August 2012

Special Report: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Apply new guidelines to select compressors for low-temperature service

The writer calls on design and process engineers to take extra precautions when selecting and sizing their reciprocating compressors for low-temperature gas service.

Mubarak, S., Bharat Pumps and Compressors, Ltd.

Liquefied gases are transported by tankers and ships and are stored in specially designed tanks. However, when the temperature of liquefied gases—ammonia, ethylene, propylene and liquefied natural gas (LNG), etc.—is considerably low, the vaporization occurs very quickly due to ambient temperatures. As the liquid vaporizes, the pressure inside the tank, likewise, increases. The rising pressure must not exceed the design pressure of the tanker/storage tank. To control pressure, the re-liquefaction process was adopted, in which reciprocating compressors are an indispensable part of the whole system. When the temperature of the liquid gas and its vapor is quite low (–160°C

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