Any gas can be converted to liquid if it is compressed and cooled strongly. For the first time such a laboratory experiment was carried out with ammonia in 1779. The famous scientist Michael Faraday, the discoverer of electromagnetic induction, in the 19th century also conducted a number of successful experiments on the liquefaction of gases. And at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the development of low-temperature technologies, it became possible to convert absolutely all gases known to science into a liquid state.
Liquefied gases are widely used in various fields of science and technology. For example, liquid ammonia is used as a refrigerant in the storage of perishable foodstuffs. Liquid hydrogen is used as a component of rocket fuel. A liquefied mixture of propane and butane is used as a vehicle fuel. The examples are endless. In addition, the liquefaction of gases is economically viable when transported over long distances.
Thus, the most valuable mineral is transported - natural gas. Until now, the most common way of transferring it from the manufacturer to the consumer is through pipelines. The gas is pumped through large-diameter pipes under high pressure (about 75 atmospheres). In this case, the gas gradually loses its kinetic energy and heats up, therefore it is necessary to cool it from time to time, while simultaneously increasing the pressure. This is done at compressor stations. It is easy to understand that the construction and maintenance of a gas pipeline is costly. However, when transporting gas over relatively short distances, this is the cheapest way.
If gas needs to be transported over very long distances, then it is much more profitable to use special vessels - gas tankers. A pipeline is being extended from the gas production site to the nearest suitable location on the sea coast, and a gas terminal is being built on the coast. There the gas is strongly compressed and cooled, turning it into a liquid state, and pumped into the isothermal tanks of tankers (at temperatures of about -150 ° C).
This method of transportation has a number of advantages over pipeline transportation. Firstly, one such tanker in one voyage can transport a huge amount of gas, because the density of a substance in a liquid state is much higher. Secondly, the main costs are not for transportation, but for the loading and unloading of the product. Thirdly, storage and transportation of liquefied gas is much safer than compressed gas. There is no doubt that the share of natural gas transported in liquefied form will steadily increase in comparison with gas pipeline supplies.