
methane) operating in series sequentially cool and liquefy natural gas. liquefier due to need for multiple compressors and heat exchangers. Cascade
More complex cascades use more stages to minimize heat transfer cycles of various designs are used in many large-capacity peakshaving and
irreversibility. LNG export plants.

Mixed-Refrigerant Closed cycle refrigerator with multiple stages of expansion valves, phase High-efficiency cycle that can provide lower cost than conventional cascade
Cycle (MRC) separators, and heat exchanger. One working fluid, which is a mixture of because only one compressor is needed. Many variations on MRC are used for
refrigerants, provides a variable boiling temperature. Cools and liquefies medium and large liquefaction plants. ALT-El Paso Topock LNG plant uses
natural gas with minimum heat transfer irreversibilities, similar to cascade MRC. GTI is developing simplified MRC for small plants (under 10,000 gpd).

Open Cycles with Classic open Claude cycle employs near-isentropic turboexpander to cool Open cycle uses no refrigerants other than natural gas. Many variations,
Turboexpander, compressed natural gas stream, followed by near-isenthalpic expansion including Haylandt cycle used for air liquefaction. Efficiency increases for more
Claude Cycle through JT valve to partially liquefy gas stream. complex cycle variations.

Turboexpander at Special application of turboexpander at locations (e.g. pipeline city gate), This design has been applied for peakshaving liquefiers, and it is currently being
Gas Pressure Drop where high-pressure natural gas is received and low-pressure gas is sent developed by INEEL in cooperation with PG&E and SoCalGas to produce LNG
out (e.g., to distribution lines). By expanding the gas through a transportation fuel. Very high or infinite efficiency, but special circumstances
turboexpander, a fraction can be liquefied with little or no compression must exist to employ this design.
power investment.
Stirling Cycle Cold gas (usually helium closed cycle using regenerative heat exchangers Very small-capacity Stirling refrigerators are catalog items manufactured by
(Phillips Refrigerator) and gas displacer to provide refrigeration to cryogenic temperatures. Can Phillips. These units have been considered for small-scale LNG transportation
be used in conjunction with heat exchanger to liquefy methane. fuel production.
TADOPTR TADOPTR = thermoacoustic driver orifice pulse tube refrigerator. Device Currently being developed by Praxair and LANL for liquefaction applications
applies heat to maintain standing wave, which drives working fluid through including LNG transportation fuel production. Progressing from small-scale to
Stirling-like cycle. No moving parts. field-scale demonstration stage.
Liquid Nitrogen Liquid nitrogen stored in dewar is boiled and superheated in heat Extremely simple device has been used to liquefy small quantities of natural
Open-Cycle exchanger, and warmed nitrogen is discharged to atmosphere. gas. More than one pound of liquid nitrogen is required to liquefy one pound of
Evaporation Counterflowing natural gas is cooled and liquefied in heat exchanger. natural gas. Nitrogen is harmless to atmosphere. Economics depends on price
paid for liquid nitrogen.
Adapted from USA Pro/California Energy Commission with modifications
GTI Small-Scale Liquefier

> Mixed-Refrigerant Liquefier

Uses specially designed, patented multi-component refrigerant
Proven HVAC screw compressor technology for reliability and
low cost
Electric motor or gas engine drive
System design for simplicity and low cost
Pre-commercial 1500 gal/day unit built and tested (using natural
gas engine drive)
Design scale-up to 5,000 to 30,000 gallons/day
Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy and Brookhaven
National Lab
Licensed to commercial partner
GTI Mixed-Refrigerant System
Simplified Process Schematic

Compressor Evaporative
Oil Cooler


Prime Mover Oil

(engine or motor drive) Separator/Filter

Mixed Refrigerant Loop

US Patent #6530240 (Gas Technology Institute)

GTI Small-Scale Liquefier
1500 gpd (Pre-Commercial)

Linde First Commercial Small-Scale
Liquefier ~8,000 gpd

UK Landfill Gas Recovery

Linde Waste Management
Altamont, CA Landfill-Gas-to-LNG
liquefaction for
biomass recovery
> Worlds largest
facility (13,000
gallons per day)
> A renewable fuel
with substantial
carbon reduction
compared to
diesel fuel

Linde Third Commercial Installation
~30,000 gpd

Tasmania, Australia
Partnering Opportunity

> GTI is looking for commercialization partners who are

well-positioned to bring this liquefaction technology to
additional markets such as stranded gas at production

For More Information

Tony Lindsay
GTI R&D Director,
End Use Solutions