Liquefied natural gas (LNG) provider Blu., in partnership with Intermountain Gas Company, has launched an innovative gas recapture system at the Blu. LNG fueling station in Nampa, Idaho — the first of its kind in the country.
This system captures boil-off gas from the LNG storage tank and returns it to the Intermountain natural gas pipeline, which eliminates the venting of excess LNG into the atmosphere.
With this gas recapture system, boil-off LNG is released from the LNG tank into a pressure regulator, then warmed and returned to gas form. A chemical odorant is added for safety and consistency purposes, and then the gas is pressurized to match the pressure of the natural gas pipeline and injected into the pipeline. Prior to passing into the pipeline, the gas is metered, and the vented gas is sold to Intermountain at a commoditized rate.
Blu. estimates the recapture system will pay for itself within a year.
The gas recapture system in Nampa is the first example of a larger Blu. initiative to make LNG the preferred alternative fuel source by implementing efficient fueling solutions at all of the company’s stations by 2015. This includes plans to install gas recapture systems at other Idaho facilities, including Jerome and Idaho Falls, and eventually at all of its fueling stations that have access to a nearby natural gas pipeline and cooperation from the local gas utility.
As more LNG vehicles hit the road, the need for refueling stations is becoming urgent, says a 2013 Navigant Research report that predicts 40 percent of the stations that will be opened in the next two years will be in North America. By 2020, there will be 30,000 stations worldwide, the report forecasts.