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Exergy Analysis of Combined Cycle of Air Separation and Natural Gas Liquefaction

Authors: Hanfei Tuo, Yanzhong Li


This paper presented a novel combined cycle of air separation and natural gas liquefaction. The idea is that natural gas can be liquefied, meanwhile gaseous or liquid nitrogen and oxygen are produced in one combined cryogenic system. Cycle simulation and exergy analysis were performed to evaluate the process and thereby reveal the influence of the crucial parameter, i.e., flow rate ratio through two stages expanders β on heat transfer temperature difference, its distribution and consequent exergy loss. Composite curves for the combined hot streams (feeding natural gas and recycled nitrogen) and the cold stream showed the degree of optimization available in this process if appropriate β was designed. The results indicated that increasing β reduces temperature difference and exergy loss in heat exchange process. However, the maximum limit value of β should be confined in terms of minimum temperature difference proposed in heat exchanger design standard and heat exchanger size. The optimal βopt under different operation conditions corresponding to the required minimum temperature differences was investigated.

Keywords: combined cycle simulation, exergy analysis, natural gas liquefaction.

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