Chemical of the Quarter: Understanding Methane (Natural Gas)

Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and after refining constitutes 97 percent or more of its content. The remaining balance is predominantly ethane. Therefore, methane and natural gas are often used interchangeably. Natural gas is an attractive alternative fuel, with lower emissions than other hydrocarbon fuels. Therefore, natural gas is becoming more commonly used to power electrical generation plants, public transportation, and commercial maritime vessels. As a result, the consumption of natural gas has increased 5.2 percent globally since 2015, a trend that is expected to continue upward. For economical transport, natural gas is often liquefied (known as LNG), reducing the volume 600 to 1. All materials that hold or handle LNG must be specifically designed and rated for cryogenic service. Furthermore, maritime LNG carriers must have a highly complex cargo containment and transfer system that ensures its safe transport and addresses the associated health and environmental concerns. The Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards maintains the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 46, Part 154, which provides design, construction, and operational requirements for maritime vessels that transport liquefied gas.


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  • Accession Number: 01705417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 23 2019 10:23AM