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PhD Candidate, University of Western Australia; ME (Chemical), University of New South Wales
Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are forecast to increase from 62 million t in 2017-18 to 78 million t in 2019–20, representing a value of more than $50 billion.
A key risk to LNG production, however, is the formation of solids in a processing plant’s high-pressure cryogenic heat exchanger.
This freeze-out of impurities can lead to blockages and necessitate expensive plant shutdowns. The severity of the financial loss — around $70 million per missing LNG cargo — is significant, as is the associated environmental damage.
The application of this innovation has gone beyond and above the LNG industry to space science.
University of Western Australia PhD Candidate Arman Siahvashi has developed an innovative apparatus that can visually measure the freezing temperatures of hydrocarbons at cryogenic temperatures.
This data, according to Siahvashi, is crucial to solving the problem of freeze-out. His innovative apparatus visually measures the thermodynamic freeze-out of the hydrocarbons responsible for the shutdowns.
The exceptional accuracy, control and stability at cryogenic temperatures — down to minus 190ºC — of the apparatus have made it a novel and powerful alternative to conventional blind measurement methods such as calorimetry.