- Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4) that has been converted temporarily to liquid form for ease of storage or transport.
- Liquefied natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state. It is odorless, colorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. Hazards include flammability, freezing and asphyxia.
- For definitions, see A Glossary Of LNG Terms
The LNG Process
- A typical LNG process. The gas is first extracted and transported to a processing plant where it is purified by removing any Natural Gas Condensates and other impurities such as water, oil, mud, as well as other gases like CO2 and H2S and some times solids as mercury.
- The gas is then cooled down in stages until it is liquefied. LNG is finally stored in storage tanks and can be loaded and shipped.The liquefication process involves removal of certain components, such as dust, acid gases, helium, water, and heavy hydrocarbons, which could cause difficulty downstream. The natural gas is then condensed into a liquid at close to atmospheric pressure (maximum transport pressure set at around 25 kPa/3.6 psi) by cooling it to approximately −162 °C (−260 °F).
- Currently there are 4 main Liquefaction processes available:
- APCI technology is the most used liquefaction process in LNG plants
- The reduction in volume makes it much more cost efficient to transport over long distances where pipelines do not exist. Where moving natural gas by pipelines is not possible or economical, it can be transported by specially designed cryogenic sea vessels (LNG carriers) or cryogenic road tankers.
- Image from BP
- 1 cubic metre of natural gas = 0.000725 tons of LNG
- So to convert from Billion Cubic Metres to Million Tons, multiply by 0.725