Hydrate Technology For Transporting Natural Gas
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Natural gas hydrate (NGH) is a viable alternative to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) or pipelines for the transportation of natural gas from source to demand. It involves three stages: production, transportation and re-gasification. The production of the hydrate occurs at pressures >50 bar at temperatures ~10oC in the presence of water and natural gas (particularly methane, ethane, propane). Transportation is by insulated bulk carrier at around –5 oC and atmospheric pressure or 0 oC at 10 bar, and re-gasification is carried out with controlled heating using water. The hydrate yields ~150 sm3 of natural gas per cubic metre of hydrate. The transportation of natural gas by hydrate should have significant lower capital and operating costs for the movement of quantities of natural gas over adverse conditions compared to pipeline or LNG. The simplicity and flexibility of the process make the natural gas concept worth the development required.