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Apparatus for the liquefaction of natural gas and methods relating to same

United States Patent

September 22, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
An apparatus and method for producing liquefied natural gas. A liquefaction plant may be coupled to a source of unpurified natural gas, such as a natural gas pipeline at a pressure letdown station. A portion of the gas is drawn off and split into a process stream and a cooling stream. The cooling stream passes through an expander creating work output. A compressor may be driven by the work output and compresses the process stream. The compressed process stream is cooled, such as by the expanded cooling stream. The cooled, compressed process stream is expanded to liquefy the natural gas. A gas-liquid separator separates a vapor from the liquid natural gas. A portion of the liquid gas is used for additional cooling. Gas produced within the system may be recompressed for reintroduction into a receiving line or recirculation within the system for further processing.
Turner; Terry D. (Ammon, ID), Wilding; Bruce M. (Idaho Falls, ID), McKellar; Michael G. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID)
11/ 383,411
May 15, 2006
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-051D14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.