External Refrigeration Circuit Patents (Class 62/623)
  • Patent number: 10852060
    Abstract: A process comprising separating a hydrocarbon feed stream into a natural gas-rich stream and a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-rich stream using process equipment comprising only one multi-stage separation column, wherein the natural gas-rich stream has an energy content of less than or equal to about 1,300 British thermal units per cubic foot (Btu/ft3), and wherein the LPG-rich stream has a vapor pressure less than or equal to about 350 pounds per square inch gauge (psig). A process comprising separating a hydrocarbon feed stream into a top effluent stream and a LPG-rich stream, and subsequently expanding the top effluent stream to produce a natural gas-rich stream. An apparatus comprising a multi-stage separation column configured to separate a hydrocarbon feed stream into a top effluent stream and a LPG-rich stream, and an expander configured to expand the top effluent stream and produce a natural gas-rich stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Pilot Energy Solutions, LLC
    Inventor: Eric Prim
  • Patent number: 10767922
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for liquefying a natural gas feed stream and removing nitrogen therefrom to produce a nitrogen-depleted LNG product, in which a natural gas feed stream is fed into the warm end of a main heat exchanger, cooled and at least partially liquefied, withdrawn from an intermediate location of the main heat exchanger and separated to form a nitrogen-enriched natural gas vapor stream and a nitrogen-depleted natural gas liquid stream, the liquid and vapor streams being reintroduced into an intermediate location of the main heat exchanger and further cooled in parallel to form a first LNG stream and a first at least partially liquefied nitrogen-enriched natural gas stream, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Fei Chen, Yang Liu, Gowri Krishnamurthy, Christopher Michael Ott, Mark Julian Roberts
  • Patent number: 10766835
    Abstract: A separation system for separating a feed stream comprising propylene and propane and a method for separating such feed stream. The separation system includes a distillation column for producing a light stream comprising propylene and a heavy stream comprising propane; a reboiler for reboiling a part of the first heavy stream to produce a boiled heavy stream; a condenser for cooling the light stream to produce a condensed light stream; and an absorption refrigerator for receiving water and providing chilled water, for receiving hot water from a waste heat source and providing a cooled hot water and for receiving cooling water and providing a heated cooling water. The absorption refrigerator is arranged such that the cooling of the water and the hot water occurs by the cooling water. The condenser is arranged such that the cooling of the light stream occurs by the chilled water from the absorption refrigerator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: SABIC GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES B.V.
    Inventor: Joris Van Willigenburg
  • Patent number: 10605522
    Abstract: Embodiments relate generally to systems and methods for pre-cooling a natural gas stream to a liquefaction plant. A system may comprise a compressor configured to receive a first natural gas stream at a first pressure and produce a second natural gas stream at a second pressure; an exchanger, wherein the exchanger is configured to receive the second natural gas stream as the second pressure and cool the second natural gas stream to produce a cooled natural gas stream; and an expander, wherein the expander is configured to receive the cooled natural gas stream and expand the cooled natural gas stream from the second pressure to a third pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: John Mak, Jacob Thomas, Dhirav Patel, Steven Borsos
  • Patent number: 10443930
    Abstract: Processes and systems are provided for removing nitrogen from a hydrocarbon-containing gas to thereby recover a liquid natural gas (LNG) stream. In particular, the processes and systems described herein can be used to efficiently separate methane from nitrogen, which is an undesirable byproduct found in many hydrocarbon-containing gases used to produce LNG. The processes and systems described herein can utilize various refrigerant systems to separate and produce the LNG.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Black & Veatch Holding Company
    Inventor: Hao Jiang
  • Patent number: 10323495
    Abstract: Disclosed techniques include a method of obtaining an enhanced oil recovery fluid from a hydrocarbon reservoir, comprising producing a hydrocarbon stream from the hydrocarbon reservoir, separating an associated gas stream from the hydrocarbon stream, and condensing at least a portion of the associated gas stream to obtain an enriched hydrocarbon fluid suitable for injecting into a liquid layer of the hydrocarbon reservoir to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from the hydrocarbon reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: Jaime A. Valencia, David W. Maher, Robert D. Denton, Gary F. Teletzke, Michael W. Lin
  • Patent number: 10267559
    Abstract: A system for liquefying a gas includes a liquefaction heat exchanger having a feed gas inlet adapted to receive a feed gas and a liquefied gas outlet through which the liquefied gas exits after the gas is liquefied in the liquefying passage of the heat exchanger by heat exchange with a primary refrigeration passage. A mixed refrigerant compressor system is configured to provide refrigerant to the primary refrigeration passage. An expander separator is in communication with the liquefied gas outlet of the liquefaction heat exchanger, and a cold gas line is in fluid communication with the expander separator. A cold recovery heat exchanger receives cold vapor from the cold gas line and liquid refrigerant from the mixed refrigerant compressor system so that the refrigerant is cooled using the cold vapor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas A. Ducote, Jr., Timothy P. Gushanas, Mark R. Glanville
  • Patent number: 10240863
    Abstract: The method is carried out for continuously producing a liquefied methane gas (LMG) from a pressurized mixed methane gas feed stream. It is particularly well adapted for use in relatively small LMG distributed production plant, for instance those ranging from 400 to 15,000 MT per year, and/or when the mixed methane gas feed stream has a wide range of nitrogen-content proportions, including nitrogen being substantially absent. The proposed concept can also be very useful in the design of medium-scale and/or large-size plants, including ones where the nitrogen content always remains above a certain threshold. The methods and arrangements proposed herein can mitigate losses of methane gas when venting nitrogen, for instance in the atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: RTJ TECHNOLOGIES INC.
    Inventors: Charles Tremblay, Alain Roy, Simon Jasmin
  • Patent number: 10113127
    Abstract: A mixed single refrigerant process for separating a nitrogen gas stream from a natural gas stream containing nitrogen to produce a nitrogen gas stream from a liquefied natural gas stream wherein the separated nitrogen gas stream is used as a refrigerant for the natural gas stream and wherein the mixed refrigerant provides cooling for the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: BLACK & VEATCH HOLDING COMPANY
    Inventor: Brian C. Price
  • Patent number: 9958200
    Abstract: A method is provided for separating off acid gases, in particular CO2 and H2S, from a hydrocarbon-rich fraction, in particular natural gas. The hydrocarbon-rich fraction is cooled and partially condensed. The resultant CO2-enriched liquid fraction is separated by rectification into a CO2-rich liquid fraction and a CO2-depleted gas fraction. The hydrocarbon-rich fraction is cooled close to the temperature of the CO2 triple point by means of a closed multistage refrigeration circuit. The refrigerant is a CO2 fraction of greater than 99.5% by volume. The rectification column is operated at a pressure between 40 and 65 bar. The reboiler of the rectification column is heated by means of a condensing refrigerant substream of the refrigeration circuit that is at a suitable pressure level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: LINDE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Claudia Gollwitzer
  • Patent number: 9945604
    Abstract: A method for liquefying a natural gas feed stream and removing nitrogen therefrom, the method comprising passing a natural gas feed stream through a main heat exchanger to produce a first LNG stream, and separating a liquefied or partially liquefied natural gas stream in a distillation column to form nitrogen-rich vapor product, wherein a closed loop refrigeration system provides refrigeration to the main heat exchanger and to a condenser heat exchanger that provides reflux to the distillation column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Ott, Gowri Krishnamurthy, Fei Chen, Yang Liu, Mark Julian Roberts
  • Patent number: 9920986
    Abstract: Variable N2 content in feed gas ranging from 3 mol % to 50 mol % can be rejected from the process using a feed exchanger that is fluidly coupled with a cold separator and a single fractionation column to produce a nitrogen vent stream and streams that are suitable to be further processed for NGL recovery and LNG production.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 9829245
    Abstract: Provided is a natural gas liquefaction system including a natural gas storage unit, a liquefied natural gas storage unit, body, a pumping unit, a sub-cooling unit, and a first distributing and conveying unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Daejun Chang, Pal G Bergan
  • Patent number: 9816754
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for liquefying a natural gas feed stream and removing nitrogen therefrom to produce a nitrogen-depleted LNG product, in which a natural gas feed stream is passed through main heat exchanger to produce a first LNG stream, which is separated to form a nitrogen-depleted LNG product and a recycle stream composed of nitrogen-enriched natural gas vapor, and in which the recycle stream is passed through main heat exchanger to produce a first LNG stream, separately from and in parallel with the natural gas feed stream, to produce a first at least partially liquefied nitrogen-enriched natural gas stream that is separated to provide a nitrogen-rich vapor product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Fei Chen, Yang Liu, Gowri Krishnamurthy, Christopher Michael Ott, Mark Julian Roberts
  • Patent number: 9593883
    Abstract: Liquid carbon dioxide separated from sour gas is expanded by throttling decompression and is gas-liquid separated at a low temperature so as to be supplied for shipping or the improvement of petroleum recovery. Methane generated from a stranded gas well is allowed to pass as a coolant through liquid carbon dioxide separated and discharged from sour gas generated from the stranded gas well so as to cool liquid carbon dioxide. Disclosed is a module for treating carbon dioxide, and a treatment method thereof for supplying liquid carbon dioxide at a proper temperature and state conditions when there is a need for liquid carbon dioxide of very low temperature for the storage or collection of carbon dioxide, the improvement of petroleum recovery, or the like by cooling carbon dioxide using a material separated from sour gas of a stranded gas well as a coolant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: DAEWOO SHIPBUILDING & MARINE ENGINEERING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Byeong Yong Yoo, Sung Bae Kim, Il Guk Woo, Yeong Tae Oh, Hee Seung Na
  • Patent number: 9487458
    Abstract: Variable N2 content in feed gas ranging from 3 mole % to 50 mole % can be rejected from the process using a feed exchanger that is fluidly coupled with a cold separator and a single fractionation column to produce a nitrogen vent stream and streams that are suitable to be further processed for NGL recovery and LNG production.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Fluor Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 9335091
    Abstract: Methods and systems for removing nitrogen during liquefaction of natural are provided. Methods of removing nitrogen include warming a predominantly methane stream in a methane cold box to provide a warmed predominantly methane stream; conducting at least a portion of the warmed predominantly methane stream from the methane cold box to a nitrogen removal unit comprising at least a first nitrogen removal column and a last nitrogen removal column, wherein the first nitrogen removal column is located upstream of the last nitrogen removal column; passing the warmed predominantly methane stream through the last nitrogen removal column to provide a refluxed warmed predominantly methane stream; and routing at least a portion of the refluxed warmed predominantly methane stream to the last nitrogen removal column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Wesley Roy Qualls, Qi Ma, Megan Victoria Evans, Karl Lee Herzog, Jame Yao, Mohan Chahal, Matt Calvin Gentry, Attilio Jose Praderio, Marc Thomas Bellomy, Satish Gandhi, Mike Wilkes, Will James
  • Patent number: 9316434
    Abstract: This process includes the cooling of an introduction stream (72) inside an upstream heat exchanger (28). It includes the introduction of the cooled introduction stream (76) into a fractionating column (50) and the tapping at the bottom portion of the column (50) of the denitrided stream of hydrocarbons. It also includes the introduction of a stream (106) rich in nitrogen obtained from the head portion of the column (50) into a separation container (60) and the recovery of the head gaseous stream from the separation container (60) in order to form the stream (20) which is rich in helium. The liquid stream (110) is obtained from the bottom of the first separation container (60) is separated into a liquid nitrogen stream (18) and a first reflux stream (114) which is introduced as reflux into the head of the fractionating column (50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: TECHNIP FRANCE
    Inventors: Henri Paradowski, Sylvain Vovard
  • Patent number: 9309172
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of separating ethylene or ethane from a mixed gas containing ethylene and ethane using hydroquinone. According to the present invention, hydroquinone selectively forms a clathrate with ethylene, and thus it is possible to separate ethylene with high yield and purity through a single process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Energy Research
    Inventors: Seong-Pil Kang, Jong-Won Lee, Dongwook Lee, Yong Koo Kim
  • Patent number: 9222724
    Abstract: The method provides liquefaction of a natural gas by carrying out the following stages: cooling the natural gas; feeding the cooled natural gas into a fractionating column so as to separate a methane-rich gas phase and a liquid phase rich in compounds heavier than ethane; and liquefying the methane-rich stream so as to obtain the liquid natural gas. According to the invention, the operating conditions in the fractionating column are so selected that said liquid phase comprises a molar proportion of methane ranging between 10% and 150% of the molar proportion of ethane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: IFP Energies Nouvelles
    Inventors: Béatrice Fischer, Gilles Ferschneider, Anne Claire Lucquin
  • Patent number: 9121636
    Abstract: A system for removing a contaminant from a refrigerant stream employed in a closed-loop refrigeration cycle of an LNG facility. The system employs a distillation column to separate the refrigerant stream into a contaminant-rich and a contaminant-depleted stream, wherein the contaminant-depleted stream is subsequently returned to the closed-loop refrigeration cycle. The distillation column can include a reboiler and/or condenser. The reboiler and condenser can utilize one or more process streams from within the LNG facility to provide heating and/or cooling to the distillation column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Jon M. Mock, Weldon L. Ransbarger, James D. Ortego
  • Patent number: 9050554
    Abstract: Device for compressing and drying gas includes a multistage compressor with a low pressure stage, a high pressure stage, and a pressure pipe; and an adsorption dryer with a drying zone and a regeneration zone. An intercooler is located between the low pressure stage and high pressure stage, and the device includes a heat exchanger with a main compartment with an inlet part and an outlet part for a first primary fluid. The ends of the tubes of the heat exchanger are connected to a separate inlet compartment and outlet compartment for each series of tubes. A first series of tubes forms a cooling circuit of the intercooler in order to heat up gas from the high pressure stage for the regeneration of the adsorption dryer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: ATLAS COPCO AIRPOWER
    Inventors: Stijn Jozef Rita Johanna Janssens, Uwe Pahner, Christophe Briers
  • Patent number: 9045697
    Abstract: Hydrocarbon distillation columns with heat pumps and methods of operating them are described. The overhead stream is compressed to increase temperature so that it can be used both to heat the reboiler and to superheat the overhead stream before it enters the heat pump compressor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignee: UOP LLC
    Inventors: Clayton C. Sadler, Xin X. Zhu, Tokhanh N. Ngo, David J. Shecterle
  • Patent number: 8667812
    Abstract: A process and an apparatus are disclosed for removing carbon dioxide from a hydrocarbon gas stream. The gas stream is cooled, expanded to intermediate pressure, and supplied to a fractionation tower at a top column feed position. The tower overhead vapor stream is compressed to higher pressure and cooled to partially condense it, forming a condensed stream. The condensed stream is expanded to intermediate pressure, used to subcool a portion of the tower bottom liquid product, then supplied to the tower at a mid-column feed position. The subcooled portion of the tower bottom liquid product is expanded to lower pressure and used to cool the compressed overhead vapor stream. The quantities and temperatures of the feeds to the fractionation tower are effective to maintain the overhead temperature of the fractionation tower at a temperature whereby the major portion of the carbon dioxide is recovered in the tower bottom liquid product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Ordoff Engineers, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyle T. Cuellar, John D. Wilkinson, Hank M. Hudson
  • Patent number: 8555673
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and apparatus for separating a mixture containing carbon monoxide, nitrogen and hydrogen by cryogenic distillation in a separation system which includes a denitrification column and at least another column. The method can include separating the mixture in order to obtain a fluid enriched with carbon monoxide and containing nitrogen, separating the fluid in the denitrification column, pressurizing the carbon monoxide flow from the column in a compressor up to a high pressure, collecting a fraction of carbon monoxide flow to be used as a product, expanding an amount of the high-pressure carbon monoxide flow in a valve prior to supplying it to the denitrification column, and varying the flow expanded in the valve according to re-boiling needs of the denitrification column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: L'Air Liquide, Société pour l'Étude et l'Éxploitation des Procédés Georges Claude
    Inventors: Arthur Darde, Antoine Hernandez
  • Patent number: 8528361
    Abstract: A method for recovering C2 and higher weight hydrocarbons, or alternatively C3 and higher weight hydrocarbons, from low pressure gas, wherein the method avoids the need to significantly compress contaminated low pressure gas in most cases, and is robust in response to pressure and temperature variations in the low pressure gas feed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Technip USA
    Inventors: Rajeev Nanda, Rahul Singh
  • Patent number: 8413463
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improved process for recovery of natural gas liquids from a natural gas feed stream. The process runs at a constant pressure with no intentional reduction in pressure. An open loop mixed refrigerant is used to provide process cooling and to provide a reflux stream for the distillation column used to recover the natural gas liquids. The processes may be used to recover C3+ hydrocarbons from natural gas, or to recover C2+ hydrocarbons from natural gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Lummus Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Patent number: 8316665
    Abstract: Contemplated plants thermally integrate operation of a refinery component, and most preferably of a hydrocarbon splitter with LNG regasification to provide refrigeration duty and with a power cycle to provide the reboiler duty of the component. It should be noted that such configurations advantageously allow operation of the splitter at a reduced temperature and at reduced pressure, thereby increasing separation efficiency, while the power output is boosted using air intake chilling. Most notably, such process advantages are achieved by satisfying the heating duty of LNG regasification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 8209997
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improved process for recovery of natural gas liquids from a natural gas feed stream. The process runs at a constant pressure with no intentional reduction in pressure. An open loop mixed refrigerant is used to provide process cooling and to provide a reflux stream for the distillation column used to recover the natural gas liquids. The processes may be used to recover C3+ hydrocarbons from natural gas, or to recover C2+ hydrocarbons from natural gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Lummus Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Publication number: 20120085127
    Abstract: A method for recovering C2 and higher weight hydrocarbons, or alternatively C3 and higher weight hydrocarbons, from low pressure gas, wherein the method avoids the need to significantly compress contaminated low pressure gas in most cases, and is robust in response to pressure and temperature variations in the low pressure gas feed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Publication date: April 12, 2012
    Inventors: Rajeev Nanda, Rahul Singh
  • Publication number: 20120085128
    Abstract: A method for recovering C2 and higher weight hydrocarbons, or alternatively C3 and higher weight hydrocarbons, from low pressure gas, wherein the method avoids the need to significantly compress contaminated low pressure gas in most cases, and is robust in response to pressure and temperature variations in the low pressure gas feed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Publication date: April 12, 2012
    Inventors: Rajeev Nanda, Rahul Singh
  • Patent number: 7856848
    Abstract: The present invention related to a flexible hydrocarbon gas separation process that could dehydrate the water-saturated hydrocarbon gas mixture and recover thereof the required higher hydrocarbons (NGL) therein with a controllable ethane recovery rate (ranging from >95% to <2%) while keeping high recovery rate of all other heavier components. The flexible process comprises the following steps: deep-cooling and dehydrating the raw gas and get the NGL condensate; flowing the deep-dehydrated gas into the flexible absorber to get the rich oil with desirable ethane content; completely demethanizing and partially deethanizing as desired the rich oil and the NGL condensate to get purified rich oil and purified NGL condensate, respectively; separating the NGL vapor from the purified rich oil; cooling and compressing the NGL vapor; mixing the NGL vapor with the purified NGL condensate; and liquefying the mixture to get the final NGL product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Inventor: Yingzhong Lu
  • Publication number: 20100175425
    Abstract: A method for cooling natural gas with a refrigerant, one non-limiting embodiment which includes: (A) compressing and cooling the refrigerant to a first pressure to form a compressed refrigerant; (B) splitting the compressed refrigerant into a first stream and a second stream both at the first pressure; (C) cooling the first stream to form a cooled first stream; (D) expanding the cooled first stream to a first expansion pressure to form an expanded first stream; (E) compressing the second stream to a second pressure higher than the first pressure, forming a higher pressure second stream; (F) cooling the higher pressure second stream to form a cooled second stream; (G) expanding the cooled second stream to a second expansion pressure to form an expanded second stream; and, (H) Cooling the natural gas with the expanded first stream and expanded second stream, forming a cooled natural gas stream.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Publication date: July 15, 2010
    Inventor: SUSAN T. WALTHER
  • Patent number: 7713497
    Abstract: A natural gas liquid plant includes a separator (103) that receives a cooled low pressure feed gas (4), wherein the separator (103) is coupled to an absorber (108) and a demethanizer (110). Refrigeration duty of the absorber (108) and demethanizer (110) are provided at least in part by expansion of a liquid portion of the cooled low pressure feed gas (4) and an expansion of a liquid absorber bottom product (19), wherein ethane recovery is at least 85 mol % and propane recovery is at least 99 mol %. Contemplated configurations are especially advantageous as upgrades to existing plants with low pressure feed gas where high ethane recovery is desirable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20100107684
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for liquefying a gas stream rich in methane, said process comprising: (a) providing said gas stream; (b) withdrawing a portion of said gas stream for use as a refrigerant; (c) compressing said refrigerant; (d) cooling said compressed refrigerant with an ambient temperature cooling fluid; (e) subjecting the cooled, compressed refrigerant to supplemental cooling; (f) expanding the refrigerant of (e) to further cool said refrigerant, thereby producing an expanded, supplementally cooled refrigerant; (g) passing said expanded, supplementally cooled refrigerant to a heat exchange area; and, (h) passing said gas stream of (a) through said heat exchange area to cool at least part of said gas stream by indirect heat exchange with said expanded, supplementally cooled refrigerant, thereby forming a cooled gas stream. In further embodiments for improved efficiencies, additional supplemental cooling may be provided after one or more other compression steps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2008
    Publication date: May 6, 2010
    Inventor: Moses Minta
  • Publication number: 20100037655
    Abstract: A method for recovering hydrogen from a gas stream is presented. This method includes introducing a feed gas stream comprising hydrogen and methane to a first cold box, thereby producing a first hydrogen-enriched stream, and a first methane-enriched stream; then introducing the first hydrogen-enriched stream to a first feed compressor, thereby producing a compressed first hydrogen-enriched stream. The method includes introducing the compressed first hydrogen-enriched stream to a second cold box, thereby producing a second hydrogen-enriched stream, and a second methane-enriched stream; then introducing the second hydrogen-enriched stream to a second feed compressor, thereby producing a compressed second hydrogen-enriched stream. The method includes introducing the compressed second hydrogen-enriched stream to a third cold box, thereby producing a third hydrogen-enriched stream, and a third methane-enriched stream.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: Air Liquide Process and Construction Inc.
    Inventor: Bhadra S. Grover
  • Publication number: 20100000254
    Abstract: Provided is a method of producing gas hydrate at a low cost. An acid gas 3 is removed from a natural gas 1, and after dehydration 5 of accompanying water, part of heavy components which do not produce gas hydrate 10 are separated and removed under a relatively high temperature. Moreover, the rest of the heavy components are taken out in a gas hydrate production step 9 together with an excessive portion of light components not contributing to production of the gas hydrate 10, as a fuel gas 11 which is used as a cooling source or a power source for a cooling system in the gas hydrate production step 9.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2007
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    Inventors: Masataka Hiraide, Kae Serizawa, Kikuo Nakamura, Nakaoka Makoto
  • Publication number: 20090301131
    Abstract: A method of treating a hydrocarbon stream such as natural gas from a feed stream (10) comprising at least the steps of: a) passing the feed stream (10) through a distillation column (12) to provide a gaseous stream (20) and a C2+ liquid stream (30); b) compressing at least part of the gaseous stream (20) through one or more feed compressors (14, 16) to provide a compressed stream (40); and c) commonly driving (28) at least one of the feed compressors with one or more separate refrigerant compressors for one or more separate refrigerant circuits, by mechanically interconnecting said compressors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2007
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: SHELL OIL COMPANY
    Inventors: Hillegonda Bakker, Joannes Ignatius Geijsel, Mark Antonius Kevenaar
  • Patent number: 7628035
    Abstract: In this method, the LNG stream is cooled using a refrigerating fluid in a first heat-exchanger. The refrigerating fluid is subjected to a second semi-open refrigeration cycle which is independent of the first cycle. The method comprises a step for introducing the stream of sub-cooled LNG into a distillation column and a step for recovering a stream of gas at the top of the column. The second refrigeration cycle comprises a step for forming a stream of refrigerating fluid from a portion of the top stream of gas, a step for compressing the stream of refrigerating fluid to a high pressure, then a step for expanding a portion of the stream of compressed refrigerating fluid in order to form a substantially liquid sub-cooling stream. The substantially liquid stream is evaporated in the first heat-exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Henri Paradowski
  • Publication number: 20090282864
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improved process for recovery of natural gas liquids from a natural gas feed stream. The process runs at a constant pressure with no intentional reduction in pressure. An open loop mixed refrigerant is used to provide process cooling and to provide a reflux stream for the distillation column used to recover the natural gas liquids. The processes may be used to recover C3+ hydrocarbons from natural gas, or to recover C2+ hydrocarbons from natural gas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2008
    Publication date: November 19, 2009
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Publication number: 20090277217
    Abstract: An LNG facility employing an enhanced nitrogen removal system that concentrates the amount of nitrogen in the feed stream to a nitrogen removal unit (NRU) to thereby increase the separation efficiency of the NRU. In one embodiment, the nitrogen removal system comprises a multistage separation vessel operable to separate nitrogen from a cooled natural gas stream. At least a portion of the resulting nitrogen-containing stream exiting the multistage separation vessel can be used as a refrigerant, processed to a nitrogen removal unit, and/or utilized as fuel gas for the LNG facility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2008
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Applicant: CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY
    Inventors: Weldon L. Ransbarger, J. Dale Ortego, JR.
  • Patent number: 7610775
    Abstract: The disclosed invention relates to a distillation process for separating two or more components having different volatilities from a liquid mixture containing the components. The process employs microchannel technology for effecting the distillation and is particularly suitable for conducting difficult separations, such as the separation of ethane from ethylene, wherein the individual components are characterized by having volatilities that are very close to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Velocys, Inc.
    Inventors: Anna Lee Tonkovich, Wayne W. Simmons, Laura J. Silva, Dongming Qiu, Steven T. Perry, Thomas Yuschak, Thomas P. Hickey, Ravi Arora, Amanda Smith, Robert Dwayne Litt, Paul Neagle
  • Publication number: 20090211296
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for separating a fraction rich in C2+ from liquefied natural gas (LNG) is disclosed. In an embodiment, partial evaporation of the liquefied natural gas occurs in a heat exchanger. The partially evaporated natural gas is separated into a first gas fraction rich in C1 and a first liquid fraction rich in C2+. In a separation column, rectification separation of the first liquid fraction rich in C2+ into a second gas fraction rich in C1 and a second liquid fraction rich in C2+ occurs. The first gas fraction rich in C1 is re-liquefied in the heat exchanger. At least one sub-stream of the re-liquefied gas fraction rich in C1 is fed as a reflux to the rectification separation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2005
    Publication date: August 27, 2009
    Applicant: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Hubert Franke, Rainer Sapper
  • Publication number: 20090205367
    Abstract: A method and system for the separation of a synthesis gas and methane mixture which contains carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane with the process producing synthesis gas and liquid natural gas (LNG).
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2008
    Publication date: August 20, 2009
    Inventor: Brian C. Price
  • Patent number: 7437891
    Abstract: A process for the recovery and purification of ethylene and optionally propylene from a stream containing lighter and heavier components that employs an ethylene distributor column and a partially thermally coupled distributed distillation system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Ineos USA LLC
    Inventors: Rian Reyneke, Michael J. Foral, Guang-Chung Lee, Wayne W. Y. Eng, Iain Sinclair, Jeffery S. Lodgson
  • Publication number: 20080016909
    Abstract: The present invention related to a flexible hydrocarbon gas separation process that could dehydrate the water-saturated hydrocarbon gas mixture and recover thereof the required higher hydrocarbons (NGL) therein with a controllable ethane recovery rate (ranging from >95% to <2%) while keeping high recovery rate of all other heavier components. The flexible process comprises the following steps: deep-cooling and dehydrating the raw gas and get the NGL condensate; flowing the deep-dehydrated gas into the flexible absorber to get the rich oil with desirable ethane content; completely demethanizing and partially deethanizing as desired the rich oil and the NGL condensate to get purified rich oil and purified NGL condensate, respectively; separating the NGL vapor from the purified rich oil; cooling and compressing the NGL vapor; mixing the NGL vapor with the purified NGL condensate; and liquefying the mixture to get the final NGL product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Publication date: January 24, 2008
    Inventor: Yingzhong Lu
  • Patent number: 7305850
    Abstract: The disclosed invention relates to a process for distilling a fluid mixture in a microchannel distillation unit, the microchannel distillation unit comprising a plurality of microchannel distillation sections, the fluid mixture comprising a more volatile component and a less volatile component, the process comprising: flowing a vapor phase of the fluid mixture in a first microchannel distillation section in contact with a liquid phase of the fluid mixture, part of the more volatile component transferring from the liquid phase to the vapor phase to form a more volatile component rich vapor phase, part of the less volatile component transferring from the vapor phase to the liquid phase to form a less volatile component rich liquid phase; separating the more volatile component rich vapor phase from the less volatile component rich liquid phase; flowing the less volatile component rich liquid phase to another microchannel distillation section upstream from the first microchannel distillation section; and flowing
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2007
    Assignee: Velocys, Inc.
    Inventors: Anna Lee Tonkovich, Wayne W. Simmons, Laura J. Silva, Dongming Qiu, Steven T. Perry, Thomas Yuschak
  • Patent number: 7185514
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for fractionating a gas produced by the pyrolysis of hydrocarbons (1) for the recovery of C2 and higher hydrocarbons, in particular ethylene and ethane, comprising an operation (70) for compressing and drying gas (1) as a result of it passing into a series of compressors (3, 10, 17, 24, 36), an operation (80) for progressively cooling and partially liquefying the gas produced by compression and drying operation (70) as a result of it successively passing into a cryogenic exchanger (62), and a distillation operation (90) in a column (64), and the corresponding installation. According to the invention, cryogenic exchanger (62) is cooled by at least one cooling liquid (400) which is liquid natural gas (LNG).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Henri Paradowski
  • Patent number: 7100399
    Abstract: Improved methodology for starting up a LNG facility employing a refluxed heavies removal column. The improved methodology involves varying the temperature of the feed to the heavies removal column between start-up and normal operation. This allows a larger amount of the stream produced from the top of the heavies removal column during start-up to be used to more rapidly start up the LNG facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: Conocophillips Company
    Inventor: Anthony P. Eaton
  • Patent number: 7082787
    Abstract: The recovery of ethylene from light gases at low temperature by the use of a mixed refrigeration system comprising methane, ehtylene and/or ethane, and propylene and/or propane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Guang-Chung Lee, Rian Reyneke, Michael J. Foral, Christos Papadopoulos, Wayne W. Y. Eng, Jeff Logsdon