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ELPRO Lepenik highlights robust process humidity and dew point meters from partner programme

Liquefied Natural Gas ( LNG ) is a clear, colourless and non-toxic liquid. It is produced when natural gas is cooled and can be used as a fuel for trucks and shipping. Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons. With the cleanest combustion, it is a major source of energy. As the natural gas cools, it forms a liquid with a much smaller volume, which makes storage and overseas shipping much easier and safer. In order to obtain the right formula, it is essential to control the moisture in the production process itself. Here is an overview of the importance of moisture measurement in LNG production.

The gas itself is an efficient means of storage and transport as it is highly concentrated and has about 1/600 of the volume of the gaseous state. The process of liquefying gas involves removing contaminated particles and substances such as dust, heavy gases (except methane), heavy hydrocarbons and water.

European freight transit routes, which will be able to transit LNG-fuelled heavy goods vehicles in the coming years, will contribute to the development of sustainable freight transit transport in Europe. Burning natural gas does not release sulphur, heavy metals and soot into the atmosphere. It also produces much less carbon dioxide. In the future, LNG filling stations will also be able to be filled with liquefied biogas, a renewable energy source produced from waste and industrial plants.

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Figure: LNG production

Measuring moisture in LNG production

The gas is liquefied at atmospheric pressure by cooling at -162 °C. The removal of moisture during the liquefaction process itself is crucial to prevent the formation of ice crystals. In addition, if cold liquefied natural gas comes into contact with water, there is a risk of a rapid phase transition explosion – the liquid expands very quickly into a gaseous state, releasing a lot of energy at once.

In most LNG production, molecular desiccant is used as it is the most efficient method for achieving very low moisture contents, below 0.1 ppmV.

In the moisture process, it is therefore important that moisture analysers are not directly exposed to the process gas, which can reach up to 300 °C and has a high moisture content. For this reason, analysers and other moisture meters must be installed at the gas inlet of the isolation valve, which is closed during the treatment process.

Our partner Michell offers a selection of process humidity analysers and dew point transmitters in line with these applications. These are supplied with calibration to NIST and NPL (inter-laboratory comparisons) standards. We would like to highlight the following:

Figure: Instrument set for process humidity measurement

Author Katarina Žunko, source Michell. ”Moisture measurement in the production of LNG”
October 2021

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