Trigeneration scheme for energy efficiency enhancement in a natural gas processing plant through turbine exhaust gas waste heat utilization

Sahil Popli, Peter Rodgers, Valerie Eveloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The performance of Natural Gas Processing Plants (NGPPs) can be enhanced with the integration of Combined Cooling, Heating and Power (CCHP) generation schemes. This paper analyzes the integration of a trigeneration scheme within a NGPP, that utilizes waste heat from gas turbine exhaust gases to generate process steam in a Waste Heat Recovery Steam Generator (WHRSG). Part of the steam generated is used to power double-effect water-lithium bromide (H2O-LiBr) absorption chillers that provide gas turbine compressor inlet air-cooling. Another portion of the steam is utilized to meet part furnace heating load, and supplement plant electrical power in a combined regenerative Rankine cycle. A detailed techno-economic analysis of scheme performance is presented based on thermodynamic predictions obtained using Engineering Equation Solver (EES). The results indicate that the trigeneration system could recover 79.7MW of gas turbine waste heat, 37.1MW of which could be utilized by three steam-fired H2O-LiBr absorption chillers to provide 45MW of cooling at 5°C. This could save approximately 9MW of electric energy required by a typical compression chiller, while providing the same amount of cooling. In addition, the combined cycle generates 22.6MW of additional electrical energy for the plant, while process heating reduces furnace oil consumption by 0.23 MSCM per annum. Overall, the trigeneration scheme would result in annual natural gas fuel savings of approximately 1879 MSCM, and annual operating cost savings of approximately US$ 20.9 million, with a payback period of 1year. This study highlights the significant economical and environmental benefits that could be achieved through implementation of the proposed integrated cogeneration scheme in NGPPs, particularly in elevated ambient temperature and humidity conditions such as encountered in Middle East facilities.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)624-636
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Absorption refrigeration
  • CCHP
  • Gas
  • Trigeneration
  • Turbine
  • Waste heat utilization


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