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

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

BC Hydro studying new power connection in northwest B.C.

Would supply hydro-electric power to planned LNG plant at Kitimat

Illicit overdose deaths on the rise during COVID-19: Northern Health

March 2020 saw a 61 per cent increase in illicit overdose deaths province-wide compared to February

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read