What is Liquefied Natural Gas and How is it Used?

Most of us have a good idea of what natural gas is; we use it in our homes for cooking, heating and ensuring we have enough hot water for our needs. But what is liquefied natural gas and what can be done with it?

Liquefied natural gas is simply the good old natural gas we all know and love that has been run through a process to remove any impurities and is then condensed into a liquid form. In addition to removing the impurities, the process will also eliminate water, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and any other elements that will freeze at the temperatures required to produce liquefied natural gas.

The process calls for the natural gas to be cooled to a temperature of less than minus 163 degrees Celsius. Once prepared, liquid natural gas is stored in specially designed containers and can be transported anywhere in the world. Because liquid natural gas takes so much less space than natural gas, which means large quantities can be transported at a time. The product makes it possible to allow consumption of natural gas in places that have no access to pipelines and other means of obtaining natural gas.

Once the liquefied natural gas has reached its destination, the process of reversing the process begins. Large plants are required to convert the greatly compressed liquefied natural gas back into a state where it can be used. Because the product only has about 1/600th of natural gas, there is a need for large storage areas and pipeline systems to ensure the reconstituted natural gas can be dealt with efficiently and safely. The storage tanks are usually constructed with a double wall system with insulation between the two walls. The tanks are generally cylindrical in nature and tend to be constructed with a wide base and not very much height.

The ability to create liquefied natural gas has allowed the convenience of gas usage to extend to many places around the world where it would otherwise be completely impossible. As the world continues to look for ever more efficient ways of creating energy resources, we can anticipate more refinements in the process of producing liquefied natural gas.

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