Efficiency Enhancement for Natural Gas Liquefaction with CO<sub>2</sub> Capture and Sequestration through Cycles Innovation and Process Optimization
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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants are energy intensive. As a result, the power plants operating these LNG plants emit high amounts of CO2. To mitigate global warming that is caused by the increase in atmospheric CO2, CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) using amine absorption is proposed. However, the major challenge of implementing this CCS system is the associated power requirement, increasing power consumption by about 15-25%. Therefore, the main scope of this work is to tackle this challenge by minimizing CCS power consumption as well as that of the entire LNG plant though system integration and rigorous optimization.
The power consumption of the LNG plant was reduced through improving the process of liquefaction itself. In this work, a genetic algorithm (GA) was used to optimize a propane pre-cooled mixed-refrigerant (C3-MR) LNG plant modeled using HYSYS software. An optimization platform coupling Matlab with HYSYS was developed. New refrigerant mixtures were found, with savings in power consumption as high as 13%. LNG plants optimization with variable natural gas feed compositions was addressed and the solution was proposed through applying robust optimization techniques, resulting in a robust refrigerant which can liquefy a range of natural gas feeds.
The second approach for reducing the power consumption is through process integration and waste heat utilization in the integrated CCS system. Four waste heat sources and six potential uses were uncovered and evaluated using HYSYS software. The developed models were verified against experimental data from the literature with good agreement. Net available power enhancement in one of the proposed CCS configuration is 16% more than the conventional CCS configuration.
To reduce the CO2 pressurization power into a well for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications, five CO2 pressurization methods were explored. New CO2 liquefaction cycles were developed and modeled using HYSYS software. One of the developed liquefaction cycles using NH3 as a refrigerant resulted in 5% less power consumption than the conventional multi-stage compression cycle.
Finally, a new concept of providing the CO2 regeneration heat is proposed. The proposed concept is using a heat pump to provide the regeneration heat as well as process heat and CO2 liquefaction heat. Seven configurations of heat pumps integrated with CCS were developed. One of the heat pumps consumes 24% less power than the conventional system or 59% less total equivalent power demand than the conventional system with steam extraction and CO2 compression.