SPbU scientists and Iranian researchers are launching a joint project titled "Determination of the Thermodynamic Properties of Natural Gas Based on Three Easily Measured Quantities". The results of the research will also contribute to the development of energy-saving and resource-saving environmentally friendly technologies in the petrochemical industry.

The new project is devoted to the study of the properties of natural gas and the development of rapid analysis methods, primarily adapted to determine the thermodynamic properties in the "real-time" mode. The study is focused on the application of fundamental results of thermodynamics and thermodynamic modelling methods in analysing the parameters of multicomponent gas mixtures.

Director of the grant project, Professor Alexandr Toikka, Head of the SPbU Department of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics, highlights that, despite the obvious practical focus of the project, it has been supported primarily due to the existing demand for fundamental scientific approaches to the development of energy-saving and resource-saving environmentally friendly technologies. "The Iranian colleagues solved the problems of applying fundamental results in the study of the properties of natural gas extracted at various gas fields, in particular the development of applied technologies for its transportation, storage and processing," said Alexandr Toikka. "That determined the Iranian party's interest in the thermodynamic studies of SPbU scientists, including the results of thermodynamic research of multicomponent critical and near-critical fluid phases in systems with chemical interaction."

According to the scientist, the joint work within the framework of the grant project will be focused on the development of new techniques and the application of unique software packages for determining the fundamental foundations of the natural gas system technology. At the same time, as the SPbU professor notes, a fairly complete description of the properties should be given using a minimum of the experimentally measured parameters. For example, it is planned to develop time-optimal and energy-efficient methods for determining the density, calorific value, and temperature of hydrate formation without directly measuring them, using relatively accessible parametres such as the Joule–Thomson coefficients and sound velocity data in a specific gas environment.

From the Iranian party, the project is led by Mahmood Farzaneh-Gord, a professor at Shahrood University of Technology. He is a scientist with significant practical achievements in this area. "I am confident that joint research will not only produce new scientific results but also contribute to the development of international relations of St Petersburg University in such an important field of knowledge directly related to the petrochemical industry," said Alexandr Toikka.

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Russia and Iran occupy leading positions in the world in the extraction of oil and natural gas. The application submitted by scientists from St Petersburg University and Shahrood University of Technology became one of the 18 applications supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Iran National Science Foundation. The total of 122 applications were submitted for the 2017 competition in such scientific fields as chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology, biology, medicine, ecology, etc.