The research activity is aimed at performing the thermodynamic analysis of cryogenic systems, in particular methane liquefaction plant (LNG). The main application for the LNG here taken into account is the use as alternative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles. Natural gas is indeed considered an interesting alternative fuel for its reduced environmental impact and the readiness of the necessary technologies. Natural gas as vehicle fuel can be in its compressed form, CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), or liquefied, LNG, at about -160°C (Liquefied Natural Gas). Furthermore it can come from fossil fuels, but also from renewable sources, such as biomass decomposition in digestors or landfills (purified biogas). Bio-LNG (BLG) is a renewable fuel with a role in the circular economy contest. In this case purification processes are needed to reach the specification for methane liquefaction. Combined purification and liquefaction through cryogenics processes has been proposed.
The activities performed are mainly:
• Feasibilty analysis of small scale LNG production
• Environmental analysis and LCA of LNG as vehicle fuel
• Design and optimization of novel plants for LNG production
Activities are carried out in the Refrigeration Laboratory.