Natural Gas composition

Composition of Natural Gas and LNG
August 29, 2014 – 02:47 pm

Natural gas is composed primarily of methane, but may also contain ethane, propane and heavier hydrocarbons. Small quantities of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur compounds, and water may also be found in natural gas. The Figure 5 provides a typical natural gas composition.18 The liquefaction process requires the removal of some of the non-methane components such as water and carbon dioxide from the produced natural gas to prevent them from forming solids when the gas is cooled to about LNG temperature (-256o F). As a result, LNG is typically made up mostly of methane as shown in Figure 5 .

Figure 5 . Typical Natural Gas and LNG Composition

Examples of LNG composition are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 . LNG Composition with Geographic Variation

LNG COMPOSITION (Mole Percent)

Source

Methane

Ethane

Propane

Butane

Nitrogen

Alaska

99.72

0.06

0.0005

0.20

Algeria

86.98

9.35

2.33

0.63

0.71

Baltimore Gas & Electric

93.32

4.65

0.84

0.18

1.01

New York City

98.00

1.40

0.40

0.10

Sand Diego Gas & Electric

92.00

6.00

1.00

Source: Liquid Methane Fuel Characterization and Safety Assessment Report. Cryogenic Fuels Inc. Report No. CFI-1600, Dec. 1991

LNG is odorless, colorless, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. However, as with any gaseous material besides air and oxygen, the natural gas vaporized from LNG can cause asphyxiation in an unventilated confinement.

Appendix 1 explains the differences between LNG and other products used in the industry such as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Gas -to-Liquids (GTL).

Source: www.beg.utexas.edu
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Popular Q&A
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What is the composition of natural gas?

Natural gas as recovered from underground deposits contains mainly methane (CH4), but it also contains heavier gaseous hydrocarbons such as ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). Other gases such as CO2, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are also often present. Natural gas also contains small amounts of helium, and is the main source of helium. Small amounts of mercury may be present. The exact composition varies from one field to another.
Methane is typically 70-90 percent, ethane 5-15 percent, propane and butane up to 5 percent.
Sulfur compounds must be removed before d…

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