Since early 2015, Sonoma, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cool Ventures Inc., has funded the development of a patent pending process which has broad industrial application where refrigeration is utilized. This new process reduces the scope of mechanical rotating equipment required, and when compared to conventional refrigeration systems, results in significant capital and operating cost savings. The new technology is simple, robust and highly scale-able.
In the Fall of 2015, Sonoma decided to further examine whether the new technology could be applied to liquefy natural gas. The LNG configuration of this new process is referred to as the Dense Phase Liquefaction Cycle (“DPLC™”). By the Summer of 2016, the DPLC™ process was successfully tested by commissioning a small-scale pilot facility capable of producing 500 US gallons per day of liquefied natural gas (“LNG”). The test results of the pilot facility were in close agreement with the simulated process design.
In March 2017, PTX Technologies Inc. (“PTX”) was incorporated to formally establish a joint ownership position in the new technology with the inventor. The entire rights to the patent pending refrigeration technology and the LNG pilot/demonstration facility are now owned by PTX. In accordance with the International Patent Co-operation Treaty, PTX has entered the national patent application phase to register its rights to the new refrigeration technology in over 40 countries.
During the Summer of 2017, PTX engaged Jacobs Consultancy to complete an independent technical review of PTX’s new refrigeration technology. Their review encompassed the testing and validation of the LNG pilot/demonstration facility, a comparison to currently used small to mid-scale LNG processes, and an evaluation of the commercial applicability of the DPLC™ process at Sonoma’s existing natural gas facility at Talbot Lake, Alberta. Upon completing their review, Jacobs Consultancy concluded that the DPLC™ process is well suited for small to mid-scale LNG production applications, and that the technology has been sufficiently developed to warrant a scale-up to commercial operations as contemplated for the Talbot Lake natural gas facility.
Subsequent to the Jacobs report, PTX completed a series of upgrades to the pilot plant replacing manual operations with automated controls. A second chiller was also added to configure the pilot plant to replicate the proposed Talbot Lake LNG refrigeration design. PTX successfully commissioned and operated the upgraded facility on a continuous basis for 5 days in sub zero ambient temperatures.
For more information on the PTX technology please visit www.ptxtec.ca