Webinars

Thermal Conductivity and PCT Characterization of Natural Gas Absorbents with Dr. Kristina Lilova

Special Guest Lecturer: Dr. Kristina Lilova of Setaram Inc.
Bio: Kristina Lilova has completed her PhD in Materials Science from University Henri Poincaré – Nancy 1, France (currently University of Lorraine) and postdoctoral studies from University of California, Davis. 
 
She is a thermochemist with interests in linking structural chemistry, thermodynamics and physical properties in inorganic and organic systems with electronic, magnetic, optical, energy, environmental importance, etc. She has more than 10 years’ experience in thermal analysis and calorimetry on ceramics, metals, complex oxides, polymers, nanomaterials.
She has published 25 papers and book chapters in peer reviewed journals and has been serving as an Associated Editor of American Mineralogist and Frontiers in Energy Research journals. 
 
Dr. Lilova is currently an Applications Manager at Setaram Inc., responsible for selection of the appropriate methods and techniques, performing calorimetric measurements on bulk and nanosized inorganic and organic compounds, developing materials and provide training on thermal analysis and calorimetry. 
 
Details: Natural gas is an attractive fuel for a variety of energy needs. Being made primarily of ethane and methane, it is lower in CO2 emissions than other forms of fossil fuels due to its intrinsically higher H/C ratio. As well, it has a high energy mass density of 49 MJ/kg, and burns efficiently. Unfortunately, natural gas is not without its challenges: Uncompressed natural gas has a volumetric energy density of approximately 0.0364 MJ/L, nearly three orders of magnitude lower than the volumetric energy density of gasoline. This poses a considerable storage and transportation challenge.
 
To attain a workable volumetric energy density, natural gas is typically stored and transported in high-pressure vessels, which proves to be a safety and environmental hazard in the event of leakage or transportation accident. Alternatively, it can be cooled to cryogenic conditions, which is costly, energy intensive, and poses a frostbite hazard to workers.
 
An alternative to these costly and hazardous storage mechanisms was proposed in the late 1980s: adsorbed natural gas (ANG). ANG enables high volumetric density storage of natural gas through the use of physical sorbents such as activated carbon or molecular sieves. ANG can reduce the storage pressure of natural gas from 20–25 MPa (2,900–3,600 psi) to 4 MPa (~580 psi), which is comparable with the operational pressure of NG pipelines. A number of practical challenges remain which prevent the widespread adoption of ANG technology including poor heat transfer properties resulting in slower delivery of NG and lower mass storage capacity for safety reasons.
In this webinar, we highlight research performed at Jimei University in Xiamen, China and published as an advanced release in Applied Thermal Engineering propose a new activated carbon and expanded natural graphite composite to improve the heat transfer properties of the parent adsorbent and, therefore, enable the use of conformable tanks, thus improving the system’s space efficiency and mass density. It was characterised by thermal conductivity using the C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer and the Setaram PCTPro E&E.

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