PhD opportunities

STUDY OF LOW TEMPERATURE PHASE EQUILIBRIA AND KINETICS FOR THE OPTIMIZATION OF THE NATURAL GAS LIQUEFACTION PROCESS

Thesis proposal

Area of expertiseEnergétique et génie des procédés
Doctoral SchoolISMME - Systems Engineering, Materials, Mechanics, Energy
SupervisorM. Paolo STRINGARI
Co-supervisorM. Marco CAMPESTRINI
Research unitEnergy and Processes
Contact
http://www.ctp.mines-paristech.fr
Starting dateOctober 1st 2021
KeywordsPhase equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, energy transition, cryogenics, LNG
AbstractContext
One of the most important axes of the energy transition in the short and medium term is the use of Natural Gas (NG) for replacing other fossil fuels whose use entails larger emissions of carbon dioxide. This resulted in an important increase in the natural gas consumption (+ 44% in the last two decades). This rapid growth is supported by the development of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market. Because of the low temperature necessary to liquefy natural gas, risk of crystallization of impurities is one of the major technical problems to be considered in the design of liquefaction processes. Formation of solids in LNG production process coats heat exchangers and fouls process equipments. Massive solid deposits can plug the pipes creating major safety problems, like the risk of breakage or explosions. Furthermore, solid can create safety and operation problems during expansion processes and accidental or programmed gas release. The lack of experimental data and models for the solubility limits of impurities in LNG obliges the Companies to adopt big safety margins in the liquefaction processes, causing the increase of energy consumption, oversized design of the pre-treatment units, and loss of profit in the LNG sale.

Objectives
The main objective of the thesis is pursuing the development of a precise model for representing the limits of solubility of impurities in natural gas at low temperature in order to allow an optimized process design.
The development of the model will be based on data from the open literature and from experiments carried out in the laboratory. Kinetics of solid formation will be also investigated experimentally and theoretically.

Methodology
The project is mainly organized in three parts:
- the development of a database (from literature data) of low temperature phase equilibria and thermodynamic properties of natural gas components.
- the realization of original measurements (phase equilibrium and kinetics of solid formation) for covering the lack of literature data for the systems that will be selected for the project.
- the development of a model for predicting low temperature phase equilibria and kinetics of solid formation for natural gas mixtures.
ProfileResearch engineer or Master. Good level of general and scientific education. Good level in English language. Good analysis, synthesis, innovation, and communication skills. Adaptability and creativity qualities. Motivation for experimental and research activities. Relevant professional project. knowledge in thermodynamics and experimental activity.
The thesis will be carried out at the Centre of Thermodynamics of Processes (CTP) in Fontainebleau, France (http://www.ctp.mines-paristech.fr/About-us/). Applications must be sent by email to Dr. Paolo Stringari (paolo.stringari@mines-paristech.fr) attaching the following documents:

- CV
- Motivation letter
- Recommendation letters of two Referees
- Results of examinations
- Diploma
- Level of English (TOEIC, or others)
- Copy of passport
FundingContrat de recherche