Georgia Patent of the Month – March 2022

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state (liquefied), at about -260° Fahrenheit, for shipping and storage. The volume of natural gas in its liquid state is about 600 times smaller than its volume in its gaseous state in a natural gas pipeline.

The complications with LNG arise in finding more effective means of delivering it from storage tank to a device. For instance, fueling a vehicle which runs on natural gas. In fueling heavy-duty vehicles, the natural gas must have an intake pressure of approximately 100 psig. The current methods add heat to saturate LNG to reach this pressure. This requires equipment at LNG fueling stations which means if fueling ever occurs away from a station, the LNG will not be properly saturated and the storage tank will be filled well below the desired pressure.

Chart Industries, Inc. is a leading independent global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment which supports both the Energy and Industrial Gas markets. The company has recently designed an LNG delivery system which removes these limitations in LNG fueling.

Their design uses a main take system with a separate container that holds the LNG and a separate reserve tank which holds more LNG. A pressure building circuit is incorporated to increase the pressure of LNG in preparation for fueling. This tank can be mounted on movable vehicles, meaning fueling up can occur anywhere, even away from fueling stations.

Beyond saturating LNG on the go, the reserve tank can be used to store the saturated liquid. The vehicle draws from this reserve tank while driving and the main tank continues to saturate LNG even while driving. 

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