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French firm Axens and its parent company, IFP, has developed a process for liquefaction of natural gas that achieves the best usage of large gas turbines and plate-fin heat exchangers. Compared to existing technologies, this process provides increased capacity and a reduced investment cost, while remaining simple and reliable. Very large capacities (up to 8 million t/year) can be achieved in one train at a very low LNG unit cost and with minimal space required.
The Liquefin process operates according to the typical flow scheme presented in the diagram (this page) on the following. The pre-refrigeration of gas is achieved by using a mixed refrigerant instead of propane. In this process, the pre-refrigeration cycle operates at a much lower temperature than when propane is used, and the temperature is decreased down to about – 60°C ( – 75°F). At this temperature, the cryogenic mixed refrigerant can be completely condensed, so that the quantity of this refrigerant is substantially reduced.
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