Capacitive and infrared gas sensors for the assessment of the methane number of lng fuels
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is an energy source that is becoming more important in energy transition, as the world is facing lower the CO2 emissions and backup sources for wind and solar energy are needed. LNG is becoming a major player not only as fuel for power plants, but also in transport and mobility. However, the composition of LNG varies significantly between the various production locations around the world, and the layering of hydrocarbons with different molecular weights takes place even in LNG containers. This is especially critical for LNG engines, in which the ignition properties of the gas depend heavily on the fuel quality or Methane Number (MN) of the gas. For optimized engine operation and motor management, this fuel quality should be measured regularly, preferably online and by a small and low-cost sensor. This paper presents two sensor solutions for the assessment of the full gas composition. For both sensors, the standard deviation in the composition of the relevant hydrocarbons was low enough to calculate the Methane Number with an accuracy of approximately 1 MN unit. It was demonstrated that the electronic capacitive sensor was better suited to assess the higher hydrocarbons, whereas the infrared sensor showed higher selectivity for the lower hydrocarbons.
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Capacitive sensor array
Gas composition sensor
Tunable filter infrared spectrometer
Sensors (Switzerland), 20 (20), 1-18