It’s happened quietly over the course of recent years, but in the compressed gas world, the headlines and discussions are focusing more and more on natural gases. A growing and more sustainable alternative to petroleum-based fuels, natural gas has become increasingly relevant in the compressed gases market because it is a product that can be used with existing equipment in many cases. Take CEFRANK for example, we have, for the longest time been focused on high pressure gases like carbon dioxide, oxygen, acetylene, helium and argon, but in recent years we have noticed a growing interest in compressed natural gas or CNG. Liquid natural gas or LNG is also another phrase that’s been taking up headlines of late but for the smaller companies and end-users, LNG doesn’t really come into play. LNG is used mainly for transporting natural gas from where it’s sourced to where it can be processed and then distributed.
What is natural gas?
- Natural gas is made up mostly of methane.
- It is colourless, odourless and the second cleanest fuel next to hydrogen.
- It is safer than petrol, propane or diesel because it is lighter than air and disperses quickly in the case of a spill or leak.
- It is still a fossil fuel, and it still emits greenhouse gases when burnt, but the emissions are about half that of coal – so a much less damaging fuel alternative.
- Natural gas is increasingly being used for powering vehicles like trucks and buses and even cars and is being embraced in the less wealthy countries of the world who can’t afford the rising costs of petrol.
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What’s the difference between LNG and CNG?
LNG is more or less the same kind of fuel, but because it’s cooled, the gas shrinks – by 600 times – and becomes liquid. This means you can store more of it, which means it can be transported more cost effectively, and less frequent filling is required. Sounds great, however, the down side of LNG is that it’s very expensive to store and move due to the conditions it needs to remain a liquid, which is cryogenic technology that keeps the product at a frosty -160C.
CNG, however is natural gas that’s been compressed and remains in its gaseous state. The benefits of CNG is that it can be compressed to 330bar working pressure, which is similar to most other compressed industrial and medical gases. The only major drawback of CNG is the space that’s needed to store it. Because it’s gaseous, it needs a bigger tank than LNG and this has been a hurdle to it’s wide-spread use in cars, which can’t always spare the room.
To read more about the differences and qualities of natural gas, visit The Carbon Brief Blog.
CNG and CEFRANK
The great thing about CNG, is that it can be filled and distributed using CEFRANK’s existing compressed gas designs and product manufacture. CEFRANK is poised for the CNG revolution and welcomes inquiries for CNG equipment like gas cylinder bundles and cylinder pallets. Our CNG equipment can be applied to end users who need larger batteries of cylinders.