Elgas LPG Gas Blog

LPG vs Natural Gas - Difference Between LPG and Natural Gas - Is LPG Natural Gas

LPG has a higher energy content than natural gas. LPG calorific value is 93.2MJ/m³ vs natural gas at 38.7MJ/m³. The air to gas ratio for LPG vs natural gas is approximately 25:1 for LPG whilst the air to gas ratio for natural gas is a 10:1 ratio.

The difference between LPG and natural gas is that they are different gases with different distribution, as well as different energy content, density, gas:air mix for combustion and working pressure. Propane is LPG vs natural gas as methane. Gas bottles are used to supply LPG vs natural gas conveyed by pipeline.

LPG compared to natural gas has more than double the energy content at 93.2MJ/m³ vs natural gas at 38.7MJ/m³, so LPG is much more efficient than natural gas and is now cheaper in many cases.

LPG vs Natural Gas – Summary of Key Differences

  • LPG is propane and butane vs natural gas which is methane

  • LPG vs natural gas are different chemicals with different formulae: LPG: Propane is C3H8 & Butane is C4H10 whilst Natural Gas – Methane is CH4

  • LPG is heavier than air vs natural gas which is lighter than air

  • LPG has a higher energy content at 93.2MJ/m3 vs natural gas at 38.7MJ/m3

  • LPG requires a higher air to gas ratio for combustion at a 25:1 ratio vs 10:1 ratio for natural gas

  • LPG is liquefied through pressurisation vs natural gas which is cryogenically turned to liquefied natural gas – LNG

  • LPG is distributed in gas bottles and tanks vs natural gas being conveyed via pipeline

  • LPG appliances operate at 2.75 kPa vs 1.1 kPa for natural gas appliances

LPG is not natural gas but it is derived from natural gas processing.

LPG is better than natural gas because it has a higher energy content, it is portable and available everywhere, and in many cases it is now less expensive.

Natural gas is better than LPG when it comes to delivery through pipes and the fact that it produces slightly less CO2 when burned.

LPG vs natural gas - difference between LPG and natural gas

Comparing LPG vs natural gas, propane is heavier than air and will settle whilst natural gas is lighter than air and will dissipate more quickly if there is a leak, which may be a safety benefit over LPG.

In summary, the differences between LPG vs natural gas are different energy content, density, storage, delivery methods and the amount of air required for proper combustion.

Propane is not natural gas but natural gas processing is one source of propane.

So, LPG (LP) gas is not the same as natural gas, even though both are flammable hydrocarbon gases. However, they are used for many of the same applications.

In Australia, we rely on LPG, natural gas, LNG and CNG for our energy needs.  

LPG and Natural Gas are widely available and used for thousands of applications in homes and business.

LPG vs LNG - LNG vs LPG vs CNG

LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas – is natural gas (methane) cryogenically liquefied. LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas – is mainly propane and butane alone or in mixtures liquified under pressure. LPG is produced from crude oil refining and natural gas processing. CNG – Compressed Natural Gas – is natural gas stored at high pressure.

Natural gas (methane) is lighter than air and will typically disperse in the event of a leak. This is advantageous, over LPG, from a safety point of view. With LPG vs LNG, modest pressure is used to liquefy LPG vs LNG liquefied cryogenically. Both are gases at normal temperature and pressure (NTP).

LPG is stored, shipped and distributed in cylinders or tanks. LNG is stored and shipped in special cryogenic tanks and then typically distributed via pipeline, after regasification.

When considering LNG vs LPG vs CNG, LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas – is natural gas (methane) cryogenically liquefied at −161°C and stored in tanks. LPG is propane liquefied under modest pressure in cylinders. CNG – Compressed Natural Gas – is highly compressed natural gas (methane) in cylinders. All are gas at NTP.

LNG is stored and shipped in cryogenic tanks then distributed through pipelines, after regasification. LPG and CNG are both stored and distributed in cylinders.

CNG is highly compressed natural gas in cylinders. LPG, propane and butane, are gas at 20°C and 1 atm (NTP) and liquefied under low pressure. Methane remains gas under pressure. LNG only liquefies cryogenically.

Is Propane Natural Gas - Is LPG Natural Gas

LPG is not natural gas, likewise, propane is not natural gas.  Natural gas is methane whilst LPG is propane or butane.

The biggest difference between LPG vs natural gas is that they are different gases, as LPG is propane (C3H8) vs natural gas, which is is methane (CH4). LPG-propane is not natural gas. LPG-propane is a product of natural gas processing, as it is refined from the raw natural gas that comes out of the well and is also referred to as one of the natural gas liquids – NGL. LPG-propane is also sourced from crude oil refinery. 

Natural gas is mostly methane while propane is just propane. Natural gas is delivered via gas mains or pipes while LPG-propane comes in a gas bottle, cylinder or tank. CNG comes in heavier natural gas bottles.

There are many other difference as well, including energy content, storage, density and chemical formulas (formulae).

LPG vs Natural Gas - Difference Between LPG and Natural Gas -  What's the Difference Between Natural Gas and LPG

The biggest difference between natural gas and LPG is that they are different chemicals. Natural gas is Methane (CH4) and LPG is Propane (C3H8). LPG is produced from and a continuation of natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

Once refined, LPG is stored and distributed as a liquid under pressure in gas bottles or tanks vs natural gas in pipes or gas mains. LPG is isolated from the hydrocarbon mixtures by its separation from natural gas or by the refining of crude oil vs natural gas that just has NGLs and impurities removed.

LPG is heavier than air vs natural gas which is lighter than air. Both are gases at at standard temperature and pressure (STP).

In examining LPG vs natural gas, one of the differences between LPG and natural gas is their chemical names, with LPG known as propane and natural gas known as methane.  LPG vs natural gas also have different chemical formulas with Propane chemical formula C3H8 being LPG whilst the Methane chemical formula CH4  is natural gas, which is the same as refined natural gas.

Butane and isobutane (both C4H10) are also considered to be LPG gases.

Differences between LPG and Natural Gas or LPG vs natural gas (propane vs methane):

• LPG vs natural gas (propane vs methane) have different chemical formulas: LPG-Propane chemical formula is C3H8. Natural gas-methane chemical formula is CH4

• Another difference between LPG and natural gas is energy content. LPG calorific value is 93.2MJ/m3, which is a higher energy content than the calorific value of natural gas (heating value of natural gas), which is 38.7MJ/m3.

• For proper combustion, the air to gas ratio for LPG vs natural gas is approximately 25:1 for LPG whilst the air to gas ratio for natural gas is a 10:1 ratio.

• LPG (propane) is more dense (heavier) than air, with a relative density of 1.5219:1 for LPG vs natural gas density at 0.5537:1, which is not heavier than air, it is lighter than air.

• LPG (propane) can be compressed into a liquid and stored or transported in a cylinder or larger vessel vs compressed natural gas (CNG) or cryogenically turned into liquid natural gas (LNG)

• LPG vs natural gas appliances operate at different pressures.

• Bottled gas is LPG vs natural gas called mains gas, as it is delivered through gas mains or pipelines. whilst LPG (propane) is bottled gas (methane and propane).

• LPG (propane) can be easily processed into Simulated Natural Gas – SNG – and used as a substitute for natural gas. The same is not true in reverse.

Please read more for all of the details about the differences between LPG and natural gas…

Difference Between LPG vs Natural Gas Properties (Propane vs Methane)

Energy Content: Propane vs Butane vs Natural GasThe difference between LPG vs natural gas is easiest to see in their physical properties. Energy content of LPG vs natural gas (93.2MJ/m3 vs 38.7MJ/m3) has LPG with a higher energy content. LPG is more dense than natural gas, at a specific gravity of 1.5219:1 vs 0.5537:1, amongst other differences shown below.

LPG (Propane) vs Natural Gas (Methane)
 
LPG vs Natural Gas    Gas Properties
LPG
(Propane)
Natural Gas
(Methane)
Chemical Formula
C3H8
CH4
Energy Content: MJ/m3
93.2
38.7
Energy Content: Btu/ft3
2572
1011
Energy Content: MJ/kg
49.58
52.5
Boiling Temp: Cº
-42
-161.5
Flame Temp: Cº
1967
1950
Flame Temp: Fº
3573
3542
Gas Volume: m3/kg
0.540
1.499
Specific Gravity
1.5219
0.5537
Density @15ºC: kg/m3
1.899
0.668

  Note: Some LPG vs Natural Gas numbers have been rounded.

Town Gas vs LPG

Comparing town gas vs LPG,  LPG is more dense (has a higher specific gravity) than town gas. Town gas (methane) is less dense than air, at a relative density of 0.5537 to 1. LPG (propane) is more dense than air, at a relative density of 1.5219 to 1. Energy content of LPG vs town gas (93.2MJ/m³ vs 38.7MJ/m³) has LPG with a higher energy content. 

Is Bottled Gas Natural Gas

Natural gas is primarily methane that remains gas even when pressurised. Raw or “wet” natural gas also contains LPG – liquefied petroleum gas – including propane and butane, also called “bottled gas”, that are produced during natural gas processing.

Natural Gas May be Safer Than LPG

LPG is heavier than air vs natural gas that is lighter than air. This may be advantageous in the event of a leak, as natural gas will typically dissipate faster whilst LPG may collect in low spots, near the near the floor or in the basement of a home.

Natural Gas vs Butane

Natural gas vs butane are different chemicals with different formulae: Butane is C4H10 whilst Natural Gas – Methane is CH4. Natural gas which is lighter than air vs butane is heavier than air. Both are gases at standard temperature and pressure (STP). Butane has 111.4 MJ/m³ vs natural gas at 38.7MJ/m³.

LPG Natural Gas - Is LPG Natural Gas

LPG is not natural gas, as LPG is propane and natural gas is methane. LPG is produced during natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Once refined, LPG is stored as a liquid under pressure in gas bottles or tanks.

Times have changed and natural gas is no longer the presumed low cost option. LPG supply is often less expensive than natural gas.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) range from 1% to 10% of the natural gas flow.

What is the Difference Between CNG, LPG vs Natural Gas? Natural Gas Bottles

CNG, LPG and natural gas are all different. Natural gas is methane vs LPG which is propane, butane, isobutane or a mixture of the three. The only difference between piped natural gas and CNG - Compressed Natural Gas - is the mode of delivery. Mains gas (natural gas) is delivered through pipelines whilst CNG comes in natural gas bottles.

Comparing LPG vs natural gas bottles, natural gas bottles for CNG are heavier than LPG gas bottles because the gas is at a much higher pressure.

The calorific value of natural gas and CNG are the same at 38.7MJ/m3 vs LPG at 93.2MJ/m3.

The Difference Between CNG and Propane

The difference between CNG and propane is that while CNG and propane both come in gas bottles, propane gas bottles are much lighter vs natural gas bottles. They are also different gases, as CNG is methane. CNG and propane also have different chemical formulas, as methane is CH4 and propane is C3H8.

Propane is stored under pressure as a liquid vs CNG which is stored as a compressed gas in natural gas bottles. Storage pressure is also different with propane gas bottles at less than 2 MPa whilst CNG natural gas bottles are 20 – 25 MPa.

CNG has a lower energy content with CNG at 38.7MJ/m3 vs propane at 93.2MJ/m3.

So, CNG is very different from propane.

What is the Difference Between PNG and LPG?

PNG is the acronym for "piped natural gas".

So the difference between PNG and LPG is the same as the difference between natural gas and LPG.

PNG or natural gas is methane whilst LPG is propane, butane, isobutane or a mixture of the three.

All of the other differences are the same as stated above.

Can I Have 1 Piped Gas and 1 LPG Gas Connection?

Sure, there is no reason why you coldn't have two different types of gas connection.

However, they are not interchangeable.

The appliances that run on the piped gas connection cannot be used on the LPG gas connection and vice versa.  

Propane Formula

The chemical formula for propane is C3H8.

The chemical formula for LPG can be the same, when it contains only propane.

However, it can also contain butane and isobutane.

The chemical formula for both butane and isobutane are the same - C4H10.

Natural Gas Chemical Formula - Chemical Formula for Methane - Natural Gas Formula

In its refined form, natural gas is an odourless, colourless gas of predominantly methane. Methane is the simplest hydrocarbon molecule with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms constituting a highly flammable gas with the chemical formula CH4.

The natural gas formula is CH4, is actually the formula for methane. Natural gas (methane) is a flammable hydrocarbon fuel gas. To be accurate, this natural gas chemical formula is actually the chemical formula for methane, which is the primary constituent of refined natural gas piped to your home.

Raw natural gas, straight out of the ground, also contains natural gas liquids and various impurities.

Chemical Formula of CNG - Chemical Composition of CNG

The chemical formula - CH4 – which means that CNG (methane) contains one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. This single carbon atom means that CNG (methane) is the lowest carbon hydrocarbon fuel, even lower than propane, which only has 3 carbon atoms and much lower than diesel fuel, with an average of 12 carbon atoms per molecule.

The chemical composition of CNG is the same as natural gas. The CNG formula is CH4. To be accurate, this CNG formula is actually the chemical formula for methane, which is the primary constituent in the chemical composition of CNG.

Difference Between Methane and Natural Gas - Difference Between Natural Gas and Methane

There is little difference between refined natural gas and methane. However, there is a big difference between methane and raw natural gas straight from the well, which contains NGLs and impurities, in addition to methane. NGL's include ethane, propane, butane and pentanes.

Processed natural gas, as delivered via gas mains, is typically almost pure methane.

So, there is really no difference between methane and refined natural gas.

LPG vs Natural Gas - Is LPG Cheaper than Natural Gas - Is LPG Gas More Expensive than Natural Gas

LPG has a higher energy content and the relative positions of LPG vs natural gas price has changed over time, with LPG now cheaper than natural gas in many cases. Under $200 per year for LPG vs natural gas price of $539 per year, in one cooking only example.

LPG gas is not more expensive than natural gas, LPG is often less expensive. Many customers now find that it is cheaper to go with LPG vs natural gas. LPG is now better because it frequently costs less than natural gas. For some low volume users, the total cost of the LPG is cheaper and may be less than half of the cost of the natural gas.

Is LPG cheaper than natural gas? When considering LPG vs natural gas cost, times have changed and natural gas is no longer the presumed low cost option. New higher natural gas tariffs and the average cost of LPG vs natural gas makes LPG cheaper than natural gas in many situations.

Due to exports, natural gas price is now driven upward by the world price for LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas.

In addition, natural gas suppliers charge for something called a 'Daily Supply Charge' or by a similar name.

This is, in reality, a network access charge for being hooked up to the natural gas pipelines.

The problem is that the price of the Daily Supply Charge has been escalating and is now over $1 per day in many areas.

This amounts to over $400 per year, before you even get the first molecule of gas, with a number of natural gas tariffs.

Because of the above, LPG is now cheaper than natural gas in many cases.

It also depends on where you are located and how much gas you use.

Your location matters because of the different ways that the two gases are priced.

LPG is typically cheaper for low volume users, as the Daily Supply Charge can total to more than $400 per year.

The situation may be different for higher volume users and with varying tariffs.

The end result in an LPG vs natural gas comparison makes LPG cheaper than natural gas in many circumstances and especially for residential users with low to moderate rates of consumption*.

*The above describes the situation in Australia.  The gas market in different countries may vary.

Is LPG Better than Natural Gas

LPG gas has some distinct advantages, including portability and higher energy content. It may also be cheaper than natural gas in many situations.

Natural gas has a safety advantage vs LPG. As natural gas is lighter than air, in the event of a leak, natural gas will dissipate more quickly. As LPG (propane) is heavier than air, it may collect in basements or near the floor of a home.

Natural gas has some other advantages, too. It produces slightly less CO2 when burned and it doesn't need to be delivered, as it typically comes though pipes (gas mains).

So, as to if LPG is better than natural gas, it really comes down to a matter of opinion. Both gases have their advantages.

Calorific Value of LPG (Propane) vs Calorific Value (heating value) of Natural Gas

The calorific value of natural gas (heating value of natural gas) is 38.7MJ/m3. The calorific value of LPG gas (propane) is 93.2MJ/m3. So, LPG has a higher energy content than the calorific value of natural gas (heating value of natural gas). With this higher calorific value, less LPG is required to produce the same amount of heat.

Heating Value of Methane and Propane

The heating value of methane is 38.7MJ/m3. Propane has a higher heating value - energy content - than the heating value of methane, with 93.2MJ/m3 vs 38.7MJ/m3.

Which Burns Hotter Liquid Propane (LPG) or Natural Gas?

LPG burns slightly hotter than natural gas.

LPG - propane - burns ar 1967ºC or 3573ºF.

Natural gas burns at 1950ºC or 3542ºF.

Difference Between Cooking with Propane vs Natural gas

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between cooking with LPG-propane vs natural gas. The difference between cooking with propane vs natural gas is an even draw.

Propane vs natural gas (methane vs propane) cooking flame temperatures are almost identical, they both respond instantly to cooking temperature control changes and they both look the same.

The cooking user would be unaware of the differences in gas to air ratio and propane vs natural gas supply pressure.

Comparing the cooking energy content of propane vs natural gas, natural gas is lower but it is typically less expensive so it tends to cancel out.

It really comes down to the prices and tariffs of the two to determine which has a lower effective cost, after daily supply charges (network access fee), other charges and the actual cost of the gas.

Is Methane More Flammable than Propane?

Methane has an autoignition temperature of 537°C (999°F)

Propane has an autoignition temperature of 470°C (878°F)

The autoignition temperature is the lowest temperature at which a substance spontaneously ignites in air, with no other ignition source. 

So, based on their respective autoignition temperatures, propane is more flammable than methane because it spontaneously ignites at a lower temperature.

Is Methane Flammable Without Oxygen?

Methane will not burn without oxygen.

In fact, the percentages of oxygen must be within methane's limits of flammability, which are 4.4% to 17%

Air to Gas Ratio for Natural Gas & LPG

The second difference is in the air to gas ratio for natural gas & LPG required for proper combustion. The air to gas ratio for natural gas is around 10 to 1. The air to gas ratio for LPG gas is approximately 25 to 1. 

To achieve this difference, LPG is typically provided in a smaller quantity but at a higher pressure, drawing more oxygen with it into the combustion process, giving LPG a higher air to gas ratio than for natural gas.

Relative Density of LPG

LPG (propane) is more dense than air, at the relative density of LPG at 1.5219 to 1. The heavier relative density of LPG makes it settle in air.

There is a density difference between LPG and the relative density of natural gas. LPG is more dense (has a higher specific gravity) than the relative density of natural gas.

Is Natural Gas Heavier than Air - Relative Density of Natural Gas

Density of natural gas is not heavier than air. Density of natural gas (methane) is lighter than air, as it is less dense (lighter) than air, with the relative density of natural gas being 0.5537 to 1.

The lighter relative density of natural gas makes it rise in air.

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas)

The term LPG actually encompasses more than one type of gas. 
There are a number of hydrocarbon gases that fall into the category of LPG.  
Their common characteristic is that they can be compressed into liquid at relatively low pressures. 
The two most common are Propane and Butane.

What are Natural Gas Liquids – NGLs?

Natural Gas Liquids – NGLs – are heavier gaseous hydrocarbons that are included in the raw natural gas stream from the wellhead.

NGLs include propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, and pentene and pentanes plus.

Pentanes Plus is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons, mostly pentanes and heavier. Natural gasoline is the largest component of pentanes plus.

Raw natural gas also contains impurities including water vapour, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen, and other compounds that must be removed.

Propane, butane and isobutane are the three gases that are typically sold as LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

LPG (Propane)

propane molecule C3H8

Propane is the gas that is supplied to virtually all homes and most businesses that purchase LPG in Australia. 
LPG is supplied in 45kg gas bottles that are either exchanged or refilled on site by LPG tankers. 
LPG goes by a number of names in Australia including LPG, LPG gas, bottled gas, Propane, BBQ gas, camping gas and LP gas.  It’s all the same gas. 
The chemical formula for Propane is C3H8.  

LPG (Butane)

Butane molecule C4H10

Butane is supplied to certain businesses that specify Butane, as opposed to Propane.  

Butane has some specific applications where it has advantages over Propane.

These include greenhouse applications and use as a propellant in aerosols.   

The chemical formula for Butane is C4H10.

Percentage of Propane and Butane in LPG

The percentage of propane and butane in LPG  can vary from 100% propane to 100% butane.

The determining factor of the percentage of propane and butane in LPG is primarily the availability of each where you are located.

Different countries and regions have varying access to the supply of each gas.

Autogas (Propane/Butane mix)

Autogas that is sold at petrol stations can be either just Propane or a Propane/Butane mix. 
Not only is running an LPG car economical, but Autogas is also cleaner burning fuel than petrol, so engine life is actually extended and greenhouse gas emissions reduced.

Natural Gas - Composition - Types of Natural Gas: Methane Gas & NGL

Natural gas is a fossil fuel hydrocarbon gas mixture found in underground rock formations. Raw natural gas composition is made of methane, propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and pentanes plus. Refined natural gas is primarily made of methane and is commonly used for cooking, heating, hot water, electrical generation and vehicle fuel.

Methane gas color is clear and it is odourless without an odourant additive.

Methane molecule CH4

When it is extracted from the ground it may also contain Ethane, Propane, Butane, and Pentane. 

The natural gas liquids - NGLs - are part of the natural gas composition and are separated out for individual distribution.

Most of these are usually stripped out of the natural gas composition for other specific applications before it is passed along through the pipelines.  

Raw natural gas composition includes impurities that are also removed, including water and sulphur.  

The methane-natural gas formula is CH4.

What is NG Gas?

NG gas is the acronym abbreviation for "Natural Gas Gas". It's used by people who get tired of typing out natural gas.

So, it's like ATM machine which is short for "Automatic Teller Machine machine".

There is actually a term for this. It's called RAS syndrome, which is short for "redundant acronym syndrome syndrome", which is also a great example of itself.

Natural Gas - Methane - Uses

Natural gas is used primarily as fuel to generate heat.
In homes this includes hot water, cooking and heating.
In industrial applications, it commonly heats boilers for various processes, as well as dryers, ovens and kilns.
When compressed into CNG, it can also be used to fuel vehicles.
The generation of electricity is also a major use of natural gas, as it is much cleaner that coal fired generation.
Electricity generation can be via direct gas powered turbines, indirectly with steam turbines or a combination of the two, where the waste heat from the gas turbines is recycled to produce steam and drive steam turbines.

How Do We Get Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel.

It is formed over millions of years from decayed biomass subject to heat and pressure.

So, natural gas is found deep underground in various rock formations.

It is accessed by drilling deep wells.

The "wet" gas that comes from the well must be processed to separate out the natural gas liquids, like LPG, as well as water and other impurities.

Finally, the dry gas is passed through the gas pipelines that deliver it to our homes and businesses.

Natural Gas Composition

Natural gas is primarily methane.

Methane molecules consist of hydrogen and carbon, with a formula of CH4.

As noted previously, raw natural gas may include propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, and pentene and pentanes plus.

Impurities such as water vapour, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide, helium and nitrogen are also found in raw natural gas and must be removed.

Methane Propane Butane - Is There Methane in Propane or Butane?

There is no methane in propane or butane.

Methane, butane and propane are three distinctly different gases.

Simulated Natural Gas or Synthetic Natural Gas

Simulated Natural Gas – SNG – is produced by mixing vaporised LPG with compressed air.

SNG can be used in place of natural gas, as it has virtually identical combustion characteristics.

It can be used alone or mixed with regular natural gas.

No changes are required in burners, regulators or gas jets.

Simulated natural gas has a number of names.

In addition to SNG, it is also called propane-air and LPG-air.

Pictured below is a simulated natural gas installation:

Simulated Natural Gas System
Images courtesy of TransTech

Under what Circumstance or Situation will LPG be added to LNG?

Normally, you would never add LPG to LNG, as the combustion properties are so different..

The one exception is with SNG - Synthetic Natural Gas, after the LNG returns to its gaseous state.

Once the LNG has been regasified, LPG could be added to it - in the form of SNG - to increase the available supply.

LPG freezes at −187.7°C (−305.8°F), meaning that there is little margin for error when chilling the methane to −161°C.

Mains Gas - Piped Gas - LPG vs Mains Gas - Town Gas vs LPG

Natural gas is also called “mains gas” or "town gas" is the gas supplied to homes and businesses by gas pipelines or “gas mains” (reticulation systems).  In comparison, LPG is delvered in gas bottles and by tanker truck. So, LPG vs mains gas (town gas vs LPG) is gas bottle delivery vs gas conveyed by pipeline.

Mains gas is how most Australians receive their gas.

Can Natural Gas be Stored in a Tank - CNG Composition - Natural Gas Bottles

Natural gas can be stored in natural gas bottles as either CNG - Compressed Natural Gas - or as LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas. CNG gas is distributed in natural gas bottles.  A natural gas bottle (methane bottle) is different from an LPG cylinder including much higher pressure and a lower energy content. LNG is stored in a special cryogenic tank.

Natural gas is stored in natural gas bottles at high pressure, typically over 200 bars, but it is not very economical for long distance transport. 

CNG chemical composition is CH4, which is also the chemical formula of methane. CNG molecular composition is one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.

CNG does have some specific applications where the product is used in close proximity to where it is compressed. 

City buses are a good example of a successful CNG application.

What is the Difference Between CNG & PNG?

The only difference between CNG and PNG is the form of delivery.

CNG comes out of natural gas bottles whilst PNG comes out of a pipe.

Both are refined natural gas with methane being the primary constituent.

LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

LNG reduces volume by 600 times

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.

Difference between LNG and LPG Container Vessel Storage - LPG vs LNG

Difference between LNG and LPG is that they are different gases and the difference in LPG vs LNG container vessel storage. LNG (liquefied natural gas) is methane whilst LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is propane, butane or a mixture of the two.

LPG is liquefied is stored in pressure container vessels using relatively low pressures at ambient temperatures. LNG is liquefied cryogenically - chilling it to −161°C - in a container vessel 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.

Which is Safer, LPG or LNG?

Both LPG and LNG are flammable hydrocarbon fuels.

Under the right circumstances either one could burn or explode.

LNG is more dangerous for the environment, as methane is a very strong greenhouse gas - even worse than CO2.

LPG (propane and/or butane) are not greenhouse gases.

What is LPG?

LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas 

LPG is used for heating our homes & hot water, cooking our food, powering our BBQs & fuel our cars.

It also powers many business and agricultural processes.

Learn more about this amazing transportable gas that comes in a bottle...

What is LPG? LPG in gas bottles.

How Does LPG Work?

LPG is stored under pressure, as a liquid, in a gas bottle.  

It turns back into gas vapour when you release some of the pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your appliance.

Almost all of the uses for LPG involve the use of the gas vapour, not the liquefied gas. 

What is LPG made of: LPG Composition

The gases that fall under the “LPG” label, including Propane, Butane and Isobutane, as well as mixtures of these gases. The two most common are Propane and Butane and the percentage of propane and butane in LPG varies.

Where does LPG come from?

LPG is not made or manufactured, it is found naturally in combination with other hydrocarbons.

LPG is produced during natural gas processing and petroleum refining. 

Once refined, LPG is stored as a liquid under pressure in gas bottles or tanks.

LPG processing involves the separation and collection of the gas from its petroleum base.

About 60% is produced from the natural gas stream that comes out of the wellhead.

The other 40% is produced during the crude oil refining process.

LPG is isolated from the hydrocarbon mixtures by its separation from natural gas or by the refining of crude oil.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) range from 1% to 10% of the natural gas flow.

Similarly, LPG produced from crude oil refining constitutes between 1% and 4% of the crude oil processed.

Both processes begin by drilling oil wells.

Following its refinement, LPG is stored and distributed as a liquid under pressure until used, at which point it is utilised as either a liquid or a gas (vapour).

Refined from Oil & Natural Gas

LPG processing involves separation and collection of the gas from its petroleum base. 
LPG is isolated from the petrochemical mixtures by separation from natural gas or by the refining of crude oil.
Both processes begin by drilling oil wells. 
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 trap and is then pumped into an oil storage tank for refining. 
Crude oil undergoes a variety of refining processes, including catalytic cracking, crude distillation, and others.  
One of the refined products is LPG.
The "wet" gas, off the top of the gas trap, is processed to separate the gasoline (petrol) from the natural gas and LPG. 
The natural gas, which is mostly methane, is piped to towns and cities for distribution by gas utility companies. 
The petrol is shipped to service stations.
The LPG also enters the distribution network, where it eventually finds its way to end users, including Home LPG and Commercial LPG users all around Australia and the world.
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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.