Research School » Research School PLUS » Funded Projects » VIPs » VIPs - May/Richter

Liquefied Natural Gas

Prof. Eric May
University of Western Australia, Australia


Dr. Markus Richter

Seminar on the Future of (Liquefied) Natural Gas – December 2015

Many places in the world are undergoing a significant turnaround in where their energy comes from. This is raising many important questions, such as what are the roles of natural gas and of carbon capture and storage (CCS), particularly in an international context? At the institute of thermo- and fluid dynamics (faculty of mechanical engineering), two interna-tionally renowned professors in thermodynamics discussed this question on December 1, 2015 with an audience of more than 50 colleagues. The newly appointed Visiting Interna-tional Professor (VIP) Eric May gave a seminar lecture on the future of natural gas and LNG, and Prof Martin Trusler from Imperial College London presented a seminar on the challeng-es and opportunities for CCS. Prof Trusler was awarded a VIP grant in February 2016.

Furthermore, Prof May helped the team at RUB, and in particular the PhD candidate Gergana Tsankova, to characterise a microwave re-entrant cavity resonator for phase-equilibrium measurements of fluid mixtures – a central task within Ms Tsankova’s PhD project. He also worked with PhD candidate Rafael Lentner and Prof Richter to identify key binary mixtures requiring in need of high-accuracy density measurements using RUB’s specialised cryogenic densimeter to improve the description of LNG mixtures.

DAAD Project: Visit of PhD candidate Gergana Tsankova in Australia – February 2016

Gergana Tsankova, PhD candidate at RUB’s institute of thermo- and fluiddynamics, visited Prof May for two months at the University of Western Australia in Perth starting in February 2016. The main objectives of the trip were to learn about the electrical modelling of micro-wave cavities and to further develop the capabilities of rapid microwave measurements for thermophysical property research.

Joint lecture on “Experimental Thermodynamics” – July 2016

In late June and early July, Prof May returned to RUB for two weeks together with his Aus-tralian colleagues Dr Paul Stanwix and Dr Darren Rowland. The trip again coincided with a visit by VIP Trusler, who together with Prof May delivered a joint lecture within the Experi-mental Thermodynamics course of Prof Richter for the Masters in Energy & Process Engi-neering and Masters of Automotive Engineering degrees. Prof May and Prof Richter helped PhD candidate Gergana Tsankova design the final set of experiments needed for her disser-tation, which included the first ever quantitative measurements of the dielectric permittivity of CO at high pressure!

Profs Richter and May together with Dr Stanwix and Ms Tsankova then began planning a proposal for the DFG that builds upon the outcomes of Ms Tsankova’s PhD. They acquired preliminary data and conducted numerical simulations to show how dielectric permittivity, speed of sound and fluid viscosity could be measured simultaneously with re-entrant cavi-ties. The proposal was submitted to the DFG in August 2016.

During this trip, Prof May and Dr Rowland also worked with Prof Rolan Span, Prof Richter and Dr Monika Thol regarding the development of a new optimised equation of state for LNG mixtures. This EOS will improve upon existing models through the use of the high-accuracy densities measured by PhD candidate Rafael Lentner, VLE and heat capacity data produced by Prof.May’s laboratory, and the specialised modelling expertise of Prof Span and his team.

PhD defense of Gergana Tsankova – December 2016

Prof May returned to RUB for the third time in 12 months to act as one of three reviewers for Gergana Tsankova’s PhD thesis. During this stay, he also worked with Prof Richter and Ms Tsankova to complete and submit the second journal article from this VIP collaboration.

Moreover, he helped deliver a lecture on the fundamentals of thermodynamics for the sales engineering students at RUB and then “tweeted” about it.

Prof May also continued working with Prof Span and Dr Thol on the new equation of state (EOS) for LNG. Significant progress has been made on this new EOS as a result of the density data produced by PhD candidate Rafael Lenter, who Prof May has also advised in his role as VIP and is on track to complete his thesis by mid-2017.

Plans were developed for trips to Australia in 2017 by Prof Richter and Dr Tsankova (Febru-ary-March), and Prof Span in August, as well as for visits by Prof May and his team to con-tinue the ever-strengthening collaboration between RUB and UWA.

March 2017 – DAAD Project: Visit to UWA by Prof Richter to help demonstrate proof of concept in new application of microwave re-entrant cavity resonators

Prof Richter came to UWA to assist with the demonstration of a new measurement principle exploiting microwave re-entrant cavity resonators. He also gave a public lecture at the Aus-tralian Centre for LNG Futures detailing the significant advances in the measurement of LNG densities achieved by his team at RUB, including the work of PhD candidate Rafael Lentner.

July 2017 – Lecture on “Dielectric Permittivity & Refractive Index: Measurements for Industrial Applications”

Prof May returned to RUB in July 2017 to deliver a new lecture as part of Prof Richter’s course in Experimental Thermodynamics to approximately 30 Masters and PhD Students. The lecture included a discussion about how the research underway with microwave re-entrant cavities at UWA and RUB can advance our understanding and ability to monitor the properties of industrially important fluid mixtures. During this visit Prof May met new Masters student, Ms Yvonne Leusmann, and Bachelors student Ms Eva Drews and organised them to visit Perth in October 2017 to complete the research required for their respective theses.

September 2017 – ECTP in Graz, Austria (not Australia)

Prof May and Prof Richter presented a joint poster at the European Conference on Thermo-physcial Properties in Graz, Austria detailing the impressive research outcomes resulting from the PhD of Dr Gergana Tsankova. Prof Richter met with and provided feedback on the research recently completed by UWA PhD student Ms Kumarini Seneviratne.

October 2017 – Microwave re-entrant cavity research at UWA

RUB students Ms Yvonne Leusmann (Masters) and Ms Eva Drews (Bachelors), arrived at UWA for a 3 month stay to complete their research on re-entrant cavity resonators under the joint supervision of Profs May, Stanwix and Richter. Following the completion of the first generation of RUB PhD candidates co-supervised by Prof May, Dr Lentner and Dr Tsankova, an application to extend the VIP position of Prof May was submitted to allow his ongoing supervision of a next generation of PhD candidates at RUB. This extension to the VIP program was granted in April 2018, with Prof May to com-mence supervision of two new PhD candidates that year: Mr Philipp Eckmann who is study-ing the density of LNG and cryogenic Raman spectroscopy, and Ms Yvonne Leusmann who will build upon her Masters research at UWA with microwave re-entrant cavity resonators.

May 2018 – Summer School Lecture and GPA Project Award to RUB

In March 2018, Prof Richter and Prof May submitted a joint proposal to the Gas Processors Association for a US$240,000 research project that aims to improve the description of LNG properties. This project was awarded to them in May 2018, with RUB as the lead institution. These funds will help support prospective RUB PhD candidate Mr Nils von Preetzmann who will use Prof Richter’s specialised experimental apparatus to conduct the necessary meas-urements.
Prof May visited RUB in May 2018 to meet his new students, Mr Philip Eckmann and Mr Nils von Preetzmann. He also presented a lecture to the RESOLV graduate summer school held at RUB entitled “Managing solids solubility in the production of natural gas & LNG.”
One of Prof May’s new PhD students at UWA, Mr Matt Hopkins, also working on microwave re-entrant cavity resonators commenced a 5 week stay at RUB hosted by Prof Richter, where he will learn about the design of cryogenic thermostats.

Joint Peer-Reviewed Publications

Tsankova, G.; Richter, M.; Madigan, A.; Stanwix, P.; May, E. F.; Span, R.: Characterisation of a microwave reentrant cavity resonator for phase-equilibrium measurements and new dew point data for a (0.25 argon + 0.75 carbon dioxide) mixture. J. Chem. Thermodyn. 101 (2016), 395 – 404.

Tsankova, G.; Stanwix, P. L.; May, E. F.; Richter, M.: Densities, dielectric permittivities and dew points for (argon + carbon dioxide) mixtures determined with a microwave re-entrant cavity resonator. J. Chem. Eng. Data 62 (2017), 2521 – 2532.

Tsankova, G.; Richter, M.; Stanwix, P. L.; May, E. F.; Span, R.: Accurate high-pressure meas-urements of carbon monoxide's electrical properties. ChemPhysChem 19 (2018), 784 – 792.

Tsankova, G.; May, E. F.; Stanwix, P. L.; Richter, M.: Densities and Dielectric Permittivities for (Carbon Monoxide + Carbon Dioxide) Mixtures Determined with a Microwave Re-entrant Cavity Resonator. To be submitted to J. Chem. Thermodyn. (2018).

Stanwix, P. L.; Leusmann, Y.; Madigan, A.; Tsankova, G.; Richter, M.; May, E. F.: Framework for complete determination of binary fluid-mixture phase-behaviour with microwave re-entrant cavities. To be submitted to Phys. Rev. Appl. (2018).

Joint Conference Presentations

Tsankova, G.; Stanwix, P. L.; Span, R.; May, E. F.; Richter, M.: Densities of (CO + CO2) mix-tures determined from dielectric permittivity measurements. Poster, European Conference on Thermophysical Properties, Graz, Austria, 2017.

Maurer, A.; Drews; E.; Stanwix, P. L.; May, E. F.; Richter, M.: Integrating Acoustic Measure-ments of Sound Speed and Viscosity within a Re-entrant Cavity Resonator. Talk, 20th Sympo-sium on Thermophysical Properties, Boulder (CO), USA, 2018.

Stanwix, P. L.; Leusmann, Y.; Tsankova, G.; Madigan, A.; Richter, M.; May, E. F.: Characteris-ing Binary Mixture Phase-Behaviour with Microwave Re-entrant Cavities. Talk, 20th Sympo-sium on Thermophysical Properties, Boulder (CO), USA, 2018.