AG&Ts Patented Technology is America's Alternative to Gasoline and Diesel
AG&T’s Patented Station Technology
A Silicon Valley team of engineers and investors invested nearly $45,000,000 in cash and like-kind service and worked more than a decade in order to develop the AG&T prototype and thoroughly test the technology. AG&T technology makes possible the on-site economic production of LNG in volumes ranging from 300 to 5,000 gallons per day.
The AG&T refrigeration process is performed in a single loop rather than the three-stage process typically used at large LNG production plants. The system uses a standard coolant and the nitrogen intrinsically contained within the natural gas feedstock itself to cool the natural gas to as much as -260°F degrees or approximately -200°F under modest pressure of less than 100 psi. This unique technique reduces the amount of processing and the space required to cool the natural gas, making it economical for small volume processing. Key to this processing is the extensive use of automated digital control systems to regulate aperture sizes and pressure through feedback provided by sensors installed in critical locations within the process loop.
The entire system, including the liquefaction system and the fuel dispensing station, features built-in secondary containment of all fluids. This provides for superior safety as all leaks would be self-contained. In addition, the user is not exposed to the cold elements of the production process as the machine is totally enclosed. Finally, the unit contains numerous sensors to notify of any leaks from the primary to the secondary containment. This feature helps preserve the small footprint of the AG&T LNG Station by eliminating the need for external barriers or containments.
By-Products as Fuel
A triple-tower molecular sieve is used to separate the water and CO2 before liquefaction. As the cooling begins, the higher hydrocarbons liquefy first. A coalescing filter is used to drop out the associated higher hydrocarbons including propane, butane, pentane, hexane, and ethane. These by-products are then used by the system’s own combustion engine as fuel. Continuing the process, the temperature is further reduced and the pressure increased to liquefy the methane. The nitrogen, which is still in a gas state, is pulled off along with a stream of super cooled natural gas and this combination is fed through the combustion engine and is used as fuel. The combustion engine of the station burns all the hydrocarbons and dispenses clean nitrogen safely to the environment. Moreover, the removal of contaminants from the LNG process stream yields ultra-pure methane or 99.9% pure CH4 as the finished product. Such pure LNG is ideal for transportation fuel as it will not stratify in storage and therefore will not be damaging when used in a vehicle engine.
To make all the sophisticated processing of the AG&T LNG Station happen reliably and safely, a highly-automated control system is used. This computerized control system monitors more than 100 sensors, including infrared and ultraviolet monitoring, to provide remote intelligence as to the system’s status. The system can shut itself down or can be shut down remotely if there were a fire, leak, or other potential hazard. The AG&T LNG Station requires no local operator and provides information on production, dispensing, safety, or potential failures to USNGV around the clock. Such information can also be sent to the customer for their review in real time. Further, to enhance safety, built-in secondary confinement systems house all fluids to prevent leaks of potentially toxic or flammable fluids. The system is vacuum jacketed, which prevents the cold process from being exposed to the elements or to the user. Externally, the unit performs much like a standard gasoline fueling pump thus creating a comfortable and safe user experience.
No Need For Trucking
The LNG station receives its natural gas feed-stock directly from the local utility’s pipes – or gas from a local bio-gas source such as a landfill, wastewater treatment facility, or cattle farm. The unit features built-in secondary containment so does not need a berm to contain leaks. Moreover, since LNG is produced on-site where the fleet vehicles need it, no trucking of the finished LNG is required and no additional space is needed at the station for accommodating a huge fuel delivery tanker. Localized production also precludes the need for large storage tanks since the station is sized to only make what the fleet needs (plus a little extra). And one last benefit – the reduced footprint of the station and its small storage tank typically means that local ordinances won’t require additional stand-off from property lines.