January 2006

Special Report: Gas Processing Developments

Using gas pipeline pressure to liquefy natural gas or generate electricity

This novel approach can save money and improve energy usage efficiency

Fernandes, F., Shen, D. M., Simoes-Moreira, J. R., SISEA--Alternative Energy Systems Laboratory Mechanical Engineering Department, Escola Politecnica, Universidade de Sao Paulo

Gas pipelines transport processed natural gas (NG) from plants usually located near producing regions to consumption centers. It is common to have a pipeline crossing states or provinces within a country and even international borders. Along a gas pipeline, local distribution companies have a pipeline network of smaller diameter pipe, working at a lower pressure, connected to the main transmission pipeline at stations known as city gates. In those stations, high pressure NG undergoes an irreversible throttling process to drop its pressure to distribution pressure. At extreme conditions up to 100 bar is dropped to a few bars. This wastes useful process work energy. This problem was analyzed

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