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Keywords:

  • shale gas;
  • NGL recovery;
  • LNG regasification;
  • process design and synthesis;
  • MILP

Natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery from shale gas needs large amounts of cold energy for cooling, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification requires tremendous hot energy for heating. Thus, recycling the cold energy from LNG regasification process at a receiving terminal to assist the NGL recovery process has great economic benefits on both energy saving and high-value product recovery. A novel conceptual design by integrating NGL recovery from shale gas and LNG regasification at receiving terminals has been developed. It first generates a process superstructure. Then, a simulation-assisted mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model is developed and solved for the optimal process synthesis. Next, heat exchange network (HEN) design and analysis are performed to accomplish the maximum energy-saving target. Finally, rigorous plant-wide simulations are conducted to validate the feasibility and capability of the entire conceptual design coupling of separation and heat integration. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 4673–4685, 2013