(126c) Synergy of Large-Scale Cryogenic Air Separation Unit and Liquefied Natural Gas Import Terminal

Authors: 
Singh, R., Lamar University
Lou, H., Lamar University
Global industrial gases market including Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Argon, is expected to grow at 6.2 % during 2016 - 2022 (P&S Market Research) due to rapid industrialization and increasing population. Huge demand in emerging economies coupled with rapid advancement in industrial gas production technologies is further driving the growth of this industry. At the same time, there is growing share of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the world natural gas trade, almost doubling from 12 Tcf in 2012 to 29 Tcf in 2040 (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

In a typical large scale Air Separation Unit (ASU), air is purified, compressed, cooled, liquefied and then separated into pure components (oxygen, nitrogen and argon) using cryogenic distillation. The process utilizes complex in-process heat integration techniques to save energy, however, the energy consumption is still very high.

Natural gas is liquefied at -260 deg. F and exported over long distances, usually by sea vessels. At the LNG import terminal, it is re-gasified with the help of heat exchangers and sent to end consumer by pipeline network.

This study explores the advantages of siting ASU near the LNG import terminal, so that LNG may be utilized for heat integration in the air separation unit. In this process, LNG is re-gasified using heat exchangers in the ASU.

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