Nashaat Nassar describes his LNG technology research in his lab at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

New LNG tech developed at University of Calgary touted as greener, cheaper

Less equipment, energy, water and chemicals means lower operating costs and emissions

University of Calgary researchers focused on nanotechnology say they have developed a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to create liquefied natural gas.

The Split Flow Integrated LNG process uses specialized materials and chemistry to remove carbon dioxide and other impurities from the natural gas stream without having to cool and then warm the gas, as is done now in the leading LNG process, say its developers, associate professor Nassar Nashaat and student Arash Ostovar of the Schulich School of Engineering.

The result is that capital costs are reduced because less equipment is needed, while operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions are lowered because less energy, water and chemicals are consumed.

The duo are seeking an industrial partner to use the technology on a pilot basis to prove its benefits.

“We have plenty of natural gas resources here in Alberta and existing facilities where our technology can be integrated,” said Nassar, estimating there are 50 potential locations.

“The idea is that anybody who is producing natural gas can now produce LNG.”

Proponents tout LNG as a transition fuel which can replace coal or diesel as a more environmentally friendly way to generate electricity and power vehicles. Natural gas volumes are reduced by about 600 times when converted to LNG.

But environmentalists have charged that building B.C.’s many proposed LNG projects — including the $40-billion LNG Canada project led by Shell Canada which is now under construction — will make it impossible for the province to meet its GHG emission reduction targets.

RELATED: ‘What’s in it for Terrace?’ City braces for impacts of LNG development

Travis Balaski, vice-president of Calgary-based Ferus Natural Gas Fuels, said he was impressed after seeing a presentation on the new LNG technology but is concerned about its actual operating costs.

“This technology is obviously quite attractive to a company like us but it’s got to be proven before we would ever be in a position to deploy it,” he said.

Ferus is planning a $40-million expansion to triple the output from its LNG plant near Grande Prairie in northern Alberta.

The developers are hoping to find a partner to build a project that produces about 500,000 pounds of LNG per year, enough to power a 250-megawatt electrical generation plant.

The LNG Canada project is designed with capacity for 14 million pounds of LNG per year.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Ceremony to honour National Day of Remembrance on Dec. 6

The ceremony took place at noon on the plaza outside of the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

Scholarships created in honour of Comox Valley man who died in plane crash

Awards related to indigenous studies and the environment will be offered in memory of Micah Messent

Province announces new school for Hornby Island; $27 million in upgrades to Lake Trail

Upgrades to Lake Trail include a $1.5-million child care centre

Cumberland rejects parking variance for proposed building

Council agrees to other variance for height change in mixed-use building

MARS receives the gift of an X-ray machine

Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay donated the machine and processing machine to MARS

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Grinch strikes Town of Comox’s Christmas lights

Someone made their way down Comox Avenue and cut wires for the Town’s Christmas decorations.

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read