Substitute Natural Gas (SNG)

Definition - What does Substitute Natural Gas (SNG) mean?

Substitute Natural Gas, also known as syngas or synthetic natural gas is a type of natural gas which is produced from bio-fuels, oil shale, and lignite coal or landfill gas. Substitute natural gas has the same properties of natural gas (methane) and acts as a direct replacement to it. It is a blend of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diluents such as compressed air, biogas, landfill gas, digester gas and nitrogen. Compressed air is the most common diluent that is used with LPG in the manufacture of syngas.

Petropedia explains Substitute Natural Gas (SNG)

Substitute Natural Gas (SNG) primarily contains carbon monoxide, hydrogen and small amounts of carbon dioxide. It is used to manufacture ammonia, methanol, hydrogen and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels such as synthetic lubricants. Syngas can be produced by any of the following methods:

  • Gasification of coal, wood blocks, hays or coconut shells, etc.
  • Steam reforming process of natural gas
  • Biomass
  • Waste to energy gasification plants

Whenever a fall in demand for natural gas is administered, synthetic natural gas can augment this shortfall. SNG is ideal in the following situations:

  • To overcome a shortfall of natural gas produced from fossils in the industries.
  • When natural gas is unavailable in a geographical region.
  • It can be used as a standby system in case of grid supply failures.
  • To avail natural gas pricing opportunities as it is cheaper than natural gas produced from fossil.
  • It is used when production needs to commence but natural gas supply is delayed.
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