Natural gas is supercooled combination of hydrocarbon gases composed mostly of methane. It may also include trace amounts of nitrogen, CO2, hydrogen sulfide, and other higher alkanes It’s commonly used as a fuel for industrial processes, as well as in many home kitchens. Yet, for something so common, most people know very little about liquified natural gas.
Samik Mukherjee takes a minute to discuss what liquified natural gas is, where it comes from, how it’s used in both industrial and residential environments, and how it can be safely transported and used throughout the nation. Your home likely already uses LNG in some capacity, so take a moment to learn more about it now.
What is Liquified Natural Gas?
As the name suggests, LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state. This process is done for a few reasons, the most common being storage and transportation. When natural gas is liquified, it can be transported via tanker trucks, rail cars, or ships. It can also be stored in large tanks, making it much easier to store large quantities of natural gas.
How is LNG Used?
Liquified natural gas has a variety of uses, both industrial and residential. In industry, it’s used as a fuel for a number of different processes, including power generation, heating, and cooling. It’s also used as a feedstock for the production of a number of chemicals, including ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen. In the home, LNG is most commonly used for cooking and heating. Many people use natural gas stoves in their kitchens, and natural gas is also used to heat water in many homes. By the time gas reaches your home, though, it’s usually warmed back into a gas.
The Safety of Liquified Natural Gas
There are some safety concerns associated with using liquified natural gas, but these can be mitigated with proper safety precautions. One concern is that natural gas is flammable, and if there is a leak, the gas can accumulate and lead to an explosion. Another concern is that natural gas is odorless, so if there is a leak, it can be difficult to detect.
Generally, gas companies add an odorant to make leaks more easily detectable. If you use liquid natural gas in your home, it’s important to be aware of these safety concerns and take the necessary precautions. Make sure to have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home, and if you smell gas, open windows, and doors to ventilate the area and then call your gas company.
LNG is a popular fuel that has a variety of uses, both industrial and residential. Although it’s less talked about than oil or gasoline, LNG plays an important part in our daily lives. And it’s important to be aware of the safety measures required with using liquid natural gas and before working on any gas fittings or connections.