What is compressed natural gas made of?

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Natural gas is an increasingly prevalent energy resource in the daily lives of many people. The proof is that in 2016 in Quebec, its consumption accounted for 15% of the total energy consumed.

Among other things, it is used to heat homes and fuel gas stoves and can even be used as a fuel and to power all kinds of vehicles. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is increasingly being used in the road transportation sector.

What makes CNG so special? Does it have a different composition than the natural gas we know?  These are the questions we will try to answer!

Compressed natural gas isn’t all that different from the natural gas flowing through the gas network

Natural gas and compressed natural gas differ only in the space they occupy. The chemical components and properties of compressed natural gas are identical to those of natural gas. In Quebec, this gas is generally 95% methane. This main component is supplemented by approximately 4% nitrogen and ethane, followed by approximately 1% carbon dioxide and propane. It is important to note that almost all the natural gas consumed in Quebec is imported from Western Canada and the United States.

This source of energy, which is much cleaner than traditional fuels (diesel, gasoline and fuel oil), can be obtained in two different ways.

Natural gas of fossil origin

First, this gas can be found in the earth’s subsoil. Fossil natural gas is formed by the decomposition of animal and plant matter that has been buried underground for millions of years. It can be removed from the ground using various methods.

Natural gas from biomethanization

Renewable natural gas can also be produced through the biomethanization process, which allows organic matter (such as food waste) to be microbiologically transformed into biogas.  However, it requires much more refining before it can be used.

What is the purpose of compressed natural gas if it has the same composition as conventional gas?

Although CNG has the same chemical make-up as conventional natural gas, there are significant advantages to compressing natural gas.

For example, natural gas needs to be transported efficiently and safely if the transportation sector is to reap its benefits. Placing natural gas under high pressure is the answer to this problem since CNG has the advantage of occupying only 1% of its normal volume.

This resource becomes considerably easier to transport and store when under pressure. For example, gas can be stored in tanks and distributed to various CNG fueling stations to supply natural gas-fueled vehicles such as heavy trucks, light and medium-duty vehicles, buses, etc.

EBI: the leading supplier of CNG in the transport sector!

In conclusion, compressed natural gas has exactly the same composition as conventional natural gas. It simply has the advantage of taking up much less space through compression, allowing it to be transported and stored in pressurized tanks for fueling vehicles.

EBI has been a leader in natural gas in Quebec for more than 10 years and has become a true benchmark for compressed natural gas in transportation. We welcome you to contact us to learn more about the benefits of this eco-friendly fuel!