WHAT IS LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS?

LNG is natural gas that has been processed to be transported in liquid form.
It is the best alternative to supply power to remote or isolated areas, where it is not cost effective to carry by pipelines.
Natural gas is transported in a liquid state (at atmospheric pressure and at −260 °F, – 162 °C), in which the volume occupied is 1/600 times before entering the gaseous state for consumption. It is transported in special cryogenic tanks also called isocontainers.
LNG is odorless, colorless, non-toxic. Its density with respect to water is 0.42 and it only burns when it comes into contact with oxygen at concentrations of 5 to 15%.

LIQUEFACTION PROCESS

When natural gas is extracted from the wells, it often contains other materials and
components that must be disposed of before it can be liquefied:
+ Helium
+ Sulfur
+ Carbon dioxide
+ Mercury
+ Water
+ Heavy hydrocarbons, also called “condensates”
With this process, we offer 97% methane. The removal of ethane, propane and other hydrocarbons is controlled by a liquid removal unit, which can be integrated in the liquefaction process.

COOLING PROCESS

To convert natural gas into liquid, the treated gas is cooled to approximately −260 °F (-162 °C), which is the temperature at which methane CH4 – its main component – is converted to liquid form. The liquefaction process is similar to that of common refrigeration: the refrigerant gases are compressed producing cold liquids, such as propane, ethane / ethylene, methane, nitrogen or mixtures thereof, which then evaporate as they exchange heat with the natural gas stream. In this way, natural gas cools to the point where it becomes liquid. Once the gas has been liquefied, it is subjected to a Joule-Thomson effect or expansion with extraction of work to be able to store it at atmospheric pressure. The produced LNG is stored in special isocontainers to be later transferred to special transport tanks.

LNG STORAGE

As mentioned before, LNG is stored at −260 °F (-162 °C) and at atmospheric pressure in special cryogenic tanks for low temperature. The typical LNG tank has two concentric tanks. Safety and resistance are the main design considerations when building these tanks, which are designed to withstand earthquakes and extreme weather conditions (temperature, wind, hail, radiation, atmospheric pressure, etc.).

REGASIFICATION OF LNG

Through a regasification process, the LNG returns to its original gaseous state.
To do this, it goes from the liquid state in which it is found in the cryogenic containers, to the ambient temperature through a vaporizer. With this process, it meets the appropriate conditions for its use.
This transportation method for LNG is the most efficient for those customers away from the pipeline distribution network.

LNG AS A FUEL

As a consequence of the technological development in LNG applications and the commitments established by the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, the consumption of natural gas is promoted as an efficient and clean source for energy generation.
Natural gas allows impurities such as water, heavy hydrocarbons and other particles to be eliminated during the liquefaction process, thereby reducing the impact on the environment.

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