LNG offers tremendous benefits for consumers and the environment. It is versatile, cleaner-burning than many traditional alternatives once regasified, safe, and abundant. LNG can be made available for a variety of uses. LNG’s physical and chemical properties – including the fact that it will not ignite in its liquid state – make it safer than other commonly used hydrocarbons. Once regasified as natural gas, it emits less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels. Additionally, the U.S. has an abundance of natural gas, making LNG affordable. Discover the many benefits and uses for LNG below.
When used for electricity generation, LNG (natural gas) produces less than half the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of traditional coal. Compared to coal, natural gas emits signifantly lower levels of other air pollutants such as sulfur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and particulate matter (PM). LNG and natural gas have historically been very reliable fuel sources and offer "on-demand" power generation, unlike many renewable options that currently suffer from storage limits. Advocates for a 100% renewable approach often argue that the benefits of switching to LNG are completely negated by upstream "methane leak" since LNG is mostly methane. This concept has been disproven by mutliple studies. Nonetheless, methane leak is a real issue that the industry can and is actively adressing. Electricity generation is not the only use case for LNG .
On the marine side, new emissions standards from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Emission Control Areas (ECAs), and the low cost of natural gas compared to conventional fuels, have encouraged the use of LNG as a marine fuel by the shipping industry in recent years. In regards to emissions, LNG is superior to tradional marine fuels like marine gasoil (MGO), again emitting far less CO2, SOx, NOx, and PM. The growth of LNG as a marine fuel is expected to continue significantly.
In the coming years, bio-LNG will be another bright spot for the LNG industry and its path towards a lower carbon future. Bio-LNG is produced from completely renewable resources, such as organic and industrial waste. Given that bio-LNG has nearly identical chemical properties to traditional LNG, its is an ideal alternative as a "drop-in-fuel" because LNG-fueled facilties and fleets require little modifications to convert to bio-LNG use. Most importantly, the recycling of the organic and industrial waste feedstock reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70% and 80%, respectively. Since bio-LNG production captures and reuses carbon it has netural to negative carbon emissions, depending on the feedstock.
While still in the early phases of feasibility testing, our industry is also shifting attention to synthetic natural gas as a fuel source. E-LNG is produced by electrolyzing water with renewable power to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen is then combined with non-fossil fuel carbon dioxide to create the final product - synethic methane. This synethic methane is interchangeable with infrastructure and engines that currently utilize natural gas or biogas and their liquified forms. E-LNG has zero emissions and a significant head start on alternative fuels, like ammonia and methanol, given the established supply chain and infrastructure for natural gas and LNG that is already in place today.