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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Barkerville postpones opening date

Barkerville Historic Town and Park and Cottonwood House Historic Site hope to open June 18

Williams Lake library makes creative adjustments, offers story time online

Videos of branch assistant Darren Smith reading out loud will be posted regularly

Williams Lake agencies collaborate to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19

‘We are trying to make sure we are making good referrals,’ said City’s economic development officer

Xeni Gwet’in Wagon Trip cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic, no Williams Lake Stampede in 2020

The trip has been a wonderful addition to the historic Stampede for the last 11 years

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

UNBC opts for virtual convocation in June, commits to face-to-face after COVID-19

Interim president Geoff Payne said feedback prompted him to commit to traditional one when possible

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Most Read