Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

The Role of Foam Insulation in the LNG Chain

blowing agents-shipping-tanker

To transport natural gas overseas, the gas is transformed into a liquid and becomes liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG takes up about 1/600th of the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state, making it more cost-effective to ship.

Once liquefied, LNG must be kept at cryogenic temperatures (-163° C) to keep it in its liquid state. If the LNG reaches its boiling point (-161° C) the gas will boil off. Some boil-off gas can be used to fuel the ship, but since all ships do not run at peak speeds at all times, some boil-off gas must be incinerated.

Lost LNG is a significant problem for industry, accounting for millions of dollars in value per ship during its lifetime. Specially-designed shipping vessels are foam insulated to minimize boil-off rate (BOR).

Enovate 245fa in LNG Insulation Minimizes Boil-Off Rate

The foam blowing agent is a critical component in insulation performance and the right choice of foam blowing agent can minimize BOR during transit. LNG ship builders currently use foam insulation formulated with HCFC-141b. Enovate 245fa, a non-ozone depleting HFC foam blowing agent, produces a significant improvement in insulating performance compared to HCFC-141b, HFC-365mfc or water-blown foam (see chart below).

Enovate® 245fa in LNG Insulation Minimizes Boil-Off Rate

Lower thermal conductivity means better insulating value. Ships that use foam insulation formulated with HFC-245fa foam blowing agent experience up to 15% improved insulating power at -160°C than foams formulated with HCFC-141b, HFC-365mfc or water.