Natural Gas Liquids - NGL
NGL – natural gas liquids – include pentanes, isobutane, butane, propane and ethane, all of which are composed of molecules comprised of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These are hydrocarbons similar to natural gas and crude oil. The uses of natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate) are in the thousands.
NGL – natural gas liquids – and condensate are synonymous terms for the liquid hydrocarbons separated from natural gas during processing. They include ethane, propane, butane and pentanes. NGL all turn into liquid when under pressure but are gaseous at NTP. NGL is also sourced from crude oil refining.
NGL production processing starts with raw natural gas, from which the natural gas liquids must be separated. NGL fractionation is used to separate Natural Gas Liquids from natural gas utilising refrigeration. Liquid fractionation columns or towers are used to isolate the NGLs processed from the methane, in the NGL fractionation process.
What is NGL
Natural gas liquids (NGL) are constituents of natural gas that are stripped from the natural gas in the form of liquids. This partition occurs in a stripper plants or gas processing plants, utilising refrigeration or lean oil absorption.
Natural Gas Liquids
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are flammable hydrocarbons in the same category of molecules as natural gas and crude oil, composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Pentanes, butane, isobutane, propane and ethane are all NGLs (see table below). There are many uses for natural gas liquids across many industries.
The definitions of natural gas liquids and liquefied petroleum gas are not exactly synonymous, as NGL is a term with a broader meaning. The common LPG gases are included within the broader group of natural gas liquids.
All LPG are defined as NGL, but not all NGL are defined as LPG.
Amazingly, LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas – is NOT defined as an NGL - Natural Gas Liquid.
NGL means “Not Gonna Lie” in internet slang. NGL is both an abbreviation and an acronym for “Not Gonna Lie”. So, now you know the abbreviation for this NGL slang phrase.
NGL is also the acronym abbreviation for “Natural Gas Liquids”. These are the liquid co-products produced when the dry methane is separated from the 'wet' natural gas flow, during natural gas processing.
NGL Meaning: Not Gonna Lie v Natural Gas Liquids
NGL means "Not Gonna Lie". It also means "Natural Gas Liquids".
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are flammable hydrocarbons with molecules composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms, similar to natural gas and crude oil. NGLs include ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, and pentanes. There are thousands of uses for natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate).
NGL also means “Natural Gas Liquids”. This NGL acronym abbreviation meaning represents the liquid constituents of the raw or 'wet' natural gas flow. It is separated from the 'dry' methane gas into liquid propane, butane, isobutane and other pentanes.
What Does NGL Mean?
NGL means "Not Gonna Lie" (internet slang) or it means "Natural Gas Liquids" – which are constituents of raw natural gas that are separated from the gas, as liquids. This separation occurs in ‘stripper plants’ or natural gas processing plants. These are all hydrocarbons composed exclusively of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The uses of natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate) are in the thousands.
Otherwise, it just means the internet slang for Not Gonna Lie.
Define NGL - NGL Definition
NGL is defined as an abbreviation meaning Not Gonna Lie, used primarily on the internet to admit something for which you feel a bit bad or embarrassed. Example: NGL, I didn’t know what NGL meant.
Natural Gas Liquids is also an NGL definition for the liquid natural gas condensate produced during natural gas processing, whilst producing 'dry' natural gas.
NGL Meaning - What Does NGL Mean: Natural Gas Liquids
NGL serious meaning is "Natural Gas Liquids".
Natural gas liquids – NGLs – are flammable hydrocarbons with a molecular structure similar to natural gas and crude oil, with just carbon and hydrogen atoms. Ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, and pentanes are all NGLs. The uses of natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate) are in the thousands.
NGL meaning is Natural Gas Liquids, which are the liquid hydrocarbons constituents separated from the raw natural gas during processing. Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) include the LPG gases propane and butane, as well as the heavier liquid hydrocarbons - Pentanes, Hexane, Heptane, Octane and Nonane. Natural gas liquids (NGL) are also referred to as natural gas condensate.
Natural Gas Liquids are removed from the raw natural gas flow, along with some impurities, to make refined or dry natural gas for homes and businesses.
Table of Natural Gas Liquids
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are flammable hydrocarbons in the same category of molecules as natural gas (methane) and crude oil, composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Pentanes, butane, isobutane, propane and ethane are all NGLs (see table below). There are thousands of uses for natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate).
The following NGL chart or table shows the natural gas liquids' names, chemical formulae, state at room temperature, boiling point and density:
State at NTP2
0.668 kg/m3 @ 20°C
1.264 kg/m3 @ 20°C
1.882 kg/m3 @ 20°C
2.489 kg/m3 @ 20°C
|36°C (97°F)||626 kg/m3 @ 20°C|
654.8 kg/m3 @ 25°C
679.5 kg/m3 @ 25°C
698.6 kg/m3 @ 15°C
718 kg/m3 @ 20°C
726.3 kg/m3 @ 25°C
740 kg/m3 @ 20°C
754.6 kg/m3 @ 25°C
769 kg/m3 @ 20°C
773 kg/m3 @ 20°C
1. Methane is not an NGL but included for reference.
2. NTP - Normal Temperature and Pressure: 20°C at 1 atm
NOTE: some numbers have been rounded.
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Natural gas is a fossil fuel consisting of naturally occurring hydrocarbon gases. Methane is the primary constituent but it typically contains natural gas liquids including ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, pentane and pentanes plus. It may also contain traces of helium, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulphide, as well as impurities
NGL Abbreviation - What Does NGL Stand For
NGL is an abbreviation for two things: NGL abbreviation stands for the slang "Not Gonna Lie" (not going to lie). NGL abbreviation also stands for Natural Gas Liquids.
NGL Processing - NGL Production - Natural Gas Processing
NGL production processing starts with raw natural gas that contains methane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and impurities, as well as the LPG, which must be separated. NGL production processing (natural gas processing) utilising refrigeration is common for recovery of NGL from a natural gas stream. With this technique, they refrigerate the gas stream to obtain the NGL.
In natural gas processing, the gas/oil mixture is piped out of the well and into a gas trap, which separates the stream into crude oil and "wet" gas, which contains LPG and natural gas.
The heavier crude oil sinks to the bottom of the natural gas processing trap and is then pumped into an oil storage tank for refining.
The NGL, "wet gas", off the top of the natural gas processing trap, is processed to separate the gasoline (petrol) from the natural gas and LPG.
Refrigeration is employed in three different NGL production processing (natural gas processing) procedures: expander plants, low temperature separation and combined processes. Other separation techniques may also be employed, including lean oil absorption.
A portion of this NGL stream is composed of an LPG mixture, which can be further separated into propane, butane and isobutane, as needed.
Raw natural gas also contains impurities including water vapour, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen, and other compounds that must be removed during natural gas processing to meet quality standards. This must happen before either the refined natural gas (methane) or NGL can be used.
After the completion of NGL processing, the refined and purified natural gas, which is mostly methane, is fed into the pipelines that supply our cities and towns.
NGL Fractionation Process Description
The simple NGL fractionation process description is that NGL fractionation is used to separate Natural Gas Liquids from natural gas. Liquid fractionation columns or towers are used to isolate the NGLs processed from the methane, in the NGL fractionation process.
A deethanizer is used to separate the ethane. Ethane (chemical formula C2H6) is the lightest of the NGL gases.
A depropanizer is used to separate the propane. Propane (chemical formula C3H8) is the most common of the gases considered to be LPG.
A debutanizer is used to separate the butanes (Butane and Isobutane). Butane and Isobutane are both isomers of butane, meaning they have the same chemical formula (C4H10) but the atoms are arranged differently. A deisobutanizer is used to separate the isobutane.
What is left after the NGL fractionation process are the heavier fractions including Pentanes C5H12, Hexane C6H14, Heptane C7H16, Octane C8H18, and Nonane C9H20.
NGL Composition - Compounds Considered Natural Gas Liquids
NGL composition includes the processed hydrocarbons propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and pentanes plus. The NGL composition can be either the individual gases or mixtures of these compounds. NGL composition may also be referred to as the processed natural gas condensate, just to further complicate the terminology.
Natural gas liquids (NGL) processing ranges from 1% to 10% of the composition of the raw natural gas flow.
NGL composition also includes processed Pentanes Plus, which is a mixture of the heavier liquid hydrocarbons, mostly pentanes, hexane, heptane, octane and heavier.
These are heavier liquid hydrocarbons with typically between 5 and 10 carbon atoms in each molecule.
Natural gasoline is the largest component of pentanes plus.
NGL are liquid at ambient temperatures, where LNG is only liquid when chilled cryogenically.
Uses of Natural Gas Liquids - Natural Gas Condensate
The uses of natural gas liquids (natural gas condensate) are in the thousands.
Ethane (C2H6) is commonly used in the in the petrochemical industry to produce ethylene, which is used to make plastics like polyethylene.
Propane (C3H8) or LPG is used as a fuel for many residential, commercial and agricultural heat applications, including cooking, hot water systems and heating.
It is also employed as a propellant, refrigerant, vehicle fuel and petrochemical feedstock.
Butane (n-butane) (C4H10) is commonly used as a fuel, propellant and refrigerant, as well as a petrochemical feedstock.
So, it has the same chemical formula as butane – C4H10 – but has a different arrangement of its atoms.
Isobutane is commonly used as a refrigerant and a propellant.
Pentane (C5H12) is are also used in the petrochemical industry to make things like polystyrene foam and other plastic foams.
Hexane (C6H14) is used in gasoline blending, solvents, and other chemical applications.
Heptane (C7H16) is commonly used in solvents. It is undesirable in gasoline, as it is at the zero point of the octane rating scale.
Octane (C8H18) and its isomer, iso-octane, are used as a major components in gasoline (petrol), as they have anti-knock properties.
LPG vs LNG vs NGL - What is the Difference Between LNG, LPG and NGLs?
Difference between LPG vs LNG is that they are different gases and the difference in LPG vs LNG storage. LNG (liquefied natural gas) is methane whilst LPG is propane, butane or a mixture of the two.
LPG is liquefied is stored in pressure vessels using relatively low pressures at ambient temperatures. LNG is liquefied cryogenically - chilling it to −161°C - at close to atmospheric pressure.
Another major difference in LPG vs LNG is usage from the containment vessel. LPG can be used right from the cylinder. LNG requires regasification, using a vaporiser, to get it to revert to its gaseous state and only then it can be used as typical natural gas.
NGL, the processed natural gas condensate, includes propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and pentanes plus.
So, NGL is inclusive of LPG vs LNG, which is a different gas.
NGL are stripped from the raw natural gas process flow when the natural gas is processed.
NGL Specific Gravity
NGL specific gravity of propane liquid is 0.495 (25°C). NGL specific gravity of propane gas is 1.898 kg/m3 (at 15°C and sea level). However, NGL specific gravity actually involves the specific gravity of the eleven hydrocarbons that are defined as NGL: propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and pentanes plus.
Some NGL specific gravity examples:
The specific gravity of propane liquid is 0.495 (25°C).
The specific gravity of propane gas is 1.898 kg/m3 (at 15°C and sea level). 1 ft3 of propane gas weighs 0.1162 pounds.
The specific gravity of Butane gas is 2.5436 kg/m3 (at 15°C and sea level)
Methane (Dry Natural Gas)
Impurities must be removed before either the natural gas (methane) or NGL can be used. Some of these can be sold as by-products.
The refined and purified natural gas, which is mostly methane, is fed into the pipelines that supply our cities and towns.
Distribution of refined natural gas (methane) is typically handled by gas utility companies.
LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)
Methane gas is processed into LNG by cooling it to −161°C, at which point it becomes a liquid.
This reduces the volume of the natural gas by a factor of more than 600 times as it goes from its gaseous state to liquid.
That's like going from a beach ball to a ping pong ball.
This reduced volume facilitates economical transport by sea or road.
Common LNG uses include industrial applications and long haul trucking.
The technology involved with LNG is generally not cost effective for small volume users, such as homes and small businesses.
For more information, please visit the Elgas LNG web site.
Final Thoughts on NGL Meaning
I'm Not Gonna Lie, "Natural gas liquids" is becoming a more commonly referenced term, where previously it was just used within the energy industry.
It may never be as common as the internet slang "Not Gonna Lie", but it is important in the energy business.
Comments, questions or feedback?
The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.