The benefits of using LNG for the Environment
Written by on January 24, 2023
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been growing in popularity and usefulness in the energy sector over the last 3-4 decades. The gas that’s cooled to -162ºC is gaining ground on traditional fossil fuels such as coal because it is cleaner, more affordable, and more futuristic. Upon cooling and liquefaction, LNG shrinks in volume up to 600 times. That makes it easier to store and transport. It also forms a colorless liquid that’s negligibly low on toxins. All these are benefits of LNG. How else does natural gas benefit the environment?
- It vaporizes upon leakage or spillage
What happens when LNG leaks or spills? First of all, LNG is stored and transported at extremely low temperatures. In case of spillage, LNG will not ignite as a liquid. As the temperature rises, the gas warms up and vaporizes into the air. It still is very safe when vaporized because it doesn’t combust immediately. It only ignites upon reaching a concentration level of 15 percent and attaining a temperature of 1000 F. LNG creates a visible vapor cloud as more of it vaporizes in the air, but the cloud is short-lived because LNG vapors are lighter than air. The cloud rises, leaving no contamination or residual waste behind. No water residue, soot, dust, or fumes to clean up, which means no harm to the fauna.
- LNG is versatile
LNG can be used literally everywhere, both commercially and domestically. That makes it the best available alternative to gasoline and diesel in almost every sector of the economy. Environmentalists around the world agree that although the best energy sources for heating, cooling, and cooking in homes are wind and solar, the two sources are not as reliable as LNG. Industrial manufacturers, power producers, truckers, and even the marine sector can now benefit from reliable and low-emission LNG.
iii. The least toxic fossil fuel
As we mentioned earlier, LNG is friendlier to the environment than other fossil fuels. Let’s talk percentages:
– LNG generates 30% less carbon dioxide than fuel oil.
– It produces 45% less carbon dioxide than coal.
– It cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 50% compared to other fossil fuels.
– Vehicles that use LNG emit up to 95 percent less nitrogen oxide than those that use gasoline.
– LNG doesn’t emit any particulate matter. It’s the microscopic particles that gasoline vehicles emit that penetrate deeply into the lungs and make people sick.
- It’s in plenty
In 2020, LNG was estimated to be in excess of 7,257 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) worldwide. And with so many undiscovered or unexplored reserves of gross natural gas around the world, you can bet that there’s more than enough to go around for many years to come. LNG experts believe that there’s plenty of LNG to last the world over 200 more years, even if there’s an increment in the current global consumption rate. That’s to say although it is not renewable, LNG will serve the world well for the time being as we figure out ways of producing enough renewable energy for our domestic and industrial use. Remember that LNG’s environmental impact is almost as low as wind, energy, and hydro energy sources.
Who is Behind LNG’s Growth as a Mainstream Energy Source?
Despite its obvious benefits to our environment, it has taken huge investment and lobbying to get LNG into the mainstream energy sector. LNG has made a journey of almost half a century to get the recognition and appreciation that it now has as a cleaner alternative to coal and a more reliable alternative to wind, water, and solar energy sources. One of the notable figures in this sector is AG&P’s Joseph Sigelman who said that he is spearheading LNG penetration in the Philippines, India & Indonesia. Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Jassim Al-Thani is another investor who has contributed heavily to the adoption of LNG around the world. His company, Qatargas, produces more than 77 million tons of LNG every year. And then there is Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total Energies, who recently launched a 20 billion dollar LNG plant in Mozambique. These and other investors and CEOs are the reason LNG has been accepted around the world as a transition energy as we gravitate towards a zero-emission future.
LNG provides commercial and domestic users with adaptable, sustainable, and economical energy solutions. It helps us protect the environment at a time when climate change and pollution are threatening to destroy our planet. LNG is, indeed, the fuel of both now and the future.