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Title:
MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS, INSERT KITS FOR MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS, LIQUEFACTION SYSTEMS, AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/165243
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Multi-stage compressors for compressing and/or liquefying gases; inserts and insert kits for converting internal combustion engines to multi-stage compressors; and liquefaction systems and associated processes and methods are disclosed herein. A multi-stage compressor in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a cylinder bank having a plurality of cylinders. A first insert having a first inside diameter can be positioned within a first individual cylinder, and a second insert having a second inside diameter, smaller than the first inside diameter, can be positioned within a second individual cylinder. A first compression piston can be positioned within the first individual cylinder to compress the gas to a first volume and a second compression piston can be positioned within the second individual cylinder to compress the gas to a second volume, smaller than the first volume.

Inventors:
MCALISTER, Roy, Edward (2901 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ, 85016, US)
Application Number:
US2014/024943
Publication Date:
October 09, 2014
Filing Date:
March 12, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MCALISTER TECHNOLOGIES, LLC (2901 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ, 85016, US)
International Classes:
F04B23/12; F04B25/00; F25J1/00
Foreign References:
US5267843A
US6394056B1
US20100236648A1
US20130014517A1
KR20030047546A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THORSEN, Corbyn, J. et al. (Perkins Coie LLP, P.O. Box 1247Seattle, WA, 98111-1247, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

I/We claim:

1 . A multi-stage compressor comprising:

an engine block having a plurality of compression cylinders and a plurality of combustion cylinders;

a plurality of compression pistons, individual compression pistons operably positioned at least partially within corresponding compression cylinders;

a plurality of combustion pistons, individual combustion pistons operably positioned at least partially within corresponding combustion cylinders;

a crankshaft operably coupled to the compression pistons and the combustion pistons, wherein the combustion pistons are operable to rotate the crankshaft and drive the compression pistons to compress gases;

a production line operably coupled to the compression cylinders and configured to transport the compressed gases; and

a plurality of heat exchangers operably coupled to the production line to cool the compressed gases.

2. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of inlet ports, individual inlet ports positioned to direct the gases toward sidewalls of corresponding individual compression cylinders.

3. The multi-stage compressor of claim 2, further comprising a plurality of outlet ports, individual outlet ports positioned to direct gases from corresponding compression pistons to the production line, wherein the individual outlet ports are positioned to receive a cooled portion of a stratified gas mixture.

4. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of inserts, individual inserts corresponding to individual compression cylinders, and wherein the plurality of inserts progressively decrease the internal volume of the compression cylinders.

5. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of inserts, wherein individual inserts are positioned within corresponding individual compression cylinders, and wherein individual inserts include coolant channels configured to circulate a coolant and cool the compressed gases.

6. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 , further comprising a cooling line extending through the plurality of heat exchangers, wherein individual heat exchangers are positioned to receive gases from corresponding individual compression cylinders, and wherein the cooling line directs coolant to a first individual heat exchanger corresponding to a last compression stage before directing the coolant to a second individual heat exchanger corresponding to a first compression stage.

7. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 , further comprising a storage tank, wherein the production line is operably coupled to the storage tank and configured to transport liquids to the storage tank.

8. A multi-stage compressor for compressing gases, the multi-stage compressor comprising:

an engine block having a plurality of compression cylinders and a plurality of combustion cylinders;

a plurality of compression pistons, individual compression pistons operably positioned at least partially within corresponding compression cylinders;

a plurality of combustion pistons, individual combustion pistons operably positioned at least partially within corresponding combustion cylinders;

a crankshaft operably coupled to the compression pistons and the combustion pistons, wherein the combustion pistons are operable to rotate the crankshaft and drive the compression pistons; and a plurality of inlet ports, individual inlet ports positioned to deliver gases to corresponding compression cylinders, wherein the individual inlet ports are disposed at an angle to their corresponding compression cylinder, and wherein the angle is selected to produce a swirl to gases that are delivered to the compression cylinders via the inlet ports.

9. The multi-stage compressor of claim 8, further comprising a production line and a storage tank, wherein the production line is operably coupled to the compression cylinders and to the storage tank, and wherein the production line is further configured to transport liquids to the storage tank.

10. The multi-stage compressor of claim 9 wherein individual compression cylinders include corresponding sidewalls, the multi-stage compressor further comprising a fin positioned adjacent to an individual sidewall, wherein the fin is positioned to induce a swirl to gases introduced into the corresponding individual compression cylinder.

1 1 . A multi-stage compressor for compressing a gas, the multi-stage compressor comprising:

a cylinder bank having a plurality of cylinders;

a first insert positioned in a first individual cylinder and having a first inside diameter;

a second insert positioned in a second individual cylinder and having a second inside diameter, smaller than the first inside diameter; a first compression piston positioned within the first individual cylinder; and

a second compression piston positioned within the second individual cylinder, wherein the first compression piston compresses the gas to a first volume, and the second compression piston compresses the gas to a second volume, smaller than the first volume.

12. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 1 , further comprising an input port positioned to direct the gas into the first individual cylinder, wherein the input port is positioned at an angle relative to a vertical axis extending through the first individual cylinder, and wherein the angle of the input port directs the gas toward a sidewall of the first individual cylinder to induce a swirl in the gas.

13. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 1 , further comprising a fin positioned adjacent to a sidewall of the first individual cylinder, wherein the fin is positioned to induce a swirl to gases introduced into the first individual cylinder.

14. The multi-stage compressor of claim 1 1 wherein the first insert and the second insert include corresponding coolant channels, and wherein the coolant channels are configured to circulate coolant to cool the gas.

15. A method for compressing gases, the method comprising:

combusting fuel in a plurality of combustion cylinders to reciprocate pistons and rotate a crankshaft;

driving compression pistons positioned within corresponding compression cylinders via the crankshaft to compress gases; and transporting the gases through a plurality of heat exchangers via a production line.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising circulating coolant through inserts positioned within the compression cylinders to cool the gases.

17. The method of claim 15, further comprising operating a valve to direct compressed gases through the compression cylinders to further compress the gases.

18. A method for compressing gases, the method comprising:

injecting gases into a compression chamber;

inducing a swirl to the gases; and

compressing the gases with a compression piston.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein inducing a swirl to the gases includes directing the gases into the compression chamber at an angle to impact a sidewall of the compression chamber.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein inducing a swirl to the gases includes directing the gases into a swirl via a fin positioned adjacent to a sidewall of the compression chamber.

21 . A multi-stage compressor for compressing a gas, the multi-stage compressor comprising:

a plurality of cylinders;

a crankshaft with a plurality of throw magnitudes to articulate a plurality of pistons;

a first compression piston attached to the crankshaft and positioned to reciprocate within a first compression cylinder; and a second compression piston attached to the crankshaft and positioned to reciprocate within a second compression cylinder, wherein the second compression piston is reciprocated a smaller magnitude by the crankshaft than the magnitude reciprocated by the first piston, and wherein the first compression piston compresses the gas to a first volume, and the second compression piston compresses the gas to a second volume, smaller than the first volume.

22. An insert kit for converting an internal combustion engine to a multi-stage compressor, the insert kit comprising:

a first insert having a first inside diameter and configured to be positioned at least partially within a first compression cylinder of the engine to reduce the volume of the first compression cylinder by a first amount;

a second insert having a second inside diameter, smaller than the first inside diameter, and configured to be positioned at least partially within a second compression cylinder of the engine to reduce the volume of the second compression cylinder by a second amount, greater than the first amount;

a first compression piston configured to be positioned within the first insert to compress a gas to a first volume; and a second compression piston configured to be positioned within the second insert to compress the gas to a second volume, smaller than the first volume.

23. The insert kit of claim 22, further comprising a directing fin coupled to the first insert, wherein the directing fin is configured to induce a swirl to gases injected into the first compression cylinder.

24. The insert kit of claim 22, further comprising a coolant channel within the first insert, wherein the coolant channel is configured to cool gases injected into the first compression cylinder.

25. The insert kit of claim 22 wherein the first insert comprises:

an inner annular cylinder configured to receive the first compression piston; and

a thermally insulative outer annular cylinder at least partially encircling the inner annular cylinder.

26. The insert kit of claim 22, further comprising a plate having a plurality of cylinder openings, wherein the first insert and the second insert are coupled to corresponding individual cylinder openings.

27. The insert kit of claim 26, wherein the plate includes a plurality of bolt holes configured to align with a bolt pattern of the engine.

28. The insert kit of claim 26, wherein the plate is configured to replace a head gasket in the engine.

29. An insert for an internal combustion engine, the insert comprising:

an inner annular cylinder configured to receive a piston; and a thermally insulative outer annular cylinder at least partially encircling the inner annular cylinder, wherein the inner annular cylinder and the outer annular cylinder are configured to produce a desired compression ratio.

30. The insert of claim 29, further comprising a plate shaped to match a head gasket of the engine, wherein the outer annular cylinder is coupled to the plate.

31 . The insert of claim 30 wherein the plate includes a plurality of bolt holes configured to align with a bolt pattern of the engine.

32. The insert of claim 29, further comprising a coolant channel within the insert, wherein the coolant channel includes a plurality of coils, and wherein the coolant channel is configured to circulate a coolant to cool gases injected into the engine.

33. The insert of claim 29, further comprising a directing fin coupled to the inner annular cylinder, wherein the directing fin is configured to induce a swirl to gases injected into the engine.

34. The insert of claim 33, further comprising a coolant channel extending through the inner annular cylinder and through the directing fin, wherein the coolant channel is configured to cool gases injected into the engine.

35. The insert of claim 29, wherein the thermally insulative outer annular cylinder comprises a ceramic material.

36. A method for converting an internal combustion engine to a multi-stage compressor, the method comprising:

forming an insert, wherein forming the insert comprises:

forming an inner annular cylinder configured to receive a piston; forming a thermally insulative outer annular cylinder; and positioning the inner annular cylinder at least partially within the outer annular cylinder.

37. The method of claim 36 wherein forming the inner annular cylinder includes forming a coolant channel configured to circulate a coolant and cool the gases injected into the engine.

38. The method of claim 36 wherein the insert is a first insert having a first inside diameter, the method further comprising forming a second insert having a second inside diameter, the second inside diameter smaller than the first inside diameter.

39. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

forming a plate having a plurality of cylinder openings;

attaching the first insert to the plate at a first individual cylinder opening; and

attaching the second insert to the plate at a second individual cylinder opening.

40. The method of claim 39 wherein forming the plate includes forming a plurality of bolt holes that align with a bolt pattern of the engine.

41 . The method of claim 39 wherein forming the plate includes forming the plate to replace a head gasket in the engine.

42. A liquefaction system for liquefying gases from an emission stream, the liquefaction system comprising:

a liquefier having a compressor configured to:

compress a first gas to produce a first liquid; and compress a second gas to produce a second liquid; and a first collection tank to receive the first liquid, and a second collection tank to receive the second liquid.

43. The liquefaction system of claim 42 wherein the liquefaction system is operably coupled to an emission source producing the emission stream, the liquefaction system further comprising a recovery line configured to direct the first liquid to the emission source.

44. The liquefaction system of claim 43 wherein the first liquid is a volatile organic compound, and wherein the first liquid is directed to the emission source for reuse in a manufacturing process.

45. The liquefaction system of claim 43 wherein the emission source comprises a fossil fuel production site, and wherein the first liquid is natural gas.

46. The liquefaction system of claim 42 wherein the liquefier includes an inlet configured to receive the first gas and the second gas, the liquefaction system further comprising a return line configured to direct a portion of the first liquid to the inlet.

47. The liquefaction system of claim 42 wherein the liquefier includes a heat exchanger, the liquefaction system further comprising a return line configured to direct liquid nitrogen to the heat exchanger.

48. The liquefaction system of claim 42, further comprising a pressurization system operably coupled to the first collection tank, the pressurization system configured to receive a reconstituted gas from the first collection tank and deliver the reconstituted gas to the liquefier.

49. A liquefaction system for liquefying gases, the liquefaction system comprising:

a liquefier positioned to receive an emission stream having a gas, wherein the liquefier is configured to compress the gas to produce a liquid;

a collection tank positioned to receive the liquid; and a pressurization system positioned to receive reconstituted gas from the collection tank and direct it to the liquefier.

50. The liquefaction system of claim 49 wherein the liquefier comprises a multi-stage compressor having a combustion chamber, and wherein the reconstituted gas is directed to the combustion chamber.

51 . The liquefaction system of claim 49 wherein the emission stream includes a second gas, wherein the liquefier is further configured to compress the second gas to produce a second liquid, wherein the collection tank is a first collection tank, and wherein the liquefaction system further comprises:

a second collection tank positioned to receive the second liquid; and a return line positioned to direct a portion of the second liquid to the liquefier.

52. A method for liquefying gases, the method comprising:

receiving an emission stream at a liquefier, wherein the emission stream includes a first gas and a second gas;

liquefying the first gas to produce a first liquid and directing the first liquid it to a first collection tank; and

liquefying the second gas to produce a second liquid and directing the second liquid to a second collection tank.

53. The method of claim 52, further comprising directing a portion of the first liquid to an inlet of the liquefier to pre-cool the emission stream.

54. The method of claim 52, further comprising directing a portion of the second liquid to a heat exchanger of the liquefier to cool the first gas and the second gas.

55. The method of claim 52, further comprising receiving a reconstituted gas at a pressurization system and directing the reconstituted gas to a combustion chamber of the liquefier.

56. The method of claim 52, further comprising liquefying the first gas via pressure swing adsorption.

57. The method of claim 52, further comprising liquefying the first gas via molecular filtration.

58. The method of claim 52 wherein the first gas is a volatile organic compound, and wherein the method further comprises:

directing the first liquid to an emission source; and

reusing the first liquid in a manufacturing process.

59. The method of claim 52 wherein the first gas is helium, and wherein the method further comprises storing the first liquid for transportation.

60. The method of claim 52 wherein the first gas is natural gas, wherein the second gas is nitrogen, and wherein the method further comprises storing the natural gas and nitrogen for transportation.

Description:
MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS, INSERT KITS FOR MULTISTAGE COMPRESSORS, LIQUEFACTION SYSTEMS, AND

ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND METHODS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

[0001] The present application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 13/797,764, filed March 12, 2013, and entitled "INSERT KITS FOR MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND METHODS," U.S. Patent Application No. 13/797,869, filed March 12, 2013, and entitled "LIQUEFACTION SYSTEMS AND ASSOCIATED PROCESSES AND METHODS," and U.S. Patent Application No. 13/802,202, filed March 13, 2013, and entitled "MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND METHODS," the entireties of which are incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to multi-stage compressors, insert kits for multi-stage compressors, and liquefaction systems that reduce emissions and/or provide for the capture and use of various gases.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Compression and/or liquefaction of gases can provide a variety of benefits. For example, compressing natural gas into compressed natural gas increases the energy density and can allow for the storage and transportation of larger amounts of energy. Liquefying natural gas produces an even greater energy density and can similarly provide storage and transportation benefits. Additionally, the compression and liquefaction of other fuels and/or other non-fuel gases (e.g., air, nitrogen, oxygen, helium, etc.) can also provide benefits. For example, liquefied nitrogen can be used in a variety of industrial and manufacturing processes.

[0004] Various compressors have been developed to compress and/or liquefy gases. For example, shaft driven compressors, including reciprocating compressors and centrifugal compressors, are often used to compress a gas as part of a liquefaction process. Compressor driven liquefaction systems are generally powered by separate internal combustion engines or electric motors that consume large amounts of energy to drive the compressor. Additionally, liquefaction systems employing shaft driven compressors with separate power sources often occupy large operational footprints.

[0005] In view of the benefits provided by compressed and liquefied gases, and the relatively high energy consumption and large size of existing compression systems, a compressor that has reduced energy consumption and a smaller operational footprint may be provided.

[0006] Additionally, a variety of human activities produce gases or vapors that are emitted into the atmosphere. For example, numerous manufacturing and industrial processes involve the emission of large volumes of waste gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide, and/or other gases. Furthermore, the burning of fossil fuels to provide heating and electricity generation adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Some of these gases are pollutants or byproducts whose capture would reduce the harmful effects of particular activities, while others are byproducts or incidental emissions that can provide beneficial uses if captured. In many instances, the capture of these gases or vapors by conventional means is uneconomical because they are either produced in small quantities or are entrained within a waste stream that includes one or more other gases and/or particulates that complicate the extraction and capture of the particular gas.

[0007] The capture of gases, including pollutants, byproducts, and incidental emissions, can be advantageous for numerous reasons. For example, capturing carbon dioxide from industrial processes can reduce anthropogenic global warming, and capturing VOCs at manufacturing facilities can decrease harmful emissions, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Accordingly, it would be useful to provide systems for capturing gases that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Certain details are set forth in the following description and in Figures 1 - 10 to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the disclosure. Other details describing well-known structures and systems often associated with inserts, compressors, internal combustion engines, heat exchangers, liquefaction systems, etc., have not been set forth in the following disclosure to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the description of the various embodiments of the disclosure.

[0009] Many of the details, dimensions, angles and other features shown in the Figures are merely illustrative of particular embodiments of the disclosure. Accordingly, other embodiments can have other details, dimensions, angles and features without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. In addition, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that further embodiments of the disclosure can be practiced without several of the details described below.

[0010] In the Figures, identical reference numbers identify identical, or at least generally similar, elements. To facilitate the discussion of any particular element, the most significant digit or digits of any reference number refers to the Figure in which that element is first introduced. For example, element 110 is first introduced and discussed with reference to Figure 1 .

[0011] Figure 1 is a partially schematic, overhead view of a multi-stage compressor configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0012] Figure 2A is a partially schematic, cross-sectional side view of a portion of the compressor of Figure 1 .

[0013] Figure 2B is a partially schematic, cross-sectional side view of a portion of the compressor of Figure 1 .

[0014] Figure 3A is a partially schematic, cross-sectional view of an insert configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0015] Figure 3B is an isometric view of the insert of Figure 3A.

[0016] Figure 3C is an isometric view of an insert assembly configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the present technology.

[0017] Figure 4 is a partially schematic, isometric view of a compression cylinder configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. [0018] Figure 5 is an isometric view of the compression cylinder of Figure 4 illustrating a swirling gas in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0019] Figure 6 is a partial cross-sectional, side view of a compression cylinder and a compression piston configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0020] Figure 7 is a partially schematic illustration of a compressor configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology.

[0021] Figure 8 is a partially schematic diagram of a liquefaction system configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0022] Figure 9 is a partially schematic diagram of a liquefaction system configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology

[0023] Figure 10 is a flowchart showing a method for liquefying gases in accordance with the present technology.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] The present technology includes various embodiments of multi-stage compressors and systems and methods for the compression and/or liquefaction of gases. Embodiments in accordance with the present technology can include multistage compressors that are integral with internal combustion engines. In several embodiments, a multi-stage compressor includes a multi-cylinder internal combustion engine having two or more cylinders configured for the compression of gases, and the remaining cylinders configured to operate in a manner at least generally similar to that of a conventional internal combustion engine. For example, in one embodiment, an eight cylinder internal combustion engine can include four cylinders configured for gas compression, and four cylinders configured for conventional engine operation. In such an embodiment, the four cylinders that are configured for conventional engine operation provide power to drive pistons in the compression cylinders. In several embodiments, a cooling system is operably coupled to the multi-stage compressor to cool the gases and assist in the compression and/or liquefaction process. [0025] The present technology also includes various embodiments of inserts and insert kits for internal combustion engines, and systems and methods for the conversion of internal combustion engines to multi-stage compressors. Inserts in accordance with the present technology can convert one or more cylinders of an internal combustion engine to operate to compress gases, while one or more of the remaining cylinders can operate in a manner at least generally similar to that of a conventional internal combustion engine. For example, in one embodiment, an eight cylinder internal combustion engine can be converted to a multi-stage compressor having one, two, three, four, five or more cylinders configured for gas compression, and the remaining cylinders configured for conventional engine operation. Illustratively, in an exemplary embodiment, four cylinders are configured for conventional engine operation and provide power to drive pistons in four compression cylinders.

[0026] In several embodiments, a plurality of individual inserts can be positioned within corresponding individual cylinders of an internal combustion engine. For example, independent inserts can be separately inserted into corresponding cylinders. Embodiments in accordance with the present technology can also include insert assemblies having a plurality of attached inserts that can be simultaneously inserted into corresponding cylinders. Insert kits in accordance with the present technology can include: inserts, insert assemblies having multiple inserts, gaskets, adapters, fasteners, fluid lines, and/or other suitable mechanical, electrical and/or electromechanical components. Kits may include crankshafts, connecting rods, bearings, pistons, piston rings and related components to provide variation of the strokes through which compression occurs and may be combined with inserts that provide smaller diameter cylinders to produce a reduction of volume in one or more steps of multiple compression operations. Insert kits in accordance with the present technology may also include one or more components that are at least generally similar to those of a "Stroker kit" for modifying the displacement of an internal combustion engine.

[0027] The present technology further includes various embodiments of systems, processes and methods for the liquefaction of gases. Embodiments in accordance with the present technology can include a variety of liquefiers, liquefaction systems, compressors, cooling systems, heat exchangers and/or other devices and systems for the compression and/or liquefaction of gases. In several embodiments, compressors, multi-stage compressors and/or turbo/rotary compressors can compress and/or liquefy gases.

[0028] Figure 1 is a partially schematic, overhead view of a multi-stage compressor 100 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. For ease of reference, the multi-stage compressor 100 may be referred to as the compressor 100. Similarly, additional embodiments of multi-stage compressors described herein may also be generally referred to as compressors. In the illustrated embodiment, the compressor 100 includes an engine block 102 having four compression cylinders 104 (identified individually as compression cylinders 104a-104d) and four combustion cylinders 106 (identified individually as combustion cylinders 106a-106d). The engine block 102 is configured in a manner at least generally similar to a V-8 engine, and includes a first cylinder bank 108a and a second cylinder bank 108b (identified collectively as the cylinder banks 108). The compression cylinders 104 and the combustion cylinders 106 are evenly distributed between the cylinder banks 108. I.e., the first cylinder bank 108a and the second cylinder bank 108b each include two compression cylinders 104 and two combustion cylinders 106.

[0029] The compressor 100 can include a production system 109 having a variety of suitable components for the production and transport of gases, compressed gases and/or liquids. The production system 109 can include, for example, a production line 1 10 for transporting gas, compressed gas and/or liquids. For ease of reference, the use of the term gases and/or liquids herein can include one or more gases, compressed gases, liquids, and/or any combination of the same. In the illustrated embodiment, the production line 1 10 includes one or more conduits or tubes 1 16, and extends from an inlet 1 12 to an outlet 1 14. The tubes 1 16 can be operably coupled to the compression cylinders 104 and/or other components. A coolant system 1 17 can be operably coupled to the production system 109 via a plurality of heat exchangers 124 (identified individually as a first heat exchanger 124a through a fourth heat exchanger 124d). The coolant system 1 17 can include a coolant line 1 18 for the circulation of coolant, and can extend from an inlet 120, through the heat exchangers 124, to an outlet 122. The heat exchangers 124 can be positioned along the production line 1 10, such that the gas and/or liquids in the production line 1 10 and the coolant in the coolant line 1 18 flow through the heat exchangers 124 to effect a transfer of heat. The coolant system 1 17 can include a variety of additional suitable components. For example, the coolant system 1 17 can include: heat sinks, expansion valves, expansion motors, heat exchangers, flow control valves, thermostats, pumps, evaporators, condensers, etc. In some embodiments, the coolant system 1 17 can flow coolant in a loop, while in other embodiments, the coolant system 1 17 can flow coolant from a coolant source to a heat reservoir. For example, in some embodiments, the coolant system 1 17 can transfer heat from the production line 1 10 to directly heat water that flows through the coolant line 1 18. The heated water can be output from the coolant line 1 18 to a direct use (e.g., hot water for an industrial process), or can be used in an additional heat exchanger for other heating needs (e.g., a hot water heater for residential, commercial or industrial use). Additionally, other fluids (e.g., ethylene glycol, pre- cooled substances, compression heated substances, etc.) can be circulated or flowed through the coolant line 1 18 in one or more regions to provide cooling of the gases and/or liquids in the production line and/or to provide heating for other uses.

[0030] In several embodiments, phase change cooling is provided such as phase change from solid to liquid by materials such as paraffin or sodium sulfate, or phase change from liquid to gas by substances such as water or ammonia at appropriately provided partial pressures to control the temperature of evaporation. Liquid phase change coolant may be returned to the heat removal pathway by gravity or by a pump impetus from a suitable heat rejection condenser.

[0031] Figure 2A is a partially schematic, cross-sectional side view of a portion of the compressor 100 taken along the line 2A of Figure 1 . In the illustrated embodiment, the compression cylinder 104a includes a compression piston 210a, and the combustion cylinder 106a includes a combustion piston 21 1 . The compression piston 210a and the combustion piston 21 1 are operably connected to a crankshaft 202 via a crank pin 203 and connecting rods 204. Pistons in accordance with the present technology may be articulated at a variety of suitable crank angles and throws for various purposes. For example, crank angles and throws can be adjusted to "smooth" the operation of the compressor 100 and balance one or more moving components of the compressor 100. Similarly the V- banks of the compressor 100 may be disposed at a variety of suitable angles. [0032] Figure 2B is a partially schematic, cross-sectional side view of a portion of the compressor 100 taken along the line 2B of Figure 1 . Similar to the compression cylinder 104a and the compression piston 21 0a of Figure 2A, the compression cylinders 1 04b-104d include corresponding compression pistons 210b- 21 Od, respectively. The compression pistons 21 0a-210d (identified collectively as the compression pistons 21 0) are also operably coupled to the crankshaft 202 via connecting rods 204. The crankshaft 202 is driven by combustion pistons 21 1 positioned in the combustion cylinders 106, as shown in Figure 2A. Inlet valves 205 can be positioned adjacent each of the compression cylinders 104 to provide for the inlet of gases to the compression cylinders 104. Similarly, outlet valves 207 can be positioned adjacent each of the compression cylinders 104 to provide for the outlet of gases and/or liquids from the compression cylinders 104. The inlet valves 205 and the outlet valves 207 can be operated via a variety of suitable pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, electrical and/or electromechanical devices. For example, one or more camshafts, with or without connective linkages such as rocker arms or pushrods, can be positioned to operate the inlet valves 205 and the outlet valves 207.

[0033] The compression cylinders 104b-104d include a first cylindrical insert 206a, a second cylindrical insert 206b and a third cylindrical insert 206c (identified collectively as the inserts 206) that progressively reduce an internal volume of the corresponding individual compression cylinders 104b-104d, respectively. For example, the first insert 206a can include a first inside diameter Di that reduces the internal volume of the compression cylinder 104b by a first amount; the second insert 206b can include a second inside diameter D 2 , smaller than the first inside diameter D-i , that reduces the internal volume of the compression cylinder 104c by a second amount, greater than the first amount; and the third insert 206c can include a third inside diameter D 3 , smaller than the first and second inside diameters, that reduces the internal volume of the compression cylinder 104d by a third amount, greater than the first and second amounts. Accordingly, positioning the inserts 206a-206c in the compression cylinders 104b-104d can produce a first volume for the compression cylinder 104b, a second volume for the compression cylinder 104c, and a third volume for the compression cylinder 104d, wherein the first volume is greater than the second volume and the second volume is greater than the third volume. The first inside diameter D-i , the second inside diameter D 2 , and the third inside diameter D 3 can be selected to produce first, second, and third volumes for the compression cylinders 104b-104d, and corresponding compression ratios.

[0034] Additionally, the compression pistons 210a-210d can have corresponding decreasing diameters and volumes to fit within their respective compression cylinders 104. For example, the first compression piston 210a can have a first piston diameter PD-i , the second compression piston 210b can have a second piston diameter PD 2 , the third compression piston 210c can have a third piston diameter PD 3 , and the fourth compression piston 21 Od can have a fourth piston diameter PD 4 , wherein the piston diameters PD PD 4 are progressively smaller. Although the illustrated embodiment includes the inserts 206 in three of the four compression cylinders 104, in other embodiments more or fewer compression cylinders may include inserts.

[0035] The production line 1 10 can be operably coupled to a storage tank 208 to store gases and/or liquids for later use. For example, in the illustrated embodiment of Figure 2B, the outlet 1 14 of the production line 1 10 is directly coupled to the storage tank 208. The storage tank 208 can include a variety of suitable containers, for example, composite cylinders such as those disclosed U.S. Patents 6,446,597; 6,503,584; and 7,628, 137. The storage tank 208 is schematically illustrated in Figure 2, but it is to be understood that the storage tank 208 and/or associated systems can include a variety of suitable components, including: liners, reinforcing wraps, flow valves, pressure relief valves, controllers, etc.

[0036] Referring to Figures 1 , 2A and 2B together, in operation, a combustible fuel (e.g., gasoline, diesel, natural gas, etc.) is ignited in the combustion cylinders 106 to drive the combustion pistons 21 1 and rotate the crankshaft 202. The combustion cylinders 106 and combustion pistons 21 1 can operate in a variety of engine cycles (e.g., two-stroke operation, four-stroke operation, etc.). Rotation of the crankshaft 202 drives the compression pistons 210 to reciprocate within the compression cylinders 104. During each rotation of the crankshaft, each of the inlet valves 205 and the outlet valves 207 can open and shut at least once in a coordinated manner to move gas (e.g., air, natural gas, propane, etc.) through the production line 1 10 and through each of the compression cylinders 104. More specifically, the gas can be directed into the inlet 1 12 of the production line 1 10 and through the inlet valve 205 of the first compression cylinder 104a. The rotation of the crankshaft 202 moves the compression piston 210a downward in the compression cylinder 104a admitting the gas into the compression cylinder 104a. As the crankshaft 202 continues to rotate, the inlet valve 205 of the compression cylinder 104a is closed and the compression piston 210a reverses direction, compressing the gas in a first stage of compression. As the compression piston 210a approaches top dead center, the outlet valve 207 can open, directing the pressurized gas into the production line 1 10 and toward the compression cylinder 104b.

[0037] In a manner at least generally similar to the compression cylinder 104a, each of the compression cylinders 104b-104d can further compress the gas in a second through a fourth stage of compression. At each corresponding stage of compression, the decreased volume produced by the inserts 206 in the compression cylinders 104b-104d produces an increase in pressure. For example, the second compression piston 210b compresses the gas to a first volume and the third compression piston 210c compresses the gas to a second volume, smaller than the first volume.

[0038] The heat exchangers 124 can cool the gases and/or liquids as they are transported through the production line 1 10. In the illustrated embodiments of Figures 1 and 2B, there is a corresponding heat exchanger 124 that follows each stage of compression. In other embodiments, additional or fewer heat exchangers 124 may be employed. Additionally, in the illustrated embodiment, coolant flows through the heat exchangers 124 in a direction that is opposite to the flow of the gases and/or liquids. That is, the coolant passes through the fourth heat exchanger 124d first, and passes through the first heat exchanger 124a last. In other embodiments, the coolant can flow through the heat exchangers 124 in the same direction as that of the gases and/or liquids. Regardless of the direction of coolant flow, the combination of the temperature of the provided coolant and the pressure generated by the multistage compression can compress and/or liquefy gases that are transported through the production line 1 10.

[0039] The compressor 100 and/or the inserts 206 can facilitate the compression a variety of suitable gases to produce compressed gas and or liquids. For example, in some embodiments, the compressor 100 can compress natural gas to produce compressed natural gas. Natural gas is piped directly to the homes of many consumers. Accordingly, a relatively low cost and efficient compressor to pressurize natural gas can provide a viable fueling option for consumers that own or operate vehicles powered by compressed natural gas. Similarly, commercial vehicle fleets that include trucks powered by compressed natural gas can also benefit from this technology. The compressor 100 can also compress and/or liquefy a variety of other gases, including air, hydrogen, propane, nitrogen, oxygen, helium, waste gases, etc. Additionally, compressors and/or inserts in accordance with the present technology can be configured to facilitate the liquefaction of gases in manners described in U.S. Patent Application No. 13/797,869 entitled "LIQUEFACTION SYSTEMS AND ASSOCIATED PROCESSES AND METHODS," filed on March 12, 2013, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0040] Compressors in accordance with the present technology can be configured in a variety of suitable manners. In some embodiments compressors can be constructed from existing engines that have been modified to include operations as a compressor. In other embodiments, compressors can be constructed without the use of an existing engine. Furthermore, in several embodiments, the compression cylinders can be of different internal volumes, with or without corresponding inserts. Additionally, compressors in accordance with the present technology can provide compressed or liquefied gases for a variety of uses. In several embodiments, the compressor 100 can provide compressed gas and/or liquids to power air tools. For example, compressed gas and/or liquids from the compressor 100 or the tank 208 can be directed to a compressed gas supply line. Valves, regulators, expansion tanks, and/or other components can be included to convert liquids to gases and/or to deliver compressed gases at a particular pressure for the particular tool. In some embodiments, compressed nitrogen can be used to power air tools.

[0041] Figure 3A is a partially schematic cross-sectional view of an insert 300 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 3B is an isometric view of the insert 300 of Figure 3A. Referring to Figures 3A and 3B together, the insert 300 can be at least generally similar to the inserts 206 of Figure 2 and can be configured to be positioned within the compression cylinders 104 of the compressor 100. In the illustrated embodiment, the insert 300 includes an inner annular cylinder 302 and an outer annular cylinder 304. The inner annular cylinder 302 can be thermally conductive and positioned to transmit heat to other components of the compressor 100. For example, the inner annular cylinder 302 can be a thermally conductive metal or metal alloy that can be positioned to transmit heat away from the compression cylinder 104 via suitable methods such as contact with a suitably cooled cylinder head. The inner annular cylinder 302 can also include additional and/or alternative cooling features. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner annular cylinder 302 includes a coolant channel 306 within the insert 300 that extends from an inlet 308 through a suitable coolant circulation system such as a plurality of passageways such as one or more helical coils 310 to an outlet 312. The coolant channel 306 can be independent of or integral with the coolant system 1 17. For example, in one embodiment, the coolant channel 306 can be operably coupled to the coolant line 1 18. Coolant flowing through the coolant channel 306 can remove heat from the inner annular cylinder 302, cooling the compression cylinders 104 and any gases and/or liquids therein, including at the time heat of compression is generated. Such immediate heat removal can improve the efficiency of the compression process. Additionally, the coolant channel 306 can be integral with a thermochemical regeneration (TCR) system, such as those described in U.S. Patent Application No. 61 /304,403, entitled "COUPLED THERMOCHEM ICAL REACTORS AND ENGINES, AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS," and filed February 14, 201 1 , the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein. In such embodiments, heat removed from the compression cylinders 104 can be used to enhance the efficiency and/or reduce the emissions of the compressor 100.

[0042] Gas compressed within the compression cylinders 104 can be mixed and/or stratified by cooling provided by the inserts 300. For example, as the inserts 300 are cooled by the circulation of coolant within the inner annular cylinders 302, the compressed gas can be circulated to stratify within the compression cylinders 104, with the cooled gas moving toward the inner portion of the associated compression cylinder 104. Real gases (except hydrogen, helium and neon) are heated by such compression and such heat is transferred during compression to compression chamber components and/or coolant in passageways surrounding the compression stroke of each compression piston. Additionally, the insert 300 can include components that can induce a swirl to gases that are introduced to a compression cylinder. For example, a directing fin 305 can be attached to, coupled to, or integral with the inner annular cylinder 302 and can induce a swirl to gases, as further described in U.S. Patent Application No. 13/802,202 entitled "MULTI-STAGE COMPRESSORS AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND METHODS," which was incorporated by reference above. Furthermore, the coolant channel 306 can extend through the fin 305 to aid in cooling gases injected into a compression cylinder.

[0043] Although the fin 305 of the illustrated embodiment is positioned to extend around a portion of the inner annular cylinder 302, directing fins in accordance with the present technology can extend around a greater or smaller portion of the inner annular cylinder 302. In several embodiments, a directing fin can encircle the internal circumference of the inner annular cylinder 302. Furthermore, multiple directing fins 305 can be utilized, including one or more directing fins 305 positioned within one or more compression cylinders of a compressor.

[0044] The outer annular cylinder 304 can be thermally insulative and positioned to prevent the transmission of heat from the compression cylinders 104 to other components of the compressor 100 (e.g., the cylinder banks 108 or the crank case). For example, the outer annular cylinder 304 can include ceramics, carbon, aramid fibers (e.g., Kevlar®), and/or other insulative materials, and can at least partially encircle the inner annular cylinder 302 to reduce the transmission of heat to the compressor 100. Insulating the compressor 100 from the heat generated within the compression cylinders 104 can provide multiple benefits. In some embodiments, reducing the heat transmitted to the compressor 100 can increase the heat available for utilization in related operations such as a TCR system. Additionally, reducing the heat transmitted to the compressor 100 can decrease negative effects that high temperatures can have on mechanical and/or electrical components.

[0045] Figure 3C is an isometric view of an insert or insert assembly 320 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. In the illustrated embodiment, the insert assembly 320 includes a plate 325 having a plurality of cylinder openings 327. A first insert or insert sleeve 322a and a second insert or insert sleeve 322b (identified collectively as insert sleeves 322) can be coupled to, attached to, or integral with the plate 425 at corresponding cylinder openings 327. The insert sleeves 322 can be at least generally similar to the inserts 300 of Figures 3A and 3B. For example, the insert sleeves 322 can include inner annular cylinders 302 and outer annular cylinders 304. The inner annular cylinders 302 can include coolant channels 306 that extend from inlets 308 through a plurality of coils 310 to outlets 312. The plate 425 can further include a plurality of bolt holes 324 that can align with a bolt pattern on an engine block. In several embodiments, one or more insert assemblies 320 can be positioned within an engine to convert the engine to include operation as a compressor. For example, in one embodiment, the compressor 100 can be constructed by positioning the insert assembly 320 in the first cylinder bank 108a, with the first insert sleeve 322a within the second compression cylinder 104b and the second insert sleeve 322b within the fourth compression cylinder 104d. A second insert assembly that includes an insert sleeve appropriately sized for the second cylinder bank 108b can be installed therein. The engine heads can then be installed with bolts positioned to extend through the bolt holes 324. In several embodiments, the insert assembly 320 can function as a gasket that seals the compression and combustion cylinders of a compressor. For example, the plate 425 can match the shape of a head gasket in an engine and can therefore replace the head gasket.

[0046] Swirl of fluids within a compression cylinder can be induced by a variety of methods including the fluid flow angle of tangential entry during the intake stroke and/or the use of suitable inlet port fins to induce swirl. Figure 4 is a partially schematic, isometric view of a compression cylinder 400 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. In the illustrated embodiment, an inlet valve 402 and an outlet valve 404 can be positioned to extend at least partially through a cylinder head 406 into the compression cylinder 400. The inlet valve 402 is positioned at least partially within an inlet port 403 that opens to the compression cylinder 104 near a sidewall 407. The inlet port 403 is positioned at an angle to an axis A that extends coaxially with the compression cylinder 400. The position and angle of the inlet port 403 can produce a swirl to a gas that is injected or introduced to the compression cylinder 400, as further described below. The outlet valve 404 is positioned at least partially within an outlet port 405 that can be positioned toward the center of the compression cylinder 400 and aligned with the axis A. The compression cylinder 400 also includes a directing fin 408 positioned adjacent to or on the sidewall 407. The directing fin or fin 408 includes a coolant system having an inlet 410 and an outlet 412. The fin 408 can induce a swirl to gas that is introduced to the compression cylinder 400 and cool the gas, as further described below. [0047] Figure 5 is an isometric view of the compression cylinder 400 illustrating a swirling gas 502 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Referring to Figures 4 and 5 together, the fin 408, the angle of the inlet port 403 and/or the position of the inlet port 403 can produce a swirl in injected gas as a result of the gas following the sidewall 407. In the illustrated embodiment of Figure 5, the swirling gas 502 is rotating in a counterclockwise pattern. The counterclockwise pattern can be initiated by directing gas into the compression cylinder 400 in the direction of arrow 512, e.g., via the injection port 403 of Figure 4. The swirling gas 502 can separate into a stratified pattern within the compression cylinder 400 based on temperature differences including via the Ranques-Hilsch effect. For example, hot gases (illustrated by arrows 508) swirl in an outer region 504, and cool gases (illustrated by arrows 510) swirl in an inner region 506. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner region 506 and the outer region 504 are separated at a boundary line 514. However, it is to be understood that the separation between the inner region 506 and the outer region 504 may not always be clearly defined. For example, the swirling gases can separate into a pattern having a continuum of temperatures from a relatively hot region close to the cylinder wall, to a relatively cool region closer to the center of the cylinder. Regardless, the separation of the gases into hot and cold regions can aid in the heat removal, and thus, compression and/or liquefaction of gases by the compressor 100, as further described below. In several embodiments, the impingement of hot fluid molecules upon cooled cylinder surfaces improves the thermal gradient and thus the rate and efficiency of cooling. Additionally, cooled molecules can be located within heat transfer layers, as further described below.

[0048] In embodiments where an outlet port (e.g., the outlet port 405) is positioned near the central axis A, the cool gases in the inner region 506 (Figure 5) can be expelled from the compression cylinder 400 first. Accordingly, the operation of the compression cylinder 400 can preferentially expel the cooler gases. In some embodiments, the compression cylinders 104, 400 and/or the compression pistons 210 can be sized and/or configured to expel a selected portion of the gases that are contained within the compression cylinder 104, 400. For example, the selected portion can correspond to a volume that includes a larger proportion of cool gases than of hot gases. Accordingly, the compressor 100 can increase the rate at which it cools gases by selectively expelling the cooled portion of the gases.

[0049] Although the inlet port 403 of Figure 4 is shown positioned near the sidewall 407, in other embodiments, the inlet port 403 can be positioned in a variety of suitable locations with respect to the compression cylinder 400. For example, the inlet port 403 can be positioned near the center of the compression cylinder 400, and an angle of the inlet port 403 can produce a swirl in an injected gas. Similarly, the outlet port 405 can be positioned in a variety of suitable locations, including positions near the axis A.

[0050] Embodiments in accordance with the present technology can induce a swirl in gases via a variety of suitable manners. For example, in addition to the angled inlet port 403, one or more directing fins (e.g., the directing fin 408) can induce a swirl. As illustrated in Figure 4, the directing fin 408 can be positioned on the sidewall of the compression cylinder 400 near the inlet port 403. Gases injected into the compression cylinder 400 can impact the directing fin 408 and be directed into a swirling pattern via the shape of the directing fin 408. Additionally, although the injecting port 403 is positioned at an angle to induce a swirl, the directing features such as the fin 408 can induce a swirl to gases that are injected or introduced to the compression cylinder 400 via injection ports that are coaxial with the axis A. Accordingly, the directing fin 408 can both 1 ) induce a swirl in a gas; and 2) increase an existing swirl in a gas. Additionally, the directing fin 408 can cool gases as they are introduced into the compression cylinder 400. Coolant can be directed to the inlet port 410, through a coolant line that is internal to the directing fin 408, and out the outlet port 412. Accordingly, the surface of the directing fin 408 can be cooled, thereby cooling the gases that are introduced into the compression cylinder 400.

[0051] Although the fin 408 of the illustrated embodiment is positioned to extend around a portion of the compression cylinder 400, directing fins in accordance with the present technology can precede the inlet valve and/or extend around a greater or smaller portion of the compression cylinder 400. In several embodiments, a directing fin can encircle the internal circumference of the compression cylinder 400. Furthermore, multiple directing fins 408 can be utilized, including operation in positions before one or more inlet valves and/or within one or more compression cylinders 400 of a compressor.

[0052] In several embodiments, one or more inlet valves 402 can induce swirl in gases that are introduced to a compression cylinder. For example, the inlet valves 402 can be asymmetrical or have grooves, striations or other features that interact with gases traveling through the inlet port 410 to produce swirl.

[0053] Figure 6 is a partial cross-sectional, side view of a compression cylinder 602 and a compression piston 604 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. In the illustrated embodiment, the compression cylinder 602 includes a striated cylinder head 606 having a plurality of grooves or striations 612 and a plurality of outlet ports 608. The compression piston 604 includes a similarly striated piston head 610 having a plurality of grooves or striations 614. The striations 612 on the cylinder head 606 and the striations 614 on the piston head 610 are arranged in a swirl pattern that can induce swirling in injected gases. For example, as a gas is injected into the compression cylinder 602, the gas can impact the striations 612 and 614 and be directed in the direction of the striations 612 and 614. Similarly, as the compression piston 604 moves upwardly within the compression cylinder 602, the striations of the piston head 610 can impact the gases, causing further swirl. Additionally, as the gases are forced upwards in the compression cylinder 602, the gases can again impact the striations 612 of the cylinder head 606, resulting in even further swirling. Accordingly, the striations 612 and 614 of the illustrated embodiment can produce swirling of gases within the compression cylinder 602, resulting in a temperature separation of the gases including via the Ranques-Hilsch effect.

[0054] The plurality of outlet ports 608 can aid in the separation of liquids and gases. As shown in Figure 6, the outlet ports 608 can be aligned within the striations of the cylinder head 606. Channels for transporting gases and/or liquids can extend from the outlet ports 608 to the production line 1 10, the storage tank 208 (Figure 2B) and/or other collection systems. In some embodiments, the outlet ports 608 that are located lower in the cylinder head 606 (i.e., toward the compression piston 604) can lead to channels that transport liquids, and the outlet ports 608 that are located higher in the cylinder can lead to channels that transport gases. As the compression piston 604 reciprocates within the compression cylinder 602, forming compressed gases and liquids, the denser vapors or liquids occupy the lower portion of the available internal cylinder volume. As the compression piston 604 moves upwards, the lower outlet ports 608 can direct the vapors or liquids towards a liquid collection system, and the upper outlet ports 608 can direct the compressed gases toward an additional compression cylinder 602 and/or toward a compressed gas collection system. Accordingly, the compression cylinder 602 and the compression piston 604 can separate compressed gases, vapors, and liquids.

[0055] The compression of gases having multiple constituents (e.g., air) can result in a cascading liquefaction of the constituents. For example, as a result of the varying temperatures and pressures of liquefaction for each constituent, liquefaction can occur within different compression cylinders for different constituents. Compressors in accordance with the present technology can include one or more striated compression cylinders 602 and compression pistons 604 that can sequentially collect the liquefied constituents at different stages within a compressor.

[0056] In several embodiments, compressors in accordance with the present technology can be used to separate gases at a mixed gas source. For example, the sequential collection of gas, vapor or liquid constituents within the compressor 100 can allow the separation of waste gases at industrial production or mining sites. In one embodiment, the compressor 100 can separate hydrogen sulfide from a natural gas source (e.g., coal bed methane). Similarly, the compressor 100 can also separate carbon dioxide and/or water vapor from coal bed methane.

[0057] Figure 7 is a partially schematic illustration of a compressor 700 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The compressor 700 can include features at least generally similar to the compressor 100 of Figure 1 . For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the compressor 700 includes an engine block 702, a production system 709, a coolant system 717, and a controller 71 1 . The coolant system 717 includes a coolant line 718 that extends through a heat exchanger 724. The production system 709 can extend through a production line 710 that also extends through the heat exchanger 724. One or more sensors 725 and valves 727 can be positioned within the production system 709 and/or the coolant system 717. The controller 71 1 can be electrically coupled to the valves 727 and the sensors 725 and can include a processor 734, memory 736, electronic circuitry, and electronic components for controlling and/or operating the compressor 700. For example, computer readable instructions contained in the memory 736 can include operating parameters and instructions that can control the operation of the compressor 700. The sensors 725 can include temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow meters, and/or other electrical, mechanical or electromechanical devices that can measure operating parameters of the compressor 700. In operation, the controller 71 1 can receive inputs from the sensors 725 and control operation of the valves 727 and/or other compressor components or operations (e.g., ignition timing, valve timing, etc.). In several embodiments, the operation of the sensors 725 and/or the valves 727 can control the release of liquids from one or more compression cylinders of the compressor 700.

[0058] In some embodiments, the valves 727 in the production system 709 can operate to direct compressed gases through the compressor 700 to provide additional compression. For example, the valves 727 can include three-way valves that can direct compressed gases exiting the compressor toward a storage system or toward a conduit or tube that leads back to a compression cylinder. In this manner, the compressor 700 can adjust the level of compression and/or liquefaction, and can run gases through the compression cylinders multiple times. Coolant system 717 can provide circulation of coolant in some zones of operation that have been previously compressed and cooled to enable operations such as compression and liquefaction of gases such as hydrogen, helium and neon. Illustratively a mixture of methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen can be separated into methane and carbon monoxide that are utilized to cool hydrogen sufficiently regarding the inversion temperature to enable production of liquid hydrogen.

[0059] Although several components of Figure 7 are shown adjacent to the engine block 702 for ease of illustration, it is to be understood that these components can also be attached to or integrated with the engine block 702. For example, in several embodiments, the valves 727 and sensors 725 can be positioned within the engine block 702 or coupled thereto.

[0060] Compressors in accordance with the present technology can operate in a variety of suitable manners to combust fuels and/or compress gases. In several embodiments, the compressors 100 and 700 can be configured to combust a fuel in the combustion cylinders and compress the same fuel in the compression cylinders. For example, the compressors 100 and 700 can combust natural gas in one or more combustion cylinders, and compress natural gas in one or more compression cylinders. The compressed natural gas can be directed to a collection tank (e.g., the storage tank 208) and/or to one or more combustion cylinders. In several embodiments, natural gas from the storage tank 208 can be directed to the compressors 100 or 700. In other embodiments, the compressors 100 and 700 can similarly compress and combust other fuels (e.g., propane, hydrogen, etc.)

[0061] Compressors in accordance with the present technology can be particularly effective when utilized with hydrogen. For example, hydrogen has a negative Joule-Thomson coefficient at temperatures above 200 K. Accordingly, when hydrogen is compressed at temperatures above 200 K, it cools. The cooling effects provided by the embodiments described above, in combination with the inherent cooling provided by the compression of hydrogen, can result in a more rapid cooling.

[0062] Furthermore, hydrogen fuels can increase the efficiency of engines in a variety of manners. For example, the addition of hydrogen to another fuel (e.g., diesel) that is combusted in an internal combustion engine can provide for increased peak pressure, as described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61 /794,529 entitled "JOULE-THOMPSON COOLING AND HEATING OF COMBUSTION CHAMBER EVENTS," and filed on March 15, 2013, is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. As described above, several embodiments in accordance with the present technology can be used to produce compressed and/or liquid hydrogen. Accordingly, the operation of compressors in accordance with the present technology to produce compressed or liquid hydrogen can assist in increasing engine and/or compressor efficiency. Additionally, in several embodiments, compressors can produce compressed or liquid hydrogen that can be combusted in the combustion cylinders of the same compressor. For example, the compressor 100 can produce compressed and/or liquid hydrogen in the compression cylinders 104 that is combusted in the combustion cylinders 106.

[0063] Figure 8 is a schematic diagram of a liquefaction system 800 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. In the illustrated embodiment, the liquefaction system 800 includes a filtration system 802, a liquefier 804 and a liquid collection system 806 having a collection tank 812. The liquefaction system 800 can be operably coupled to an emission system (e.g., an emission stack, ventilation system, etc.) of an emission source or facility 810 to receive an emission stream 808. For example, in one embodiment, the facility 810 can be a bakery, brewery, calciner, ethanol plant, municipal waste treatment plant or digester, power plant, or some other facility or manufacturer. The facility 810 can be an emission source of carbon dioxide and/or a manufacturer that utilizes or generates VOCs during their manufacturing process and includes VOCs in the emission stream 808.

[0064] The filtration system 802 can include a variety of filtration technologies and can remove material from the emission stream 808 to prevent potentially damaging materials from entering the liquefier 804. For example, electrostatic precipitators, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, scrubbers, and/or other filtration technologies can be employed to remove particulates, gases and/or other materials from the emission stream 808. In several embodiments, the removal of these materials can increase the efficiency of the liquefier 804, prevent damage to the liquefier 804, and/or reduce the overall pollution contained in the emission stream 808. Although the illustrated embodiment of Figure 8 includes the filtration system 802 positioned upstream of the liquefier 804, other embodiments can include a filtration system positioned downstream of the liquefier 804, filtration systems positioned both upstream and downstream of the liquefier 804, and/or a filtration system incorporated into the liquefier 804.

[0065] The liquefier 804 can receive the emission stream 808 and liquefy the emission stream 808 or a portion of the emission stream 808. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the liquefier 804 liquefies a portion of the emission stream 808 to produce a liquid stream 814 and the remainder of the emission stream 808 is emitted to the atmosphere A. In some embodiments, the entire emission stream 808 can be liquefied to produce the liquid stream 814. The liquid stream 814 can be directed to the collection tank 812 for reuse, repurposing and/or other uses or operations, as further discussed below. The liquefier 804 can include one or more compressors, cooling systems, heat exchangers and/or other devices and systems for the compression and/or cooling of gases to produce liquids. Furthermore, the liquefier 804 can include a multi-stage compressor having a combustion chamber to combust fuels and provide a driving force for compression. The liquefier 804 can also include a gas turbine compressor having thermo-chemical regeneration capabilities, as described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application 61/788,756 entitled "Fuel Conditioner, Combustor and Gas Turbine Improvements," and filed on March 15, 2013, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0066] Additionally, in several embodiments, the liquefier 804 can utilize one or more additions of absorbers, phase change agents, and/or refrigerants to provide adaptively variable boiling temperatures. Illustratively, such recycled solvent and refrigerant can cool and liquefy carbon monoxide and subsequently methane and separate such compounds from a mixture of gases while minimizing irreversible energy transfers. The resulting high-efficiency cycle enables a single compressor to separate numerous substances from a mixture of multiple gases. The compressor can be selected from various types including positive displacement, rotary and turbo machinery, and thermo-acoustic driver pulse tube designs including optional operation according to simplified Stirling or Schmidt cycles. In operation, the varying boiling points and/or vapor pressures of the particular components of a gaseous source can produce phase change separation via liquefaction at different stages of compression or cooling within the liquefier 804. The liquefier 804 can direct each of the individual components to a particular location as they are liquefied, as further described below.

[0067] Figure 9 is a schematic diagram of a liquefaction system 900 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Similar to the liquefaction system 800, the liquefaction system 900 is operably coupled to an emission system of a facility 910 to receive an emission stream 908. Additionally, the liquefaction system 900 includes a filtration system 902 and a liquefier 904. The liquefaction system 900 further includes a collection system 906 having a plurality of collection tanks 912 (identified individually as a first collection tank 912a through an Nth collection tank 912N). The liquefier 904 can include an inlet 905 configured to receive gases. The emission stream 908 can include a variety of gases and can be directed through the inlet 905. The liquefier 904 can liquefy the gases from the emission stream 908 and individually direct each of the resulting liquids or liquid streams 914 to a corresponding individual collection tank 912. For example, in one embodiment, the liquefier 904 can liquefy an emission stream 908 that contains one or more VOCs (e.g., acetone) and air. The liquid VOC can be directed to the first collection tank 912a, and various liquid constituents of the air (e.g., nitrogen, oxygen, etc.) can be individually directed to the second collection tank 912b through the Nth collection tank 912N. Accordingly, the liquefier 904 can liquefy a first gas and direct a resulting first liquid to the first collection tank 912a, and can liquefy a second gas and direct a resulting second liquid to the second collection tank 912b. In some embodiments, the constituents of the air, and any other gases in the emission stream 908, can be liquefied and directed to one of the collection tanks 912. In other embodiments, some constituents of the air and/or other gases in the emission stream 908 can be emitted to the atmosphere A.

[0068] In several embodiments, one or more of the liquids delivered to the collection tanks 912 can be reused in the facility 910. For example, in the illustrated embodiment of Figure 9, a recovery line 922 extends from the collection tank 912a to the facility 910. The recovery line 922 can direct or return the first liquid to the facility 910. In manufacturing facilities that utilize VOCs, the gaseous VOCs that are captured and liquefied can be returned to the facility 910 to reduce the overall consumption and provide a concomitant reduction in operational costs. Similarly, for facilities that produce VOCs for distribution and sale, the liquefaction system 900 can recuperate gaseous products that would otherwise be a source of pollution, and can thereby increase the overall production of a facility. Furthermore, the reduced emissions can result in improved air quality and decreased liability or remediation costs.

[0069] Liquefaction systems in accordance with the present technology can provide increased energy efficiency in a variety of manners. In the illustrated embodiment of Figure 9, for example, a first return line 924 can direct liquefied components or a portion of the liquefied components back to the inlet 905 of the liquefier 904. The return of liquefied components can increase the efficiency of the liquefier 904 by decreasing an inlet temperature and pre-cooling the gaseous components and/or by cooling components of the liquefier 904 that interact with the gaseous components. For example, in several embodiments, the liquefied gaseous components can cool cylinder walls of compression chambers within the liquefier 904. In other embodiments, the liquefied gaseous components can cool blades or other components of a turbine or rotary compressor that is part of the liquefier 904.

[0070] In addition to the pre-cooling of gaseous components, liquefied gaseous components can be returned to a heat transfer device 907 (e.g., a heat exchanger or other heat transfer component) of the liquefier 904 to act as a heat sink and/or cool gases at various stages of compression. In the illustrated embodiment of Figure 9, a second return line 926 can direct a liquefied component or a portion of a liquefied component back to the liquefier 904. In some embodiments, for example, liquefied gaseous components of air (e.g., nitrogen) can be redirected back to the liquefier 904 as a heat sink to aid in the liquefaction of natural gas.

[0071] Furthermore, embodiments in accordance with the present technology can include pressurization systems that utilize liquefied gases to pressurize fuel storage and/or injection systems. For example, in the illustrated embodiment of Figure 9, a pressurization system 928 is operably coupled to the second tank 912b via a relief line 930. Reconstituted gases that boil off from the second tank 912b can be directed to the pressurization system 928 via the relief line 930. The pressurization system 928 can include relief valves, expansion tanks, and/or other components that can regulate the pressure of gases in the pressurization system 928. Reconstituted gases at a variety of pressures can be directed from the pressurization system 928 to the liquefier 904 via a first gas supply line 932, or to other locations via a second gas supply line 934. For example, the second tank 912b can receive liquid natural gas from the liquefier 904, and the reconstituted natural gas that boils off from the second tank 912b can be directed to the pressurization system 928. The pressurization system 928 can direct the natural gas through the first gas supply line 932 as a fuel for the liquefier 904 (e.g., to power the liquefier 904 via combustion in a combustion chamber). The pressurization system 928 can also direct the reconstituted natural gas through the second gas supply line 934 to another device or location (e.g., a compressed gas storage facility, a furnace for heating of the facility 910, etc.). Although the embodiment of Figure 9 described herein includes the pressurization system 928 operably coupled to the second collection tank 912b, embodiments in accordance with the present technology can include one or more pressurization systems coupled to any of the collection tanks 912.

[0072] In some embodiments, the emission source 810 or 910 can be a fossil fuel production site (e.g., an oil well, coal mine, etc.), a refinery, or another source or emitter of gaseous fossil fuels and/or oxides of carbon or oxides of nitrogen. For example, oil wells may produce natural gas and/or other gaseous byproducts. At many oil wells, systems for collection and transportation of these gaseous fuels are not available, and the gas is wastefully burned in a flare stack. The liquefaction system 800 or 900 can be operably coupled to such a gaseous fuel source to liquefy the fuel for storage and/or transportation. Accordingly, rather than burning of the gas, the liquefied fuel can be utilized locally at another location, or sold. Similarly, at many refineries, excess gases are often burned off or otherwise emitted to the atmosphere due to the lack of a system for collection or transportation. Accordingly, in several embodiments, the liquefaction system 800 or 900 can be operably coupled to a production line at a refinery to capture and liquefy gaseous fuels.

[0073] Liquefaction systems in accordance with the present technology can be used to capture and liquefy a variety of valuable gases that are often vented to the air and wasted. For example, at many natural gas fields, or at various stages of transportation or refinement, natural gas is stripped of inert components (including nitrogen and helium) to increase the BTU content of the natural gas. Although helium and nitrogen are valuable gases that can be used in numerous industries, these gases are often vented or otherwise disposed because systems are not available to collect, contain or transport them. The liquefaction systems 800 or 900 can be operably coupled to a raw gas transport conduit or to the vent source at these facilities and can liquefy the nitrogen and helium, thereby reducing the volume, and store the resultant liquids in the tanks 812 or 912.

[0074] In several embodiments, the liquefaction systems 800 and 900 can be configured to liquefy a particular component of the emission stream 808 or 908 (or of another gaseous source). Configuring the liquefaction systems for particular components can reduce the energy required to perform the liquefaction. For example, compared to the constituents of air, VOCs have relatively high boiling points, and will therefore liquefy at higher temperatures and/or lower pressures. The VOC formaldehyde, for example, has a boiling point of minus 19 degrees Celsius, while nitrogen, the main constituent of air, has a boiling point of minus 196 degrees Celsius. Therefore, liquefaction systems can liquefy formaldehyde at much higher temperatures and lower pressures than that required for the liquefaction of nitrogen. Higher temperatures and lower pressures require less cooling and/or less compression, thereby reducing the energy used to achieve liquefaction. Accordingly, the liquefaction systems 800 and 900 can be configured to reduce energy consumption by adjusting the operating pressure and/or temperature to liquefy particular gases.

[0075] The liquefaction systems 800 and 900 can separate gaseous components via a variety of suitable manners. In several embodiments, the liquefiers 804 and 904 can include compressors and/or other components that aid in the separation of oxygen and/or other gases. For example, in addition to the liquefaction of gases via a phase change separation through the compression and/or cooling described above, the liquefiers 804 and 904 can separate gases via additional processes. In several embodiments, the liquefiers 804 and 904 can include adsorbents, and oxygen or other gases can be separated via pressure swing and/or temperature swing "sorption" such as adsorbtion or absorption. Additionally, the liquefier 804 can include filters that can separate oxygen or other gases via molecular filtration or diffusion including ionic diffusion such as proton diffusion through polymer or ceramic membranes with or without galvanic bias impetus and/or pressure gradient. Embodiments in accordance with the present technology can include systems described in U.S. Patent No, 8,313,556, entitled "DELIVERY SYSTEM WITH IN-LINE SELECTIVE EXTRACTION DEVICES AND ASSOCIATED METHODS OF OPERATION," filed on February 14, 201 1 , which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0076] Figure 10 is a flowchart showing a method 1000 for liquefying gases in accordance with the present technology. The method 1000 begins at block 1001 by receiving the emission stream 808 or 908 at the filtration system 802 or 902. The emission stream 808 or 908 can originate from a source or facility 810 or 910, or from an emission system of the facility 810 or 910. The method 1000 continues at block 1002 by filtering the emission stream 808 or 908 to remove impurities, including particulates, gases, and/or other materials. Filtering the emission stream 808 or 908 can include filtering with electrostatic precipitators, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, scrubbers and/or other filtration technologies.

[0077] The method 1000 then continues at block 1003 by receiving the emission stream 808 or 908 at the liquefier 804 or 904 and liquefying at least one gas contained in the emission stream 808 or 908 to produce the liquid stream 814 or 914. In several embodiments, the method 1000 can include liquefaction of a portion of the emission stream 808. In other embodiments, the entire emission stream 808 can be liquefied. At block 1004, the method 1000 continues by directing the liquid stream 814 to the collection tank 812.

[0078] The method 1000 can further include a step of liquefying additional gases. For example, the liquefier 904 can liquefy a plurality of gases and direct individual gases to corresponding individual collection tanks. The liquefaction of the plurality of gases can include the separation of the gases and/or liquids via a variety of processes, including: phase change separation, pressure swing sorbtion, temperature swing sorbtion, and/or molecular filtration.

[0079] The method 1000 can also include a step of returning a liquefied component to the liquefier 904. The liquefied component can be directed to the liquefier 904 via a first return line 924 and/or a second return line 926 to pre-cool gaseous components entering the liquefier 904, to cool components of the liquefier 904, and/or to act as a heat sink and cool gases at various stages of compression.

[0080] The method 1000 can further include a step of directing gases from one or more collection tanks 912 to a pressurization system 928. The pressurization system 928 can regulate the pressure of one or more gases and can direct gases at a variety of pressures to the liquefier and/or to other devices or locations.

[0081] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that specific embodiments of the disclosure have been described herein for purposes of illustration, but that various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the various embodiments of the disclosure. For example, several embodiments may include various suitable combinations of components, devices and/or systems from any of the embodiments described herein. Further, while various advantages associated with certain embodiments of the disclosure have been described above in the context of those embodiments, other embodiments may also exhibit such advantages, and not all embodiments need necessarily exhibit such advantages to fall within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, the disclosure is not limited, except as by the appended claims.