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LPG, LNG, CNG: what are the differences ?



LPG, LNG, CNG: what are the differences ?

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and CNG (Natural Gas for Vehicles) are terms used to designate different types of gas, each distinguished by its state, composition or practical applications, while sharing the particularity of being easily transportable.

LPG refers to a group of pressurized liquefied gases, mainly composed of propane or butane. These gases have the particularity of liquefying under relatively low pressure, varying between 1.5 and 7 bars, comparable to the pressure of water in a domestic tap. This property makes them much easier to store and transport. LPG is commonly used in domestic applications, particularly in mobile or itinerant contexts. In addition, a mixture of these gases is often used as an alternative fuel for vehicles, known as LPG-c.

LNG, on the other hand, is natural gas, made up mainly of methane (over 90%), which has been converted into a liquid. This transformation takes place in specialized facilities where the gas is cooled to around -161°C at atmospheric pressure. Thanks to this process, the volume of LNG is reduced by a factor of around 600 compared with its gaseous state, while retaining the same calorific value. This feature makes it possible to transport large quantities of natural gas by sea, offering a practical alternative to undersea pipelines.

Finally, CNG refers to natural gas used as a fuel for vehicles. Its composition is similar to that of natural gas delivered via pipelines. This gas is stored under high pressure, generally in excess of 200 bar, in specially designed tanks, distinct from those used for LPG-c. It should be noted that CNG-powered vehicles are less widespread than those using LPG-c, although CNG is a fast-growing alternative fuel in some regions.