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

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Province restricts non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID outbreak

Provincial staff will help enforce travel restrictions from islands, mainland

Strong season but no market for B.C.’s spot prawn fishers

Sector hopeful low prices will catch the eye of local prawn lovers

Fairview Terminal expansion receives regulatory approval

DP World expects expansion will add 300 jobs at the Prince Rupert facility

Community outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed on Haida Gwaii

Contact tracing has confirmed a total of 13 cases, according to Northern Health

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read