North Dakota LNG, or NDLNG, is the first natural gas liquefaction plant in operation in North Dakota. NDLNG will provide oil and gas operators in the Bakken and across North Dakota a cost-effective and reliable source of alternative fuel (liquefied natural gas), thus reducing operating expenses and regional environmental concerns resulting from the flaring of captured natural gas.
LNG stands for liquefied natural gas. It is natural gas cooled to approximately -260° Fahrenheit at normal air pressure. It is odorless, non-toxic, non-corrosive and less dense than water. LNG is approximately 600 times the energy density of natural gas. Essentially, it is the same as the natural gas more than 65 million Americans use to heat and cool their homes, only in a liquid state so that it can be easily transported.
LNG is an efficient means to store and transport natural gas where pipelines do not exist. LNG is used across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors for purposes as diverse as heating and cooling homes, cooking, generating electricity, and manufacturing. In the North Dakota oil fields, LNG is increasingly being used to fuel vehicles and oil operations—replacing more expensive gas and diesel.
LNG is increasingly being used to fuel heavy-duty vehicles and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 10% versus conventional liquid fuels. According to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, LNG requires only 30% of the space of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to store the same amount of energy. To keep the LNG cold, LNG is stored onboard vehicles in thermally insulted storage tanks. When the engine in a natural gas vehicle (NGV) is started, the LNG is heated, converting it back to a gas. From that point on, the fuel supply process is similar to the system on CNG-fueled engines.
LNG is not stored under pressure and it is not explosive. Although a large amount of energy is stored in LNG, it cannot be released rapidly enough if it escapes into the open environment to cause the overpressures associated with an explosion.
The liquefaction process removes oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur, water, and other impurities. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is being used throughout the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. LNG is odorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. When exposed to the environment, LNG rapidly evaporates, leaving no residue on water or soil. If spilled, LNG would not result in a slick because 100% of it evaporates to a gas and no residue is left behind.
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