Beginning the transition towards green fuels
LNG stands for Liquefied Natural Gas, natural gas transformed into a liquid state through a cooling process. In its liquid form, natural gas has a significantly smaller volume for export, shipping and storage. It is a lower-emission, cleaner-burning fossil fuel that can be used for transportation, marine propulsion or regasified after delivery to a terminal.
What are the advantages of LNG?
In its natural state, gas has a large volume and can only be transported over significant distances by pipeline. In its cooled, liquefied state, it can be transported in tankers, stored and used as a transportation fuel. While it is a fossil fuel, natural gas produces significantly lower emissions than coal or petroleum when burned and even has a smaller CO2 footprint than pipeline-transported gas. In the long run, LNG-powered engines can be run on carbon-neutral, clean-burning synthetic gas, making liquefied natural gas an excellent bridging fuel during the ongoing energy transition.
How do the liquefaction process and regasification of natural gas work?
The blend of methane, ethane, butane and propane found in natural hydrocarbon deposits used to be a byproduct of oil drilling that, in the absence of adequate storage and transportation solutions, largely went to waste. Natural gas liquefaction was developed to harness this untapped energy source around the turn of the last century. In a liquefaction facility, purified methane and ethane are reduced to 1/600th of their gaseous state when condensed and liquefied at −162°C. In its converted form, natural gas becomes an odorless, colorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive liquid that is easy to transport and store. It can also be used as a transportation fuel. When LNG is brought back to atmospheric temperature in a regasification terminal, for example, with heat exchangers and pumps using sea water, it returns to its original form and volume. The cold energy of the regasification process can be used for industrial purposes on site, further improving the conversion efficiency.
LNG technologies by MAN Energy Solutions
Prior to its new strategy to focus its business more on sustainable solutions, the predecessor companies of MAN Energy Solutions accumulated over a century’s worth of expertise in the invention, construction and maintenance of fossil fuel combustion engines. With the company’s new focus, we are reinvigorating the proven engineering innovations and technologies of our past with the fuels of a decarbonized future. LNG is an important part of the environmentally friendly energy mix that will tide the world economy over to its envisioned fully carbon-neutral goal. It plays a role in reducing the emissions of power plants, is essential to the maritime energy transition and is a useful fuel in many other fields that MAN Energy Solutions is currently preparing for a decarbonized future.
LNG as a low-emission shipping fuel
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has stipulated that international shipping emissions must be reduced by 50% by 2050. Therefore, MAN Energy Solutions sees the trend for large engines to change from oil to gaseous fuels as the starting point for a “Maritime Energy Transition”. In this transition, fuelling with LNG is the first step in preparing engines for the broader use of a range of synthetic fuels, on the way to carbon- neutrality.
Kickstarting sustainable shipping with LNG
The Volkswagen Group has unveiled two newly-built car carriers that will sail the oceans powered by LNG. The ‘Siem Confucius’ and its sister ship, the ‘Siem Aristotle’, are the very first transAtlantic PCTCs (Pure Car Truck Carriers) to operate full-time on LNG. Here’s an in-depth look at how this is set to kickstart a future of sustainable shipping.
Right now and medium-term we see LNG as a good fuel to meet environmental standards and to reduce CO2 by up to 20%.