Natural gas or biomethane can be transported in cylinders where there is no availability of gas distribution networks, via a virtual gas pipeline.
This gas can be used in gas engines to generate electricity and heat at high efficiency through combined heat and power technology.
There are two main ways of converting gas into a more transportable form including compression and liquefaction:
Compressed natural gas (CNG) or renewable compressed biomethane gas (CBG) is comprised primarily of methane and exists at around 1% of the volume it occupies when at standard atmospheric pressure. It is typically transported in hard cylinder containers at a pressure of 20-25MPA (2,900-3,600psi).
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable liquified biomethane gas (LBG) is again comprised primarily of methane that is condensed into a liquid at close to atmospheric pressure by chilling it to approximately −160 °C (−260 °F). The maximum transport pressure is set at around 25kPA (3.6psi).
One unit of LNG takes up 3 times less volume than one unit of compressed gas energy. This means LNG exists at higher density and a greater volume can be stored in the same space than CNG.
Applications of CNG / LNG for power
Compressed or liquefied methane have several different applications for gas engines. In areas where there are no gas pipelines, but the use of gas as a fuel is advantageous, then compressed gases can be transported via a road on cylinders to the site of use.
This could be done to displace costly diesel fuel or could be used where a project is in a national park where it would not be appropriate to lay gas pipelines or electricity pylons.
In many parts of Africa, the slow development of gas pipelines inhibits industrial development. Using CNG or LNG can speed the deployment of gas, offsetting diesel in advance of future gas pipelines arriving.
If you would like to discuss the use of CNG or LNG as a fuel for gas engines, please contact us for more information.